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Bristol Pitbulls vs Hull Seahawks 15.03.24

By 01/04/2024No Comments

The Hull Reckitt Seahawks travelled South to ‘The Pound’ for a Friday night face-off, taking on the Bristol Pitbulls in a goal-fest of a game. The Seahawks returned back to winning ways with a 6-12 victory over the hosts to add 2 further points to the table, following 2 consecutive losses to league leaders Leeds Knights. After racking up 32 points between them, several Hull players hit major milestones for the club, most notably import #71 Emil Švec who hit 100 points and 50 goals after a 9-point performance.

The Seahawks travelled with a squad of 14+2, missing Captain #16 Sam Towner, #15 Jamie Chilcott, #74 Lee Bonner, and #91 Nathan Salem. Although, Hull Jets 2-way #19 Alex Kent returned to the line-up to boost numbers. The Pitbulls iced a squad of 15+2, also missing key players such as Captain #93 Tanner Butler, #23 Jacob White-Sey and #55 Kyle Pow all through suspensions. However, both #44 Joey Morris and #12 Samual Bryant were given the call up from division 2.

Hull opted for Sheffield Steelers 2-way #64 Angus Laing in between the pipes, giving regular start #72 Jordan McLaughlin a break on the bench, looking ahead to the mid-week cup final first leg on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, GB U20s netminder #21 Ben Norton was given the start in net for Bristol, with #45 Dean Skinns backing up.

1st period –

The Pitbulls took advantage of home ice and fired shots on #64 Laing through Lindgren and Harewood, but he stood tall for Hull to prevent an early lead. The Seahawks quickly countered, resulting in the first penalty of the game being handed to #51 Reece Cochrane for hooking at 6:09. Hull’s power-play unit capitalised on the chance through former Pitbull #96 Owen Sobchak who slotted the puck past Norton from behind the goal line at 7:31, assisted by #21 Bobby Chamberlain and #71 Emil Švec.

The Seahawks continued with the offensive pressure and soon doubled their tally at 9:59 after a scramble in the crease. #22 Jordan Fisher was the man sat at point awaiting the loose puck, who then fired over Norton’s left shoulder, assisted by #96 Owen Sobchak.

After restarting the face-off, the Pitbulls looked to reduce the deficit through their top line. Following a flurry of shots, Bristol’s #88 Juha Lindgren opened the scoring for his side after an odd-man rush and the pass across crease from #24 Max Birbraer via #11 Sean Morris at 12:28. Although, a breakaway goal through #71 Emil Švec reclaimed the 2-goal lead for the Seahawks at 14:43, assisted by #5 Rhys Edwards.

However just seconds later, the Pitbulls clawed back a goal to 2-3, straight from the face-off as #91 Mason Lipsey tipped the puck over Laing in the crease after a scramble in front of the net. Just before the break, tensions briefly spilled over between #11 Finlay Ulrick and #91 Mason Lipsey, resulting in a cross-check penalty and a tripping call respectively at 17:57.

2nd period –

The Pitbulls started the 2nd period on a better foot than Hull and were eventually rewarded with their 3rd goal to equalise. After another scramble in the crease, #11 Sean Morris was able to tap the puck over the goal line on the back door at 24:14 via #88 Juha Lindgren and #4 Adam Harding. The Seahawks then found a 2on1 breakaway, forcing #51 Reece Cochrane to lay himself on the ice which resulted in a tripping penalty for the Pitbulls at 27:16.

The Seahawks made no mistake on the advantage as #11 Fin Ulrick skated down the right wing to snipe top corner over Norton, assisted by #24 Brock Bartholomew and #71 Emil Švec. Hull however only managed to claim the 3-4 lead momentarily as Bristol were eager to tie up the game once more.

The Pitbulls grabbed a 4th goal at 28:15 after yet again another scramble between players in the crease of the Hull net, which gave #7 Dan Hardie the chance to force the puck past a laid-out Angus Laing. Within the same minute, Bristol found themselves leading for the first time in the game at 5-4. #19 Elliott Lewis fired a one-timer past Laing at 28:58 via a drop pass from #91 Mason Lipsey after he picked up the rebound of the initial shot from #16 Jay Warren. Hull’s head coach Matty Davies then called a time-out to re-configure tactics.

