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Barons tame Lions to add Play-off Trophy to title

The Easter weekend end-of-season tournament saw the Barons take on the Widnes Wild in the first semi-final on Saturday night.

Keith Davies Solihull Barons celebrate their victory.
Solihull Barons celebrate their victory.

The Motor Nation Solihull Barons will be putting an extra shelf in the trophy cabinet after clinching the Laidler Conference Play-off Trophy on Easter Monday to go alongside the league title they won a few weeks previously.

The Easter weekend end-of-season tournament saw the Barons take on the Widnes Wild in the first semi-final on Saturday night.

While the Wild were the lowest seeds in the tournament, they have been rapidly improving over the season and entered the game with considerable belief.

The Barons had to work hard to overcome the Cheshire side, with the game only clinched via a Mikey Rodger goal three minutes before the end.

Sunday evening’s second semi-final between the Nottingham Lions and Coventry Blaze was similarly exciting, the Lions only edging it after overtime.

So the final on Monday was set to be between the Lions and Barons.

While Solihull had won the league, the head to heads between these sides stood at two wins apiece, making the game difficult to call – and so it was to prove in what turned out to be a classic game of National League hockey.

The Barons started the encounter well, putting considerable pressure on the Lions net but for no returns.

By contrast the Lions made the most of their chances, Dan Hazeldine putting Nottingham one up by the end of the first period.

The game continued to be close, though, with the second period ending with the teams locked at 2-2, Connor Hubbuck and Rich Slater having scored the Solihull goals.

There were no further goals as the third period and sudden death overtime could not split the sides, setting up a tense penalty shootout.

Josh Bruce scored with Barons first attempt and with neither of the sides converting with their second attempts, it was left to Solihull’s goalie Josh Nicholls to face down Dan Hazeldine and clinch a classic victory and the trophy for the Barons.

It has been an outstanding season for the Barons, who will now take a few months off before returning to the ice for pre-season games in late August, with the season proper starting in September.

 

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