Ice hockey: Steve Fellows must get Deeside Dragons to focus on Fylde Flyers as Nottingham Lions game approaches

A SHOWDOWN with league leaders Nottingham Lions is just over a week away for Deeside Dragons but player-coach Steve Fellows needs his players to maintain their focus on Fylde Flyers’ visit to the Dragons Den on Sunday.

This season the Dragons have been Fylde’s bogey team, claiming two crushing victories already, but Fellows is not complacent about the challenge before his side.

“We have to take it seriously,” he said. “We have a job to do and we have to get it done first otherwise, if we lose, the Nottingham game won’t mean much.”

Nevertheless Fellows will hope to be able to give some more ice time to his third and fourth lines ahead of one of the most important games of the National Ice Hockey League North Two season the following weekend.

“It’s a game all the players have to be up for and we cannot afford to let ourselves bring our game down to Fylde’s level when we face the league leaders the following week. We have to be at our best,” he said.

Fellows begins 2013 with a bulging roster of talent.

After injuries, player departures and suspensions left him with little room for manoeuvre before Christmas, now, with players like Pete Founds returning plus the addition of Jordan Bannon, the Dragons are looking pretty healthy.

That was evident as they scored a tough 6-4 home win over Solihull Barons on Sunday.

In the first period Bannon grabbed his first home goal for the Dragons but they found themselves 3-1 down.

They bounced back, James Parsons scoring before the first break and Brian Worrall and Ric Hughes giving them the lead in the second period.

Ben Simister scored to give the Dragons a cushion in the third and although Solihull scored again, Shaun Kippin put the game to bed in front of a pulsating crowd.

“It was a competitive game and we did well to win,” said Fellows.

“They had Chris Allen, who once played in the NHL, but they were fixated on running their best players all the time.

“We use our depth so our best players can go hard for a minute then be replaced. At times it seems their best players were pacing themselves to last the course and that was where we gained an advantage.”