Leeds Knights fixtures: Who, where and when they will play in 2021-22 NIHL National season

LEEDS KNIGHTS will enjoy home ice advantage when they begin competitive life as a team against Bees IHC in the NIHL National Cup.

Wednesday, 21st July 2021, 10:18 am
SAME AGAIN: Sheffield Steeldogs will provide the first opposition for Leeds Knights in a pre-season exhibition game at Elland Road ice rink on Friday, September 10. The Steeldogs were the first team to play in the rink when the Leeds Chiefs made their debut there in January 2020, above. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe.

The visit from Doug Sheppard’s team on Saturday, September 18, will serve as the season opener for Dave Whistle’s team, with the regular season league campaign starting just under a month later.

Prior to the opening-night clash against the Bees, Whistle will have had a chance to put his players through their paces with two exhibition games.

The first of those will see Sheffield Steeldogs visit Elland Road Ice Arena on Friday, September 10, before a visit two days later to the home of 2019-20 league and cup champions Telford Tigers.

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EXCITED: Leeds Knights' owner Steve Nell. Picture: Steve Riding.owner

After a single cup game against each of their eight rivals, the Knights will then get down to business proper when they begin their league schedule on Saturday, October 16, with the Bees again making the trip north to provide the opposition.

A road trip to Peterborough Phantoms follows 24 hours later before a double-header weekend against Swindon Wildcats, the other club in the second-tier owned by Knights’ owner Steve Nell.

Other notable dates include a double-header weekend against Telford on October 6 and 7, while the much-anticipated festive season produces a Boxing Day clash at home against Sheffield.

A trip to Telford follows on December 27 before the Knights lock horns with their White Rose rivals again on New Year’s Eve, this time at Ice Sheffield.

INCOMING: Leeds Knights' head coach, Dave Whistle, is due to land in the UK today.

The 48-game campaign will culminate with an April Fool’s Day home clash against the Steeldogs before a third and final long trip south to Basingstoke Bison the following night.

“This is the time of year that we all look forward to,” said Nell. “Players, officials and especially the supporters, want to see who it is that you’re going to be facing off against first.

“It’s good that we’ve all got a couple of exhibition games in and we thought the best one for us would be to play host to the team that will be our nearest rivals in Sheffield. Going down to Telford will be a good test for our team, too, seeing as they won the league and the cup in 2019-20.

“The Cup games are where it really starts though and when you look down that fixture list - in both cup and league - you can’t see any let-up because every team looks strong. It’s going to be such a competitive season.

LOCAL RIVALRY: Sheffield Steeldogs head coach Greg Wood - brings his team to Leeds on Boxing Day, January 21 and April 1. Picture courtesy of Peter Best

“I think the home and away Christmas and New Year games against Sheffield in particular will be fantastic for supporters of both clubs.”

So far, the Knights have announced nine signings, but that number will swell to 10 with another arrival being announced tomorrow morning.

“As people will know, we’ve announced some of our players already, but I’ve seen what Dave has been doing since he came on board and we’re going to have a young, fast and energetic team that we believe will get the fans going,” added Nell.

“Dave is going to be getting on the ice with some of our players in early August to start working with them as we start building towards that first puck drop against Sheffield.”

Leeds Knights 2021-22 Fixtures (subject to change)

Pre-season

Fri Sep 10: Sheffield Steeldogs H

Sun Sep 12: Telford Tigers A

Cup

September

Sat 18: Bees IHC H

Fri 24: Swindon Wildcats A

Sun 26: Telford H

October

Sat 2: Basingstoke A

Sun 3: Raiders IHC H

Sat 9: Milton Keynes Lightning A

Sun 10: Peterborough Phantoms H

Fri 15: Sheffield A

League

Sat Sep 16: Bees IHC H

Sun 17: Peterborough A

Sat 23: Swindon Wildcats A

Sun 24: Swindon H

Sat 30: Raiders H

Sun 31: Bees A

NOVEMBER

Sat 6: Telford H

Sun 7: Telford A

Sat 13: Peterborough H

Sat 20: Bees H

Sun 21: Peterborough A

Sat 26: Sheffield A

Sun 27: Raiders H

December

Sat 4: Milton Keynes A

Sun 5: Bees A

Sat 11: Telford H

Sun 12: Raiders A

Sat 18: Basingstoke A

Sun 19: Basingstoke H

Boxing Day: Sheffield H

Mon 27: Telford A

New Year’s Eve: Sheffield A

JANUARY

Sun 2: Swindon H

Sat 8: Swindon A

Sun 9: Milton Keynes H

Sun 16: Basingstoke H

Fri 21: Sheffield H

Sat 22: Raiders A

Sun 23: Sheffield A

Sat 29: Milton Keynes A

Sun 30: Milton Keynes H

February

Sat 5: Peterborough H

Sat 6: Basingstoke A

Sat 12: Raiders H

Sun 13: Peterborough A

Sun 20: Basingstoke H

Sat 26: Swindon A

Sun 27: Swindon H

March

Sat 5: Telford H

Sun 6: Raiders A

Sat 12: Milton Keynes A

Sun 13: Milton Keynes H

Sat 19: Bees H

Sun 20: Telford A

Sat 26: Peterborough H

Sun 27: Bees A

APRIL

Fri 1: Sheffield H

Sat 2: Basingstoke A

Post season: Playoffs: April 9-10, April 16-17, April 23-24; Coventry Finals Weekend: April 30-May 1