Bradford Bulldogs suffer setback to NIHL North Two Laidler play-off hopes against Hull Jets

ON TARGET: Josh Reynolds got the Bulldogs on the board first against Hull Jets with his ninth goal of the season for the club. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

BRADFORD BULLDOGS’ NIHL North Two playoff hopes may have taken a hit in a 5-3 defeat at home to Hull Jets, but head coach Andy Brown vowed his team will fight until the bitter end to make the post-season.

The result leaves the Bulldogs one place and one point outside the top four with two games remaining.

One of those games is against fourth-placed Sutton Sting, who the Bulldogs host in their final game of the season on April 2.

WATCH our live stream of the Bulldogs v Jets game on You Tube HERE

Prior to then, the Sting – who have four games remaining – have to take on the Jets twice, along with a home game against Coventry.

“It was a blow to our playoff hopes, you can’t deny that, but we still have two games to go and, if a couple of other results go our way, we can still make it to the Final Four Weekend which, given the injuries we’ve had this season, would be some achievement,” said Brown.

“I felt we matched up with Hull quite well in the first period, they had a few more shots on than us, but we switched off towards the end and that cost us when they scored two quick goals.

FRUSTRATION: Bulldogs head coach Andy Brown. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints.

“We deserved to get back into it early on in the second when we did and, again, it was pretty even throughout. But we let them in again just before the break and it was an uphill battle after  that.

“It was great to show some comeback towards the end with two goals, but the damage had been done. I thought Sam (Bolwell) was excellent for us again and can count herself unlucky with a couple of the goals. 

“But it’s not over yet in terms of the playoffs – we’ll keep pushing right until the end.”

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Hull broke the deadlock in an otherwise tight first period through Thomas Forster at 18.12, the visitors doubling their lead with just seconds left on the clock when a breakaway presented Alex Kent with a simple finish.

It wasn’t long before the Bulldogs were back in it, good hustling behind the net from Lucas Vince seeing him set up Josh Reynolds all alone in front from where he fired past Dominic Smith at 20.30.

Jack Wooding and Logan Roberts both went close soon after as the Bulldogs enjoyed some sustained time in the Jets’ zone.

WATCH our live stream of the Bulldogs v Jets game on You Tube HERE

But the equaliser never came and they were made to pay just 47 seconds before the end of the period when Alex Foreman fired through traffic from the top of the right circle and past Sam Bolwell in the Bulldogs’ net. 

STRIKE TWO: Damarni James scored late on for the Bulldogs in their 5-3 home defeat to Hull Jets in NIHL North Two. Picture: Andy Bourke/Podium Prints

Chances came and went at both ends but, unfortunately for the hosts, the next strike came on their net, the Jets breaking quickly while short-handed with Mark Florence teeing up Kent whose effort somehow looped over Bolwell and dropped over the line.

WATCH our live stream of the Bulldogs v Jets game on You Tube HERE

It was game over just under four minutes later when the Jets made their own power play count, Chris Hogarth cutting in from the left boards and firing home low to Bolwell’s left. 

Faint hopes of a comeback came when Damarni James pulled one back at 54.45 when tipping in from in front off a Reynolds feed on the left boards.

And as the clock ticked down, the deficit was reduced to two when Tomas Mitrik broke down centre ice to fire home.