The Nottingham Lions are gearing up for a huge double-header against their play-off and promotion rivals Widnes Wild this weekend, as the race for a top-four finish begins to heat-up.
Slawomir Kasprzak in action against the Wild at the NIC.
The Lions travel to Cheshire on Saturday to take on the Wild at Silverblades Ice Rink (5.30pm) before returning home the following day, for a Sunday night showdown at the National Ice Centre (7.30pm).
Both sides are currently locked in a four-team battle for the fourth and final play-off spot in NIHL Laidler D2, with the Lions currently placed fifth and Widnes just two points behind them in sixth. Each team will know they can afford few slip-ups, if they are to stay in the chasing pack, with Hull Jets currently occupying fourth position, after claiming a four-point haul last weekend, whilst seventh-placed Deeside are also level on points with the Wild.
Well-rested after a three-week break from competitive action, the Lions will be hoping to hit the ground running, following a run of six wins from their last seven games, including a hard-fought 7-4 win over Coventry Blaze back on the 11th January.
Widnes have also had the advantage of a two-week break and will be hoping to turn around their recent poor form, having only notched-up one win from their previous six attempts.
Honours are currently even in the two meetings between the sides so far this season, with Nottingham securing a 5-4 win at the NIC back in October before the Wild then claimed their revenge in November, with a 3-1 reversal at Silverblades.
Head coach Matt Bradbury should have a healthy squad to chose from this weekend but it remains unclear whether Christy Johnson-Brown and Lee Holland will be available for selection, after they both missed out on the impressive Midlands derby victory over the Blaze, earlier in the month.
Craig Wallis takes on the Wild at the Silverblades rink, back in November.
If you can't make the trip to Widnes on Saturday, then don't forget the Lions' official Twitter feed will keep you informed with end of period score updates, whilst play-by-play updates can be found by following the Wild's official Twitter account.
Ticket details for Sunday evening's clash at the NIC can be found by clicking here. Make sure you head down to the Lions' den for what promises to be another entertaining night between two sides battling for what could be a crucial head-to head advantage in the standings, come April.