Leeds Knights win second successive NIHL National Division title

Leeds Knights were crowned champions of the Planet Ice NIHL National Division on Sunday night after clinching their second successive title with a 6-3 victory at home to Bees IHC.

The Knights, who were only formed in 2019, led the way for much of the campaign and got their hands on their first piece of 2023/24 silverware at a raucous Planet Ice Leeds.

They missed the opportunity to secure the title away at nearest challengers MK Lightning on Saturday but would make no mistake second time round, wrapping things up convincingly with four games still to play.

Head coach Ryan Aldridge, who signed a new three-year deal with the club earlier this month having won 101 of his 122 games in charge up until that point, was quick to pay testament to the efforts of his players.

“It’s a hard league. The boys have done it tough at times, but they’ve always found a way to win,” he said.

“Tonight was no different. After the first period where we weren’t good, they had a pretty direct talking-to and the response was unbelievable. They deserve what they’re getting.

“From fans to families, it’s nice to be able to re-pay them for what they’ve done for us.

“It’s hard to win [this division] and we’ve done it two years in a row, which shows the character of the youngest group in the league.”

The Knights still have to face Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs home and away this weekend, as well as Solway Sharks and Hull Seahawks before the regular season comes to a close.

Attention will then turn to the play-offs, and limited tickets remain for this season’s finals weekend at Coventry’s Skydome Arena, over the weekend of April 27/28.

The NIHL Final Four will feature four games across the weekend. On Saturday 27 April, arena doors open at 12 noon, with semi-finals at 1:30pm and 5:30pm.

On Sunday 28 April, the action begins in the morning with the NIHL Moralee vs Britton play-off final, followed by the NIHL National Division Grand Final at 4pm.

It has already been an exciting season, and we are looking forward to a great finals weekend once more in Coventry. Buy your tickets here to avoid missing out!

Photo credit: Hannah White

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