This weekend just gone, the Belfast Giants faced their latest challenge as they bid to win their first EIHL crown since 2014. Their opponents were Tom Barrasso’s Sheffield Steelers, whom they had shared a double header series in the House of Steel last month. Which side would finish out on top in the latest instalment between these two hockey heavyweights?
As the second half of the EIHL season begins, the Cardiff Devils have added an extra body to their lineup.
Cardiff currently sit top of the EIHL table with a game in hand over second place Belfast, and the league’s highest scoring offence with 28-year-old winger James Livingston.
In an announcement this morning Coventry Blaze have announced the departure of Miroslaz Kopriva with immediate effect following his short return to the Blaze.
A tough and gritty home performance from the Manchester Storm was just enough to outlast the Nottingham Panthers and ensure the hosts remained within touching distance of the play-off berths. Despite the numbing temperatures in the rink, a hotly contested encounter saw Storm captain Dane Byers roll back the years with a crucial overtime winner, courtesy of a well placed penalty shot.
In the Peterborough Pete’s 39th game of the season, Liam Kirk notched his 25th point in another stellar performance for the British winger as they took on the Mississauga Steelheads.
Coming into the game, Kirk was on 23 points with 13 goals and 10 assists, after an impressive turn of form for the recently turned 19-year-old after he went on a lengthy scoring drought early in his OHL career.
As the second half of the season pushes on, you get a sense that the points available in each game matter just that little bit more, and the Devils stayed top of the EIHL table with a 3 – 1 victory over the Manchester Storm on Saturday night.
Coming into the meeting the Devils have had the Storms number all season, a huge difference from last year. In three meetings between the Devils and Ryan Finnerty’s Storm side so far this season, Cardiff have taken all three wins, with Manchester earning one point from an overtime loss.
Rewind to last season and it was a completely different story where the Storm won three out of the four meetings between the sides, earning a point in an overtime loss to take seven of a possible eight points in their fixtures against Cardiff.
But it’s a different Storm side this year having different fortunes. Sure some key guys are back like Mike Hammond, and other guys like Ciaran Long have stepped up in a huge way, but the Storm haven’t been the same side as last year.
But they showed glimpses of it last night.
We’ve brought you coverage of Team GB’s Under 20s side as they gear up for this months Division 2A World Junior Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, but now it’s time to turn the attentions to the U18’s with the squad revealed for April’s U18 tournament.
The U18 side will travel to Székesfehérvár in Hungary for the tournament from April 14th to 20th, to compete in Division 1B after they earned promotion from Division 2A last year.
Before the tournament at the Ifjabb Ocskay Gábor Ice Hall, Great Britain will fly out to Slovakia earlier in the month for a training camp to prepare for a tough battle in Division 1B, where the newcomers are often the big underdogs.
GB will face the hosts Hungary, as well as Austria, Italy, Japan and Slovenia with the main goal to stay within the Division but also looking to earn a medal or promotion where possible.
In the official release by Ice Hockey UK, GB U18 coach was optimistic of the squad he’s selected, saying “The competition for places was intense, so there were no easy decisions to make about squad selection.
“The final camp in Dumfries was excellent and it was great to see the talent we have in the junior programme at the moment.
“I think we have a very competitive roster with talent across all areas from front to back.
“After seven seasons in Division II, it is fantastic that the lads will be up against teams from Division I this year.
“I know they are all up for the challenge and excited about pulling on a GB shirt. It is a massive honour for them.”
Lucas Brine – Northern Cyclones USA
Will Kerlin – OHA
Bradley Bowering – Peterborough Phantoms
Ed Bradley – CIHA Canada
Callum Burnett – London Raiders
Reece Cochrane – Fife Flyers
Jordan Griffin – Sheffield Steelers
Joe Hazeldine – Nottingham/Telford
Ethan Reid – Murrayfield
Liam Stenton – Solway Sharks
Mason Biddulph – Islanders Hockey Club
Kieran Brown – Sheffield Steelers
Louis Chabot – Nepean Raiders
Ethan Hehir – Billingham
Lewis Houston – Solway Sharks
Scott Jamieson – Fife
Patrick Larkin – Nepean Raiders
Jacob Lutwyche – Ridley College
Austin Mitchell-King – Hill Academy
Cade Neilson – Yarmouth Mariners
Reed Sayers – Okanagan
Sam Talbot – Slough/MK Thunder
Long List reserves
Harrison Walker – Bradford
Bradley Windebank – London Raiders
Henry Adams – Telford
Josh Hodgkinson – New Ulm
Sam Smith – Basingstoke
Jack Brammer – Sheffield
Oscar Evans – Basingstoke
Bayley Harewood – CIHA
Finley Howells – Telford
Tommy Huggett – London Raiders
Carter Lloyd – Okanagan
Dan Mitchell – Telford
James Spence – OHA