December 10, 2011

EIHL -UK Round Up 9th December

Controversy Seals It On The Ice As It Hits Off The Ice As Well

Friday was another busy in the EIHL as the top placed Belfast Giants faced the Sheffield Steelers in the first televised game of the season, whilst second placed Nottingham hosted the Edinburgh Capitals at the NIC. Off the ice rumours were circulating that the EIHL had held an emergency secret meeting to address the financial crises now gripping teams including the Coventry Blaze. The outcome seems to be that the EIHL will change its management structure and employ an outside agent to govern the salary cap.

However in a repeat of a similar meeting nearly two years ago it seems not all clubs were invited. This time it appears that three out of the four Scottish clubs where not in attendance and it is unclear what their future will be although the rumour of a breakaway Northern league also resurfaced.

Belfast Giants 1 Sheffield Steelers 2 (AOT)
On the ice all eyes were on the clash in Sheffield in front of the Sky TV cameras. Belfast went into the game 8 points clear of the Steelers but the Sheffield team had played several less games. The Giants were also without a replacement for the long term injured Benoit Doucet whilst Sheffield were back to full strength with the signing of defenseman Francis Trudel.

It was the league leaders who took the advantage early on scoring through Jon Pelle in the first period. The Giants kept in control of the game as the Steelers went 0 for 8 on the powerplay.

But in the last minute of regulation the Giants shut off as Ashley Tait connected on to a Ryan Finnerty pass with 42 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

The Steelers kept up the pressure into the extra period and scored the winner 40 seconds through Jeff Legue despite it looking suspiciously offside.

It was a big win for the Steelers who keep up the pressure on the Giants but the win may proof to give the Sheffield side a bigger psychological edge in the title race later on in the season.

Edinburgh Capitals 2 Nottingham Panthers 6

Down the road in the NIC second place Nottingham were back to full strength and looking to take full advantage of the other two title contenders playing each other.

The Panthers set out their stall early on as Robert Lachowicz and Matt Francis both scored for a two-goal advantage at the first break. It was pressure that continued into the second period as the Panthers doubled the lead before the Capitals got back on the board before Jeff Heerema’s second put up the four goal lead into the final period.

The Capitals second goal came in the third period through Peter Holecko before David-Alexandre Beaureguard finished the scoring.

It was an important win 2 points for the Panthers who move a point closer to the Giants at the top of table.

Neil Tucker

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