Weekend Review - Hull Pirates stay in touch with leading pack as Sheffield Steeldogs enjoy mixed return

Sheffield Steeldogs captain Lewis Bell celebrates one of his two goals against Raiders on Saturday night. Picture courtesy of Peter Best/Steeldogs.
Sheffield Steeldogs captain Lewis Bell celebrates one of his two goals against Raiders on Saturday night. Picture courtesy of Peter Best/Steeldogs.
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HULL PIRATES kept up the pressure on the top four in NIHL National with a maximum return.

Jason Hewitt’s team stunned leaders Telford Tigers with a 6-3 win at home before overcoming second-bottom Bracknell Bees on the road by the same scoreline.

Leeds goalie Sam Gospel - partly hidden - gets down low to deny Telford. Picture courtesy of Steve Brodie.

Leeds goalie Sam Gospel - partly hidden - gets down low to deny Telford. Picture courtesy of Steve Brodie.

The Pirates remain in fifth place but are hot on the heels of Basingstoke Bison and Peterborough Phantoms.

On Saturday on home ice, three goals in the last seven minutes proved key to them downing the leaders.

Matty Davies put the Pirates ahead at 8.59 and, after Telford levelled through Jason Silverthorn early in the second, the hosts quickly regained the lead through player-coach Jason Hewitt.

But again, the game was soon all-square when Jack Watkins struck at 25.32, although import Matt Bissonette restored the home side’s advantage five minutes later.

FOUR GOALS: Jason Hewitt was once again prolific in both games for his Hull Pirates team. Picture courtesy of Lois Tomlinson/Pirates.

FOUR GOALS: Jason Hewitt was once again prolific in both games for his Hull Pirates team. Picture courtesy of Lois Tomlinson/Pirates.

The lead became 5-2 inside the last 10 minutes, Hewitt’s second of the night at 53.40 quickly followed 15 seconds later through a Sam Towner effort.

Telford gave themselves faint hope when Silverthorn struck on the power play at 56.16, but the Pirates sealed the points with an empty-net strike from import David Norris.

Sheffield Steeldogs enjoyed a mixed weekend, starting on a high with a 5-4 overtime win at home to Raiders IHC before following it up with a 6-5 defeat at Peterborough.

The Steeldogs stormed into a two-goal lead at home to Raiders IHC but required an overtime winner to secure two points.

Captain Lewis Bell and import forward Jan Danecek struck early, but the visitors were soon level with an Aaron Connolly double.

Short-handed efforts from Vladimir Luka and Alex Graham gave the hosts another two-goal cushion, but another fightback was staged by the visitors with Connolly making it four for the night.

But, despite the Raiders’ forward’s best efforts, his team had to settle for just the one point when Bell struck the winner just 82 seconds into the extra period.

Bottom-of the-table Leeds Chiefs gave their slim playoff hopes a shot in the arm with a 3-2 win at Telford after a shootout.

Goals from Patrick Valcak and Joe Coulter kept the visitors in the game throughout 65 minutes with Lewis Houston and Adam Barnes successful in the shoot-out with Sam Gospel saving both of the Tigers’ efforts.

On Saturday, Houston and Richard Bentham (2) got on the scoresheet, but it wasn’t enough as the Chiefs went down 6-3 against Peterborough Phantoms.