Referee: Andrew Miller

Hawks line up: 15+2 – Nottingham Lions line up: 18+2

Netminders: Hawks Harrison Walker – Nottingham Lions Joshua Crane

The Hawks travel to Nottingham looking to start their league campain off on a positive note, but Nottingham have a point to prove after Solway Sharks won their meeting 15 goals to 1 earlier in the weekend.

Face off takes place and Nottingham show the first dangerous play as a player out to Harrison’s left raises a shot and he has to deal with it with his elbow. The puck remains in play and Lions keep the pressure on. A cross crease pass finds Bailey Challans at the back post who slots it home.

Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 1-0 Blackburn Hawks. 1 minute 49 seconds

Craig Lutkevitch takes a 2 minute penalty for hooking. Hawks clear and Lions have to re-set. Offence as defence works well for Hawks as the puck is kept in Lions’ defensive zone. Hawks return to 5 skaters after a strong penalty kill and Petr gets stuck in at the corner to Crane’s right and comes away with the puck. Lions defend solidly in numbers to keep Hawks to the edges of the zone. The Lions break out and skate wide left into the final third. Hawks are beaten by their pace as Berehowskyj skates in to the face off spot to Harrison’s left and takes a one time slap shot which makes the back of the net bulge.

Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 2-0 Blackburn Hawks. 9 minutes 27 seconds

Hawks counter attack but, again, the Lions are guarding the slot in numbers. Lee Pollitt, in the crowd, is brought down in front of the net as Lions’ Lewis Jones takes a 2 minute penalty for tripping and soon after Pollitt takes a 2 minute penalty for interference. Hawks attack with determination but the Lions ice the puck. Hawks have more time in Lions’ defensive zone but can’t make anything of it and win a face off to Crane’s right. Close shots come from James Neil and Aaron Davies at either point then a quick second shot from a rebound sees Crane dive across his goal mouth to make a great save. Joe Greaves and Lions’ James Heape drop the gloves and a good few punches are thrown by both sides before both players see the ice, and Joe seems to have a mouth/lip bleed. With 5 minutes 20 seconds on the clock of the first period there is a stop in play as blood is cleared from the ice. Both take 2 minutes each for fighting but they’re coincidental penalties so play continues with 5 on 5.

Hawks’ Joe Greaves v Lions’ James Heape

Pollitt drops the puck back and Hawks shoot but the shot is saved by an on-the-ball Crane. Riddoch surges forward and Lions’ Jamie Hovell resorts to holding – he takes a 2 minute penalty. Hawks take quick advantage with the extra man. Neilly fires the puck crease-wards and, as it’s bobbling in front of net, Davies pokes it across the line.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-1 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 16 minutes 18 seconds

Lions return to full strength as a result of the goal while Davies takes a 2 minute penalty for slashing. Hawks hold a high line but Lions break through and Pollitt chases back to tackle and clear the puck. Luco and Pollitt control the puck to tick down the penalty clock. Pollitt sets off forwards, passing left to Luco at point. The incoming shot can’t find its way through the bodies in the crease as the whole Lions team seems to be in there. Lions again show great speed and puck control to fire in a trio of shots in the dying seconds of the first

End of first: Nottingham Lions 2-1 Blackburn Hawks

As play resumes, Royds takes a 2 minute penalty for tripping. Hawks win the resulting face off as Neilly feeds Petr who take a big shot from the slot but I t’s denied by Crane. Hawks come again as Ethan Mayoh sets up Petr. He shoots from left point into Crane’s glove. Royds makes a solid hit that offends Miller wearing the armbands so he takes a 2+10 minute penalty for boarding. Hawks keep the Lions around the boards and push them out. Lions come again with a solo player who is allowed to get right up to Harrison’s pads. Those pads are the only thing that keeps him out as Hawks return to 5 skaters.

Ollie and Tom Revesz battle at the boards for an eventual face off in Lions defensive zone. Lions win it and have a short stint on the offensive before Hawks turn the puck over and attack. It’s great work from Petr and Neilly who give Hawks chances but Crane makes a brace of saves to keep Lions ahead. Lions’ Luke Thomas takes a 2 minute penalty for tripping resulting in another power play goal for Hawks as James Neil feints a shot at the near post and wrong foots Crane. He pulls the puck across the crease and slots it home behind the netminder’s back.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-2 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 28 minutes 24 seconds

