This Week 7th September
This Week returns as the domestic season kicks off. The EIHL got underway on Friday with the Challenge Cup and the NIHL began as Bradford Bulldogs met with the Blackburn Eagles on Saturday tea time. But first today is the 7th September and we, as every year, would like to pause to remember the Yaroslavl air crash. Our thoughts go out to the crew, family, staff and players of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl and those on the flight and no longer with us.
Friday Night Delight
The Belfast Giants and the Dundee Stars had the pleasure of kicking off the 2015-16 season with a challenge cup tie at the DIA. Belfast had been beaten in Dundee the week before in a preseason match and were beaten again. A 3 â€“ 0 score line highlighting a brilliant performance from Vlastimil Lakosil in goal for the Stars. It was also Belfastâ€™s third game in a row without following a preseason tie to Fife and loss to Dundee.
Cardiff Start Strong
The Cardiff Devils are many peoples tip for this season. They started strong in preseason winning big against French side Brest and Coventry. That continued at the weekend with a two 60 minute performances that lead them victories over Manchester and Sheffield. As ever with Cardiff the challenge will be taking their home performances on the road particular on the unenviable trip up to Dundee.
This penalty shot from Saturdays game with Manchester though will not be remembered for a strong start.
Laying Down A Marker
Its fair to say the opening weekend was about laying down a marker. On Saturday the Fife Flyers laid down a big marker by beating Coventry 6-0. A favour that was some what repaid on Sunday when the Blaze beat the Flyers 4-1 in the Skydome.
Manchester added theirs and showed they will not be a push over by beating Edinburgh 8 â€“ 1 on the Storms competitive return to action with Sisca, Scarsella and Davies proving to be an instant candidate for the best line stakes. It was also a result that propelled them to the top of the standings albeit after only a single game.
Dundee were a hit on Friday and that continued on Saturday as they pushed Nottingham all the way at the NIC going down on penalties.
CHL Interest Ends for UK
The group stage of the CHL ended over the weekend and ended the interested of British teams. Sheffield bowed out following a defeat to Frolunda in Sheffield. Braehead meanwhile faired slightly better beating Inglostadt 6-4 in Glasgow but still missed out.
NIHL Gets Under Way
The NIHL got under way with the north starting things off. Notable from the first weekend were the Blackburn Hawks who maintained their unbeaten record from last season with a 4-0 win over Billingham and Whitely Bay. Andre Payetteâ€™s reign in the NIHL got started with a 7-4 win over Solway.
Widnes under new coach Scott Mackenzie also got their season underway strongly with a 6-0 win away to Coventry.
Coming up this week we have a competition starting and next weekend sees a tasty encounter between 2 of the EIHL favourites Nottingham and Cardiff and the EPL gets underway.