DEESIDE DRAGONS 2
NOTTINGHAM LIONS 7
National Ice Hockey League – North
Laidler Conference – Division Two
Saturday 3rd October 2015 – Deeside Leisure Centre
Nottingham Lions travelled to North Wales to play table toppers Deeside Dragons with nothing to lose and everything to gain from the unbeaten welsh outfit. Lions came with a plan and came home leaving a stunned rink with both points and the Dragons 100% record in tatters. To add insult to injury Nottingham overtook Deeside into first place in the Conference.
The team was still missing alternate captain Ben Wood, Defencmen Jamie Hovell and Elliot Cox and Travis Woodward. Tom Hovell was backing up in nets, despite still suffering from injury. Also returning to the line-up were defencemen Jordan Wright and Jon Binder from the under 18's/20's..
The referee Blaine Evans dropped the puck to start the game, only for the hooter to sound and the game clock display to disappear. So with the clock reset to zero, play started again, only for the same thing to happen. At the third attempt, the game lasted nearly two minutes before the klaxon hooted yet again! An embarrassed timekeeper’s bench checked the settings, before the game was restarted for a fourth time.
It took Nottingham nearly six minutes to shake off the bus legs and shock the home support with the go ahead goal. Joe Humphries forcing the biscuit under Dragons stopper Matt Compton, supplied by Ondrej Pniok. Lions blocked everything Deeside could throw at them, leaving Robert Perks to find the back of the net, unassisted after nine minutes. The Dragons netminder thought he would join in the celebration by hooking the goal scorer, but only got one of his team-mates a two minute penalty. At this point the Welsh Coach called a thirty second time out.
Just after thirteen minutes, Hamish Hall was called for a boarding penalty, but the Dragons advantage was shortened by a minute with a Michael Jones roughing minor. Once again Lions were at fault, Adz Andrews entered as Hall left the box with another roughing minor, Deeside failed to capitalise on a minute’s man advantage, but did pull a goal back on the nineteen minute mark, James Parsons squeezing the puck between the pads and the near post, fed by the ex-Widnes danger man Filip Supa.
Just six minutes into the middle session, Dan Hazeldine opened his account with his first of the season to restore the two goal cushion, once again Pniok supplying the assist. Parsons returned to the penalty bench for a face-off violation, Hazeldine went for tripping ten seconds before Parsons re-entry, then from the resulting power play a shot was saved by Alan Levers, only for the minder to lose sight of where the puck came to rest, Jones was first to react, diverting it over the goal line for Deeside’s second.
The Dragons Netminder used his stick in the wrong way again on the half-way mark, this time slashing a Lions player as he passed, but when spotted by the Referee, gained another ten minutes for one of his colleagues to sit out, verbally abusing the observant official.
Three minutes later Pniok centred the puck temptingly in front of the net, Dan Hazeldine beat the defenceman, to score the Lions fourth goal. This saw the end of Compton’s game, with him angrily returning to the bench smashing his stick on the ice, the door and the floor of team bench, even though there was still a team mate serving his misconduct penalty. George Cox took over his duties in the Dragons net.
Hamish Hall was back in the penalty box for a second term, on a tripping penalty, when Pniok scored Lions fifth, short-handed from a pass from Andrews. Two minutes later and its Connor Glossop on the power play via Kieron Raynor, Parsons in the box for roughing.
Fifty seconds into the final session, and a hat trick for Dan Hazeldine, a fourth assist for Pniok and an assist for Humphries. Now the game became a little bit feisty. First Elliot Perrin caught a Dragon with an accidental high stick, but despite an instant apology, he got five minutes plus a game Misconduct penalty. This could have been a turning point in the game, however, with Nottingham surviving intense pressure, following a bad line change, Deeside were caught with too many men on the ice. With a minute left of the five minute penalty nearly over, Kieron Raynor was given two minutes for slashing and to his surprise ten more minutes for abuse. Andrews soon followed with four minutes for elbows and roughing. His assailant Jones also in for roughing, Humphries and Supa, coincidental roughing minors. The penalty boxes were pretty full with a shouting match going on across the divide. Andrews’s re-entry back on the ice brought a bit of humour when he slipped over onto his knees. When the Dragons were called for their final penalty, given to Jones for holding, Lions called a time-out with a minute left in the game.
An astounding victory for the Nottingham Lions catapulted them over the Dragons into first place by a point, Alan Levers turned away fifty-six shots, gaining the man of the match award.