Hull NIHL Stingrays 0 Nottingham Lions 6
Nottingham Lions kept up the pace with their NIHL Division Two North title rivals after a comprehensive 6-0 win over the Stingrays at Hull Arena on Sunday evening.
The game started in quite a fast pace with both netminders being tested early on and both sides hitting the post. The deadlock was broken just after six minutes courtesy of Gareth O’Flaherty, giving the Lions the perfect start and putting his scoring tally into double figures for the season with assists from Jose Leon and Michael Rose.
The first penalty of the game went to the Lions with Dan Hazeldine sitting a two-minute minor penalty for hooking at 6.55. However, Nottingham killed the penalty without any real problem.
At 12.17 Christy Johnson-Brown skated through a crowd of Hull players before smashing to puck past netminder Warren Gilfoyle, completing a wonder solo effort to double to visitors’ lead.
As the clock ticked down towards the end of the first period, the Lions hadn’t finished scoring, Hazeldine found himself with a great opportunity and slotted the puck home, punishing the hosts for some nightmare defensive passing in their own zone.
After the restart Stuart Parker netted yet another goal at 22.24 assisted by Joe Wightman, enhancing Parker’s impressive tally to three goals in four games since joining the Matt Bradbury’s side.
In between two penalties from Hull’s Brett Chapman, for slashing and interference respectively, O’Flaherty scored his second of the evening making it five for the traveling side with some quick, slick passing between the forward line before the trusty alternate captain guided it past the Hull goalie.
The third period saw the Stingrays ice their back-up netminder Jack Dalby after Gilfoyle saved nineteen of the twenty-four shots at him.
At 47.17 Hull’s Jordan Fisher and Nottingham’s Ben Wood both sat a two-minute minor penalty for roughing after an altercation in front of the Lions’ goal. This resulted in both sides only having four outfield men on the ice. During the penalty Craig Wallis fired a shot at goal, which somehow made its way through Dalby’s legs and into the back of the net giving the defensive player a rare goal, claiming only his second of the season.
In the remaining ten minutes both sides seemed to play out the game. Although, Gospel still had to be on top form to secure his shutout, saving a total of thirty-three shots in his first game back since recovering from his recent concussion.
The Lions now sit just one point behind leaders Sheffield and Deeside, with three games in hand over both teams and they will be looking to add another two points to their tally as the Hull Stingrays visit the National Ice Centre this Sunday (24th February) 7.15pm face off.
LionsTV post-game interviews with the Stingrays’ Scott Robson and Brett Chapman and the Lions’ Luke Branin and Matt Bradbury can be viewed by clicking here.
Craig Wallis 1+0, Daniel Hazeldine 1+0, Christy Johnson-Brown 1+0, Stuart Parker 1+2, Gareth O’Flaherty 2+0, Michael Rose 0+2, Jose Leon 0+1, Joe Wightman 0+1.
Period Scores: 1st 0-3, 2nd 0-2, 3rd 0-1.
Penalty Minutes: 1st 2-4, 2nd 4-0, 3rd 2-2. Overall 8-6.
Shots: 1st 12-11, 2nd 12-16, 3rd 11-6. Overall 35-33.
Lions MOTM: Sam Gospel.