UK Ice hockey round-up (w/e 23rd March)

Solway Sharks – Moralee Conference champions 2013/14

NIHL North champions Solway Sharks remain on course for the treble after securing their place in the KD Flavell & Sons Northern Cup Final.

Sharks ended Blackburn Hawks’ hopes with a 4-3 victory and will now face Sutton Sting. Billingham Stars completed their cup fixtures with 6-5 win at Manchester Minotaurs, while the final Moralee Conference regular season game saw Sutton win 4-3 at Telford Titans.

Laidler Conference champions Solihull Barons enjoyed a pair of emphatic road victories, winning 11-3 at Hull Jets and 13-3 at Widnes Wild. Phillip Pollok (2) led the scoring as Coventry Blaze won 6-1 at home to Blackburn Eagles.

Wightlink Raiders finished runners-up in NIHL1 South after a pair of home wins. Matt Vizzari scored twice in their 7-4 victory against Invicta Dynamos and he added another four in a 15-4 success against MK Thunder. Chelmsford Chieftains completed their league fixtures with an 8-1 road win against Thunder and a 3-2 success at London Raiders. Streatham Redskins lost 7-3 at London, but bounced back to win 4-1 at Solent & Gosport Devils. Bracknell Hornets lost 10-2 at Invicta.

NIHL2 South leaders Slough Jets won 7-3 at home to Swindon Wildcats. Oxford City Stars remain a point behind after a 9-6 success against Bristol Pitbulls. Cardiff Devils beat Invicta Mustangs 7-0, while Peterborough Islanders won 10-2 against Basingstoke Buffalo.

EPL champions Manchester Phoenix rounded off the regular season with a pair of overtime wins. Frantisek Bakrlik grabbed the winner in a 3-2 success at Peterborough Phantoms, while Michael Psurny’s decider secured a 5-4 home victory against Telford Tigers. Basingstoke Bison lost 3-1 at Swindon Wildcats, but they finished their campaign with a 4-1 win at home to MK Lightning. Branislav Kvetan’s strike sealed a 4-3 win for Guildford Flames at Telford.

Swindon Wildcats made it seven wins in a row with a 5-4 victory at Sheffield Steeldogs and an 8-2 success at Slough Jets. Lubomir Lorhon scored a couple in Sheffield’s 7-3 win against Slough. Lukas Smital grabbed the winner as Bracknell Bees sealed a 4-3 overtime victory at MK Lightning. James Hutchinson’s late strike capped a 3-2 win for Peterborough at Bracknell. The play-off line up is: Manchester v Bracknell; Basingstoke v Sheffield; Guildford v Telford; MK v Swindon.

Fife Flyers, Hull Stingrays & Coventry Blaze clinched the last three play-off slots after a thrilling weekend in the Elite League. Flyers won 5-4 after a shoot-out at Braehead Clan and followed up with a 4-1 victory in the reverse fixture. Stingrays won 4-2 at home to Sheffield Steelers – Guillaume Doucet scored twice.

Blaze lost 2-0 at Sheffield, but recovered to end Cardiff Devils’ own play-off hopes with a 1-0 overtime success – Michael Henrich scored the winner. Dundee won 3-1 at home to Edinburgh, but Capitals gained their revenge with a 4-1 victory in the return. The play-off line up is: Belfast v Hull; Dundee v Fife; Sheffield v Coventry; Nottingham v Braehead.

Belfast Giants won 5-2 at home to Nottingham Panthers in the first leg of the Challenge Cup final. Giants added a 5-3 victory against the Panthers in their final game of the regular season.

(Image permission: David Morrison)

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