The penultimate weekend of EIHL action before Christmas has plenty of offerings in store, with tasty treats for all ice fans up and down the country.
Stingrays @ Panthers (6:30pm face-off)
This match-up in Nottingham sees two sides with a mixed bag of results so far this season.
Hull Stingrays have picked up eight points out of a possible last ten, thanks to three wins, an overtime loss and a penalty-shot defeat in five games.
Currently sat atop of the Gardiner Conference, they will prove a mighty test for the inconsistent Panthers, who have been hampered by injuries and changes to the roster over the last few weeks, however Corey Neilson’s team will be wanting to walk away with a win right before the Christmas break.
Blaze @ Giants (7:00pm face-off)
Coventry Blaze make the trip across the Irish Sea to face the leaders of the Rapid Solicitors Elite League and the Erhardt Conference tonight.
With Coventry having taken away a 5-0 win the last time they visited the Odyssey Arena in September, Belfast have won the last three meetings in Coventry.
Blaze’s Coach Soderstrom said ahead of the : “We have not had the results against Belfast at home but we proved what we can do when we shut them out the last time we were there. Hopefully we can play the way we can and get another good result.”
Flyers @ Clan (7:00pm face-off)
Just one win in six for Braehead Clan, which also saw a heated loss to the Flyers last weekend, resulting in a 12-game ban for Matt Nickerson; facing off against one another so soon will certainly for entertaining viewing.
Coach Ryan Finnerty lit the blue touch paper on Friday telling the Glasgow Evening Times that he had “a lack of respect” for the Flyers as a whole after a refusal to shake hands, and was scathing about the approach he feels Fife take into games.
Countering that argument is Nickerson’s response to his ban: “I’m shocked, disappointed and frustrated all in one.
“I understand I carried on when the linesmen stepped in and I shouldn’t have been doing that. I was caught up in the moment of trying to protect my goalie who had just been cross-checked in the head.
“Their coach went on TV and said a lot of things that weren’t true, maybe he was trying to put the worst possible spin on it.
“There was an accusation of eye-gouging – I didn’t – and I didn’t choke him either. I’ve now got a suspension that’s over the top so maybe the game plan worked for him.”
Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t – but tonight will no doubt pick right up from where it was left off.
Devils @ Steelers (7:00pm face-off)
With back-to-back fixtures between these two sides this weekend, the pressure to come out draw first blood this weekend will certainly be on.
At this point of the season, the spoils are shared with two wins apiece – a home and an away win each.
It has been three weeks since the Steelers played out of the Motorpoint Sheffield Arena and forwards Jeff Legue and Rob Dowd are expected return to the side.
Cardiff Devils are still an import down due to the ban picked up through former player Andrew Conboy, but that is all set to change on Sunday with this encounter tonight being the last which it covers.
- Saturday’s live Premier Sports game sees Sheffield Steelers host Cardiff Devils at the Motorpoint Arena. Coverage starts at 6:15pm and face-off is 7pm on Sky channel 428 and Virgin Media channel 551 in Britain. Games are also available online via www.premierplayer.tv.