Match Report: Leeds Knights VS MK Lightning 4th February 2023
Saturday night was just the latest example of two teams packed with quality going toe-to-toe, much like they did last weekend in Buckinghamshire when the Knights prevailed courtesy of Matt Haywood’s hat-trick marker in an exhilarating 5-4 win.
It looked like Leeds had done enough to extend their advantage in the series when they came from behind three times on home ice to post a 4-3 lead through another Haywood goal in the third period.
But a power play strike from Sam Talbot with just under four minutes remaining brought the latest round of overtime between the two. This time, however, it was over in a matter of seconds, Sean Norris going coast-to-coast before beating Sam Gospel to silence the home fans and bring an end to perhaps the shortest stint of 3-on-3 the league will see all year.
Leeds had been chasing the game all night, going behind to a 17th-minute effort from Talbot, but getting on level terms when Kieran Brown fired past Jordan Hedley on the power play at 22.04.
Just four more minutes had passed before the Lightning were ahead again, though, Norris bagging his first of the night before – just after the halfway mark – Brown struck again on the man advantage.
Rio Grinell-Parke put his team in front again at 32.05 which is how it stayed until just 25 seconds into the third period when Cole Shudra wiped that advantage out.
Haywood then got Leeds ahead for the first time on the night, but when he took a hooking call it was to prove costly, Talbot bagging his second of the nigh to allow Norris to become the hero minutes later.
Knights head coach Ryan Aldridge cut a disappointed figure in his post-match interview, citing Lightning’s greater maturity as one possible reason for the setback, but his mood would have lightened somewhat 24 hours later when news came through that Tim Wallace’s team had lost 7-5 at home to play-off chasing Basingstoke Bison.
Read the full weekend review on the Yorkshire Post HERE.