Skip to main content
Seahawks News

Match Report: Leeds Knights v Hull Seahawks 09.03.24

By 12/03/2024No Comments

The Hull Reckitt Seahawks travelled West to face the Leeds Knights on Saturday night in ‘The Castle’, taking home a 6-4 loss to the hosts after a highly competitive Yorkshire derby.

The Seahawks went into the game sitting comfortably in 4th place, on the back of a 3-game win streak, after beating Solway, Raiders and Peterborough. Meanwhile, after 8 back-to-back victories, league leaders Leeds Knights were just 3 wins away from reclaiming their title for the 23/24 season.

Hull travelled with a strong squad of 16+2, retaining the exact same players as they had in their last fixture against the Phantoms, still missing assistant captain #21 Bobby Chamberlain and Hull Jets 2-way #19 Alex Kent. The hosts Leeds Knights iced a squad of 19+2, with #2 James Archer, #34 Gregor Mills and 3-way #19 Innes Gallacher returning to the team.

The Seahawks opted for regular #72 Jordan McLaughlin to start in-between the pipes for Hull, whilst #6 Tim Lyons sat on the bench. On the opposite end, Widnes 2-way #32 Harrison Walker was given the start for Leeds, after his victory in Swindon the previous night, backed up by Whitley Warriors’ #35 Ryan Wardell.

1st period –

Hull’s top scoring line of Sobchak, Švec and Ulrick faced Leeds’ triple-B line of Brown, Bradon and Buesa in the initial face-off and immediately went on the attack. However, Leeds quickly overturned the puck allowing #95 Mac Howlett to fire back door with a one-timer at 4:32, assisted by #11 Matt Haywood. After much discussion between the teams and the officials, the goal was disallowed, leaving the score still 0-0.

The typical Yorkshire derby tensions then began to rise, leaving Hull on a power-play as both #5 Rhys Edwards and #6 Ethan Hehir sat co-incidental cross-checking penalties at 4:46, plus an additional roughing call on Hehir. Leeds successfully killed the penalty, despite several chances for the Seahawks.

American import #91 Jake Witowski finally opened the scoring with a one-timer close range, at 13:15 after a cross-ice pass from #95 Mac Howlett via #11 Matt Haywood to give Leeds the advantage. The Knights looked to grab a 2nd goal in quick succession, but the Seahawks showed a strong defensive display to deny the Leeds offence.

After a scramble in the crease, Canadian import #96 Owen Sobchak found the loose puck and slotted it over Walker’s shoulder at 17:02, assisted by top points scorer #71 Emil Svec to equalise. The Seahawks then had a chance to go ahead after Steelers 2-way #11 Finlay Ulrick carried the puck up the zone and cycled around the Leeds net but failed to find the man at point. Despite several chances for both sides, the score stood at 1-1 after 20 minutes.

2nd period –

Hull returned to the ice for the 2nd period and immediately looked to push for the go-ahead goal. They did just that at 23:30 through #96 Owen Sobchak who bagged his 2nd of the game posting the rebound bottom corner following the initial shot from #71 Emil Švec.

The Seahawks then headed on their 1st penalty kill of the evening at 24:17 as #94 Declan Balmer sat 2 minutes for slashing #91 Jake Witowski on the breakaway. Just as they returned back to full strength, Canadian defenceman #24 Brock Bartholomew was handed a cross-checking penalty at 26:39 after colliding with #19 Innes Gallacher on the boards.

58 seconds later, the Knights equalised through #91 Jake Witowski with a back door tap-in, assisted by #11 Haywood and captain #12 Brown who cycled the puck around the zone. Owen Sobchak fought back for the Seahawks, resulting in #11 Matt Haywood picking up a tripping call for the Knights at 28:59. However, #95 Mac Howlett set up linemate #9 Jordan Buesa at 29:59 for a tap in, after picking up the puck from the Seahawks blue line, giving Leeds the 3-2 lead short-handed.

A break in play at 33:45 soon followed the goal after referee Scott Ellis was taken down along the boards, although he was quickly back up to continue the match. The momentum for both teams was disrupted due to the pause as it took them several minutes to regroup and fire shots. Hull’s #74 Lee Bonner came close to equalising at 37:51 after a scramble of players in the crease left him alone with the puck, but he failed to capitalise.

3rd period –

After re-discussing tactics during the ice cut, both sides added to the score in the opening minutes of the final frame. The line of Haywood, Witowski and Howlett for Leeds claimed possession of the puck, cycling it around the Hull zone which left #11 Matt Haywood with the tap in at 41:24 to extend their lead by 2 goals to 4-2. However, just 18 seconds later, the goal was cancelled out by #17 Owen Bruton who claimed the rebound for the Seahawks, following the initial strike by #90 Dec Jones on the right wing.

The typical Yorkshire derby tensions fired up, resulting in Leeds’ #12 Kieran Brown and Hull’s #71 Emil Švec sitting for high sticking and misconduct respectively at 42:20 after deliberation. A major chance for the Seahawks arose after the loose puck was fed into the Leeds crease by #24 Bartholomew, however all the sticks were tied up allowing Walker to cover.

Leeds extended their lead with a delayed penalty goal at 51:24 through #9 Jordan Buesa bagging his 2nd of the game. Momentary chaos in McLaughlin’s crease left Buesa with enough time to slot the puck home, assisted by #11 Haywood and #14 Baldwin.

After disputing the goal, #91 Nathan Salem was handed a 10 minute misconduct penalty, but this didn’t prevent the Seahawks from scoring. Hull’s top-scoring defenceman #24 Brock Bartholomew added another to his tally, deking past the Leeds defence to reduce the deficit to 5-4, assisted by #11 Ulrick and #71 Švec at 51:45.

The Seahawks were determined to level the game, firing multiple shots on #32 Walker through #11 Ulrick and #74 Bonner, but failed to time the perfect strike. The continued offensive pressure applied by Hull resulted in a 2+2 hooking and misconduct call at 55:30 for #91 Jake Witowski, leaving Leeds Knights short-handed in the closing minutes of the game. Head coach Matty Davies then called a timeout to re-discuss tactics of the major power-play opportunity.

Despite the constant flurry of shots, with Snipes from Ulrick and Švec, Harrison Walker stood tall to clench onto the lead for his team. Leeds’ #95 Mac Howlett caught the Seahawks on the back-foot, firing past #72 McLaughlin at 57:25, assisted by #11 Matt Haywood who dispossessed the Seahawks on the blue line, to seal the 6-4 win with a SH goal.

MVPs were awarded to Canadian forward #96 Owen Sobchak, following his brace for the Hull Seahawks. Meanwhile, #9 Jordan Buesa received the award for the Leeds Knights after scoring the game winner.

Officials: Ellis, Emmerson, Andrews, Hesslewood

STATS – (1-1) (2-1) (3-2)

Hull Seahawks: Owen Sobchak 2+0, Owen Bruton 1+0, Brock Bartholomew 1+0, Emil Švec 0+3, Dec Jones 0+1, Fin Ulrick 0+1

Jordan McLaughlin – (18/10/7) 35 shots

Leeds Knights: Jake Witowski 2+1, Jordan Buesa 2+0, Matt Haywood 1+4, Mac Howlett 1+3, Kieran Brown 0+1, Jordan Griffin 0+1

Harrison Walker – (13/6/18) 37 shots

Article written by Fleur Tobin