The Leeds Knights Celebrate on Home Ice!
A week after confirming their status as the 2022-23 NIHL National league champions, Leeds Knights finally got their hands on the prized trophy they had been pushed so hard for all season.
It came, as has been the case so often this season, on the back of another four-point weekend, this time following up a 4-2 win at Basingstoke Bison with a more convincing 6-2 win on their treasured home ice at Elland Road Ice Arena.
In any other season, Milton Keynes Lightning or Peterborough Phantoms – the two teams who kept pace with the Knights for the vast majority of the season – would have won the title with their respective points hauls.
But that is just further evidence of just what a remarkable campaign has been carried out by Ryan Aldridge’s team.
It was Peterborough who had been celebrating on the ice on Friday night after fending off a stirring National Cup final second leg comeback by the Knights to hold on for a dramatic 8-6 aggregate win.
It was the second time in as many seasons that the Knights had been forced to watch another team do laps of their ice with a trophy in their hands, incidentally having lost by the same scoreline.
On Saturday Night, two goals from Finn Bradon – one of the many success stories of the season – helped the Knights edge out Bison in Hampshire on Saturday, his strikes complemented by goals from Zach Brooks and captain Kieran Brown.
Back in Leeds, Jake Witkowski got the Knights in front, the hosts going in at the first break 2-1 ahead after Matt Haywood had cancelled out Zack Milton’s equaliser.
But three unanswered goals in the second – from Brown, Bradon and Cole Shudra – put the game beyond doubt, Liam Morris getting one back for the Bison before – fittingly – Adam Barnes fired a piledriver through traffic past Alex Mettam to seal a 6-2 victory.