Ice Hockey – UK Round-up (from Blackburn Hawks match programme 16/01/11)

Whitley Warriors need just four points from eight games to retain their English National League Division One North title. The Warriors scraped home 2-1 at Telford Titans and notched an 8-5 success on home ice against Coventry Blaze with Adam Reynolds grabbing a hat-trick. Sheffield Spartans moved back into a play-off slot with a 6-3 win over Blaze and 1-1 draw with Trafford Metros. Nottingham Lions and Blackburn Hawks both won to remain in the mix – the Lions overcame Telford 2-0 while two Rick Hughes goals helped the Hawks to a 5-2 road success over the Metros.

Promotion chasing Kingston Jets and Flintshire Freeze suffered surprise losses in Division Two. The Jets crashed 8-4 to Bradford Bulldogs while Freeze fell 5-1 to Sutton Sting to leave Solihull Barons seven points clear at the top of the table.

Fife Flyers’ Steven Gunn hit five against Blackburn Hawks during an 11-2 win which sent the Scots back to the top of the Northern League. Whitley are level on points with the Flyers but have played three games more.

Manchester Phoenix have opened up a five point gap at the top of the English premier League. James Archer grabbed the winner in a penalty shoot-out victory at Swindon Wildcats while Curtis Huppe’s strike in overtime gave Phoenix the points against Sheffield Steeldogs. Guildford Flames stay second despite a crushing home loss (5-0) to fifth placed MK Lightning who also shut-out Peterborough Phantoms (4-0). Basingstoke Bison remain in third place after a mixed weekend. Two goals apiece for Ondrej Lauko and Ollie Bronnimann helped Bison to a 7-3 home win over Slough Jets but they followed up with their heaviest loss of the season – 10-3 at lowly Bracknell Bees. Slough beat Swindon 6-2 to stay in fourth place with Slava Koulikov grabbing a couple.

Cardiff Devils thrashed Dundee Stars 7-1 to extend their record breaking run to 20 and move to the top of the Elite League. Belfast Giants’ are in second place following a shoot-out win over Nottingham Panthers while Sheffield Steelers smashed nine without reply past struggling Edinburgh Capitals to remain in third.

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