The Sens played their first game of the season in Nottingham on Sunday which turned out to be a close fought battle and great game for the spectators.
Nottingham always have a good selection of youngsters to pick from to mix in with their experience and this proved to be the case at the weekend, and the same could apply to the Sens with Ryan Fraley, George Crawshaw and Joe Cross stepping up from the juniors.
The game started fast and furious with neither team really settling down until Nottingham scored the first of their three powerplay goals with a shot from the blue line that bounced past Mark Hartley in the Sens net. This spurred on the Sens and some good chances followed, with a few odd man rushes forcing good saves from Hovell for Nottingham. The game was finally brought back to 1-1 when Lewis Jones stepped in from the point and put a high shot past the glove of Hovell, assisted by Ryan Fraley and Alex Harding. Although there were more chances for both teams the first perios ended 1-1.
The second began in a better fashion for the Sens, having the majority of the play and converting after 3 minutes when Nathan Britton tipped a shot from Elliott Knell into the net, a further assist to Ryan Fraley. The game continued to be a little frantic and Nottingham drew level once again when a shot from Elliot Perrin made it 2-2 with 20 minutes gone and that is how the period would end.
The third period really could have gone either way with both teams having a goal disallowed, Nottingham’s being for a high stick and Sens for the Nottingham goal being pushed off the line before the puck went over. However, it was the Lions who struck first scoring their third powerplay goal of the night through Daniel Hazeldine after only a minute of the period. Sens made it 3-3 3 minutes later when George Crawshaw collected a pass from Tom Humphries, stepped over the blue line and fired a slap shot into the top corner for a great goal. The game was end-to-end with both teams looking for the win, but Sens struck again to make it 4-3 with Elliott Knell spinning to shoot and the puck going in the bottom corner. For the last 10 minutes Nottingham threw everything they had, and nearly made it level once again but some great defending and solid netminding ensured that did not happen and the game finished 4-3.
Coach Andrew Chapman was obviously happy with the teams performance and said “It was a tough first game for us with a well deserved win. We were missing some players and the ones we had out everything into the game.
Nottingham have lost some players and are putting out a lot of their junior players – they all gave us a hard time and forced us to battle for everything.
The game was very demanding for us but all players stood up to the challenge – a great team performance with everything being left out on the ice.”
Elliott Knell, Nathan Britton 1+1 – Lewis Jones and George Crawshaw 1+0 – Ryan Fraley 0+2 – Tom Humphries and Alex Harding 0+1
Mark Hartley – 35/3 91.43%
MOTM – Ryan Fraley
Sens Shield – George Crawshaw
The Sens now have a couple of weeks off before the first home game of the season against Bradford Bulldogs on 24th September @ 15:45.