April 14, 2019
Bobby Chamberlain’s goal at 2.35 of overtime sealed a thrilling 5-4 win for Hull Pirates over Peterborough Phantoms and clinch the final silverware of the season.
The NIHL Championship Final started at 100miles per hour pace and rarely let up through regulation time and beyond.
Hull were first on the board inside three minutes when eventual man of the match Sonny Karlsson fired home. It got better for Hull as player-coach Jason Hewitt forced the puck home on a delayed penalty at 5.26 to make it 2-0.
Phantoms regrouped and were on target before the ten minute mark, Ales Padelek stripping the puck from a Hull defenceman and beating Ashley Smith short side.
In a topsy turvey period we were level before the interval, defenceman Callum Buglass bringing all the moves before rifling one top shelf for the 2-2 goal at 19.14.
The see-saw nature of the game continued and the pace barely lessened. Hull edged ahead once again through Bobby Chamberlain at 25.58 before Peterborough came back with Billing’s leveller before the half hour.
Tied through two periods the chances kept coming with Marr and Smith between the pipes pulling off some great saves to keep the immense forward talent of both sides at bay.
Pressure told at 50.31 as Karlsson – now wearing a full cage after taking a puck to the face in the first period – fired in from close range and Pirates were ahead once more. But, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Phantoms wouldn’t go away and James Ferrara slammed home a rebound after Padelek’s shot was saved. Four minutes remained, even then there were chances but the buzzer sounded and we were off to overtime.
Glenn Billing had the first chance of the three-on-three mayhem, but his breakaway was saved by Smith. Then Marr was on form to deny a Chamberlain one-timer.
Finally, Hull fashioned a two-on-one and Matty Davies laid the puck off to Chamberlain. He gleefully tucked the puck away and began the customary throwing of equipment that befits an overtime championship winning goal. For the Phantoms this time there could be no comeback.
Ales Padelek and Sonny Karlsson won the respective man of the match awards before the trophy was presented to Hull’s Jamie Chilcott.
Cue champagne, players with children, parading the Cup to the fans and general celebrations.
Both sides end the season with three trophies which is a fantastic achievement, but only one side can win the season’s final game.
The #NIHLChampionshipSeries moves to Widnes and Bracknell next weekend for the Laidler and Wilkinson Playoff weekends.