Exciting news out today as details of the much anticipated NIHL1 playoff weekend will indeed be held in Coventry. It’s the first time since the 2008/09 season that North and South have met in a formal playoff competition and the first ever under the NIHL branding for the league. Nottingham are the last ENL playoff champions when they beat Invicta 3-2 in a game that went all the way to a penalty shootout.
Each Division (Moralee in the North and Britton in the South) will hold their own individual playoff competitions in the 3 weekends with 2-legged rounds (quarter-finals 17-18 March, semi-finals 24-25 March, finals 31 March-01 April) as has been done in the South for the last few years now. What’s new is that the two division finalists will also meet in Coventry on 7-8 April for a National Final Four playoff.
While it’s a little odd that you could lose your own playoff final and still be crowned as the National Champion, I like this format. It’s a nice way to meld what was done has always been done in the NIHL as well as bringing in the traditions of the now-defunct EPL. It should be a great showcase of British hockey.
I am also delighted to hear that we’ll also have a NIHL2 championship game to bring together North and South league winners for the second game on Sunday. This is so much better than having a 3rd/4th playoff game that nobody cares about (and both teams are likely too hungover to compete in!) and brings together all four divisions of NIHL into a single weekend.
Information on how/when to buy tickets is contained in the full press release text below. If you can’t make it though, 482days will of course have live twitter from across the whole weekend to keep you up to date!
More details will be coming tomorrow regarding the NIHL2 playoffs as well – so watch this space!
Full press release statement
The National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) are pleased to confirm details for the 2017/18 season finale, the NIHL Final Four.
This event takes place at Coventry’s Skydome Arena on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 7/8 April and will decide the league’s first National champion.
Following a three-week playoff campaign in the NIHL North and South featuring the top eight sides in each division, the respective playoff finalists will head to Coventry to contest the Final Four weekend.
Saturday’s schedule will see the NIHL North 1 playoff champions take on the South 1 playoff runners up in the first semi final at 1300 before the reverse fixture, NIHL South 1 playoff champion versus North 1 runners up completes the lineup at 1700.
On Sunday the first game at 1230 is an NIHL 2 Championship game between the League winners of Laidler (North 2) and Wilkinson (South 2) divisions. This is followed by the NIHL Final Four ‘Grand Final’ at 1630 with the winners being crowned National champion.
Tickets for the Final Four weekend will be on sale exclusively from the Skydome box office from 10am on Monday February 26th and are priced at £38 for adults and £20 for concessions.
The Skydome box office is 02476 630693 (Option 0). A link for online purchases will be available in advance of tickets going on sale.
Enquiries for hospitality boxes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.
Ticket sales will initially be staggered using the following schedule:
Monday February 26th – 10am
Cardiff Fire – Block 15
MK Thunder – Block 15
Swindon Wildcats – Block 13
Monday February 26th – 2pm
Invicta Dynamos – Block 10
London Raiders – Block 11
Streatham IHC – Block 11
Tuesday February 27th – 10am
Bracknell Bees – Block 12
Peterborough Phantoms – Block 14
Nottingham Lions – Block 6
Tuesday February 27th – 2pm
Basingstoke Bison – Block 9
Billingham Stars – Block 1
The Dragons – Block 6
Solihull Barons – Block 1
Wednesday February 28th – 10am
Blackburn Hawks – Block 2
Sheffield Steeldogs – Block 4
Telford Tigers – Block 5
Wednesday February 28th – 2pm
Hull Pirates – Block 3
Solway Sharks – Block 2
Whitley Warriors – Block 7
League manager Richard Carpenter said: “The NIHL Final Four is set to be a fitting conclusion to the season, with the best four NIHL 1 playoff sides battling out for our first true National title. The NIHL 2 championship game is a great addition to the programme and another intriguing North v South battle.
“We’re grateful to Planet Ice for their help in making the arrangements and I’m sure supporters will agree the tickets are priced very well for four competitive fixtures with the very best NIHL sides on show.
“The NIHL Four is the first of three showpiece events taking place, as we will be confirming NIHL 2 playoff details tomorrow.”
#oneNIHL #NIHLFinalFour #NIHLChampionshipSeries