This past weekend saw a slew of NIHL Cup semi finals as the Division 1 & 2 cup competitions reached the knockout stage.
In South 1, the Britton Cup Final will be between Streatham IHC and Invicta Dynamos.
The Redhawks saw off Solent Devils without conceding a goal – 2-0 and 4-0 wins giving a 6-0 aggregate success. Tom Anetts with the double bagel in nets, while Streatham had six different scorers across the two legs.
Invicta faced Slough Jets in their semi final, skating to a 2-2 tie at the Hangar in the first leg, coming from 2-0 down to tie. Sunday’s reverse at Gillingham again saw the Jets jump out to a two goal lead inside four minutes, but Dynamos rebounded with Tomas Bankovsky’s 21st minute goal proving to be the difference.
North 1’s Moralee Cup Final will feature Widnes Wild for the first time as they upset league leaders Solway Sharks over two legs. A thrilling see-saw battle in Dumfries on Saturday finished 3-3. Sunday’s second leg had Widnes ahead in the fourth minute, before Solway appeared to take control with a three-goal blast before the first interval. Widnes roared back with four unanswered to lead 5-3 and despite Lewis Houston’s late hat-trick marker they took a 5-4 win on the night and 8-7 on aggregate.
Widnes’ opponents in the Final will be Dundee Comets. Dundee were scheduled to face Solihull Barons in a two-legged semi final, but Solihull have failed to agree a fixture with Dundee. Solihull ruled out multiple dates including all Sundays and options over the Bank Holiday period due to not being able to field a competitive team. No Saturday dates are available for either team within the regulations. The fixtures have therefore been void and Dundee progress to the next round of the competition.
In South 2 the Wilkinson Cup saw action in Peterborough as Phantoms hosted Guildford Phoenix in their first leg tie. Phantoms opened the scoring but Josh Abbott took matters into his hands for the visitors with four straight goals – one EH, one PP and two SH on the same kill. Guildford eventually ran out 6-1 winners with Petr Cech making 21 saves in the win. Cech’s opposite number Sebastian Lipinski made 71 saves from 77 shots faced. The other semi final is between Haringey Huskies and Cardiff Fire.
Finally in North 2 for the Laidler Cup, first leg action at Hull Arena had the Jets over Sutton Sting 6-4. Jets were 4-0 ahead but Sutton scored four times themselves in the final frame, two late markers from the home side giving them an advantage into the second leg on December 27th. Telford Tigers and Bradford Bulldogs play their two legs next weekend.