There was plenty of movement in the league table after another thrilling weekend of NIHL hockey. We take a look around the league at the latest set of scores!
Bracknell Bees 0-2 Raiders
In a huge game in the battle for the final playoff place, the Raiders took a big leap towards achieving their goal but shutting out the Bees on their own ice. Aaron Connolly broke the deadlock with 13:12 to play in the game, before Sean Barry scored on the empty net with 21 seconds to play, to give Sean Easton’s side the 2-0 win.
Swindon Wildcats 2-3 Telford Tigers
It was a nightmare start for the Cats after Stevie Whitfield conceded a penalty shot after just 13 seconds. And it was advantage Telford as Jack Watkins made no mistake with the finish. Aaron Nell levelled the scores, before Telford scored twice without reply through Jason Silverthorn and Brandon Whistle to make it 3-1. Whitfield atoned for his earlier error by making it 3-2, but it wasn’t enough as the Tigers held on for the win.
Basingstoke Bison 2-0 Leeds Chiefs
Sam Gospel made 38 saves for the Leeds Chiefs on Saturday night, but it wasn’t enough as the Basingstoke Bison netted the only two goals of the game. Ashley Tait scored the first goal after 13:33, with Michal Klejna netting the second just after the halfway mark. It was another battling performance from the Chiefs, but they ultimately fell short on the night.
Milton Keynes Lightning 8-5 Hull Pirates
It was the Liam Stewart show in Milton Keynes on Saturday, with the MKL #44 netting four goals and assisting a further two against a Hull side who have conceded 23 goals in their last three games. Cale Tanaka (2), Leigh Jamieson and Taylor Dickin scored the other MKL goals. James Archer, Jason Hewitt (2), Bobby Chamberlain and Matty Davies found the net for the Pirates.
Sheffield Steeldogs 1-4 Peterborough Phantoms
Phantoms raced into a 3-0 lead in Sheffield on Saturday night thanks to a Martins Susters brace and a Will Weldon goal. Former Phantoms man, James Spurr, pulled one back for the Steeldogs, before Tom Norton sealed the deal in the third period. It was a good night between the pipes for Jordan Marr, who conceded just once from 28 shots.
Raiders 4-3 Bracknell Bees (After OT)
Lukas Sladkovsky was the Raiders’ hero on Sunday night as his side claimed their first overtime victory of the season. Dominik Gabaj put Bracknell ahead before James Galazzi and Mason Webster went toe to toe. Erik Piatak scored twice and Sladkovsky netted his first of the night to put the Raiders 3-1 up, only for Bracknell to score twice within 16 seconds in the final minute, to send the game into OT. Sladkovsky netted 1:43 into OT to send the home fans into raptures.
Milton Keynes Lightning 3-5 Basingstoke Bison
In the most unlikely event of the weekend, goalies Alex Mettam and Jordan Lawday dropped the gloves in the final minute on Sunday night. The linesmen jumped in early, making it a bit of a non-event, though. In the game, goals from Sean Norris, Ashley Tait (2), George Norcliffe and Michal Klejna made it a four-point weekend for the Bison, whilst Tomas Kana, Taylor Dickin and Leigh Jamieson hit the net for MKL.
Peterborough Phantoms 4-3 Swindon Wildcats (After OT)
Three highlight reel worthy goals from the Phantoms ensured a dramatic OTW over the Swindon Wildcats. After Tyler VanKleef’s opener, Norton scored the first of those as the Phantoms forwards dragged the Swindon defence around the ice before finding the #2 at the back post to score. Ales Padelek got the second, firing an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Norton made it 3-1, but second and third period strikes from Eddie Bebris and Toms Rutkis sent it into OT. Susters added the final highlight reel goal, taking the puck on the spin out in front of goal and sending it past Renny Marr.
Leeds Chiefs 5-4 Sheffield Steeldogs (After OT)
It was another memorable night for the Chiefs in their new rink as they claimed another overtime win. Patrik Valcak scored a hat-trick, including the game winning goal, whilst Joe Coulter and Caly Robertson also hit the net. James Spurr and Reece Cochrane scored the opening goals before Leeds hit four without reply. Nathan Salem netted twice to send the game into OT, before Valcak’s dramatic winner.
Hull Pirates 7-5 Telford Tigers
The final goal fest in this week’s round up came in Hull as they beat the league leading Telford Tigers. Matt Bissonnette (2), Bobby Chamberlain, Jason Hewitt, Matty Davies (2) and Chris Wilcox all beat Brad Day to give the Pirates an important win. On the other bench, it was a big night for Jason Silverthorn, who scored four of the Tigers’ goals.
THE LEAGUE TABLE
The top of the table is looking much tighter after this weekend. Telford are three points ahead of Swindon, with the Phantoms now just three points behind Swindon.
Basingstoke went back above Hull, who sit fourth and fifth respectively. Milton Keynes Lightning sit 6th, level on points with the 7th placed Steeldogs.
Raiders moved into eighth after a huge four-point weekend over their nearest challengers, the Bees, who sit two points behind in ninth.
Leeds are in tenth on 26 points from 42 games.