|Hat-trick for Bowman in Stars’ romp|
Billingham Stars warmed up for the new NIHL North season with a 10-2 home win against Aberdeen Lynx – Michael Bowman (3) & Chris Sykes (3) led the scoring.
Whitley Warriors enjoyed a 7-2 success against Lynx, while Solway Sharks triumphed 7-1 at home to North Ayrshire Wild. Blackburn Hawks beat Widnes Wild 7-1 on home ice and followed up with a 9-0 success in the reverse fixture. Solihull Barons won 8-1 at home to Nottingham Lions.
Telford Tigers showed their intent ahead of the new EPL campaign with an 11-4 aggregate win over Sheffield Steeldogs to claim the Bradfield Brewery Cup. Peterborough Phantoms secured an impressive 6-3 success against Elite League outfit Hull Stingrays.
Nottingham Panthers returned with silverware from their pre-season trip to France after clinching the Napoleon Cup. Panthers beat Amiens Gothics 4-3 after a shoot-out, and followed up with a 3-1 victory against Rouen Dragons. A single point from a shoot-out defeat to Three Rivers University, Canada, saw Nottingham top the four-team group.
Braehead Clan won the Aladdin Cup after two hard fought games against HC Asiago 1935. The Italians won the first game 3-1, but Clan hit back the following night with a 5-2 success – Derek Roehl’s shoot-out strike sealed the victory. Fife Flyers lost 10-7 on aggregate to Aalborg Pirates (Denmark) in the Bay Hotel Cup.
Ryan O’Marra hit a hat-trick as Coventry Blaze registered a 5-1 victory over Sheffield Steelers at the Skydome in their third pre-season challenge match. Blaze had started their Elite League preparations with a 3-2 win against Cardiff Devils, before suffering a 4-2 loss at iceSheffield against the Steelers.
Dundee Stars followed up a 4-3 win over Asiago with a 4-2 loss and 1-1 draw against Edinburgh Capitals. Belfast Giants won 2-1 at home to Cardiff.
(Image permission: Dean Reeve)