Elite League Final Four Prepare for Nottingham

Belfast Giants and Guildford Flames competing in the 2019 play-off weekend (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

The four sides to contest for the finals are now known and we have some exciting fixtures on our hands.

Following last weekends conclusion to the quarter-finals there are four sides going to Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena.

Belfast Giants, Cardiff Devils, Guildford Flames and Dundee Stars are all headed to finals weekend.

Belfast v Dundee

Dundee completed the upset and knocked Sheffield out courtesy of a 5-3 aggregate victory.

The man to watch for this team is Sebastian Bengtsson, the Swede scored four goals across the series.

Including this beauty:

He has five total points in two games in the play-offs after a 60-point regular season.

This marks him out as the man to watch going into their next tie.

Omar Pacha’s side will face Adam Keefe’s Belfast Giants in a heavyweight clash.

Keefe celebrated his 38th birthday earlier this week after seeing his side continue their hunt for a treble.

The Giants had a nervy skate out against the Coventry Blaze who caused them a few issues across the weekend.

A 2-2 draw in Coventry gave the Blaze some hope they could pull off the miraculous.

It wasn’t to be as J.J. Piccinich’s penalty in Belfast sealed a 2-1 overtime win (4-3 agg.) to send his side onwards.

Despite this, I would say the Giants’ one to watch going forwards is Tyler Beskorowany.

The Canadian had two impressive performances having a 93.94% save percentage in game one and a 96% save percentage at home.

Without him his side could have struggled even more, he also only saw two penalties go past him, out of 10.

Cardiff v Guildford

Finally, Cardiff will face Guildford in the other semi-final, this tie really could go anywhere.

Cardiff overturned an 4-3 loss in Glasgow to win 2-0 at home to book their spot in Nottingham.

A shutout by Mac Carruth and 84.62% save percentage in the first leg, mark him out as one to watch for this game.

Trevor Cox also played a key role in the turnaround, scoring two across the series.

Their opponents Guildford had a tough challenge in Nottingham Panthers.

A 4-4 draw in the first leg set up an enticing second game.

It was Levi Cable who ultimately decided it with a late goal to send his side through.

Paul Dixon said his side just kept believing:

Turner Ripplinger scored two in this match-up so it’s worth watching him, but Cable will also be boosted by that late winner.

You’d imagine that Cardiff are the favourites going into that tie, but nothing is certain in ice hockey.

The semi-finals will be played on the 30th of April and then we will have our conclusion the following day (1st of May).

It remains to be seen who will come out on top, let us know who you think on our Twitter @BritIceHockey.

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