Six games across NIHL1 South this weekend means a half the teams get a rare day off, but everyone is in action at least once and we’ve got some great match-ups to look at.
We’ll start with the double-header between Streatham and Swindon, who meet for the first time in the regular season this weekend. Streatham have been on a great run recently, dropping just one point in the last 5 games which has propelled them up to second in the table. They will be full of confidence as a result, But Wildcats are going to be a big challenge. The pre-season favourites for the NIHL1 title this season seem to have settled much more quickly this season and their home form especially has been imperious. The two sides did meet in a pair of pre-season challenge games back at the start of September, with the Wildcats taking both wins, but as we’ve said before: pre-season games are not always the greatest indicator, so we’re not going to read too much into those results.
Saturday also sees top of the table Bees host the Phantoms. It’s a first meeting between the sides this season and both have had good starts to the league season so far. Phantoms have dropped just one point, in an OT loss to Raiders a few weeks ago while Bees have a 4-point cushion at the top of the table. Bees have the home advantage and will want to get back into the winning habit after an OT loss against Swindon last Sunday, but Phantoms have shown themselves to be tough opponents again this season.
On Sunday Phantoms then host the struggling Dynamos who have had a tough time in the league so far. They were so close to getting their first league points last weekend after a spirited comeback from 3-0 down to level the game against MK to 3-3. But they just couldn’t hold on and saw a heart-breaker of a goal scored with 23 seconds left in regulation to leave them out of the points once again. Peterborough with be tough opponents but Mos never say die attitude will mean they will give everything again to get something out of this.
Saturday also sees Bison host MK, who will have been delighted with that first win of the season last weekend and will want that to be the start of a winning streak for them. Having failed to qualify in the Autumn Cup though, Bison will be going all out in the league now (especially in these early games which also double up for cup qualification). While the team is very different from last season with wholesale changes from the squad that won the treble, they have started pretty well in the league so far with only one narrow loss to their name.
Finally, MK then host the Raiders on Sunday. Raiders will not have been happy with their form of late. The club has ambitions to better last seasons impressive fourth place finish and the four losses on the bounce over the last two weekends is something they need to reverse if they want to realise those ambitions. The two sides have met before with Raiders very much on top in an 8-0 win in front of a jubilant home crowd, but I’d be very surprised if we saw the same sort of scoreline again this weekend in MK.
482days is taking Saturday off this week – we’ll send out an update of all scores and league tables either late in the evening or Sunday morning. On Sunday we’ll have our usual #gamedaylive updates from around the league.
Looking for info on the NIHL2 South games? You can find the NIHL2 South preview HERE where our NIHL2 correspondent Laurence Thorn takes a look at all the action in that league this weekend.
18:00 Bracknell Bees vs Peterborough Phantoms
18:15 Swindon Wildcats vs Streatham IHC
18:30 Basingstoke Bison vs Milton Keynes Thunder
17:30 Peterborough Phantoms vs Invicta Dynamos
18:45 Streatham IHC vs Swindon Wildcats
19:00 Milton Keynes Thunder vs Raiders
Tables for active competitions this weekend
NIHL1 Britton League