This Week – 9th December

This week in UK ice hockey was all action. With midweek games in both the Elite League and the Premier League there were plenty of points on offer. But most of the talking points this week were off the ice as several players were on the move.

Steelers install revolving door – The comings and goings in the Elite League continued this week. Most notably were the Sheffield Steelers who waved goodbye to former Philadelphia Flyers forward Tom Sestito and young Brit Danny Wood. Sestito is rumoured to be heading to the Czech Republic whilst Wood makes the short hop to ICE Sheffield to join the Steeldogs in the EPL. In their places in time for the weekends games were former Cardiff Devils blueliner Chris Frank and new signing Simon Ferguson joined up with team after clearing immigration.

The Cardiff Devils were also making moves as british forward Bari Mackenzie leaves the club whilst Mitch Maunu is the man to make way in Braehead who signed Martin Tuma last week. Mackenzie is to join up with EPL side Manchester Phoenix with namesake Scott Mackenzie heading to Telford.

The Nottingham Panthers also played their part in fuelling the NHL Lockout end rumours as they signed Kelsey Wilson as cover for Carolina Hurricanes Anthony Stewart who is due to return to North America shortly. Stewart’s contract was always short term but with Wilson yet to be cleared by the authorities to enter the country it fans the flames that Stewart maybe needed in Raleigh sooner rather than later.

Jorge El Hage the new Manchester sensation

 

El Hage Stakes his Claim – Manchester Phoenix’s gave youngster Jorge El Hage his first EPL start as Steve Fone recovered from injury in their match up at the Bracknell Bees. The Rochdale born youngster joined the side last season after coming up through the junior system and has made appearances in blow out games. However with Fone not icing El Hage stepped in and delivered a man of the match performance against Bracknell and a shutout against Milton Keynes to help the Phoenix get back to winning ways and staked his claim for future considerations.

Steelers ICE their Vulnerabilities – Playing at ICE Sheffield is not something new for the Steelers. The dual pad facility a few hundred yards away from the Motorpoint Arena has not only played host to the Steelers training sessions but to many games due to unavailability of the Arena or financial reasons. But is the policy of playing games at the smaller ICE Sheffield going to hurt the Steelers. Last season the Steelers missed out on a place at the playoff finals as they went down to the Hull Stingrays at ICE Sheffield and already this season the Steelers needed a last gasp equaliser to take Dundee to overtime and on Saturday night the Edinburgh Capitals took 2 points from their visit. The warning signs are there for the Steelers and any more loses at ICE Sheffield could come back to haunt them come the end of March.

 

 

Results

Elite League

Wednesday 5th December

 

Nottingham Panthers 4 Coventry Blaze 3

Braehead Clan 5 Fife Flyers 3

 

Saturday 8th December

Sheffield Steelers 1 Edinburgh Capitals 2

Fife Flyers 4 Belfast Giants 1

Cardiff Devils 2 Nottingham Panthers 3 APS

Sunday 9th December

Nottingham Panthers 8 Hull Stingrays 4

Coventry Blaze 1 Sheffield Steelers 2

Edinburgh Capitals 1 Belfast Giants 4

Dundee Stars 1 Braehead Clan 4

 

English Premier League

Tuesday 4th December

Sheffield Steeldogs 0 Swindon Wildcats 5

 

Wednesday 5th December

Slough Jets Milton 1 Keynes Lightning 3

Telford Tigers 1 Guildford Flames 4

 

Saturday 8th December

Bracknell Bees 3 Manchester Phoenix 5

Swindon Wildcats 4 Sheffield Steeldogs 2

Basingstoke Bison 5 Peterborough Phantoms 3

Slough Jets 8 Telford Tigers 2

Milton Keynes 1 Guildford Flames 5

Sunday 9th December

Manchester Phoenix 2 Milton Keynes Lightning 0

Peterborough Phantoms 3 Guildford Flames 5

Sheffield Steeldogs 1 Bracknell Bees 5

Telford Tigers 2 Slough Jets 3 APS

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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