The dust is settling on other weekend of action and with some terrific wins and individual exploits, let’s have a look at what we’ve learned over the last couple of days.
1. BELFAST GIANTS ARE BEATABLE
It’s been a great run of 11 away games with victories in every one, but the second game at Sheffield Steelers was one too far, showing the Giants are beatable. Of course, that run was bound to end and it perhaps says more about where the Steelers are compared to where Belfast are, but it’s a chink the armoury, if nothing else. It doesn’t mean they’ll make a dramatic fall from grace, but it does give hope to the other teams. It will be interesting to see who tops the ice hockey betting for EIHL champions at the end of the season.
2. DUNDEE STARS ARE FINALLY SEEING THEIR HARD WORK PAY OFF
It doesn’t seem that long ago where the sight of Omar Pacha trying to explain an overtime/penalty shots loss for the umpteenth time was a familiar one, citing they were doing things right, but weren’t getting the little slices of luck. Now it seems to be finally happening with four straight league wins and Stars are getting over the line and the Dundee coach is a much happier man. Perseverance can be rewarded.
3. PANTHERS ARE ACTUALLY QUITE GOOD
Three wins and 19 goals makes for good reading for Nottingham Panthers after a great week that sees them tucked in nicely in second place. The addition of Dylan Richard has given Rich Chernomaz another option, but the manner of how they achieved their victories over Guildford Flames and Glasgow Clan has been the most impressive thing. Are they title contenders? They’re in there so they have to be considered and they’re going well.
4. IT WAS THE WEEKEND OF COMEBACKS
In 11 Elite League games over the weekend, the numbers of winning teams who came back from a losing position to take victory was six – three of whom involved Coventry Blaze. It just shows the depth of character some of these teams have in the face of adversity and when they can sense something is turning they leap on it. It’s an incredible asset and in the case of Guildford, who clawed their way back from four down, the never-say-die attitude is something to be admired.
5. SOME THINGS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOCKEY
Without going over old ground in this week’s ‘Monday After’ blog, the courage from young Sheffield Steelers fans Aiden Dodd-Marsh and William Fewkes in coming through some tough health problems and the love and attention shown to them by Sheffield Steelers on Sunday was incredible. We love our teams and get frustrated, but what these young lads have had to face is a reminder that ice hockey is just a sport.