Swindon Wildcats and Sheffield Steeldogs will play a home-and-home series next weekend to kick-start the return to play in the NIHL National ‘Spring Cup’.
The five team event was confirmed this week and will take place over the next seven weeks with a series of behind-closed-door games.
Swindon and Sheffield both played in November’s ‘Streaming Series’ test events and will be joined from February 20th by Bees, Telford Tigers and Raiders.
🚨 WHO'S READY🚨
Swindon hockey is less than a week away, who's ready? 👀
Here's Toms Rutkis netting a hat trick back in November against the @MKLightningIHC in the pilot streaming series🏒
Hopefully, this will get you all in the hockey groove 🙌 pic.twitter.com/jUOeCg5CKh
— Swindon Wildcats (@SwinWildcats) February 7, 2021
Game one takes place on Saturday February 13 in Swindon with a 6.30pm face-off while the return fixture at Ice Sheffield is on Sunday with puck drop at 5pm. As with the ‘Streaming Series’ the games will have no spectators in attendance at the rink and will be available to watch via live stream.
Swindon will be putting streaming tickets on sale on Monday, while Sheffield have their box office already up and running to book a broadcast, which can be found here.
Your @BradfieldBrew Steeldogs are back in action at @ice_sheffield on Sunday February 14th against @SwinWildcats in the Spring Cup.
You can only enjoy the game online – book your ticket now
🎟 https://t.co/dfw0esa0cK pic.twitter.com/6bM6mPv9cH
— Sheffield Steeldogs (@SteeldogsIHC) February 7, 2021
Remaining fixtures will be released very soon and it is planned that there will be staggered start times where two games are taking place on the same day.
The Spring Cup is the first phase of the EIHA’s Return to Play – discussions are ongoing with clubs in NIHL North 1, NIHL South 1 and the WNIHL to have some form of competition for those clubs with ‘elite sport’ accreditation.
Team sports for athletes under 18 are still not permitted under current lockdown rules – the EIHA will look to get these players back on the ice as quickly and safely as possible.