|Solihull’s Niklas Ottosson won MVP at Deeside|
The British Challenge Cup was the focus of attention for two NIHL North teams this weekend, with Solway Sharks and Billingham Stars pitting their wits against the EPL’s Telford Tigers.
Sharks travelled short-benched to Telford and found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-1 scoreline – Peter Szabo (3), Adam Taylor (2) & Macaulay Heywood (2) led Tigers’ scoring.
Stars put up a much better showing on home ice, before Tigers eventually proved too strong as they ran out 5-2 winners. The Teessiders enjoyed better fortunes in Moralee D1, winning 6-2 at Manchester Minotaurs to move to the top of the table – Michael Bowman grabbed two for Stars.
Solihull Barons maintained their 100% Laidler D2 record with a 7-0 win at Deeside Dragons. Sheffield Senators won 10-0 at home to Bradford Bulldogs. Coventry Blaze drew 4-4 with Nottingham Lions and followed up with a 4-3 success at Widnes Wild.
Blackburn Eagles kept up their impressive home form as they won 8-1 against Deeside, but their road woes continued as they fell 7-1 at Hull Jets.
Chelmsford Chieftains began the defence of their NIHL1 South crown with a four-point weekend. Lukas Zatopek’s final period goal capped a 4-2 victory at home to Cardiff NIHL1 and they followed up with a 5-1 success against Invicta Dynamos.
Jaroslav Cesky bagged the winner as Wightlink won 3-2 on home ice against MK Thunder, but Raiders couldn’t add a second victory as they slipped to a 6-5 loss at Oxford City Stars. Sean Scarborough’s decider sealed a 3-2 success for Streatham Redskins against Bracknell Hornets. London Raiders won 4-2 at Solent Devils.
In NIHL2S, Bristol Pitbulls won 9-4 at Basingstoke Buffalo, while Swindon Wildcats triumphed 4-3 at Cardiff NIHL2. Invicta won 12-4 at home to Streatham in the D1 Cup and there were victories for Slough Jets and Peterborough Islanders in the D2 competition.
Basingstoke Bison retained their unbeaten EPL record after winning 3-2 at home to Manchester Phoenix and 3-0 at Peterborough Phantoms. Tom Squires (3) & Jeff Legue (2) led the scoring as Sheffield Steeldogs enjoyed a 6-2 home success against MK Lightning, and Legue added another three to his tally in a 6-4 road win at Manchester.
Guildford Flames won 4-2 at Swindon, but Wildcats gained their revenge by the same scoreline in the reverse fixture. Bracknell Bees had a miserable weekend, losing 2-1 to Peterborough and 3-1 to MK Lightning.
Coventry Blaze still lead the Elite League after a 2-1 victory at Dundee Stars. Belfast Giants won 3-2 at Hull Stingrays, but saw their 100% record disappear as the fell 3-2 at Sheffield Steelers. Cardiff Devils won 5-4 after overtime against Braehead Clan, but failed to follow up as they lost 3-2 after a shoot-out at Edinburgh Capitals.
In the Elite Challenge Cup, Nottingham Panthers won 2-1 against Sheffield. Fife Flyers beat Dundee Stars 4-2, but lost the return game 2-1 after overtime. Coventry won by the odd goal in seven against Nottingham.
(Image permission: Keith & Jenny Davies)