This Week 10th March

This week has had the feel of the beginning of the end for the 2014 season. Cup finals have started and the scenarios for working out the final playoff places and titles have begun to be formulated.

 

EPL Cup

The advantage in the EPL Cup is firmly with Basingstoke Bison after a 5-1 victory in Coventry over the MK Lightning. The return leg is this Wednesday with Bison at home.

 

Stars on Rise

The Dundee Stars have made a major coup in the run in for the playoffs. Former Belfast, Edinburgh and Sheffield head coach and current GB boss Doug Christiansen has signed with Stars as their new bench coach. Christiansen was sacked by the Steelers last month but was behind the bench for the Stars to cap a wonderful season by winning the Gardiner Conference title.

 

Phoenix Take Step Closer

Two nail biting 5-4 wins for the Manchester Phoenix saw them move within striking distance of a second EPL title. A midweek loss to Peterborough has put the emphasis on next Sunday’s match up between the top two when the Bison visit the Ice Dome. A win for the Phoenix in Swindon on Saturday will mean that as long as they avoid a regulation defeat to the Bison they will be champions.

At the other end of the table the Bracknell Bees require 1 point to eliminate the Slough Jets from the playoff picture whilst Peterborough remain 2 points of the playoffs in a race that will go down to the wire.

 

Giants Taste Defeat

For the first time in a long time, since 3rd January in fact the Belfast Giants have been defeated. Their 5-4 defeat on penalties in Sheffield means that the Giants missed out on setting a new winning streak record after tying the previous record on Friday night at 16 in a row.

 

Next Week

It is very tight at the bottom of the EIHL table and so it is very hard to pick just one game of the week. Every game for the Fife Flyers, Coventry Blaze, Hull Stingrays and the Cardiff Devils is a must win as 1 of them will miss out. Wednesdays make up game between Hull Stingrays and the Fife Flyers is perhaps the biggest as it will decide who gets to the advantage who is playing catch up.

 

The EPL game of week is no doubt the tie at the summit. The Basingstoke Bison will be visitors to the Ice Dome to face the Manchester Phoenix in tie that could decide where the league title goes. If scores go their way anything over than a Bison win next Sunday could mean the Manchester Phoenix are the EPL Champions for the second time.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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