Hull Pirates 6 Bracknell Bees 2
THE BEES’ season is over, after Hull Pirates made them walk the plank in Coventry.
Bracknell were challenging Pirates for a place in the NIHL Final Four final on Saturday, April 13.
Although Bees had taken the lead, the game didn’t go their way and now their Hull opponents will be in action again tomorrow against either Peterborough or Sheffield.
The Skydome was packed for the lunchtime fixture.
The Bees took the lead on a powerplay with Josh Smith finding the twine at 8.27.
Bracknell then broke up a Hull powerplay and Roman Malinik finished off a shorthanded counter at 15.27 to make it 2-0 at the first interval.
But Jason Hewitt’s squad hit back in the middle frame to take the lead – and the game.
First Matty Davies opened their account at 23.30 after a scramble round the net. Then Pirates hit two in nine seconds from eventual man of the match Sonny Karlsson (25.04 and 25.13) as Hull’s fast offence caught the Bees cold.
Bracknell’s Doug Sheppard called his timeout at this point to try and regroup his shell-shocked squad.
Hull had further chances as they dominated the shot count, but the score remained 3-2 in Pirates’ favour after 40 minutes.
The final frame saw Bracknell struggle to create meaningful opportunities and Hull made the game safe with another quick double – Karlsson completing a natural hat-trick at 48.44 followed by Davies’ second at 49.42 and it was a three-goal game.
Late on, Bracknell were operating on a powerplay and they pulled Dean Skinns for a six on four advantage. After Hull returned to full strength Bobby Chamberlain forced a turnover in the neutral zone and won the race to the puck to tuck away the empty netter at 57.50 to put the seal on the win.
The Pirates are looking to add to the Final Four silverware to their NIHL North 1 league and playoff titles tomorrow against either Peterborough or Sheffield.
The Bees man of the match was goalie Dean Skinns, while Hull awarded theirs to Sonny Karlsson.
Sunday sees the NIHL2 Championship between Widnes Wild and Slough Jets at 1pm before the Grand Final takes place at 5pm