The season certainly opened with a bang last week with some tightly fought games and plenty to keep the returning fans entertained.
Just the one league match on Saturday which sees Phantoms host the Raiders. Peterborough got themselves off to a great start in the Autumn Cup, emerging as the only side to have a 4 point weekend with back to back regulation wins against Telford. They will want to carry that good form into the league. Raiders lost their league opener to Bracknell on Saturday, but bounced back well to take a regulation win from Streatham at home on Sunday. The bad news for the Romford outfit though is that the weekend took a major toll on their playing personal with 3 players sidelined for some time with injuries. Mason Webster (broken leg) and Ollie Baldock (knee) are both likely to be sidelined for months while Sean Barry (shoulder) will be out for a few weeks. It’s a big blow for Raiders and will be a test of the depth of their squad as to how they cover for these losses.
On Sunday, Raiders host the Dynamos. Mos have already had a couple of squad changes, with defenceman Tom McKinnon opting to extend his stay in Canada where he has spent the last 4 years. They have also added a back-up NM in the shape of 18 year old Thomas Adams from the Haringey junior system. Both teams were narrowly beaten by the Bees last weekend: Mos by one goal and Raiders by two. Of course results against other teams are not always a good prediction of how well they will do against each other, but it’s the only marker we have so far! I think this will make for an interesting game and while Raiders on home turf will be the favourites, I don’t think they will have it all their own way.
Peterborough travel to MK for the second leg of their weekend double header. MK lost in OT away at Streatham last weekend in an absolute humdinger of a game. Their new imports Rubes and Cerynch looked to be solid additions to the squad and young d-man Oliver lord really caught the eye as well as one to watch out for. As the only second team in the league now, Thunder are always going to find it tougher going, but I like the look of the squad they have assembled this season and while I’d be very surprised if they mount a serious challenge for the silverware, I think they’ll compete well again this season.
The final league match up sees Streatham travel to Bracknell on Sunday. Both teams have Saturday off and will be fresh and eager to go. Bees have had a great start to the season and a win here will ensure they stay top of the league table for at least one more weekend. Streatham will be looking to bounce back from defeat against the Raiders last weekend.
Autumn Cup Action
Last week, Saturday’s fixtures saw the South dominate, winning all three games in regulation at home but the North bit back somewhat on the Saturday with both Hull and Sheffield taking the wins in front of their home crowds. With Peterborough, the only team to take two wins in the competition last week, taking a break to concentrate on league action; Swindon and Basingstoke swap opponents this weekend in a bid to overtake the Phantoms in the Southern half of the table.
Swindon had a huge 8-2 win on Saturday against Hill, but will certainly be kicking themselves for letting the Pirates score 3 unanswered goals in the final 11 minutes of the game on Sunday, especially after leading 2-0 at the end of the second period. They will also be without first choice NM Renny Marr who received a match penalty for fighting (use of the blocker). At home, the Wildcats are a daunting opponent, but they will need to show their away form is just as good if they want silverware this season.
Basingstoke also had a comfortable home win on Saturday, with a 6-2 scoreline against the Steeldogs, but had to come back twice in the reverse fixture just to take the game to overtime and were not able to stop the Salem from grabbing the OT winner and completing his hat-trick.
482days will have updates from all the #oneNIHL games across the weekend and we’ll also be tweeting live from MK for Thunders’ game against the Phantoms.
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.
18:30 Basingstoke Bison vs Hull Pirates (Autumn Cup)
19:00 Peterborough Phantoms vs Raiders (NIHL1)
19:30 Sheffield Steeldogs vs Swindon Wildcats (Autumn Cup)
16:00 Swindon Wildcats vs Sheffield Steeldogs (Autumn Cup)
17:30 Raiders vs Invicta Dynamos (NIHL1)
17:30 Hull Pirates vs Basingstoke Bison (Autumn Cup)
18:00 Bracknell Bees vs Streatham IHC (NIHL1)
18:30 Milton Keynes Thunder vs Peterborough Phantoms (NIHL1)
Tables for active competitions this weekend
NIHL1 Britton League