This Week: 23rd December

 

Christmas is time for presents and surprises and dreams of nice things. This week UK ice hockey has enjoyed one or two of those things. It is especially if you are a Capitals or Panthers fan. Whilst the two teams are at opposite ends of the table the Capitals are well in the mix for a playoff spot whilst 15 goals in two games for Panthers has their fans dreaming that the league title drought may end.

Elsewhere however other dreams have become nightmares but it is all in This Week.

Sport England – For those that missed it yet again Ice Hockey in the UK has missed out Sport England funding. Sport England every 4 years distributes government and lottery money to various sporting organisations. Yet despite a national team performing well and being one step away from the 2014 Winter Olympics sports such as baseball, angling and equestrian have been given money instead. What is more frustrating to hockey fans is that funding has also been given to the likes of soccer and rugby even though their governing bodies have again created huge turn over.

Future Shields – A lot of off ice action this week has centred on the future of Great Britain forward Colin Shields. After announcing he had left the Sheffield Steelers the former ECHL and Ligue Magnus player has been linked with several clubs most notably the Belfast Giants. With both Sheffield and Belfast now playing catch up in the title race it will be an interesting next step. The link with last years champions has caused some to cry foul and that Shields quitting the Steelers was orchestrated to allow him to join the Belfast outfit but as yet no announcement has been made. No matter where Shields ends up it is a big blow to the Steelers who lose a top rated British player with few on the market.

Campbell Reinvigorated – Derek Campbell became the second player to leave the Sheffield Steeldogs in 10 days as he followed Dmitri Rodin out of the EPL outfit. Campbell was picked up by old club Manchester Phoenix and promptly put in a man of the match performance against the Steeldogs a day later. Campbell not renowned for his scoring ability grabbed a Gordie Howie hat trick that included a fight with his former boss Andre Payette as the Phoenix beat the Steeldogs 5 – 3 on Thursday and was 8 seconds away from the game-winning goal in Peterborough on Sunday.

Hand Biscuit Top Shelf – Check out this game winning goal from the Manchester Phoenix head coach during his sides comeback victory in Slough on Saturday. Who says you can’t rob a cookie from the top shelf?

[youtube id=”mLX7L3TKsnY”]

Caps playoff bound – It may have been a long time coming but the Edinburgh Capitals are in a playoff spot. An unprecedented run in recent weeks which as seen the side beat Sheffield and Nottingham away and lose just once in their last 6 has took the Capitals into a playoff spot on Saturday night.

That is for This Week. We would like to wish everyone a Merry Chritmas and we will back for the final This Week of 2012 with coverage from the festive games.

Results

Challenge Cup Quarter Final 1st Leg

Monday 17th December

Hull Stingrays 1 Belfast Giants 4

Elite League

Friday 21st December

Belfast Giants 4 Coventry Blaze 1

Saturday 22nd December

Breahead Clan 2 Cardiff Devils 6

Edinburgh Capitals 5 Dundee Stars 2

Hull Stingrays 2 Sheffield Steelers 4

Nottingham Panthers 7 Fife Flyers 1

Sunday 23rd December

Sheffield Steelers 1 Belfast Giants 2

Coventry Blaze 0 Nottingham Panthers 8

Cardiff Devils 2 Hull Stingrays 1 AOT

Dundee Stars 3 Fife Flyers 4 APS

English Premier League

Thursday 20th December

Manchester Phoenix 5 Sheffield Steeldogs 3

Saturday 22nd December

Slough Jets 3 Manchester Phoenix 4

Basingstoke Bison 1 Guildford Flames 0

Sheffield Steeldogs 2 Peterborough Phantoms 3

Sunday 23rd December

Peterborough Phantoms 2 Manchester Phoenix 3 APS

Telford Tigers 1 Basingstoke Bison 5

Bracknell Bees 5 Slough Jets 6 APS

Guildford Flames 5 Sheffield Steeldogs 2

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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