We take a look around the league following the latest round of fixtures in the NIHL National.
Bracknell Bees 11-4 Raiders
Dominik Gabaj is continuing to prove he was a shrewd piece of business for the Bracknell Bees. He netted three goals and two assists as the Bees racked up their biggest win of the season so far. Thomas Adams got his first taste of action for the Raiders in the second and third period, conceding 9 goals from 33 shots in the 40 minutes he played.
Swindon Wildcats 8-4 Hull Pirates
The Wildcats’ first line returned to form in style on Saturday night as they put up more half of the eight goals their side scored. Aaron Nell and Tomasz Malasinski both scored twice and assisted twice, whilst Max Birbraer collected four assists. Bobby Chamberlain scored twice for the Pirates, but it wasn’t enough for his side who found Cats goalie Renny Marr in good form.
Basingstoke Bison 1-2 Sheffield Steeldogs (After OT)
In the lowest scoring game of the weekend, the Sheffield Steeldogs claimed an overtime win against the Bison. Both regulation time goals came in the opening eight minutes, with Jan Danecek putting the Dogs ahead before Ryan Sutton’s equaliser. It wasn’t until 62:19 before the net was hit again, with Alex Graham sealing the extra point for the visitors. Curtis Warburton posted an impressive 47 saves from 48 shots for the Steeldogs, giving him a save percentage of 97.92%.
Milton Keynes Lightning 5-2 Telford Tigers
It was the Liam Stewart show once again in Milton Keynes as the MKL #44 netted four of his sides five goals on Saturday night. Robin Kovar opened the scoring for MKL but was assessed a 5+game for slew footing, nine minutes later. Telford youngsters Ross Kennedy and Finley Howells scored the goals for Tom Watkins’ side.
Leeds Chiefs 2-9 Peterborough Phantoms
Jarvis Hunt scored his first senior hat-trick as the Phantoms won the first of their two away games on the weekend. Tom Norton (2), Ales Padelek (2), Will Weldon and Martins Susters also found the net for the Phantoms, on a night which saw Chiefs’ goalie Sam Gospel concede nine goals from 51 shots. James Archer and Radek Meidl struck the consolation goals for the Chiefs.
Sheffield Steeldogs 4-3 Bracknell Bees (After penalty shots)
On a night which saw Caly Robertson net his first goal for the Bracknell Bees, the Sheffield Steeldogs faced their second period of overtime of the weekend. On this occasion, they didn’t find the net in OT, but came out with the win on penalty shots. They equalised through captain Lewis Bell with just 1:15 left on the clock, before going on the claim a four point weekend thanks to Vladimir Luka’s lone goal in the penalty shootout.
Raiders 2-6 Basingstoke Bison
The Bison returned to winning ways on Sunday night and condemned the Raiders to a 0 point weekend in the process. Ashley Tait and Liam Morris both struck twice for the Bison, whilst Aaron Connolly notched for the Raiders against his former club. Jacob Ranson and Josh Kelly decided to settle their differences with 38 seconds left on the clock, with Kelly the comfortable victor after the gloves were dropped.
Hull Pirates 5-3 Milton Keynes Lightning
This result meant both sides ended the weekend with two points from four. Lee Bonner was the Pirates’ hero on the night, scoring a hat-trick as Jason Hewitt’s side returned to winning ways. Liam Stewart added his fifth of the weekend whilst Tomas Kana scored the other two MKL goals. Bobby Chamberlain ran into penalty trouble for the Pirates, taking a 10 minute misconduct and a further two minor penalties in the game.
Telford Tigers 3-2 Peterborough Phantoms (After penalty shots)
The Phantoms rallied late to claim a point against the Telford Tigers, but fell to Tom Watkins’ side on penalty shots. Tom Norton scored both Phantoms goals, taking his weekend total to four. Brandon Whistle scored the only goal in the shootout, with Martins Susters, Petr Stepanek and Ales Padelek all failing to find the net for the Phantoms.
THE LEAGUE TABLE
Telford currently sit three points clear of the Swindon Wildcats at the top of the NIHL National league table. Phantoms are in third, four points behind the Cats, who they face this coming Saturday.
Basingstoke are in fourth, whilst the Hull Pirates are in fifth.
Steeldogs, Bees and Raiders are in sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Milton Keynes are in ninth but are now within touching distance of the Raiders. They’re level on points with the Essex side with a game in hand.
At the foot of the table are the Leeds Chiefs, who suffered defeat in their only game of the weekend.
THE CUP TABLE
Telford moved to the top of the NIHL National Cup table, with the Phantoms in second. Swindon are the other team who have already qualified, and they sit in third.
Fourth spot is still up for grabs, with the Sheffield Steeldogs, Hull Pirates and Basingstoke Bison all in contention to claim the final spot in the NIHL National Cup Semi-Finals.