Ice Hockey – UK round up (games played 13th – 18th March)

Billingham Stars (left) are the new ENL1 North champions. Needing a three point weekend to claim the crown, Stars won 4-1 at Sheffield Spartans and recovered from 2-0 down at home to Trafford Metros to draw 2-2. Whitley Warriors secured second with a pair of wins – 4-3 at Trafford and 8-7 at home to Sheffield.

Coventry Blaze ensured their safety with a remarkable comeback against Blackburn. The Hawks raced into a four goal lead but Blaze roared back to win 6-4. Nottingham Lions face a relegation play-off against ENL2 runners-up Sutton Sting after losing 7-4 at home to the Hawks – Jordan Bannon grabbed a hat-trick for the visitors.

Solway Sharks kept their 100% ENL2 North record intact after a 13-1 win at Bradford Bulldogs – Adam Reynolds hit three. Richie Oliver scored five as Sutton crushed Fylde Flyers 13-2. James Parsons bagged a hat-trick as Flintshire Freeze got back to winning ways with a 9-7 success at Fylde. Hull Stingrays drew 2-2 with Sheffield Senators while Lancashire Raptors lost 4-2 at home to Bradford.

Chelmsford Chieftains have moved level on points with Romford Raiders at the top of ENL1 South. Darren Brown, Danny Hammond and Tom Long all scored three as Chieftains beat Streatham Redskins 16-3. Invicta Dynamos inconsistent form continued as they beat Cardiff Devils 7-2 but fell 4-2 at lowly MK Thunder.

Guildford Flames (right) have claimed the EPL title in dramatic fashion. After a 3-1 reverse at MK Lightning, Flames captured the trophy with a 4-3 overtime win against Basingstoke Bison – Jez Lundin grabbed winner. Manchester Phoenix stay second despite a pair of defeats. Janis Ozolins notched his 50th goal of the season as they fell 2-1 at Sheffield Steeldogs and Darius Pliskauskas scored three for Slough Jets in their 5-2 win in Altrincham.

Jonas Hoog’s trio helped Swindon Wildcats recover from 5-2 down at home to Lightning to win 6-5 and they completed a memorable week with 4-2 wins at Slough and Sheffield. Peterborough Phantoms beat Bracknell Bees twice – 6-2 & 2-0 – to move into the final play-off slot while Telford Tigers enjoyed a rare four point weekend winning 4-1 at Basingstoke and 2-0 at home to MK Lightning.

Belfast Giants secured the Elite League crown in style with a 5-1 win at home to title rivals Sheffield Steelers. Giants celebrated the success with a 5-2 victory over the Steelers who completed a miserable week losing 4-3 at Hull Stingrays. Nottingham Panthers beat Braehead Clan 4-3 after overtime to seal third place.

(Image permissions: Billingham Stars – Colin Lawson; Guildford Flames – Alan Bone)

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