SHEFFIELD STEELDOGS hit back in style to end the weekend even with Yorkshire rivals Leeds Chiefs
Having lost out 6-5 in overtime on Saturday in Blackburn against Sam Zajac's team, the South Yorkshire club ensured they took something from the weekend with a deserved 5-2 victory back on home ice.
It was the Chiefs who took the lead early on at Ice Sheffield, going ahead through Radek Meidl's fifth-minute strike. But thereafter it was the Steeldogs who carried the majority of the offensive threat, getting back on level terms in somewhat fortunate circumstances when Chiefs' goalie Sam Gospel got caught dawdling on the puck behind his net to allow Alex Graham to pounce at 10.54.
The 16-year-old doubled his tally in the 18th minute when he was left all alone in front on the power play, The lead was doubled in the 28th minute when Charlie Thompson dispossessed Luke Boothroyd to set up Vladimir Luka for a simple finish, the lead becoming 4-1 just under four minutes later when Nathan Salem struck from close-range on the power play.
The Chiefs rallied briefly in the third but their fight was fully eliminated at 48.32 when Thomas Relf pounced to make it 5-1, the Chiefs protesting that Joe Coulter had had his stick snatched from him by a Steeldogs player in the build-up to the goal. It was all to no avail
Former Steeldogs' forward Liam Charnock got his Chiefs' tally up and running when he made it 5-2 in the 53rd-minute but it was to prove nothing more than a consolation.
Hull Pirates had to settle for three points from their weekend, denied in a shoot-out at Bracknell Bees on Sunday having beaten Peterborough Phantoms 6-4 on home ice the previous evening.
The East Yorkshire outfit were three goals to the good on Saturday through strikes from player-coach Jason Hewitt, Lee Bonner and defenceman Steven Chalmers, Peterborough getting on the board through Nathan Pollard in the 26th minute.
Thomas Stubley restored the three-goal advantage at 27.22, which was how it stayed until just over six minutes into the third period when Bonner grabbed his second of the night on a delayed penalty.
The Phantoms briefly threatened a comeback, with goals from Martins Susters and Thomas Norton bringing them to within two. Hewitt's second at 56.14 then gave the Pirates some welcome relief, before a late consolation for the visitors came via the stick of Ales Padelek.
On Sunday, a Hewitt hat-trick could only herald a single point at Bracknell, Doug Sheppard's team eventually winning on a shoot-out.
Hewitt's first two goals came inside four minutes, James Galazzi halving the deficit at 11.09 before the two-goal comfort was restored by Jordan Fisher early in the second period.
But Bracknell hauled themselves level, scoring first through Edward Knaggs at 24.34 before Harvey Stead's strike just over five minutes later.
The revival didn't last long, however, Chilcott making it 4-3 at 37.03, only for Galazzi to level again 31 seconds later.
Only 58 seconds had elapsed before Zack Milton put the hosts ahead once again, which is how it stayed into the third period, the Pirates bursting back into the game with two goals in as many minutes when Stubley's opener was enhanced by Hewitt's hat-trick strike at 56.44 to put the Pirates back in front.
But the hosts were not yet done, Stuart Mogg levelling once more with just eight seconds on the clock. A goalless overtime ensued and it was left to Roman Malinik to score the decisive penalty which earned the Bees the extra point.