Tonight’s game versus Coventry Blaze is the final meeting of the 2016/17 season for the two with the Lions having achieved three wins against the Blaze to date.
In all but one of these three meetings the scores have been quite close but in their last game at Coventry the Lions produced a more solid performance in a 1-6 result.
Over several seasons the Coventry team have struggled to hit the heights having been anchored at the wrong end of the conference standings. The great achievement of the Blaze has been and still is their ability to overcome their shortcomings and challenge the high fliers and this season has been no exception. This ability has been displayed in games and in some really tight result outcomes shown certainly in their most recent home game as they pressurised the second place Widnes Wild who surely must have left Coventry breathing a sigh of relief with their eventual 3-2 win?
Here in Nottingham the Blaze have shown that breaking them down can be a daunting proposition with the Lions battling into the 34th minute of their last meeting before grabbing the first and vital goal in an eventual 3-1 win for the home team.
It is also true to say that the Blaze have, on occasions, taken some quite heavy defeats but they continue to exhibit the tenacity required to plough on when all seems lost and that takes some doing week in and week out.
You just have to admire those teams that keep on turning up, and turning out, are always proud to wear the team shirt, and do their level best no matter who they face and no matter what the outcome. That takes dedication of the highest order by my reckoning.
Last Sunday the Lions headed for Ice Sheffield for a very early face off against the Senators who had, earlier in the season, inflicted one of their heaviest defeats and with lots to prove. The Senators were two wins to the good when they came to Nottingham back in January and in a tight well fought game the Lions gained their first point but was considered adisappointing result as the Senators grabbed the goal that tied the game in the final period, but on the positive side it was at least a point gained.
The game up at Sheffield produced yet another hard fought tied game with a 3-3 result. The extra point would have been the better outcome, in play off place terms, but a point was at least gained, rather than lost.
Face off at the National Ice Centre tonight is at 7.30pm