Around the Rinks: GB claim silver and Steelers hero retires

Good morning, hockey fans.

We’re now in the final days before the play-off final weekends take place in Nottingham (Elite League) and Coventry (NIHL) and excitement builds for what looks like being two fantastic events.  There’s this, the climax to the Women’s World Championships and further reaction to the weekend that was.

Let’s get going as we start in Dumfries as GB Women picked up a silver medal as they completed their Division II Group A campaign.

Douglas’ winner helps GB secure silver in 2-1 defeat of North Korea in their final game (Ice Hockey UK, BBC Sport)

Head coach Cheryl Smith was pleased to pick up second place and says the future of the women’s team is in safe hands (Ice Hockey UK)

Sheffield Steelers winger Jonas Westerling has announced his retirement after their season ended in the play-off quarter finals at the weekend (Sheffield Steelers)

After easing past Coventry Blaze in their quarter final, Belfast Giants are now just two games from completing a Grand Slam (Belfast Telegraph)

Cardiff’s very own GOAT was in top form again, slamming a hat-trick for the Devils to get past Sheffield Steelers on Sunday (Dai Sport)

Sheffield Steelers coach Tom Barrasso insists he’s proud of his players, despite their exit from the play-offs at the weekend (Sheffield Star)

There’s disappointment in Scotland as Glasgow Clan and Fife Flyers failed to make it into the final four as BBC Sport Scotland and The Herald report on what happened in their respective quarter finals.

Staying in Scotland, Glasgow Clan Chief Operating Officer Gareth Chalmers sums up his thoughts and extends his thanks after his team were beaten in the quarter finals by Guildford Flames (Glasgow Clan)

It was another trophy for Peterborough Phantoms, who won the NIHL South Play-offs at the weekend for their third trophy of the season and now have the NIHL crown in their sights (Peterborough Telegraph)

Hull Pirates added the NIHL Northern Play-offs to their North 1 league title and are being backed to complete the treble in the Coventry play-offs this weekend (Hull Live, Yorkshire Post)

Our Monday After blog looked at the turmoil in the SNL after Aberdeen Lynx’s sudden decision to quit following an admin dispute and perhaps the wider implications (British Ice Hockey)

On Twitter, it appears former Coventry Blaze forward Marc-Olivier Vallerand is heading back to the UK next season.  But where, as he teased Elite League fans with some cryptic tweets, starting with this one:

Also, we’re running a poll all through the week about who you think will win the Elite League play-off finals weekend.  We’ll post it here every day this week, so here it is if you haven’t aleady seen it

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