This Week 16th September

Hockey is well and truly back on and with the start of the EPL season there was certainly plenty to talk about. There were goals, no goals and punches and kicks as the disciplinary panels will have a busy time of it in the coming days.

Panthers Flyers

The Nottingham Panthers travelled north for 3 games in 3 nights in Scotland. Fridays nights match did not go to plan as they lost to the hot starting Dundee Stars. On Saturday night their match in Kirkcaldy was the talk of the league. A sucker punch by Brent Henley on Fife’s Jordan Fulton was a talking point well before the Bobby Chaumont netted 2 goals in final period sent the game to overtime. But that punch was not to be the end of talking points as the tie could not broken and penalty shots ensued. The main controversy coming as referee Rab Cowan failed to allow a Fife penalty that replays show clearly cross the line before the net moved that would have levelled the shoot out scores. It will be a bitter pill to swallow for the Flyers but a huge relief for the Panthers to come away with 2 points.

 

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Sealed With a Kick

Andrew Sharp has never been described as the sharpest player in British ice hockey. His aggressive play as seen him lose become a love hate player a best. That was taken to an all-new level on Saturday as during a melee around the Jets bench Sharp in the middle of it is seen kicking out at a Slough player. Sharp, whose Guildford side won the match 6-1, was ejected but this incident should be looked at long and hard. Leagues have done much to eliminate dangerous actions such as with kneeing but to kick someone with skates on is reckless and likely to cause serious long-term injury. The final judgement on Sharp’s punishment will come shortly.

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On a Roll

The Dundee Stars will need altitude tablets after a weekend in which they beat 2 of the big powerhouses of the Elite League. The defending champion Nottingham Panthers were swatted away on Friday night before the Stars withstood a third period fight back to beat the Sheffield Steelers. The Stars are the only unbeaten Elite League team now with a 4-0 record. That will be under threat next week as they play 3 games in 3 nights and will have to travel to the Odyssey on Friday in a test of how much this team has improved.

 

Elsewhere in the Elite League

It was not a good weekend for the Edinburgh Capitals as they came away from back to back home games without a point. It could be a long season with the Scottish side conceding 10 against Sheffield but there was a glimmer of optimism in their game against the Nottingham Panthers. After going 2 down early the Capitals did steady the ship somewhat to a respectable 4-2 defeat.

The Belfast Giants had 1 game over the weekend against the Coventry Blaze. Despite being buoyed by their home opener the Giants conceded 5 goals as the Midlands outfit rallied to win 5-0.

The Hull Stingrays failed to capitalise on a early lead as they lost to the Cardiff Devils in Challenge Cup action.

The Fife Flyers have had probably the unluckiest weekend in Elite League history. After not being allowed a penalty shot goal on Saturday the team bus broke down on the way to Coventry. Around 2 ½ hours late the Flyers then lost goalie K.Regan on a game misconduct penalty before they eventually went down 6-1.

 

Elsewhere in the EPL

It is the first weekend of the EPL season and already there are worries. The Steeldogs lost netminder Dalibor Sedalar to a lower body injury in the opening minutes of Sunday’s game against the Manchester Phoenix. The Phoenix backed up Saturdays win in Telford with an 11-2 victory but the Steeldogs did ice rising talent 16 year old Tom Barkworth.

The Guildford Flames continued started the season with the form that won them the title last season with a 4-point haul from their 2 games. But Bracknell will feel they have work to do as they come away without a point.

 

Elsewhere in the National League

The newly reformed London Racers got their season off to the perfect start as they won their first game back convincingly. The Romford Raiders also got their first victory under the banner of the London Raiders following their temporary move to Lee Valley. There were also wins for the Deeside Dragons who go 3-0 so far this season and the Oxford City Stars began their defence with a comfortable away win against Chelmsford Warriors. Whilst the northeast derby was a close game as the Whitley Warriors beat the Billingham Stars 3-2.

 

 

Results

Elite League

Friday 13th September

Dundee Stars 5 Nottingham Panthers 2

Saturday 14th September

Edinburgh Captials 3 Sheffield Steelers 10

Belfast Giants 0 Coventry Blaze 5

Fife Flyers 4 Nottingham Panthers 5 APS

Braehead Clan 4 Cardiff Devils 3

Sunday 15th September

Edinburgh Captials 2 Nottingham Panthers 4

Dundee Stars 3 Sheffield Steelers 4

Coventry Blaze 6 Fife Flyers 1

 

Challenge Cup

Sunday 15th September

Hull Stingrays 3 Cardiff Devils 4

 

EPL

Saturday 14th September

Telford Tigers 1 Manchester Phoenix 5

Slough Jets 1 Guildford Flames 6

Bracknell Bees 4 Sheffield Steeldogs 7

 

Sunday 15th September

Manchester Phoenix 11 Sheffield Steeldogs 2

Guildford Flames 5 Bracknell Bees 3

Swindon Wildcats 1 Slough Jets 2 AOT

 

Coming Up

This week sees midweek cup action as the Sheffield Steelers host the Hull Stingrays on Wednesday night at Ice Sheffield. The Ice Sheffield rink has not been the kindest to the south Yorkshire side so another upset could be on the cards. Also look out for the Dundee Stars on Friday night as they travel to Belfast for what will be a true test of however Jeff Hutchins table topping team as come this season.

There is a full set of fixtures in the Premier League with the back-to-back games between the Manchester Phoenix and the Slough Jets the pick of the bunch. Whilst in the national league there is a Lancashire derby on Saturday as Blackburn’s home opener sees them face the Manchester Minotaurs.

 

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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