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Week 22 EIHL round-up

Friday 16.02.2024

Glasgow Clan 4-2 Coventry Blaze

Week 22 in the Elite Ice Hockey League began on Friday night at Braehead Arena as Glasgow Clan hosted Coventry Blaze.

All five meetings between the two so far this season had gone beyond regulation time, but the Clan’s six game losing streak in all competitions ended at home on Friday with a win in regulation time for the first time this season.

It took just 21 seconds for the hosts’ captain Dyson Stevenson to open the scoring as they looked to avenge their overtime defeat to the Blaze on Valentine’s Day. They continued their offensive pressure throughout the opening period but couldn’t find a way past Coventry’s goalie Taran Kozun. Blaze slipped the puck past Kevin Lindskoug in net for the Clan before the end of the first period, but after a video review the goal was ruled out for a high stick.

Twitter: @ClanIHC

Early in the second period, Blaze’s top point-scorer Ian McNulty scored the equalising goal with an unassisted backhanded effort from close range, netting his 14th goal of the season. Less than 90 seconds later, Glasgow thought they had reinstated their lead through Phillipe Sanche’s shot, but after another video review, it was revealed that Taran Kozun had dived to prevent the puck from crossing the line, keeping the score level at 27-minutes.

On their first powerplay of the evening, the Clan found a way past Kozun with Gary Haden firing a shot from the left wing just 12 seconds after the penalty was awarded. Their advantage was extended further at 38:13 as Michael Pelech’s low wrist shot through traffic flew into the back of the net, ending the second period with the visitors trailing by two.

Tyler Kirkup halved the deficit with six-minutes of the third period left to play giving the visitors hope with Taran Kozun pulled in the final few minutes as Blaze searched for the goal that would send the game to overtime. With the extra skater, Brady Norrish came close to scoring the equaliser but was denied as the puck ricocheted off the post of Lindskoug’s goal with Robert Lachowicz restoring the Clan’s two-goal lead, securing the two points and ending their losing streak with an empty net goal at 59:25.


Saturday 17.02.2024

Sheffield Steelers 6-4 Nottingham Panthers

The Steelers continued their undefeated run against the Panthers on home ice on Saturday evening, a streak that dates back to November 2021. Despite coming into the game having had back-to-back wins for the first time since October with three wins from their last four games, Nottingham were defeated at the hands of their rivals, league leaders Sheffield Steelers who have had a phenomenal season so far.

An evenly contested opening five minutes saw both sides create dangerous chances to challenge each netminder, but it wasn’t until the Steelers went on the powerplay that the scoring was opened. Josh Nicholls was there to tip Dominic Corimer’s shot past the Nottingham netminder at 5:50, but their lead was short lived as the visitors equalised through Westin Michaud at 9:21.

The Steelers were on the powerplay again at 13-minutes and capitalised upon their player advantage once again with Daniel Ciampini helping the puck past Stojanovic, assisted by Mitchell Balmas and Colton Saucerman at 15:02.

It was another equalising goal for the Panthers at the start of the second period with Logan Neilson scoring his third goal in four matches at 25:09 from the slot.

Twitter: @steelershockey

Kevin Tansey’s wrist shot from the top of the right-circle at 28:26 reinstated Sheffield’s lead before Vallerand had a chance to extend the advantage further with a shorthanded attempt as Saucerman sat a delay of game penalty, but Stojanovic did well to deny him as the period was brought to an end.

The Panthers continued their fighting display into the third period making the hosts work hard to find the back of the net. Sheffield netted their fourth as they broke two-on-one with Mikko Juusola finishing close in on the Nottingham goalie.

At 49:14, having killed Saucerman’s tripping penalty, the Steelers scored their fifth goal of the night with Josh Nicholls capitalising upon a loose puck after a scramble in front of Stojanovic’s net.

Two quick goals saw the Panthers reduce the deficit as Hugo Roy slotted the puck home at the backdoor at 52:29 followed by Otto Nieminen setting up Westin Michaud on the powerplay at 53:49.

With the visitors continuing to press, desperate to get something from the game on the road, the Steelers captain pulled through to score the sixth of the night. Unassisted, Robert Dowd reacted quickest to the loose puck near Stojanovic, poking it past the goalie at the near post as the hosts made it 11 games unbeaten with another win to maintain their 14-point lead at the top of the EIHL table.


Manchester Storm 4-3 Dundee Stars (OT)

Coming back from two goals down, Manchester Storm did enough in regulation time to send the game to overtime in Altrincham with the two points sealed as Storm captain Cam Critchlow scored the OT winner as Dundee fell to their fifth defeat in a row.

With both teams fighting for a playoff position, it was set to be a tough match at the Storm Shelter, but the hosts were coming into the game off the back of a midweek comeback win over Belfast that ended their three-game winless streak.

Neither side could open the scoring inside the first 20-minutes despite the hosts outshooting the visitors, but the Stars were quickest off the mark as the second period began with Jake Elmer finding himself one-on-one with the Storm netminder, tucking his shot past Weninger.

