It wasn’t to be for Nottingham Lions as they finished bottom of the English Ice Hockey Association North Cup for 2021 – the first competition in the country on ice following on from when covid restriction was first implemented last March, won by Widnes Wild after six games played.
Although it started and ended well for Nottingham, the bit in-between didn’t quite go to plan, but at least the Lions bowed out of competition with a last match victory against the champions and they didn’t disgrace themselves in a fiercely fought group that went all the way to the wire.
The four-team mini-tournament started on the 27th February and Blackburn Hawks v Widnes Wild was said to be the first competitive UK ice-hockey match played in almost a year. A day later Nottingham beat Sheffield Scimitars 6-5 in overtime to go second in the table, but defeats followed against Widnes (6-3), Blackburn (7-6 & 6-8) & Sheffield (7-4) before the Lions beat the Wild on Sunday, who by then had already done enough to be crowned champions of the 2021 North Cup.
Yesterday’s 7-4 victory included goals for Connor Glossop, Jack Hopkins, Joe Humphries, Archie Hazeldine, Michael Berehowskyj and two for Vladimir Luka, but despite their loss, Widnes were still crowned champions having finished on the same points as Blackburn but with a better goal difference and head to head record.
The winners of the third tier sectioned Ice-Hockey tournament eventually finished on 8 points from 6 games played, Nottingham ending up on four, whilst the 2021 South Cup is yet to complete, the next big ice-hockey competition involving one of our counties local sides is of course the 2021 Elite Series which includes Nottingham Panthers and starts this weekend as Manchester face Coventry Blaze and the Panthers take on Sheffield Steelers at Nottingham Motorpoint Arena on Saturday.
*Main image @WidnesWild crowned champions of the 2021 EIHA North Cup.