UK Ice hockey round-up (w/e 2nd February)

Nottingham’s Stephen Breisner was on target against Deeside

NIHL North leaders Solway Sharks need just three more wins to clinch the Moralee Conference title after a four-point weekend. Ross Murray hit the decider in a 3-2 success at Manchester Minotaurs, and they followed up with a 6-1 victory at Telford Titans.

Blackburn Hawks won 7-4 at home to Sheffield Spartans, Whitley Warriors beat Billingham Stars 5-1 and Sutton Sting secured an 11-5 league and cup success against Manchester.

Deeside Dragons’ Laidler Conference title hopes suffered a major blow as they crashed 6-2 at Nottingham Lions. Shaun Dippnall hit a hat-trick in Widnes Wild’s 6-5 win at home to Hull Jets.

Chelmsford Chieftains still lead NIHL1 South after a pair of wins. Gary Clarke (4) & Ross Brears (3) led the scoring in a 12-1 victory at MK Thunder, and Clarke bagged another pair in their 8-2 win at home to Streatham Redskins. Wightlink Raiders won 7-2 at home to Solent & Gosport Devils, Invicta Dynamos triumphed 10-5 at Bracknell Hornets and London Raiders lost 5-4 at Cardiff Devils. Wightlink beat Invicta 3-1 in the South East Trophy.

Slough Jets moved to the top of NIHL2 South with a 6-5 win against Peterborough Islanders. Chelmsford Warriors beat Bristol Pitbulls 5-4 and Haringey Racers won 10-3 at Peterborough. Lee Valley Lions drew 5-5 with Swindon Wildcats, while Wightlink Tigers drew 3-3 at Basingstoke Buffalo.

EPL leaders Manchester Phoenix had a miserable weekend, losing 4-2 at Sheffield Steeldogs and 6-3 at home to Telford Tigers. Basingstoke Bison lost 3-2 at home to MK Lightning, but bounced back with a 4-3 success at Sheffield Steeldogs – Tomas Karpov hit the winner. Nicky Watt’s overtime strike sealed a 6-5 win for Guildford at Swindon Wildcats, but Flames failed to follow up, losing 4-1 at home to MK Lightning.

Adam Taylor (2) & Miika Kiviranta (2) were amongst the scorers in Telford Tigers’ 8-5 win against Bracknell Bees. Slough Jets endured mixed fortunes, losing 3-2 after overtime at MK Lightning, before picking up two points with a 6-2 victory at home to Peterborough Phantoms. They ended the week with a 7-3 defeat at Bracknell. James Ferrara’s second of the night sealed a 4-3 win for Peterborough at home to Swindon. Basingstoke beat Guildford 8-3 in the EPL Cup semi-final first leg.

Belfast Giants continue to sweep all before them in the Elite League after another impressive week. They began with a 7-1 win against Cardiff Devils in their Challenge Cup semi-final first leg and followed up with two league wins over Sheffield Steelers – Jeff Szwez hit a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory, while Kevin Saurette grabbed the decider in a 4-3 success. Steelers collected two points with a 2-0 win at home to Edinburgh Capitals.

Ash Goldie scored twice in Braehead Clan’s 5-3 win at home to Dundee, but Stars gained their revenge with a 3-2 success in the reverse fixture. Cardiff Devils picked up six points, winning 4-3 after overtime & 2-1 against Nottingham Panthers and 2-1 after a shoot-out at home to Hull Stingrays. Coventry Blaze secured two home wins, beating Edinburgh 9-2 and Nottingham 3-1. Fife lost 4-1 at Hull, but recovered to win 5-1 at Edinburgh.

(Image permission: John Knowles)

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