In a thrilling match-up, the Aspray Chester Deeside Dragons wasted no time, scoring a sensational goal just 43 seconds into the game. It all began with a stunning play by #29 Andy McKinney, who embarked on an extraordinary journey from his own zone. This journey was made possible by the impressive defensive work of #39 Croyle, who blocked a Lions’ shot. With the puck now in his possession, McKinney traversed the entire length of the rink, displaying remarkable skill and vision. He capped off this fantastic display with a slick backward pass to Ross, who had the easiest of finishes.
With just 43 seconds gone, it appeared as though the Dragons were poised for a dominant period. However, the Nottingham Lions had different plans, responding with two unanswered goals. The first of these came at the 5-minute and 59-second mark. It was a result of Wilcox’s clinical finishing, following a period of dominance from the Dragons.
The Lions’ second goal came just 1 minute and 30 seconds into their power play, showcasing their proficiency in taking advantage of opportunities.
At the 12-minute mark, the Dragons found themselves on the power play, and they seized the moment. A thunderous slap shot from Andy McKinney proved too much for the Lions’ goalkeeper to handle. The puck rebounded, and #7 Alex Parry was perfectly positioned to bury it into the net, levelling the score.
The 13th minute proved to be a whirlwind of action, with two goals in a mere 20 seconds. First, the Lions capitalised on a Dragons’ defensive mix-up on the red line, leading to a 2-on-1 situation and a well-executed goal, giving them a 3-2 lead. However, the Dragons weren’t about to let that setback linger. Marc Lovel and Brodie Jesson combined with lightning-quick passing, setting up Petr Valusiak for a one-on-one chance, which he calmly converted, restoring parity at 3-3.
Then, at 15 minutes and 59 seconds, fans were treated to a moment of pure brilliance. Andy McKinney showcased his skill once again. It all started with #8 Cade Kind’s pinpoint pass from the Dragons’ defensive zone to Ross. Ross then delivered a perfectly timed pass to McKinney, who displayed incredible agility. He manoeuvred past not one, not two, but three Lions’ players before gliding across the face of the goal and slotting the puck past the Lions’ goalkeeper with finesse.
The first period came to a close with the Dragons holding a narrow 4-3 lead. Despite their advantage, the Dragons were aware that they had gifted the Lions a couple of goals due to defensive lapses. Nevertheless, the stage was set for an enthralling continuation of the game in the subsequent periods.
As the 2nd period began, it was clear that the Deeside Dragons were determined to seize control of the game. It took just 2 minutes and 44 seconds for them to make their mark. High pressure from the Dragons in the Lions’ defensive zone left the Lions scrambling. They struggled to cope with the Dragons’ swift passing and movement, leading to a stroke of good fortune for Ross. A deflection landed the puck right on his stick as he skated away from the Lions’ goal. In a moment of sheer brilliance, Ross turned and fired a shot at goal, leaving the Lions’ keeper bewildered as to where it had come from.
Three minutes later, the Dragons were on a power play, and they continued to press their advantage. With impeccable passing and movement, Kennedy found McKinney, who took his time to select the perfect spot and delivered a high shot into the top corner over the keeper’s left shoulder from a tight angle.
Just 1 minute and 31 seconds later, the Dragons extended their lead even further with another power-play goal. Jesson spotted Dickinson in space on the blue line, and Dickinson unleashed a blistering slap shot that left no chance for the Lions’ defence. The score now stood at Dragons 7 – 3 Lions.
With only 9 seconds remaining in the 2nd period, the Lions managed to pull one goal back. They benefited from a fortuitous rebound that fell to Fisher, who capitalised on the opportunity and beat Croyle.
However, the Dragons weren’t done yet. With just 9 seconds left on the clock, and the Dragons determined to regain control, #61 Jared Dickinson stepped up. Right on the buzzer, he scored his second goal of the game, slotting the puck in from close range after a pass from #78 Brodie Jesson.
As the 2nd period concluded, the scoreline read Dragons 8 – 4 Lions, with both teams showing their offensive prowess.
3rd Period Recap – Nottingham Lions vs. Deeside Dragons 15-10-23
The 3rd period kicked off much like the previous two, with the Dragons wasting no time. Just 1 minute and 12 seconds into the period, the Lions’ keeper faltered, unable to secure a powerful slap shot from Jesson. Seizing the opportunity, #79 Petr Valusiak intercepted and set up #61 Jared Dickinson for his hat-trick goal, a simple tap-in past the keeper.
5 minuets in to the 3rd & the Aspray Chester Deeside Dragons gave young net minder Ollie Booth his Dragons league debut. This is the 2nd week in succession the Dragons have given the young Keepers a run out. Mid way through the period when the Lions made a break Dragons #13 Matt Wainwright was judged to have pulled the player down resulting in the Dragons young keeper Oliie Booth having to face a penalty show. Up stepped the Lions #23 Zachary Yokoyama who must have fancied his chances against the young shot stopper. He skated to the to the goal with confidence confidence but young Booth stood his ground well not going down early. Zachary Yokoyama took his shot that was superbly blocked by young Ollie Booth.
The 3rd period featured a flurry of penalties, creating a more fragmented flow to the game. However, it wasn’t until the 57th minute that the Dragons managed to score their 10th and final goal of the evening. #61 Jared Dickinson, having already secured a hat-trick, demonstrated his clinical finishing once again. He found the time and space to take a well-placed shot that found the back of the net.
In the end, it was a solid victory for the Dragons, who controlled the game effectively in the 2nd and 3rd periods. The Dragons’ MVP for the night was undoubtedly #61 Jared Dickinson, who contributed four crucial goals to the team’s impressive performance.