All ten NIHL National teams have now hit the ice in 2020, we take a look at the first set of results for each team.
Leeds Chiefs 5-2 Bracknell Bees
Adam Barnes was the key to the Chiefs’ victory over the Bracknell Bees on Saturday night. The Chiefs #88 scored twice and assisted a further goal as Sam Zajac’s side picked up their first win in six games. Andres Kopstals, Lewis Houston and Richard Bentham added the further Chiefs goals, whilst Josh Smith and Will Stead got on the board for the Bees.
Swindon Wildcats 9-2 Raiders
An Eddie Bebris hat-trick sent the Wildcats on their way to a comprehensive victory over the Raiders on Saturday night. Tomasz Malasinski (2), Chris Jones, Toms Rutkis, Luc Johnson and Aaron Nell also found the net on a night to forget for the Raiders. Erik Piatak ran into penalty trouble for the Raiders, picking up 32 penalty minutes, including a game misconduct.
Basingstoke Bison 3-1 Peterborough Phantoms
The Phantoms outshot the Bison and had numerous looks on the powerplay, but ultimately fell to the Hampshire side. Adam Jones, Richard Bordowski and Bayley Harewood struck the Bison goals, whilst Ales Padelek netted the sole Phantoms goal. Tom Norton dropped the gloves with Liam Morris with just 5:33 played, with Norton getting the takedown.
Milton Keynes Lightning 9-4 Hull Pirates
The MK Lightning came out on top in an ill-tempered affair with the Hull Pirates. Cale Tanaka and James Archer had the games only fight, but there was a number of other penalties called throughout the game, as the teams shared 86 penalty minutes. Robin Kovar was the star of the show for MKL, posting three goals and two assists on the night.
Telford Tigers 6-3 Sheffield Steeldogs
Andy McKinney bagged a hat-trick as the league leading Telford Tigers continued their fine form. Dominik Florian, Scott McKenzie and Thomas McKinnon added the other Tigers goals. Jan Danecek scored twice for the Dogs, with Charlie Thompson collecting the third Steeldogs goal.
Raiders 10-6 Leeds Chiefs
The Raiders returned to winning ways in style, putting ten goals past the Chiefs on Sunday night. Jake Sylvester, Blaho Novak and Lukas Sladkovsky all scored twice each, whilst Brandon Ayliffe, Ollie Baldock, Erik Piatak and Jacob Ranson all got on the board. Lewis Houston continued his fine start to life with the Leeds Chiefs, netting a hat-trick for the Yorkshire side.
Hull Pirates 6-5 Swindon Wildcats
The Hull Pirates made harder work of victory on Sunday night than they would have liked. They led 5-1 at the end of the first period thanks to goals from Lee Bonner (2), James Archer, David Norris and Jonathan Kirk, only to concede four goals without reply to see their lead diminish. Tyler VanKleef, Chris Jones (2) and Tomasz Malasinski all found the net to level the tie. But Bobby Chamberlain struck with 1:16 to play in the game to give the Pirates a narrow win.
Peterborough Phantoms 6-8 Telford Tigers
A third period fightback wasn’t enough for the Phantoms to claim any points on the weekend. The Phantoms were 6-0 and 7-1 down but battled back to only lose the game by two. Jarvis Hunt, Ales Padelek (2), Will Weldon, Glenn Billing and James Ferrara all struck in the third period, but the game was already out of reach.
Bracknell Bees 4-5 Milton Keynes Lightning
The Lightning continue to surge up the table as their good run of form continued. Liam Stewart, Robin Kovar, Tomas Kana, Cale Tanaka and Leigh Jamieson all hit the net as Lewis Clifford’s side claimed another four-point weekend. It was a result which saw MKL move up to 6th and Bees down to 9th.
Sheffield Steeldogs 4-2 Basingstoke Bison
The Steeldogs returned to winning ways with victory over the Basingstoke Bison on Sunday night. Jack Brammer, Tim Smith, Jan Danecek and Vladimir Luka scored for the Dogs, whilst Sam Talbot and Michal Klejna hit the net for the Bison. Liam Morris had his second fight of the weekend, this time tangling with Jack Brammer. Dimitri Zimozdra faced 51 shots, conceding just two goals.
THE LEAGUE TABLE
Telford now have a 7 point lead over Swindon at the top of the table, whilst the Basingstoke Bison and Phantoms sit third and fourth, both on 38 points.
In fifth are the Hull Pirates, 1 point ahead of the MK Lightning and Sheffield Steeldogs, who are on 33 points.
Raiders moved back up to 8th, with the Bees moving down to ninth after a 0 point weekend.
Leeds are ten points adrift at the bottom of the table but did add two points to their total with a win over the Bees on Saturday night.