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Match Report: Hull Reckitt Seahawks v Leeds Knights 10.03.24

Yorkshire derby Mother’s Day meeting:

The Hull Reckitt Seahawks returned back to the Hull Ice Arena on Sunday night to face the Leeds Knights on home ice, following a narrow 6-4 defeat to their Yorkshire rivals the previous evening in ‘The Castle’. The league leaders made it 10 in a row, with a 2-5 victory, despite a brace from #96 Owen Sobchak who scored the 200th goal of the season for the Seahawks in Leeds the night prior.

The Seahawks lined up with a squad of 17+2, with the additional return of assistant captain #21 Bobby Chamberlain to the team. Meanwhile, Leeds travelled East with the exact same roster as the previous meeting of 19+2. Hull’s #72 Jordan McLaughlin was given the start, with #31 Dom Smith on the bench, whilst the Knights opted for Harrison Walker in net for the 3rd game on the bounce, backed up once more by #35 Ryan Wardell.

1st period –

The Seahawks were eager to claim revenge over the Knights and won the opening face-off which resulted in an early save by #32 Walker after a snipe from #24 Brock Bartholemew on the left wing. Harrison Walker was tested early again as #71 Emil Švec came close to slotting the puck over the goal line in the crease at 32 seconds.

Hull continued their offensive pressure on the Knights, firing multiple shots from the wings via their top line of #71 Švec, #96 Sobchak and #11 Ulrick, but Walker kept the score level. Assistant Captain #94 Declan Balmer was handed the 1st penalty of the evening at 12:02 after his high stick caught the face of Howlett.

Despite icing the puck just 6 seconds prior, the Knights capitalised through #95 Mac Howlett who deked past the Hull defence to fire over the shoulder of #72 McLaughlin at 13:47 unassisted on the power-play. In typical Yorkshire derby fashion, tensions flared between Leeds captain #12 Kieran Brown and Hull netminder #72 Jordan McLaughlin on 14 minutes after his helmet was removed in the crease.

The Seahawks then received their 1st power-play opportunity as #12 Kieran Brown sat for charging at 17:18, leaving a chance to equalise late in the opening period. However, just 4 seconds later Dec Balmer sat for a high sticks call, leaving both sides a player short. Neither team found the back of the net during the 4 on 4 play, ending the 1st period with a 1 goal advantage to Leeds.

2nd period –

After being narrowly outshot by the Knights 13 to 14, Hull returned for the 2nd period determined to level the score. #21 Bobby Chamberlain came close on the back door at 20:33, however he failed to connect with the pass from #90 Dec Jones. Leeds almost doubled their tally to 0-2 through a breakaway by their captain, but #72 McLaughlin made the pad save as #12 Brown looked to go 5-hole.

The Seahawks were handed another power-play at 27:00 as #33 Fin Bradon sat a sloppy too-many men call for Leeds. However, Harrison Walker prevented the firepower of the Seahawks attack to retain the lead for his team.

#71 Emil Švec looked to feed the pass from behind the Leeds goal, but he was tripped by #3 Bailey Perre at 31:31, resulting in a man advantage for Hull. The Seahawks failed to time the perfect shot on Walker and still remained a goal behind as the Knights returned to full strength. A collision between #9 Jordan Buesa and #96 Owen Sobchak at 35:12 left a further penalty kill as the Leeds forward sat 2 minutes for high sticks.

Moments after leaving the penalty box, #9 Jordan Buesa grabbed his 3rd goal of the weekend, firing a one-timer past McLaughlin centre ice at 38:08 after a 2on1 breakaway down the left wing by #11 Matt Haywood after the pass from #14 Lewis Baldwin, doubling the lead for Leeds. Seahawks’ #74 Lee Bonner picked up a late penalty at 39:34 for roughing, following a huddle in the Knights’ crease, ending the middle frame 0-2 to the visitors.

3rd period –

The Seahawks clinically killed the remainder of the penalty, preventing Leeds setting up in the Hull zone. Steelers 2-way #11 Fin Ulrick sent a flurry of shots from the right wing in Walker’s direction, but he failed to reduce the deficit. Despite his efforts, the Knights then went on to extend their lead through the ‘triple-B line’ on 46:00. After a scramble in the crease, Bradon collected the loose puck via Barron and fed it to his captain Brown who sniped the puck over McLaughlin’s right shoulder.

However, just 19 seconds later, Canadian import #96 Owen Sobchak clawed one back for his team, following on in style after scoring the 200th goal of the 23/24 season for the Seahawks in Leeds the previous night. A well-worked play between himself and #71 Emil Švec allowed Sobchak to fire a laser beam of a shot past Walker at 46:19.

The Knights were left with a penalty kill once more after Mac Howlett sat 2 minutes for hooking Owen Sobchak behind the Leeds goal at 49:00. Within the same minute, Sobchak did what he does best for the Seahawks and reduced the deficit to 2-3 with a wrister from the right wing at 49:40, assisted by linemates #11 Ulrick and #71 Švec.

Hull continued to apply the pressure as #94 Dec Balmer persued the equaliser, but a series of glove saves from Harrison Walker denied the assistant captain. The Knights came one step closer to victory after a mis-clearing of the puck by #15 Jamie Chilcott along the boards allowed #12 Kieran Brown to collect the loose change, deking past #72 McLaughlin to capitalise at 54:14.

Head coach of the Seahawks Matty Davies then called a timeout at 57:54 and opted to pull #72 Jordan McLaughlin in favour of the extra attacker. However, the risk didn’t pay off for Hull as #9 Jordan Buesa claimed the empty netter for Leeds, assisted by #12 Kieran Brown and #32 Harrison Walker.

Words were exchanged between Sobchak and Buesa following the goal, however no penalties were handed out in the final minute of the game. McLaughlin then returned to his net and the final buzzer sounded, sealing a 2-5 victory to Leeds. After 2 highly contested Yorkshire derbies, the Knights walked out with both wins, leaving them just 1 point from re-claiming the league title.

MVPs were awarded for the 2nd night in a row to #96 Owen Sobchak for the Seahawks, after clinically firing in both Hull goals. Meanwhile, Widnes 2-way netminder #32 Harrison Walker received the title for the Leeds Knights following a superb performance in net.

Officials: Sewell, Good, Hesslewood, Arnold

STATS – (0-1) (0-1) (2-3)

Hull Seahawks: Owen Sobchak 2+0, Emil Švec 0+2, Fin Ulrick 0+1

Jordan McLaughlin – (14/6/10) 30 shots +1 empty net

Leeds Knights: Kieran Brown 2+1, Jordan Buesa 2+0, Mac Howlett 1+0, Matt Haywood 0+1, Lewis Baldwin 0+1, Fin Bradon 0+1, Matt Barron 0+1, Harrison Walker 0+1

Harrison Walker – (13/14/12) 39 shots

Article written by Fleur Tobin