Twitter: @Mcr_Storm

They didn’t hold the lead for long though as Samuel Tremblay and Tyler Hinam won the puck on their blueline before breaking forwards with the latter placing a shot high over Brine’s glove, hitting the underside of the crossbar with a shorthanded goal on a breakaway to bring the score level at 29-minutes.

Reinstating their lead, Spencer Naas collected the rebound of Brendan Harms’ saved effort to give the visitors a one-goal lead at the break.

The Stars took advantage of a powerplay in the third period to extend their lead to two but it was an immediate response from the Storm who cut the deficit in half through Johnny Corneill. Only 50 seconds later, Mitchell Martan tied the game beating Brine with a tense ten minutes following, but neither side managed to convert their chances in regulation time.

Pressure from the Stars made Manchester Storm work hard in overtime but the hosts’ captain clinched the two points as he buried a shot high past Brine to secure another comeback win for the Altrincham side.


Coventry Blaze 3-2 Guilford Flames

It was a battle between fifth and fourth on Saturday evening at the Skydome Arena, but the Blaze earned their 19th win of the season with the gap between the two teams cut to just a point.

Peter Crinella opened the scoring on the powerplay at 2:47 with a touch off his skate seeing the puck nestle past Kozun. The Flames doubled this lead at 9:26 through Lewis Hook but Kim Tallberg managed to pull one back before the end of the period, reducing the deficit as he forced the puck over the line.

Twitter: @covblazehockey

A penalty against the Flames for goalie interference sent the hosts on the powerplay with Johnny Curran converting his chance just 18 seconds in to tie the game and despite a late powerplay in favour of the visitors at the end of the second period, the score remained level as they couldn’t take advantage of their extra skater.

It was a one-goal final period with Blake Thompson and Kim Tallberg combining to work the puck around Burman and over the line to give them the lead at 48:46 - it was a goal that would prove enough to secure the points for the Blaze in regulation time with the Flames looking ahead to their meeting with league leaders Sheffield Steelers the following day.


Fife Flyers 4-5 Cardiff Devils (shootout)

Cardiff Devils made it ten games unbeaten with a penalty shootout win over the Flyers in Scotland. The hosts were first on the scoresheet with Colin Shirley getting on the end of Drake Pilon’s pass, beating Tyler Wall in net for the Devils. Shane Owen made some important saves to deny the visitors from drawing level in the first period including two penalty kills.

Four goals within the second period began with Fife taking advantage of a powerplay opportunity as Max Humitz doubled their advantage before they made it 3-0 with another converted powerplay chance, this time through Teemu Pulkkinen who recycled Lajeunesse’s one timer, directing it into the net.

With a powerplay goal of their own, the Devils managed to reduce the deficit when Jamie Arniel beat Shane Owen at the far post at 35:59, with Brandon Alderson making it a one-goal game as he collected a loose puck in front of the Flyers’ netminder at 38:28.

Photo credits: Jillian McFarlane

The Devils tied the game four minutes into the third period as Joey Martin was left alone in the offensive zone to pick his spot and fire over the shoulder of Owen to make it 3-3.

Drake Pilon reinstated the hosts’ lead at 50:57 as he gathered the puck before slotting it between the legs of Tyler Wall unassisted, only for the Devils to fight back again, bringing the score level with five minutes left to play in regulation time courtesy of Jamie Arniel.

The Flyers dominated possession of the puck in overtime whilst the Devils had the better of the chances to capitalise upon, but neither side could find the back of the net taking the game to a shootout.

Cole Sanford was the only shooter who was successful as the Devils took the extra point, securing the win, with the Flyers back in action the following day with an away trip to Nottingham.


Sunday 18.02.2024

Nottingham Panthers 3-2 Fife Flyers (OT)

The meeting between the Panthers and the Flyers had to be taken to overtime to determine a winner at the Motorpoint Arena with the hosts victorious in their battle for a playoff position.

There was only one goal to show for the Panthers’ dominance within the first period with Alexander Lunsjo’s high shot over Salama’s glove into the top corner giving the hosts a one-goal lead heading into the second period - there would be no goals in the second 20-minutes despite Logan Neilson seeing his shot at the far post denied, with Stojanovic also working hard in net for the Panthers to deny the visitors from equalising.

Twitter: @PanthersIHC

Fife equalised through Aleksi Makela’s one-timer from the slot on the end of Johan Eriksson’s pass at 45:49. Logan Neilson helped the Panthers take the lead again at 49-minutes with his fourth goal in five matches, cutting inside from the left being unleashing a wrist-shot, but it was short-lived as Max Humitz turned on the spot to shoot into the top corner past Stojanovic to tie the game.

It took only 33 seconds of overtime for Otto Nieminen to skate into the offensive zone and fire home the crucial overtime winner and take the extra point.


Belfast Giants 3-0 Manchester Storm

Avenging their midweek defeat at the Storm Shelter, Belfast achieved a shutout win over Manchester Storm on Sunday at the SSE Arena as Tyler Beskoronwany stopped all 25 shots from the visitors.

Josh Roach beat Evan Weninger at 7:46 with a powerplay goal from the point with Travis Brown doubling the advantage only three minutes later as he tapped home the rebound of Kohei Sato’s denied effort at the crease to see the Giants race into a two-goal lead.