Hawks win the face off but Ollie is given a 2 minute penalty for interference. The lions up their shot on goal tally but Harrison keeps them out. Petr and Aaron link up well as Aaron passes from right wing to centre ice. Lions ice the puck but Hawks win the face off and and Ollie makes a great shot from the edge of the circle. A bump from a Lion leads the shot astray – Ollie has words and takes an harsh 10 minute misconduct penalty. Hawks keep on hassling and while Lions are tied up with the puck in the crease, Petr seizes it and weaves his way round to the open net to put Hawks in front.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-3 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 34 minutes 56 seconds

Lions charge forwards from the resulting face off and Hawks scramble to defend. Ethan Mayoh takes a 2 minute penalty for hooking as Hawks attack but are called for offside. Hawks’ turn to attack again as Rick Ravey skates down centre ice. He controls the puck well and aims for Crane’s 5 hole. He drops to his pads to save. Luco takes a 2 minute penalty for interference so Lions make their presence felt in our defensive zone as Harrison comes out of his net to clear. Being short handed doesn’t slow Hawks down as they set up in the final third. Lee Pollitt passes the puck out from the far post across the slot to a waiting Petr. A huge slapshot whistles past Crane.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-4 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 39 minutes 10 seconds

Lions take a 2 minute penalty for tripping so it’s 4 on 4 for the remaining seconds of the second period. It’s all Lions as the period comes to a close but they can’t get a late goal

End of second: Nottingham Lions 2-4 Blackburn Hawks

The third period is underway and Joe Greaves takes a 2 minute penalty for holding. Both teams battle hard in Hawks’ defensive zone. Both sides return to full strength and Greaves forechecks well forcing a Lions sloppy pass out from the back. Hawks pass well between each other as James Neil, Aaron and Petr link up well. Neilly takes a shot from right of slot and the rebound is collected by Joe Greaves. He fires it in but the shot is blocked as a Lion dives in the way. Petr picks up the puck, controls it well under pressure and works it around Crane for his hat-trick goal.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-5 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 44 minutes 12 seconds

Hawks take possession and push forwards but Lions intercept well and break up Hawks play. Hawks reclaim the puck and keep their presence felt. Joe is repeatedly set up at centre blue line and repeatedly fires the puck in. It’s close on every occasion and Joe is convinced the last one went in. There’s a group discussion by Crane’s net and Miller eventually agrees! It’s a goal for Hawks courtesy of Joe Greaves.

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-6 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 47 minutes 15 seconds

Joe is eager for his second and shoots from point but the puck booms off Crane’s pads. Lions have been pinned back for the majority of the third period and continue to be but they breakaway and Jack Murray chases back. He does just enough to put off the attacking Lion and Harrison poke checks to finish the job. Lions keep possession and momentum and don’t give up but a face off to Harrison’s right is won by Hawks. Ethan passes to Royds to Pollitt and the attacking play is back on. The Lions, under pressure, ice the puck but win the resulting face off and break over their own blue line. Neilly tracks back and pinches the puck. He lays it off to Murray who flies down centre ice. The travelling Hawks fans are treated to some good play by Hawks as Petr fires the puck into the far post where Davies awaits to help it on its way over the goal line. What great whole line team goal

GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-7 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 51 minutes 15 seconds

From the resulting face off, the Hawks take the puck and head up the ice. Again, some great communication and passing between all players on that line – Pollitt, Riddoch, Lomax & Murray. It’s all Blackburn in the late stages of the game as Tom Revesz takes a high stick to the face. The offending Lion, Thomas Palmer, can’t apologise quick enough – no malice intended and he takes a 2 minute penalty for high sticks. Lions’ Hopkins breaks away for a 1 on 1 with Harrison. Harrison covers the goal well and isn’t fooled Hawks take the puck straight back to Crane’s end from the face off. Lions gel well together to form an attack and a shot from Lions’ Tom Parkinson in front of goal is slowed by Harrison but needs another reach back to clear it off the line. As applause for Harrison rings out Lions try again and a shot from point is tipped in before Harrison can re-settle.

Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 3-7 Blackburn Hawks. 59 minutes 2 seconds

Lions’ Luke Thomas take a 2 minute penalty for interference and a 10 minute misconduct as tempers are raised and players come together in Hawks’ final third. Lee Pollitt takes a 2 minute penalty for charging to even the teams at 4 on 4. Hawks go on the offensive but the final buzzer goes

Full time: Nottingham Lions 3-7 Blackburn Hawks

MVPs:
Blackburn Hawks – #79 Petr Valusiak
Nottingham Lions – #55 Bailey Challans

Hawks’ MVP Petr Valusiak
Lions’ MVP Bailey Challans

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