First Weekend of National League Play-offs Completed

NIHL National League Logo

The Play-offs have begun in force across England with the first weekend having just been played in the National League.

Play-offs are said to be the most exciting part of the season, each time fiercely competing for another title.

It’s no different in England’s top divisions where the teams are beginning their campaign to add some coveted silverware.

National League Play-offs

Telford Tigers 1 continued their dominant league form by picking up four points against Bees Ice Hockey.

A 6-1 score line in their first meeting and a 6-2 in their second has them join first with Milton Keynes Lightning in their group.

The Lightning started their Play-offs campaign strong, a 5-0 and then 3-2 win over Leeds Knights has put them in a strong position.

Bees and Leeds have 0 points so far in their opening two fixtures but Telford and Milton Keynes do still have to play each other.

Group One

As it stands this is how their group looks:

Telford Tigers 1: 2 wins – 12GF – 3GA – 4Pts

Milton Keynes Lightning: 2 Wins – 8GF – 2GA – 4Pts

Leeds Knights: 0 Wins – 2GF – 8GA – 0Pts

Bees: 0 Wins – 3GF – 12GA – 0Pts

A reminder that only the top two go through from each group to the Finals Weekend in Coventry.

The other Play-off group is looking highly competitive with every team on two points.

Basingstoke Bison and Sheffield Steeldogs traded blows with a2-1 result for the Bison and a 4-2 for the Steeldogs.

Peterborough Phantoms opened up with a 3-0 shutout of Swindon Wildcats.

This lead was erased when Swindon grabbed a 4-3 win over Peterborough in the reverse fixture.

With each side still having four games remaining it’s anyone’s game to see who progresses onto Coventry.

Group Two

Their group looks like this:

Peterborough Phantoms 1: 1 Win – 6GF – 4GA – 2Pts

Sheffield Steeldogs: 1 Win – 5GF – 4GA – 2Pts

Basingstoke Bison: 1 Win – 4GF – 5GA – 2Pts

Swindon Wildcats: 1 Win – 4GF – 6GA – 2Pts

On paper Swindon should be the top team in this group finishing second in the league three points above Sheffield.

Those two sides are still to play and that could be decider between which teams makes it further.

Whatever the eventual results it looks set to be a tight fought battle between the eight sides.

Division One Play-offs

The Division One Play-offs begin on the 16th of April for both the North and South divisions.

Division One South

In the South the matchups look like this:

Invicta Dynamos vs Bristol Pitbulls

Raiders Junior vs Solent Devils

Oxford City Stars vs Streatham

Slough Jets vs Chelmsford Chieftains

Streatham are the team to watch after they cruised to a Division One South title with a 19-point gap.

Below them it was very tight between the other teams with three points separating second and fifth.

A good tie looks to be between Chelmsford and Slough who finished just two points apart in mid-table.

Either side could claim this tie but only time will tell who will win.

Division One North

Meanwhile in the Division One North the Play-off first round looks like this:

Billingham Stars vs Widnes Wild

Blackburn Hawks 1 vs Whitley Warriors

Solway Sharks vs Nottingham Lions

Scimitars vs Solihull Barons

Solway secured a dominant title win with a 10-point gap over Whitley.

They will be the favourites for the Play-offs but as history has shown they can struggle in knockouts.

A tie against bottom-placed Nottingham is what Martin Grubb’s side have to look forward to,

Widnes Wild will be another favourite following their cup success and a strong debut season.

It was the Wild who denied Solway of a Moralee Cup final space in an impressive showing.

A first-round matchup with Billingham will suit Widnes who have had good success over the side.

Scimitars vs Solihull will be another interesting tie to watch as both teams fought hard in mid-table.

Finally, Blackburn face the prospect of a very strong Whitley Warriors side.

The Warriors have been impressive all season long losing only seven games in the league.

Blackburn are the worst side on form currently having not won in five games.

This includes a 14-2 pumping by Solihull just over a week ago.

There is going to be some interesting results as every team is capable of beating everyone in this league.

Any side could make it into the next round of fixtures and only time will tell who it’ll be.

Find out more on our Twitter @BritIceHockey.

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