Nottingham Lions v Blackburn Hawks
A short-benched Blackburn Hawks travelled to Nottingham for their NIHL Midland Cup game, with Latvian Niks Trapans between the pipes for Hawks, abd young Harrison Walker as an outskater following his dynamic scoring displays while playing for the Bradford Bulldogs.
The game started pretty evenly with great attacking and defensive play from both sides.
The goals start coming in when Hawks’ Sean Jones gets a big shot in, which Hovell saves but spills. Tom Revesz is at the top of the crease in the right place at the right time to slot the rebound home.
GOAL! Nottingham Lions 0-1 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 10 minutes 2 seconds
Lions have their most prolonged attack as they’re spurred on but Hawks pass well although again, a dangerous finish eludes them.
End of first:
Nottingham Lions 0-1 Blackburn Hawks
Lions win the face off but Hawks’ player coach James Neil pounces on the puck and controls it at the back. He sets Hawks going forwards and a quick short handed attack sees Lee Pollitt with the puck in front of the net. He whips the puck in and finds Hovell’s 5 hole to double Hawks’ lead.
GOAL! Nottingham Lions 0-2 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 21 minutes 18 seconds
Lions counter attack at pace from the puck drop. They work the puck well and pass it out wide to Trapans right. The puck is fired in towards goal and, with a deflection helping it on its way, it beats Hawks’ net minder.
Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 1-2 Blackburn Hawks. 21 minutes 54 seconds
Lions look more and more dangerous, they bear down on Trapans. The puck is passed across crease to the far post. Lions’ Bailey Challans makes no mistake when slotting the puck between Trapans pad and the post. It’s all square.
Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 2-2 Blackburn Hawks. 23 minutes 55 seconds
Hawks up the tempo and Lee Pollitt feeds the puck into a busy crease. Aaron Davies gets a scrambling touch and, despite Hovell dropping to his pads and closing his 5 hole, the puck crosses the goal line and is awarded to Lee Pollitt.
GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-3 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 29 minutes 0 seconds
Hawks attack again immediately when Jack Murray winds up a big shot from the blue line. Corey Lee gets a piece of it on its way and the tip-in is enough to deny Hovell the save.
GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-4 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 29 minutes 40 seconds
The Lions press forward and Niks Trapans is called upon for a solid save. Hawks take their turn on the offensive as Aaron Davies has possession on the right wing and cuts in towards Hovell. Hovell drops to the ice and Davies lifts the puck over the net minder for Hawks’ 5th of the game.
GOAL! Nottingham Lions 2-5 BLACKBURN HAWKS. 33 minutes 5 seconds
Hawks pass the puck well in the final third as a cross zone pass to the far post is slotted in by Davies but a high stick call causes the goal to be waved off by the referee.
End of second:
Nottingham Lions 2-5 Blackburn Hawks
Again, the final period starts with some end to end play. Another brace of Hawks shots challenge Hovell but he remains strong. The puck is sent up the opposite end of the ice and followed by a Lion. Hawks take control of play and a loose puck in the final third sees Jack surge in, beating two Lions to it. He one times for a solid shot but netminder Hovell deals with it. Action remains in Lions’ defensive zone until the Lions work the puck deep into Hawks’ zone and into the crease but Trapans drops low to deal with the puck and cover.
Hawks battle at the boards to take possession. Lee Pollitt comes close to getting Hawks’ 6th as Lions are all but beaten. The post pings and the puck sits on the goal line and Hovell sits on top of it to prevent the millimetres close goal.
With just 2 minutes 30 remaining in the third, currently goal-less period, Lions keep coming and break into the final third a shot from point is off Traps’ pad and pings off the post. Lions taste a goal and don’t give up and surround Trapans in numbers and work hard to find a gap. They fire the puck in once found for the home side’s 3rd.
Goal: NOTTINGHAM LIONS 3-5 Blackburn Hawks. 58 minutes 50 seconds
Nottingham see an opportunity to even the scoreline and pull their netminder to give them strength in numbers going forward. They work a real goal scoring opportunity which Hawks impressively deal with. Lions keep attacking to the very last second but the final buzzer sounds as Hawks bring the 2 cup points back to Lancashire.