NIHL round-up | 29-31 March

The regular Planet Ice NIHL National Division season concluded over the weekend, with the top-eight seedings now confirmed as focus switches to play-off matters.

The only remaining question heading into the final gameweek was who would clinch fifth place in the standings and a subsequent place in Group A for the play-offs. Peterborough Phantoms and Telford Tigers entered the weekend locked on 55 points, and it would remain that way as both secured four-point weekends.

The Tigers recorded their third successive four-pointer with back-to-back victories over Bristol Pitbulls, but it wouldn’t be enough t0 leapfrog the Phantoms in the standings.

Leeds Knights finished the regular season nine points clear at the top, despite dropping points on the final weekend after a 4-3 defeat at Hull Seahawks on Sunday.

That was part of a perfect weekend for the Seahawks which started with an 8-3 win in Dumfries against Solway Sharks, while another of the front-runners in MK Lightning managed to go 2/2 and head into the play-offs with a fair degree of momentum.

It was a different story for third-placed Swindon Wildcats, who suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Raiders IHC on Saturday before losing in Peterborough the following day.

The final play-off position was already confirmed as being Bees IHC’s ahead of the final weekend’s action, and both they and ninth-placed Solway suffered back-to-back losses, maintaining a four-point gap between the pair.

Further down the standings, second-bottom Sheffield Steeldogs managed to conclude their season on a high, running out 6-4 winners at home to the Bees.

Away from the National Division, play-off quarter-finals also took place in the other four senior men’s divisions.

A total of 16 teams advanced to compete in the Northern and Southern play-off final events at iceSheffield and Alexandra Palace this coming weekend.

Full results for the weekend can be found below. Thanks to our friends at NIHL Stats, you can also check out the latest results from the WNIHL and junior leagues.

NIHL National Division –

Fri 29th Mar Leeds Knights 6-3 Solway Sharks L
Sat 30th Mar Bees IHC 4-5 Peterborough Phantoms L
Sat 30th Mar Bristol Pitbulls 4-8 Telford Tigers L
Sat 30th Mar Milton Keynes Lightning 8-5 Sheffield Steeldogs L
Sat 30th Mar Solway Sharks 3-8 Hull Seahawks L
Sat 30th Mar Swindon Wildcats 1-3 Raiders IHC L
Sun 31st Mar Hull Seahawks 4-3 Leeds Knights L
Sun 31st Mar Peterborough Phantoms 3-1 Swindon Wildcats L
Sun 31st Mar Raiders IHC 1-4 Milton Keynes Lightning L
Sun 31st Mar Sheffield Steeldogs 6-4 Bees IHC L
Sun 31st Mar Telford Tigers 6-0 Bristol Pitbulls L

NIHL North 1 (Moralee) –

Sat 30th Mar Deeside Dragons 4-6 Whitley Warriors PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Hull Jets 3-3 Blackburn Hawks PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Nottingham Lions 0-5 Billingham Stars PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Widnes Wild 2-5 Solihull Barons PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Billingham Stars 5-1 Nottingham Lions PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Blackburn Hawks 5-1 Hull Jets PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Solihull Barons 7-4 Widnes Wild PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Whitley Warriors 7-5 Deeside Dragons PO QF

NIHL South 1 (Britton) –

Sat 30th Mar 5:30pm Chelmsford Chieftains 10-2 Oxford City Stars PO QF
Sat 30th Mar 5:45pm Invicta Dynamos 3-4 Solent Devils PO QF
Sat 30th Mar 5:15pm Romford Buccaneers 5-4 Slough Jets PO QF
Sun 31st Mar 6:15pm Oxford City Stars 1-8 Chelmsford Chieftains PO QF
Sun 31st Mar 6:30pm Slough Jets 6-1 Romford Buccaneers PO QF
Sun 31st Mar 5:00pm Solent Devils 7-1 Invicta Dynamos PO QF
Sun 31st Mar 6:45pm Streatham Redhawks 14-0 Milton Keynes Thunder PO QF

NIHL North 2 (Laidler) –

Sat 30th Mar Altrincham Aces 0-8 Coventry NIHL Blaze PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Billingham Buccaneers 6-2 Sheffield Titans PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Bradford Bulldogs 5-11 Sutton Sting PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Telford Tigers NIHL 2 11-2 Kingston Sharks PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Coventry NIHL Blaze 3-3 Altrincham Aces PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Kingston Sharks 3-10 Telford Tigers NIHL 2 PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Sheffield Titans 3-3 Billingham Buccaneers PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Sutton Sting 10-0 Bradford Bulldogs PO QF

NIHL South 2 (Wilkinson) –

Sat 30th Mar Basingstoke Buffalo 3-2 Bristol Pitbulls NIHL 2 PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Guildford Phoenix 9-0 Solent Junior Devils PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Haringey Huskies 2-5 Invicta Mustangs PO QF
Sat 30th Mar Peterborough Phantoms NIHL 2 5-4 Cardiff Fire PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Bristol Pitbulls NIHL 2 2-4 Basingstoke Buffalo PO QF
Sun 31st Mar Invicta Mustangs 1-5 (SO) Haringey Huskies PO QF

Photo credit: Jacob Lowe

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