Ice Hockey – UK Round-up (from Blackburn Hawks match programme 20/03/11)

Wightlink Raiders need one more point to be crowned English National League Division One South champions. Player-coach Jeremy Cornish (left) grabbed a hat-trick as the Raiders thumped Swindon Wildcats 11-1. The Raiders play Cardiff Devils ENL in their final fixture as they look to claim their first title in 14 years.

Nottingham Lions have joined Whitley Warriors in the ENL Division One North play-offs following wins over Trafford Metros (4-1) & Sheffield Spartans (5-0). Coventry Blaze beat Telford Titans 9-1 and need just one point to join them, while Blackburn Hawks’ 2-0 win over Sheffield keeps their hopes of a top four finish alive.

Fife Flyers have completed the Northern League title and play-offs double. A 7-2 win over Blackburn secured the league crown with Whitley finishing runners-up. The play-off weekend in Kirkcaldy saw the Flyers beat Sheffield 8-1 and Whitley overcome Solway Sharks 8-4 in the semi-finals. The final was a one-sided affair with Fife running out comfortable 6-0 winners.

Manchester Phoenix took a huge step towards their first English Premier League title with a hard-fought 5-2 win over Basingstoke Bison. Marcus Kristoffersson (pictured above) bagged four to move onto 58 for the season leaving Phoenix needing three points from four matches to claim the crown. Guildford Flames beat MK Lightning 7-3 with Nathan Rempel and Martin Masa both scoring twice but look destined for second. Slough Jets, Basingstoke, Lightning, Peterborough Phantoms, Swindon Wildcats and Sheffield Steeldogs will join the top two in the end of season play-offs.

Slough Jets grabbed a 3-2 victory over Basingstoke Bison in their first leg EPL cup final clash. Adam Calder, Darius Pliskauskas and Paddy Ward scored for the Jets. The second leg takes place in Slough on Wednesday March 23rd.

The battle to be crowned Elite League champions is going down to the wire. Sheffield Steelers and Cardiff Devils are locked on 83 points with Belfast Giants a point behind. The Steelers face Braehead Clan twice while Cardiff host reigning champions Coventry Blaze before travelling to face Edinburgh Capitals. Belfast have tough trips to Nottingham Panthers and Coventry on a potentially dramatic final weekend.

(Image reproduced by kind permission of R.G. Allan Photography)

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