Sheffield Steelers, Leeds Knights, Sheffield Steeldogs, Hull Seahawks - reports, reaction and highlights

Looking back on the latest weekend of ice hockey action involving Yorkshire’s clubs ...
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Elite League

WHILE a 6-0 win at the home of your bitterest rival Nottingham Panthers will always guarantee plenty of celebrations, Sheffield Steelers’ high spirits will have been curtailed by the subsequent setback at home 24 hours later.

An emphatic performance at the National Ice Centre – courtesy of goals from Daniel Ciampini, captain Robert Dowd, Mark Simpson, Scott Allen, Mitchell Balmas and Marc-Olivier Vallerand – got the Steelers’ Challenge Cup Group C campaign off to the perfect start on Saturday night.

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But Aaron Fox’s side left themselves with too much to do at home to Cardiff Devils on Sunday, falling 3-0 behind inside 25 minutes. They clawed themselves back into the game through Mikko Juusola and Josh Nicholls with 10 minutes remaining, but were ultimately left frustrated.

“We made too much work of it by going 3-0 down,” said Fox. “You’ve got to win in this league or you’ve got to learn and I hope our group learns you’ve got to play with desperation for 60 minutes - playing 20 good minutes, 20 average and 20 poor minutes is not going to get it done in this league.” 

ON SONG: Matt Barron followed up his double against Peterborough on Saturday night with the game-winning goal at Bees on Sunday. Picture: Jacob Lowe/Knights Media.ON SONG: Matt Barron followed up his double against Peterborough on Saturday night with the game-winning goal at Bees on Sunday. Picture: Jacob Lowe/Knights Media.
ON SONG: Matt Barron followed up his double against Peterborough on Saturday night with the game-winning goal at Bees on Sunday. Picture: Jacob Lowe/Knights Media.

NIHL National

DEFENDING league champions Leeds Knights remain the only team to boast a 100 per cent record after four games, posting their second successive maximum return.

Leeds trailed Peterborough Phantoms 3-0 after 20 minutes at home on Saturday, but hit back in emphatic style, with goals from Matt Barron (2), Kieran Brown (2), Matt Haywood, Josh Adkins, Oli Endicott and Mac Howlett securing an impressive 8-4 win.

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Endicott, Brown and Barron were on target again on Sunday when they triumphed 3-2 at previously unbeaten Bees IHC.

Sheffield Steeldogs followed up Saturday’s 4-1 home win against Solway Sharks with a 3-2 triumph on the road against the same opponents.

Tom Palmer got the ball rolling on home ice after just 48 seconds although Craig Peacock levelled inside the five-minute mark. Cam Brownley resotred the hosts’ advantage at 33.00 before Vladislavs Vulkanovs and Tate Shudra struck in the third period to seal the points.

On Sunday, after a long road trip north of the border to Dumfries, John Dunbar put the league newcomers in front, although the visitors were level by the time the first period ended thanks to Vulkanovs’ second of the weekend at 18.09.

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Peacock match Vulkanovs’ tally across both nights early in the second but Jonathan Phillips struck his first competitive goal for the Steeldogs since coming out of retirement before Jack Brammer struck a third period winner.

Steeldogs’ captain Jonathan Kirk said: “‘It’s good to get on the board but we couldn’t afford to lose anything this weekend as we are already a bit behind the other teams due to us missing the game in Swindon. Some teams have won all their games so far so we needed the wins.

MAXIMUM RETURN: Sheffield Steeldogs’ captain, Jonathan Kirk. Picture: Peter Best/Steeldogs Media.MAXIMUM RETURN: Sheffield Steeldogs’ captain, Jonathan Kirk. Picture: Peter Best/Steeldogs Media.
MAXIMUM RETURN: Sheffield Steeldogs’ captain, Jonathan Kirk. Picture: Peter Best/Steeldogs Media.

“It was a gritty road win on Sunday, not the prettiest hockey to watch but it was good to come here and win. Solway are a well-coached team and play well in their own rink. There’ll be plenty of teams who come here and lose.”

Hull Seahawks were looking to emerge from the weekend with their 100 per cent start to the season intact, but were denied by Telford Tigers after a penalty shoot-out.

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Emil Svec’s 17th-minute opener for the Sehawks was cancelled out by a second period reply from Vladimir Luka, before Tigers team-mate Scott McKenzie put his team ahead at 42.28.

Bobby Chamberlain dragged Hull level at 56.47 but, after overtime couldn’t separate the two teams, Telford took the extra point on offer from the shoot-out, thanks to Luka’s sudden death strike.

OTHER RESULTS

North One (Moralee), Sunday: Blackburn Hawks 5 Sheffield Scimitars 4 . Saturday: Hull Jets 4 Whitley Warriors 2. North Two (Laidler), Sunday: Bradford Bulldogs 0 Sutton Sting 5, Kingston Sharks 1 Coventry NIHL Blaze 7. Saturday: Coventry NIHL Blaze 4 Bradford Bulldogs 3 (OT).

YORKSHIRE FIXTURES

Elite League - Sun, Oct 8: Coventry Blaze v Sheffield Steelers (5.30pm). NIHL National - Sat 7th Oct: Bristol Pitbulls v Sheffield Steeldogs (7pm), Milton Keynes Lightning v Leeds Knights (7pm). Sun, Oct 8: Hull Seahawks v Bees IHC (5:30pm), Leeds Knights v Milton Keynes Lightning 5:15pm, Sheffield Steeldogs v Bristol Pitbulls (4.30pm). North One (Moralee) - Sat, Oct 7: Hull Jets v Blackburn Hawks (5.30pm). Sun, Oct 8: Deeside Dragons v Sheffield Scimitars (5.15pm), Solihull Barons v Hull Jets (5.30pm). North Two (Laidler) - Sat, Oct 7: Kingston Sharks v Sutton Sting (12.30pm), Sheffield Titans v Billingham Buccaneers ( 5:40pm). Sun, Oct 8: Sutton Sting v Bradford Bulldogs (1pm)