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Rampant Leeds Knights storm to victory against lacklustre Lightning

Another impressive Knights performance saw them take all four points across the weekend following a ten-goal thriller at Elland Road on Sunday.

Lewis Baldwin set the tone for the second game in two nights against Milton Keynes with a huge hit on Liam Stewart within the first minute of the match.  

The Lightning headed the first man advantage of the game as Cole Shudra sat for two minutes following a delay of the game call. MK had a few quality chances, but Leeds keeper Gospel came up strong with two close range saves to keep the game at 0-0.  

In the 6th minute the Knights got their first powerplay of the game as defenceman Archie Hazeldine was cross checked by Lightning forward Tim Wallace. Jordan Fisher took a disliking to the cross check and challenged Wallace however after a few shoves they were both called for roughing and Leeds went on with a man advantage.  

The Knights took no time at all getting on the board with a slapshot from Kieran Brown from the right circle put Leeds up by one, Brandon Whistle and Cole Shudra getting the assists.  

It was then Smital’s turn to stand tall as he made multiple good saves on both Brandon Whistle and Matty Davies as Leeds piled on the pressure, using the momentum they gathered from the powerplay goal to carry them forward. 

Minutes later, Ross Kennedy dropped the gloves centre ice with MK forward Mikey Power after a slash on his leg after the whistle. Kennedy took no prisoners as he soon put Power on his back, raising the roof of The Castle. 

With only 50 seconds left in the period, Kieran Brown got his second of the game and fourth of the weekend with a sharp snapshot from the left circle sending the Knights into the break with all the momentum.  

Milton Keynes cut the lead in half just over two minutes into the second period as Barnes-Garner beat Gospel for the first time this evening with a wrister from the right circle.  

Leeds responded well to the goal, forcing a few good saves from Smital before an MK rush caught them out, but again Gospel was equal to it with his blocker.  

Half-way through the period Kieran Brown demonstrated why he is the Knight’s top point scorer as he beat his man down the wing before passing across the crease to Adam Barnes, who put the Knights two goals up again.  

Three minutes later Knights forward Cole Shudra fired an absolute bullet from the left circle that rung off the pipes and in behind Smital to give the knights a more comfortable 4-1 lead.  

A Knight’s powerplay came soon after as MK’s Russell sat for interference but it would be The Lightning who scored short-handed as Sam Talbot broke away after a long stretch pass from James Griffin and he made no mistake to make the score 4-2. 

Although the powerplay came to an end, Leeds’ Adam Barnes found himself in front of Smital’s net and placed the puck home for his second of the period.  

The second period ended with Knight’s goal scorer Kieran Brown and Lightning’s Adam Laishram landed in a tussle Infront of the Leeds net after Laishram took an extra jab on Gospel once the whistle had been blown. 

Following a quiet opening to the third period, Davies scored Leeds’ sixth after a good stick poke in the defence zone, Brown skated up the ice and passed the puck over to Hazeldine who’s slapshot rebounded perfectly for Matty Davies to grab his first goal and fourth point of the night on 45 minutes. 

After a good penalty kill by the Knights, Harry Gulliver got his first point of the night and Leeds’ seventh goal straight from the face off with exactly 10 minutes left in the 3rd period, Brandon Whistle gets the assist on the tally.  

The game eventually finished 8-2 with Harry Gulliver scoring from a sharp angle as Cole Shudra screened MK replacement keeper Stones who came in to replace Smital at the beginning of the third period.  

The 2 victories from this weekend see Leeds climb above Peterborough into to 5th place, but with the Phantoms their next opponents next Saturday, it will be interesting to see if they can hold the position in the coming weeks.

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