December 10, 2011

Winners keep winning in the EIHL and EPL

There were 4 games in the EIHL on Saturday including an important home game for the Coventry Blaze. The midlands club who earlier in the week had appealed for support and had been receiving pledges from the local community and were hoping for a big crowd in their match up with the Sheffield.

Elite League

Sheffield Steelers 3 Coventry Blaze 1

Sheffield faced their second game of three this weekend buoyed by there overtime win against the league leaders Belfast but knew they would be facing a big crowd.

It was a tight and nervous game with the scores tied at 1 until the midway marker in the third period. It was the visitors who got the call through Jonathan Phillips before Mike Ramsay got the insurance marker.

The result means that the Steelers move in on second place with the 2 points.

Dundee Stars 2 Cardiff Devils 6

It was a tough start for the new Stars coach Brent Hughes as the Dundee side he inherited from Dan Ceman on Monday faced a Cardiff side that are always tough to beat at home.

It was a poor start for the Stars though as the Devils took a first period lead after less than 3 minutes through Scott Matzka but the second period saw a turn around in the away side as Hutchins brace kept the Stars in the game as Smith and Matzka added for the Devils.

The Devils have put the hammer down in the third period as Dobben, Birbraer and Batch scored without reply.

It was an important win for the Devils against a team that on paper they should have beaten. It was an important game also for the Stars but they know the real test for their new coach will be Sunday’s home game against fellow strugglers Fife.

Belfast Giants 3 Fife Flyers 1

The controversial end to the Giants game with Sheffield the previous night looked to have had a bad effect on them early in this game as the league’s bottom side Fife took the lead after 5 minutes.

Belfast though took hold of the game and equalised before the end of the first period. The Giants looked to have gotten their heads back together in the second as Dignard gave them the lead.

A solid defensive effort from the Flyers kept them in the game until the third period when Ryan Crane gave the Giants an insurance marker.

The Giants will happy to head back to Belfast with 3 points from the weekend and to have gotten that controversial game with Sheffield out of their system. The Flyers, on the other hand, should be proud of their performance and will look to take that forward into tomorrows game with Dundee.

Hull Stingrays 2 Braehead Clan 4

Braehead knew that a win was necessary given their shock to defeat to Fife last weekend whilst Hull also knew that a win would be needed to keep the pressure up in their race for a playoff spot.

Despite the Clan setting the pace it was the Stingrays that took the lead in the first 30 seconds of the second period. However the Clan kept the pressure up and equalised by the end of the period.

The second intermission though galvanised the Clan attack and they took control when play resumed. First of all Krestanovich got a brace then Mike Bayrack added. Hull did get a second goal late on through Jerome Tendler but the two points belong to the Clan.

It was an important victory for the Clan who bounced back from their shock defeat to the flyers and proved they can still win against those teams they need to beat in order to get a high ranking going into the play offs. Hull however will be disappointed not to come away from their only game this weekend.

English Premier League

The big clash in the EPL was in Slough where the third place Lightning were the visitors to the second place Jets. It was the Lightning who had the better of the first two periods but with 15 minutes to go the Jets turned on the style to take the two points. The Jets though remain in second place as the Guildford Flames won when they travelled north to Manchester to face an understrength Phoenix squad that was boosted by 3 members of their junior outfit. The Flames were made to work for it however as the Phoenix made a valiant comeback but could grab the equaliser.

It was a closer game Basingstoke as well as the Steeldogs kept their fourth place in the league by the odd goal in 9. Whilst in form Swindon Wildcats powered through showed their full potential against Bracknell. In the final game Peterborough moved of the foot of the table with a tight win against fellow strugglers Telford.

Guildford Flames 5 Manchester Phoenix 3
Sheffield Steeldogs 5 Basingstoke Bison 4
Milton Keynes Lightning 1 Slough Jets 3
Bracknell Bees 2 Swindon Wildcats 6
Peterborough Phantoms 2 Telford Tigers 4

Neil Tucker

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