Both teams took several minutes to re-gain momentum following the break in play, but it was Hull who benefitted most. The 5-5 equaliser came from #71 Emil Švec who slid the puck past Norton after he lost his balance, assisted by linemate #11 Ulrick at 34:49. A 2nd successive strike on a 2on1 chance from #71 Švec re-claimed the lead for Hull, whilst also bagging his hat-trick and 50 goals for the season simultaneously.

Canadian import #96 Owen Sobchak claimed possession of the puck, deking past the Bristol defence and looked for the slap-shot, but instead fed the puck to #71 Emil Švec who fired back-door on Ben Norton at 37:17 to claim a natural hat-trick in less than 3 minutes. Tempers flared in the final minute of the period and left #44 Joe Morris to sit a 5+game penalty for cross-checking at 39:01.

3rd period –

Hull’s import #71 Emil Švec was on fire and sniped the puck past Norton to hit 100 points for the Seahawks on the man advantage, via #24 Brock Bartholomew and #11 Fin Ulrick at 41:15, posting the score 5-8. The Pitbulls’ #2 Dan Bradley was then called for hooking at 43:54, leaving Bristol at risk of conceding their 9th goal.

The 5th consecutive goal for #71 Emil Švec flew over Norton’s glove at 45:06 after he skated down the left wing, assisted by #11 Ulrick and #24 Bartholemew. The firepower of the Seahawks was relentless, allowing #21 Bobby Chamberlain to hit double figures for Hull at 46:34 after #96 Sobchak fed the puck deep into the crease.

Bristol played a much more defensive game after the 10th goal was fired in, preventing the Seahawks offence for 10 minutes in the final period, despite multiple shots from Ulrick, Jones and Bruton. Davies rested his top-scoring line in the final half of the 3rd period, which gave #5 Rhys Edwards the opportunity to tip the puck over Ben Norton at 56:18, following the shot from #94 Declan Balmer on the left wing.

The final goal for the Seahawks was tapped in on the backdoor by #22 Jordan Fisher, via another shot into the crease by #94 Balmer through #11 Ulrick at 57:03. Hull’s discipline slipped in the final minutes of the game, as #17 Owen Bruton sat 2 minutes for holding at 57:48. Defenceman #56 Tom Stubley was also called for holding just 48 seconds later, leaving Hull with a 3on5 penalty kill. The Pitbulls then called a timeout to discuss tactics.

Bristol held the puck and cycled it around the Hull zone on the power-play, giving #7 Dan Hardie the chance to reduce the deficit at 59:05, as he roofed the shot over Laing’s shoulder at point from #24 Max Birbraer and #4 Adam Harding. The Pitbulls flurried shots on Laing as #56 Stubley remained in the box, but the final score stood at 6-12.

MVPs were awarded to forward #5 Rhys Edwards for Hull, following his goal and assist. Meanwhile, forward #88 Juha Lindgren also received the title for Bristol after scoring the opening goal for the Pitbulls.

Officials: Matthews, Ions, Sore, Finch

STATS – (2-3) (3-4) (1-5)

Hull Seahawks: Emil Švec 6+3, Jordan Fisher 2+0, Owen Sobchak 1+5, Fin Ulrick 1+4, Bobby Chamberlain 1+2, Rhys Edwards 1+1, Declan Balmer 0+3, Brock Bartholemew 0+2

Angus Laing – (18/8/11) 37 shots

Bristol Pitbulls: Juha Lindgren 1+1, Mason Lipsey 1+1, Sean Morris 1+1, Dan Hardie 2+0, Elliott Lewis 1+0, Max Birbraer 0+2, Jay Warren 0+2, Adam Harding 0+2, Sam Smith 0+1, Bari McKenzie 0+1, Bayley Harewood 0+1

Ben Norton – (15/20/16) 51 shots

Article written by Fleur Tobin