This Week 25th November
This week British Ice Hockey provided the action of the ice whilst it being one of the most important weekends of the season so far on it.
Panthers Take to Europe
The Nottingham Panthers headed into European action for the second time with the latest round of the IIHF Continental Cup. The Panthers faced Russian out Toros Neftekamsk on Friday afternoon going down 4-3 to a late goal in third period. Next up was the Kazakh side Yertis Pavlodar and this time the Panthers hung on to win 2-1 and set up a last day decider. With the host Asiago with 2 wins and waiting for the Panthers the British side needed a favour from the Kazakhâ€™s. 3 goals inside 10 minutes set up Yertis for a 4-2 win and meant it would be either the Panthers or the Italian side Asiago who would go through to the Super Final.
The final game saw the British champions come undone by 3 power play goals as they went down 3-2. It will be the Asiago who join fellow qualifiers Norweign side Stavanger Oilers, Ukranian side Donbass Donetsk and host side Rouen Dragons in the Super Final at the beginning of January.
Elite League Goes Live
Following their coverage of the British national side at the Final Olympic Qualifiers in Latvia and the NHL Premier Sport welcomed top flight league action back to live television. Saturdays game between the Coventry Blaze and the Belfast Giants marked the start of live coverage on the channel since a deal was signed last month. The Giants ran out 3-2 winners thanks to a Rob Sandrock strike in the third period.
EPL Shake Up
The EPL had a week of the ice of team shake ups. The Swindon Wildcats added new import forward Jan Kostal who iced with Czech league team Karlovy Vary last season. Meanwhile British forward Michael Wales made the move from the Slough Jets to the Basingstoke Bison whilst it was announced Joe Miller who is currently the leagueâ€™s highest scoring Brit would leave the Bison and be joining bottom side Telford after serving his notice period which expires on the 1st January. Miller though will play in the meantime including against his new side.
Devils Toast of the Bay Again
It was been a very difficult start to the season for the Devils. But after weeks of uncertainty and changes on and off the ice the Devils picked up 4 points. A win in Hull on Saturday was followed up by a tight 3-1 victory over Sheffield on Sunday night.
Redskins Return Home
It was an historic weekend for the NIHL as the Streatham Redskins return to the ice in Streatham for the first time in 2 years. The Redskins opened their new rink on Sunday night with a 3-3 tie with Bracknell Hornets.
There is plenty of action over the coming week in the EIHL. On Wednesday night there is an intriguing contest between the Nottingham Panthers and the Edinburgh Capitals at the NIC. The Caps have not had the best of records at the home of the champions but the Capitals did beat the Panthers in Murrayfield when the sides last met and are boyd by a victory of the Hull Stingrays on Sunday. The Panthers will also have only just arrived back in the UK after their European trip. Coventry also have a Scottish road trip ahead of them with 3 games in 3 nights.
In the EPL there are many crucial games at the top and bottom. Guildfordâ€™s trip to Basingstoke will be a highlight but our pick is the Peterborough Phantoms hosting the Sheffield Steeldogs. After wins over the weekend for Bracknell, Telford and Swindon both of these teams need the 2 points to keep in the hunt for the playoff places.
In the NIHL there is a host of great games to choice for our pick next week. However we decided on the Wightlink Raiders clash with the Invicta Dynamos on Saturday night. Invicta share top spot in NIHL South 1 with the Chelmsford Chieftains just two points ahead of the Raiders in third. The Raiders also meet the Chieftains on Sunday night.