As another week passes by in the NIHL National, we take a look around the league at the scores from the weekend.
Raiders 6-5 Bracknell Bees
Aaron Connolly’s brace ensured the Raiders came out victorious over the Bees on Saturday night. Brandon Ayliffe also picked up a pair of goals for the Raiders, whilst Dominik Gabaj also achieved the same feat for the Bees. The game also saw JJ Pitchley and Josh Martin drop the gloves, whilst Jack Flynn picked up 2+10 for roughing and misconduct.
Swindon Wildcats 7-1 Sheffield Steeldogs
The Swindon Wildcats made light work of the Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night. The Steeldogs took the lead after 39 seconds, but that was as good as it got for Ben Morgan’s team as Toms Rutkis, Luc Johnson, Chris Jones (2), Aaron Nell, Sam Bullas and Tyler Vankleef all found the net for the hosts.
Basingstoke Bison 3-4 Peterborough Phantoms (After penalty shots)
Bison fought back from 3-1 down with two goals in the final six minutes to send the game into overtime in Basingstoke. Adam Harding opened the scoring but goals from Petr Stepanek, Martins Susters and Corey McEwen put the Phantoms ahead. Richard Bordowski and Ashley Tait both struck late efforts, sending the game into overtime. Ales Padelek and Corey McEwen both scored their penalty shots, whilst only Michal Klejna scored for the Bison, giving the Phantoms the extra point.
Telford Tigers 4-6 Hull Pirates
The Hull Pirates picked up a good result at the hands of the league leading Telford Tigers. Bobby Chamberlain scored twice and assisted a further two as Jason Hewitt’s side continued their recent upturn in form. Matty Davies, David Norris, Lee Haywood and an empty net goal from James Archer, sealed the win.
Leeds Chiefs 4-1 Milton Keynes Lightning
Joe Coulter, Lewis Houston, Liam Charnock and Ethan Hehir all found the back of the net as the short-benched Leeds Chiefs picked up an impressive victory over one of the leagues in form teams, MKL. Russel Cowley picked up the only goal of the game for the Lightning on a night to forget for Lewis Clifford’s team.
Sheffield Steeldogs 2-5 Telford Tigers
Telford returned to winning ways on Sunday night, consigning the Steeldogs to a zero-point weekend. Scott McKenzie, Dominik Florian, Adam Taylor, Jack Watkins and Thomas McKinnon all found a way past Curtis Warburton, whilst Brady Doxey and Vladimir Luka hit the net for the Dogs.
Milton Keynes Lightning 6-4 Raiders
MKL also returned to winning ways on Sunday, ending the Raiders’ hopes of a four-point weekend. Former Phantom, Harry Ferguson, scored twice for MKL, with Rio Grinnell-Parke, Tom Carlon, Russell Cowley and Liam Stewart also scoring.
Hull Pirates 4-1 Bracknell Bees
The Pirates made it a four-point weekend with a win over Bracknell in Hull on Sunday night. Jason Hewitt (2), Matty Davies and David Norris all got on the scoresheet as the Pirates continued their good form going into the National Cup Semi-Final second leg against the Phantoms. Caly Robertson scored the only Bees goal.
Leeds Chiefs 5-6 Swindon Wildcats (After OT)
The Leeds Chiefs fought back to claim three points on the weekend. The Chiefs were 5-1 down with 35:34 played but four goals without reply saw Sam Zajac’s side earn a deserved point. Chris Jones netted the winner for the Cats 22 seconds into OT, before the Chiefs had even touched the puck.
Peterborough Phantoms 3-1 Basingstoke Bison
Phantoms made it two wins from two over the Bison at the weekend with a 3-1 win on home ice. Petr Stepanek (2) and Glenn Billing responded to Paul Petts’ opening goal to seal the four-point weekend for Slava Koulikov’s team. It was an ill-tempered affair with 68 penalty minutes handed out by Will Hewitt and Vitalijus Sevruk. 46 of those were for the Bison, and 24 for Ashley Tait, who was given a game misconduct for abuse of the official.
THE LEAGUE TABLE
Telford remain top of the table, but their lead was cut to four points by the Swindon Wildcats, who achieved a four-point weekend.
Phantoms are six points behind Swindon, whilst the Hull Pirates have moved up to fourth, four points behind the Phantoms and level on points with fifth placed Bison.
Next come MKL and Sheffield in sixth and seventh.
Raiders are three points clear of Bracknell in eight, the Bees sit ninth. Leeds remain bottom of the table but are now just seven points behind the Bees.