The visitors played 42 seconds of a five-on-three powerplay as David Phillips sat two-minutes for boarding with the hosts already in the process of killing Bobby Macintyre’s tripping penalty. Beskoronwany made important saves to deny Zack Phillips and Tyler Hinam, returning to full strength unscathed as the Storm failed to capitalise upon their player advantage.

Photo credits: William Cherry @snappercherry

Manchester came out fighting in the second period with early chances to pull one back, but the the hosts defended well and kept the score at 2-0. David Goodwin thought he’d scored the third for the Giants midway through the period, but after review the officials determined the shot that had crashed off the crossbar, didn’t make its way over the line and the decision was no goal with the home side sent on an abbreviated powerplay.

Loren Ulett nearly made it a one-goal game when he cut in from the left after the second intermission but Beskoronwany saved and the visitors were unable to find the back of the net even with another powerplay opportunity coming at 48:36.

With just over a minute of the game left to play, Manchester pulled Weninger in favour of an extra skater in an attempt to get something from the game, but Blake Speers tapped the puck into the Storms’ empty net with 30.1 seconds remaining.

It was two points on home ice and a shutout for Belfast Giants as they retained their position in third of the Elite League table.


Dundee Stars 3-6 Cardiff Devils

It was a four-point weekend for the Devils on their Scottish double-header with their shootout win over Fife Flyers backed up by a three-goal win in Dundee to record their twelfth straight victory.

The first of four goals in the first period went to the visitors at five-minutes as Cole Sanford broke forwards before sliding the puck between the legs of Lucas Brine in net for the Stars. Jake Elmer didn’t allow the visitors to possess the lead for long though with a wrist shot beating Ben Bowns low in the bottom corner at 12-minutes - his third goal in three games.

The Devils found themselves back in control of the game with Joey Martin restoring their lead as he shot past Brine from close range with Tyler Busch following suit just over 90 seconds later, slotting the puck home on the left.

Twitter: @DundeeStars

Jake Elmer scored his second goal of the game halfway through the second period to cut the deficit in half for the hosts - it was a cross-goal shot into the top corner that beat Bowns from a tight angle. Carter Johnson tipped in Drydn Dow’s shot to score the equaliser at 34:50 as the Stars continued their dominance of the second period. However, a late powerplay in the Devils’ favour allowed them to take the lead again, this time through the skates of Trevor Cox.

The Devils added to their lead early in the third period with Tyler Busch tipping Bode Wilde’s shot past Brine at 41-minutes before the Stars’ netminder vacated his net to allow for an extra skater to test the Devils’ defence - Ben Davies added an empty net goal to the visitors’ tally with 1:10 left to play.


Guildford Flames 2-4 Sheffield Steelers

The Steelers beat the Guilford Flames for the second time in a week after their shutout win on Valentine’s Day, but they left it late to secure the two points and maintain their 14-point lead at the top of the Elite League table.

It was a goal apiece for both teams in the first period, but the Steelers found the back of the net more than once: at 4:49, they thought they had the lead as Josh Nicholls capitalised upon the rebound, but the officials disallowed the goal for a man in the crease. The Steelers opened their account at 14:46 courtesy of Marco Vallerand who produced another top shelf finish from near the left-wing circle, but the lead didn’t remain for long as the Flames fought back to bring the score level at 16:18 through Steven McParland finding a way to work the puck past Matt Greenfield.

Twitter: @steelershockey / Photo credits: John

Neither team were able to create many grade-A chances throughout the second period, but the Flames produced 18 shots on target in comparison to the Steelers producing nine. The visitors were sent on a five-on-three penalty kill in the final few minutes of the period calling for top saves from Greenfield and furious defending, but the Steelers held the Flames off until the final seven seconds when McParland fired past Greenfield to score his second of the night and give his side a one-goal advantage heading into the final 20-minutes.

At 50.18, Mikko Juusola tied the game as he picked up the puck from behind Burman’s goal before wrapping it around the front and slotting it home. Scott Allen won the face-off in the offensive zone as the Steelers searched for the game-winning goal before pulling the puck back to Josh Nicholls who flung it top shelf to give the visitors the lead. Brandon Whistle replicated this face-off win with a minute of the game to play, sending the puck into the path of Colton Saucerman who shot from his own end to seal the win and make it two wins in a week against the Flames.

The next time the two teams meet it will be in the Challenge Cup Final.


Upcoming fixtures:

Wednesday 21.02.2024

  • Glasgow Clan vs Guilford Flames

  • Nottingham Panthers vs Cardiff Devils

Friday 23.02.2023

  • Fife Flyers vs Manchester Storm

Saturday 24.02.2024

  • Belfast Giants vs Fife Flyers

  • Coventry Blaze vs Dundee Stars

  • Manchester Storm vs Guilford Flames

  • Cardiff Devils vs Sheffield Steelers

  • Glasgow Clan vs Nottingham Panthers

Sunday 25.02.2024

  • Sheffield Steelers vs Coventry Blaze

  • Nottingham Panthers vs Belfast Giants

  • Dundee Stars vs Glasgow Clan

  • Guilford Flames vs Cardiff Devils


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