Nottingham 8 Blackburn 8
Nearly 5 months ago, the U18(2)s went to Blackburn for their first game of the season and came away with a 12-0 loss. The final score line of today’s game (an 8-8 draw) shows just how much these players have progressed.
Blackburn is a good team and rightly contenders for end of season promotion.
They have goals galore in them and include 2 of the League’s Top 10 points scorers in their midst.
Nottingham U18(2) debuts were handed to Reinis Baltins and Toby Fisher (both Under 15s) and their offensive experience proved key to balancing the game.
In fact, Nottingham took the lead a little after 5 minutes through Toby Fisher (assisted Kieran Clark).
Reinis Baltins also got on the P1 score sheet with a great individual goal. Nevertheless, Blackburn went to the break 3-2 ahead, with unassisted goals from their two top scorers (including 2 shorthanded goals).
After 9 minutes of the 2nd period, Nottingham found themselves 6-2 down and things were starting to look bleak. Ronnie Grimes and Jack Murray netting all six of the Blackburn goals between them.
The big heart of our team has been mentioned before and once again it showed itself. The team stuck at their game; took the hits that came their way, as they continued to break up Blackburn attacks as best they could.
At the half way mark, the game exploded into life for Nottingham with two quick, unassisted goals from Reinis Baltins and a goal from Tom Dalton, assisted by Baltins. At 6-5 down, it was game back on!!
Blackburn responded immediately. A goal within 13 seconds of Nottingham’s took the sting out of the home team’s recovery and restored the visitor’s breathing space. The 2nd period ended with the two goal difference in place, but a game that was now all to play for.
An electric start to the 3rd period, saw Reinis Baltins (assisted Madison Wright) take things back to a one goal game within seconds. Suddenly everyone believed.
Another marker from the same player at 46 minutes tied the game and when Toby Fisher added the go-ahead goal less than a minute later, the U18(2)s were in dreamland.
The game flowed back and forth and as the final hooter drew closer, Blackburn threw everything they had at Nottingham.
Some great defending saw the team holding out, but with just over a minute to go the Blackburn equaliser arrived; Ronnie Grimes adding a sixth goal to his tally.
Final score 8:8.
For some of the Nottingham team the result felt like a loss because of the way the win had been snatched away in the dyeing seconds. But that disappointment reflects how this team has grown in confidence.
A fantastic advert for junior ice hockey from both sides!
Team list and points
Summer Cramer (N/M), Callum Boultby , James Kimber, Madison Wright (0+1), Alfie Clarke
Joel Catley , Tom Dalton (1+0), Mac Stevenson, Alex Price, Fionnan Hickton
Nathan Vickers, Connor Monroe , James Beasley, Kieran Clark (0+1), Jamie Stanton,
Toby Fisher (2+0), Reinis Baltins (5+1)
P1 2-3 P2 3-4 P3 3-1
Shots on goal: 39-43
Nottingham Man of the Match : Reinis Baltins