Hull Pirates unbeaten run ended by Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs

Vladimir Luka celebrates a Sheffield Steeldogs goal in their 4-3 win over Hull Pirates. Picture courtesy of Sheffield Steeldogs.
Vladimir Luka celebrates a Sheffield Steeldogs goal in their 4-3 win over Hull Pirates. Picture courtesy of Sheffield Steeldogs.
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HULL PIRATES were denied a seventh straight NIHL National win after hosts Sheffield Steeldogs came from behind to win 4-3.

The Pirates established a 2-0 first-period lead through Bobby Chamberlain and player-coach Jason Hewitt, only for Ben Morgan’s team to level just after the halfway mark through efforts from defenceman Jordan Griffin and centre Nathan Salem.

Richard Bentham scored in Leeds Chiefs' 3-2 win in overtime against NIHL National leaders, Telford Tigers. Picture courtesy of Steve Brodie.

Richard Bentham scored in Leeds Chiefs' 3-2 win in overtime against NIHL National leaders, Telford Tigers. Picture courtesy of Steve Brodie.

The visitors got their noses in front again early in the third through Chamberlain’s power play strike, but the hosts rallied for a second time, taking both points after James Spurrs’s strike at 45.59 was added to 49 seconds later by import forward Vladimir Luka.

On Saturday, Hull had extended their league winning streak with a 4-3 win on home ice against Milton Keynes Lightning, although it required an overtime strike from Sam Towner to seal the extra point on offer.

Again, Hull went into a 2-0 lead, this time through Matty Davies and Hewitt. But that lead disappeared after Tomas Kana and Russ Cowley fired past Ash Smith before the end of the second period.

Hull regained the advantage through defenceman Kevin Phillips’s effort at 46.26 which seemed as if it would be enough for the win, only for Harry Ferguson to equalise on the power play with 42 seconds left. Thankfully, Towner was on hand to snatch the extra point when he struck with just 43 seconds of overtime remaining.

Hull remain fourth in the standings, four points behind Peterborough Phantoms, but with two games in hand. The Steeldogs moved above Milton Keynes Lightning and up into sixth, five points behind fifth-placed Basingstoke Bison.

Elsewhere, Leeds Chiefs got their first win on home ice at Elland Road when a Lewis Houston overtime winner saw them edge out leaders Telford Tigers 3-2.

Twice the Chiefs came from behind, Joe Coulter cancelling out Domink Florian’s eighth-minute opener, with Richard Bentham hitting back within two minutes of Finley Howells’s strike at 42.20.

The size of the Chiefs' already-difficult task of making the playoffs got slightly harder, however, after eighth-placed Raiders IHC increased their advntage to 12 points after a 6-4 win at home to Basingstoke.

Bracknell Bees also won, edging out second-placed Swindon Wildcats 3-2, to remain nine points ahead of Leeds, who have three games in hand on both their rivals for that last playoff spot.