This Week 25th April
This week has been the final one of the British season. The world championships have been taking place and the final competition of the season ended with the NIHL S2 playoffs.
Watching GB is never easy. This week had much promise though. A good win over hosts Croatia started the tournament with a lot of hopes however a poor second half over Estonia in which GB blew a 2 goal lead and needing overtime to take the win is more typical of GB’s World Championship performance. Following that though the side looked to have their blip especially with a thrashing victory of arch nemesis Lithuania and another big win over Romania. Meanwhile Lithuania’s win over Ukraine meant that GB would need only a point in Saturday’s decider and it looked good win Jono Phillips put the side ahead. 2 late goals and penalty trouble though gave Ukraine the victory and promotion back to Division 1A.
It is frustrating to be in the final game with destiny in our own hands again only to miss out again. You do though need to beat better teams than Lithuania and Ukraine if you are to stay up in 1A and we didn’t. It is also positive that the likes of Bowns, Venus and Boxill getting the ice time and experience as it will be these guys going forward who will need to step up more.
Warriors Win NIHL Play Off
Chelmsford were celebrating once more as the hockey club finished a clean sweep of all trophies in the NIHL South. It was a close tight and exciting NIHL S2 playoff as the Warriors faced new boys the Cardiff Fire. The Fire had led the first leg 2-0 but the Warriors came back to level Wales with a draw. The second leg was tight again and level until the last 10 minutes when the Warriors took the lead and extended it as Cardiff pressed to win 5-2 (7-4 on aggregate).
Davey Phillips Crosses Pennines
The big signing news this week has been GB defenseman Davey Phillips heading from Manchester Storm to Sheffield Steelers. Phillips had a stellar year in Storm colours but has swapped the purple and yellow for orange the first to do so in the new storm era. Elsewhere Ashley Tait has signed an extension with the Coventry Blaze for next season and Swindon forward Adam Harding will step up to the Manchester Storm having scored on debut for the Storm last season.
This week we have our own signing news with Jillian McFarlane joining the Blueliner Hockey family. Jillian is a photographer regularly found at Fife Flyers matches and at other hockey games at the Kirkcaldy rink. Her photos can be found hereÂ and why not find her on twitter @spudnando.
This summer we are offering you a chance to win a copy of Tony Hands biography A Life in British Ice Hockey. All you need to do is follow us on Twitter or Facebook and retweet or share the winning post to be entered into the draw. The winning entry will be made on the opening day of the 2016/2017 EIHL season.
This is the last This Week of the season. This Week will return in September but in the meanwhile there will be coverage throughout the summer here at Blueliner Hockey.