BLACKBURN HAWKS 3 WIDNES WILD 9
Widnes Wild signalled their return to action in style as they smashed nine past Blackburn Hawks to get their North Cup campaign off to the perfect start.
Five point games for Adam Barnes (4+1) and Richard Haggar (1+4) were the key as Wild impressed after 11 months out to leave the Hawks shellshocked.
The game was finely poised at 2-2 after the first when two from Barnes bookended powerplay goals from James Riddoch and Richard Bentham for Hawks.
They even cancelled each other out again as Barnes’ hat-trick goal was cancelled out by Aaron Davies, but six unanswered goals turned the tide as Wild found their stride.
Haggar, Ollie Barron and Barnes with his fourth put Widnes 6-3 ahead at the second break before Joe Coulter, Jordan Griffin on the powerplay and Peter Toth put the contest out of sight for the Wild.
NOTTINGHAM LIONS 6 SHEFFIELD SCIMITARS 5
Four points from Jack Hopkins – including the overtime winner – helped Nottingham Lions to a dramatic victory over Sheffield Scimitars.
After the goal fest of Saturday’s opening game (see above), this one didn’t disappoint as both teams went for it at the National Ice Centre, with the Lions eventually coming out on top.
It was level pegging after the first period when Vladimir Luka’s opening goal for Nottingham was cancelled out by Sam Jones.
Scimitars put themselves into a good position with two goals in the second as Tyler Nixon and Ruskin Hughes found the net and at 3-1 up, looked good for it.
Then a stunning third period happened as goals went flying in at either end to tee up the dramatic finale the watching fans would have got.
Tom Palmer closed the gap to one with a shot from the angle, but Will Newcombe found a way through at the other end, restoring the two-goal gap.
Lions weren’t out of it as Ellis Ricci then Luka, with his second, tied the game at four each with just over a minute left to play.
Cameron Pywell put Sheffield in front once more, with Luka completing his hat-trick and sending the goal into overtime.
The finish from Hopkins in the centre clinched victory for the Lions in dramatic fashion, ending their first game in almost a year with a hard-fought success.