SWINDON Lions’ netminder Joshua Giddings was the toast of his teammates after he pulled off three saves in the shootout to see his side crowned champions at a tournament in Sheffield recently.
The Swindon Wildcats under 14s academy side saw off local rivals Oxford Stars in the final of the two-day tournament played at the home of English Premier League side, Sheffield Steeldogs.
Valtteri Pernu had given the Lions a 1-0 lead with a penalty in the final but the Stars roared back with two goals of their own. Pernu’s equaliser forced an extra period but with no goals in the additional five minutes it left Giddings to come to the fore in the shootout, with three tremendous saves.
The Lions, sixth place finishers in the southern under 14’s B League, went to Sheffield to play in a combined tournament including northern and southern teams.
Paul Woodmansey and Cory Burr‘s Lions won their first three games. The first was a close encounter against Nottingham which ended 2-1, captain James Davidson scoring in the last minute to grab the win.
Lions then preceded to hammer Milton Keynes Storm 5-0 and Sheffield Sabres 4-0. Returning for the second day of the tournament Swindon went top of the group phase table with a 6-0 victory over Solent and Gosport.
The final pool game against the second-placed Stars ended in a 1-1 draw to see both sides through to the final. Pernu’s goals and Giddings’ peformance between the pipess meant, though neither side could be separated in regulation time, Lions walked away with the trophy.