Sheffield Steeldogs and Leeds Knights set to take race for Yorkshire bragging rights down to the wire
The newly-crowned National Cup champions can no longer match Swindon’s points tally due to the point the visitors took from Friday night’s clash at Ice Sheffield, but they will head to Elland Road on Sunday evening hoping to finish above their Yorkshire rivals by winning the last game of the regular season.
Sam Towner, Alex Graham, Jonathan Kirk and Matt Bissonnette with the winner were on target for the Steeldogs, with Emil Svec (2) and Aaron Nell replying for the second-placed visitors.
Leeds can now only draw level on points with Swindon, who can seal runners-up spot by taking a point from their final game of the regular season at home to Peterborough Phantoms tonight.
Last night’s result sets up tomorrow’s clash between Leeds and Sheffield at Elland Road Arena nicely, the winner earning local bragging rights before the play-offs start next weekend.
Before that, Leeds hit the road to take on Basingstoke Bison tonight, but will travel down to Hampshire short-benched with forwards Ethan Hehir and Joe Coulter, along with defenceman Ross Kennedy all ruled out through illness.
They join veteran centre Matty Davies on the sidelines, while head coach Ryan Aldridge is also missing 17-year-old D-man Archie Hazeldine, who is away on international duty with Great Britain Under-18s at the Division 2A World Championships in Estonia, which starts tomorrow.
“This weekend is all about just getting through without any picking up any further injuries or similar problems and starting that first round of the play-offs in a healthy position,” said Aldridge.
“All being well, we can get some of these boys back into the line-up for that first weekend.”