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

Two goals for Billingham’s Michael Elder

Billingham Stars moved a step closer to the NIHL North (Moralee Conference) play-offs with a 9-2 win at Telford Titans – Stephen Wallace (2) & Michael Elder (2) led their scoring.

Whitley Warriors jumped into fourth with a 7-1 victory at home to Manchester Minotaurs. Iain Bowie scored twice in Solway Sharks’ 5-2 win at home to Sutton Sting and they followed up with an impressive 4-2 success at Blackburn Hawks – Stevie Moore bagged a brace.

Sheffield Spartans won 4-1 at Manchester, but they crashed 4-2 at home to Telford – Titans’ Paul Davies hit a hat-trick. Sutton beat Billingham 5-3 in the KD Flavell & Sons Northern Cup.

Laidler Conference leaders Solihull Barons extended their winning run to 17 with a comfortable 7-0 success at Nottingham Lions. Jordan Bannon’s late goal sealed a 3-2 home win for Deeside Dragons against Sheffield Senators. Widnes Wild crashed to double defeat, losing 7-2 at Sheffield and 6-2 at home to Coventry Blaze.

Streatham Redskins reached the final of the NIHL South Cup after an amazing fightback against Invicta Dynamos. The teams drew the first leg 4-4 and Dynamos seemed poised to progress as they led 9-4 in the return, but Streatham recovered to send the tie to overtime. After a scoreless extra period, Redskins won a thrilling shoot-out – Dom Hopkins scored the decider. They now face Chelmsford Chieftains who beat Wightlink Raiders 7-5 on aggregate.

Slough Jets remain top of NIHL2 South despite a mixed weekend. They defeated Wightlink Tigers 5-3, but lost 3-2 at Cardiff Devils. Jets hold a three point lead over Oxford City Stars who lost 5-4 at home to Haringey. The Racers also won 10-2 against Cardiff, while Bristol Pitbulls drew 6-6 with Lee Valley Lions.

EPL leaders Basingstoke Bison secured maximum points from their double-header against Slough Jets, winning 6-2 on home ice and 4-2 on the road. Manchester Phoenix kept up the pressure on Bison with a trio of wins. Luke Boothroyd’s late strike sealed a 3-2 success at Sheffield Steeldogs, while Frantisek Bakrlik scored two in their 5-1 win at Bracknell Bees. They ended the week with a 4-3 home success against Swindon Wildcats.

Guildford Flames lost 7-6 after a shoot-out at MK Lightning, but recovered to win 7-4 in the return game – Marcus Kristoffersson scored three. Telford Tigers won 4-1 at Sheffield, while Joe Miller hit a hat-trick in their 6-1 win at home to Bracknell Bees. Peterborough Phantoms lost 4-3 after a shoot-out at Swindon, but they collected two points with a 5-4 success against Sheffield – Luke Ferrara bagged the winner.

Elite League champions Belfast Giants made it 15 wins on the spin with two road victories. Jeff Szwez hit the overtime winner as they triumphed 5-4 at Fife Flyers and they followed up with a 4-1 success at Coventry Blaze. Max Lacroix grabbed the decider as Sheffield Steelers won 3-2 after a shoot-out at Nottingham Panthers and they made it a four-point weekend with a 6-2 success against Cardiff Devils.

Dundee Stars began the week with a 3-1 loss at Fife, but bounced back to win 2-1 at Hull Stingrays and 4-1 at home to the Panthers. Coventry slumped to a 7-2 defeat at Nottingham, but picked up two points with a 4-3 shoot-out success at Cardiff Devils. Braehead Clan won 2-1 at home to Edinburgh, but the Capitals gained their revenge in the reverse fixture with a 2-0 victory.

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