Sheffield Steeldogs hit double top as Leeds Knights’ struggles continue

JASON HEWITT again plyed the starring role as Sheffield Steeldogs made it a double celebration over Basingstoke Bison to go top of the NIHL National standings.

FIVE-TIMER: Jason Hewitt followed up a double in Basingstoke on Saturday with a hat-trick on home ice on Sunday. Picture courtesy of Peter Best.

Greg Wood’s team followed up a 4-3 win in Hampshire on Saturday with a 6-3 triumph on home ice.

By contrast, Yorkshire rivals Leeds Knights have hit a mini-slump, last night’s 5-2 defeat at Bees IHC stretching their losing streak to three games, having already lost 5-3 on home ice to Raiders IHC 24 hours earlier.

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It was Ashley Tait’s side who got off to the best possible start at Ice Sheffield last night, as they sought swift revenge.

Coach Dave Whistle's Leeds Knights' team has lost three league games in a row. Picture: James Hardisty.

George Norcliffe gave the Bison a ninth-minute lead but two goals in the space of 38 seconds saw the hosts wrestle back an advantage they never let go of for the rest of the evening.

The prolific Hewitt was the man to get the ball rolling, levelling at 11.02 before Brady Doxey made it 2-1.

It was another quickfire double early in the second which put the hosts firmly in control, Matt Bissonnette doubling the advantage at 22.36 before Hewitt got his second 58 seconds later.

But Bison were not in the mood to head quietly into the night, making it a one-goal game again before the end of the second through strikes from Norcliffe and Aidan Doughty.

A short-handed strike from Ben Morgan at 46.10, gave the Steeldogs breathing space, though, Hewitt making it a night to remember when he sealed his hat-trick at 57.46.

It meant Hewitt scored five goals across both nights, the other goals in the road win at Bison coming from Bissonnette and Charlie Thompson.

Leeds suffered the worst possible start at Bees when going behind to a Ryan Webb strike after just 26 seconds.

Teenager Carter Hamill struck his first Knights goal to restore parity at 2.03 but once Ed Bradley restored the hosts’ lead at 4.41, the Knights – with Niks Trapans making his full debut in goal – were forever chasing the game.

Christian Mohr and Juha Lindgren made it 4-1 by the end of the second, with Bayley Harewood increasing the lead early in the third.

Kieran Brown hit back 20 seconds later for the Knights at 42., but that was close as the visitors would get.