We’ve seen a lot of interesting developments this weekend and some intriguing narratives from ice hockey in this country, but here are the five things that stood out for us:
- ICE HOCKEY IS CRUEL
Imagine you’re Omar Pacha. You’re on the verge of finally beating Sheffield Steelers after 28 attempts. Your team are on the verge of beating the club record for consecutive wins in the Elite League. You’re 66 seconds away from doing it, then Justin Buzzeo and Ben O’Connor both score to take the game to overtime, with Buzzeo scoring in OT. From delight to despair in 104 seconds. That is cruel.
- THE PLAY-OFF RACE WILL GO THE DISTANCE
Not too long ago, it seemed like Dundee Stars and Milton Keynes Lightning couldn’t buy a win, while Manchester Storm were in the mix. Now these teams have found their rhythm and picked up some big points in recent games to firmly tighten up the middle pack. Only four points separate Guildford in fifth and Coventry in tenth. It will be a close run thing.
- COVENTRY SHOW RESILIENCE IN TESTING TIMES
If Danny Stewart had hair, he would have torn it out at the week he had that saw three players leave and the Blaze in a bad run of form that saw them seven without victory going into Sunday’s clash with Nottingham Panthers. Then they nab themselves a badly-needed overtime time and a player signing was announced on Sunday. Maybe things aren’t that bad.
- DOWD IS AN ELITE LEAGUE LEGEND
Robert Dowd was our Player of the Week last week and we couldn’t reach him as his wife was in the early stages of labour. A week later, his new daughter was born and on his return to action, became the eighth player to reach the 500-point mark with his assist on Ben O’Connor’s equalising goal against Dundee Stars. As weeks go, that’s pretty good going.
- MK THUNDER ARE FIGHTING
Another NIHL club announced they were suffering some financial issues and pleaded with the hockey family to help them in their hour of need or their campaign could end prematurely. As always, the fans delivered and at the time of writing, Thunder were a shade over £3,000 from their target. Keep going, folks!