AN emotionally-charged evening on so many levels on Sunday, April 9, saw the Bison check out of the play-offs to champions Leeds Knights.

The game was billed as the Herd’s final one for 18 months as their home rink is said to be lined up for refurbishment.

The Bison opened the scoring in Sunday’s contest thanks to a solo shorthanded strike from George Norcliffe.

Leeds replied 22 seconds later as Matt Haywood tapped in at the back post from Jake Witkowski.

The visitors took the lead at 14:21 when Jordan Lawday was unlucky to be beaten by a bouncing puck from Haywood.

The Bison started the second session well as Liam Morris forced a good glove save from Sam Gospel.

Soon after, Marcel Balaz forced his way to the net, but Gospel denied and also the rebound effort from Norcliffe.

Leeds then made it 3-1 thanks to Mac Howlett’s top-corner strike.

At 32:50 the home fans rose as one, as they gave netminder Alex Mettam a standing ovation as he took over in goal from Lawday.

The popular goalie had announced prior to the weekend he was retiring and ending a 16-year senior career, the last four being with the Bison.

He is only one of three netminders in the club’s history to record a shut-out both for and against the Herd.

As ever he produced a solid display being beaten just once with the final goal of the game from Witkowski who squeezed the puck between the bar and his shoulder.

The game ended with the Bison fans on their feet for the final three minutes chanting the great escape.

Herd defenceman Josh Kelly picked up the man of the match award for a solid display on the blue line.

The previous night in Leeds, the Bison were beaten 11-2 as Marcel Balaz and Edgars Landsbergs scored for the visitors.

So this meant over the weekend the Knights completed a 15-4 aggregate victory.

Bison head coach Ashley Tait said: “It was always going to be a tough weekend against the champions and that proved to be the case.”