Lee Valley Lions’ season came to an end on Saturday after they were beaten 10-4 away from home by Bristol Pitbulls.

Tom Hnilica scored twice to end the season on 22, while Conner Smith and Ben Gillingham also scored for a Lions side that only had 11 available skaters.

Smith struck as early as the sixth minute to give the visitors the lead, the 17-year-old notching his fifth goal of the season after being assisted by Joe Miller and Calum Heath.

Olly Shone responded just over a minute later for the Pitbulls before Adrian Smith put them ahead on the powerplay.

The Lions collapsed at the end of the first period, conceding three times in 26 seconds through Josh Galea, Josh Dolphin and Smith to give Bristol a 5-1 lead.

The hosts were limited to just one goal in the middle frame as Nathan Chilcott added a sixth, but Hnilica converted his first of the day five second later to make it 6-2.

The start to the final period wasn’t as planned, however, and a further three goals through Smith, Matthew Thornhill and Jamie Newton saw Bristol pull away.

Gillingham converted for the Lions to make it 9-3, but shortly after Australian forward David Manning made it double figures for Pitbulls.

Hnilica made sure the Lions had the last say when he scored with 53 seconds left, but it made no difference whatsoever to the end result of 10-4.

The game concludes the Lions’ NIHL South Division 2 campaign, and they will return in September for the 2019/20 season.