This fixture was going to be a tough game for Whitley as Nottingham has such strength in depth and run a great hockey programme out of the national ice arena. Both teams started brightly in the opening period and Whitley opened the scoring after 14 minutes from an opportunistic Fraser goal. Nottingham then scored twice in quick succession with a couple of scrappy goals after good pressure on the home goal.
The second period started with a double Whitley penalty, Joe Walls going into the penalty box, joined by Alex Nergaard for roughing. Whitley were down to 3 outfield players. Nottingham could not capitalise on their numerical advantage. Joe Walls jumped out of the penalty box and broke clear, feeding Jay Lucas who rounded the keeper to make it a well deserved 2 – 2. This was a classic battle between two very evenly matched teams.
The third period started well for Nottingham and some superb saves by Daniel Crowe kept Whitley in the game. The Whitley defence, especially, Nergaard, Luke Royle and Holly Johnson, were playing superbly and held position in front of the net to deny their opponents who were camped in Whitley ice for a good part of the opening period. A speculative shot from Nottingham crept under the pad of Crowe to put the visitors 3 – 2 up. A shot by Fraser was saved only for the puck to loop off an inbound Joe Walls to tie the game. Pressure back onto Nottingham and Walls deserved the luck for all his hard work. Luke Mitcheson had a fantastic solo effort pushed onto the pipe by the Nottingham keeper who was coming under good pressure from fast break outs. Bobby Campbell was fortunate not to receive a longer penalty for a hit on a Nottingham player who stayed down on the ice for some time. This galvanised Whitley who showed a terrific team spirit and hit another gear, smashing in 4 goals from Fraser and Lucas to win a pulsating game 7 – 3. Man of the match was Daniel Crowe.
In other leagues, Whitley Tomahawks beat Deeside 16 – 1 away, whilst the under 18 Braves beat Telford 13 – 2 at home.
Next home game for the arrows is 12.30 p.m. face-off on 12th January v Grimsby.