Nottingham Lions 1 Billingham Stars 7
Clinical finishing and great goaltending paved the way for a 7-1 decision in favour of the BIllingham Stars at the NIC tonight despite being out-shot by the Lions 49 to 33.
The Stars entered the Lions den unbeaten in the league so-far this season and with a familiar face amongst their roster in the form of ex-Lions man Adam Robinson.
The first meeting between the two sides this season began with both sides giving as good as they got with both goalies being tested early on and some big hits being dished out from both camps.
A promising Lions start against the league leaders was somewhat dampened seven minutes in by an Alex Lawson goal (07.35). Nottingham persevered however but were unable to breakthrough some good goatending by Stars goalie James Flavell.
Lawson then grabbed his second of the night with just over three minutes left in the period (16.40).
The Lions nearly got a goal back in the opening seconds of the second – Danny Rose the width of the metalwork away from getting the home side off the mark.
Another physical period then proceeded with some more excellent goaltending from Richard Griffiths and Flavell . Andrew Finn hit home the visitors third (23.07) followed by a fourth, scored by Michael Elder on the powerplay (38.39).
Mid-way through the third Paul Windridge put the Stars five to the good (49.12) before the Lions finally found their way past Flavell courtesy of a Gareth O’Flaherty powerplay goal (50.39).
O’Flaherty’s goal would prove to be little more than a consolation for Nottingham as Billingham bagged two more past third period replacement netminder Sam Gospel through Simon Herhir (51.11) and Andrew Fletcher on the powerplay (56.22).
So a dissapointing scoreline in the end for the Lions, but to their credit they never stopped battling and on another day playing against a lesser goalie the final result could have been a lot closer.
The Lions now turn their focus on three away trips in a row, starting at the Blackburn Hawks next Sunday.
Stats – O’Flaherty 1+0, Ben Wood 0+1, Michael Rose 0+1.
Period Scores – 1st 0-2, 2nd 0-2, 3rd 1-3.
Shots On Goal – 1st 17-11, 2nd 11-11, 3rd 21-11 – Total 49-33
Total Pen Mins – 38-24
MOTM – Gareth O’Flaherty
Interviews with Nottingham’s Head Coach Matt Bradbury, man of the match Gareth O’Flaherty as well as Billingham’s Assistant Coach Stephen Foster and netminder James Flavell are now available to watch on Lions TV – the new Nottingham Lions online TV channel.