This Week 29th February
This week has been interesting to say the least with the main question being when will the real teams show up.
Devils – Panthers Final
The Cardiff Devils booked their place in the Challenge Cup final this week with a win 3-1 in Belfast. They will play the Nottingham Panthers in Sheffield this Sunday after they demolished the Sheffield Steelers 8 – 0 in Sheffield on Tuesday and 2-0 in Nottingham on Wednesday. Nobody though seemed to have told the Sheffield Arena though with the box office publishing tickets with Sheffield Steelers name on them. Â
Bye Bye BBT
The Cardiff Devils on Saturday night waved goodbye to the Cardiff Ice Arena or the affectionately known Big Blue Tent. It was a controversial structure and its small ice pad and plastic walls, terrible sight lines and small capacity as well as little room for off ice facility made the running of a club very difficult. However it saved the Cardiff Devils and hockey in the Welsh capital. The building that was meant to last 3 years did its job more than adequately.
This week we have been waiting for the championship side to show itself. Braehead’s slide from contender to mid table continued on Saturday with a lose to Belfast. Sheffield were impressive on Saturday with a 7-0 hammering of Dundee and Marek Pinc’s first shutout but were again beaten by the Coventry Blaze on Sunday. Nottingham who had harboured hopes of springing a surprise at the last where also beaten by Belfast and Braehead over the weekend. Cardiff who should have been enjoying all this came away from the week pointless after a defeat in Fife on Thursday and that loss to Coventry on Saturday.
The playoff race is still so hot with Coventry and Manchester in fine form and a point separating the two. There form could yet drag Dundee into the playoff push with the Stars 6 points above ninth place Coventry and nine games to play.
The playoff spots have all been secured now so attention has all been at the top. Peterborough’s overtime loss to MK Lightning on Saturday has opened the door to the Basingstoke Bison who extended their lead to 9 points with 18 points remaining for second place Peterborough.