Five Things We Learned: Pride, Panthers and Plots

Sheffield Steeldogs' attempts to silence Liam Stewart didn't completely go to plan (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

It’s time to bring the final word from the weekend just past as we share the five things we picked up from the action across the Elite League and the NIHL National League.

1. Sometimes operations fail

Sheffield Steeldogs had promoted their weekend double header of games with Milton Keynes Lightning as “Operation: Stop Stewart” as a way of trying to prevent Liam Stewart from causing any damage.

It didn’t work as Stewart scored twice in Saturday’s game and helped Lightning to a 4-3 win over the ‘Dogs in the first of the two meetings to take his season tally to 25 goals in 19 appearances at the time.

We should point out Steeldogs were a bit more successful in the return game on Wednesday, preventing the one-time GB international from picking up a point and as they took a 5-4 overtime win.  

Guildford Flames released the design for the league-wide You Can Play weekend coming soon (PHOTO: Guildford Flames)

2. Pride across the Elite League

We have to admit, we’re very excited about the upcoming “You Can Play” weekend that’s coming up in the Elite League and the clubs have started to reveal their special jerseys for it.

What did we learn from that?  Not only are the jerseys looking absolutely incredible from the teams we’ve seen so far, but there’s so many looking forward to it and backing the weekend, it promises to be a real success for the EIHL.

Promoting awareness and inclusivity in the LGBTQ+ is a great thing in this country and we can’t wait to see everyone getting involved with the weekend-long event.

“Sorry, you can’t bring those drums in here. It’s a sporting event.”

3. The sound of drums

Who knew the people of Yorkshire would get so upset about the sound of a few rowdy Scots and drums they brought with them?

It was quite an eye opener to read that so many people thought they were too noisy, so much so a complaint was made to the Sheffield Steelers, who decided to move the fans to another block.

So, if you’re visiting the Fly DSA Arena any time soon, take yourself a good book, a sudoku puzzle and a packed lunch and you’re in for a treat.

(PHOTO: Panthers Images)

4. Panthers still do it in Europe 

Well it wasn’t to be for Tim Wallace as they returned to Denmark to contest the Continental Cup, but their reputation as a competitive team in European competition remains as strong as ever.

They bounced back well with two comeback victories against Krakow and Neman Grodno after losing on penalty shots to Sønderjyske on Friday and while it wasn’t the success they hoped for, a silver medal is not a bad souvenir to return home with.

It’s further proof that under Wallace, Panthers have grown and seem to be going in the right direction and with a player as good as Sam Herr leading them on the ice, they’re a tough nut to crack.

Martin Grubb led GB Under 20s to a silver medal at the World Championships this week (PHOTO: Ice Hockey UK)

5. Grubb for EIHL?

Another team that went close in a tournament last week is the Great Britain Under 20’s as they ended their week in Vilnius with a World Championship silver medal, winning four of their last five.

Under Martin Grubb, they grew into the tournament and it was another decent showing, with the coach adding to his portfolio of experience in the GB programme, having worked in the U18s and previously in the U20s.

Could he be another British coach entrusted with the keys of an Elite League club in the future?  He’s well respected in the game and one day might be a possibility, so keep an eye out for that. We’d certainly love to see him mix it in the top flight (Sorry, Solway fans!)

Finally…

Don’t forget, ice is slippery as well.  Happy to help.

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