Good evening and welcome to tonight’s game against the Telford Tigers. Ahead of tonight’s match up congratulations to the Tigers who completed their first four point weekend as a Supporter owned trust last weekend. The Tigers may not be up competing with the Flames but they are competing and they have pulled off some exciting giant killing results this season.
Speaking of the Flames congratulations to our Surrey rivals on their winning the 2011/12 English Premier Ice Hockey League. The Flames have proven themselves the best team in the league and after 50 games, with 4 remaining have evaded the late challenges from us, Sheffield and Manchester. Their win on home ice against the Bison in OT last Sunday coupled with our win in Manchester gave Guildford the title.
I posted my congratulations to the Flames on Twitter immediately following their win. I also added that due to their commercial success they can afford to carry six imports on their playing roster which has allowed them to play 50 games without missing an import all season long. It’s not, as the Flames fans would insist on Twitter, a case of sour grapes, but just an observation that having two spare imports on your staff is a luxury that probably has seen the Flames win extra games so far that other teams may have lost due to having a less than full complement of imports playing.
Guildford still have Sheffield to face at the Spectrum for the second leg of the Cup final and with a sizeable lead from the opening game of that competition it looks like Guildford could go into the play-offs aiming for the treble for the first time since the Peterborough Phantoms used to have a competitive side and completed the feat. Speaking of the Phantoms they are currently in that 8th place spot ahead of the Bees and with 4 games left to play they’ll be keen to hold on to the spot.
The play-offs are not far away now. We have Telford tonight and MK next Sunday and that’s our regular season home games complete for this season. We’ll then have our play-off game the weekend after at home and that will be all the home EPL games of the 2011/12 season complete as the semi-finals and finals take place at Coventry. Looking at the table going into the weekend we are 3 points clear of MK in fifth place, we’re level on points with Sheffield in 3rd place and 2 points behind Manchester in 2nd place so we could face either Swindon, Basingstoke or MK as our play-off opponents. It’s impossible to call as yet where we’ll finish or who we’ll play but I’m guessing next weekend’s home and away series against MK will have a massive say in our final league place and opponent.
Tomorrow night we’re at Telford for the second of this weekend’s home and away games and before we think about MK next weekend we need to perform well against the Tigers. They are more than capable of taking down any team on their night so we need 120 minutes of ‘A’ game ice hockey this weekend.
Finally for my ramblings this week, just an apology regarding the team photo. Dan and I tried to schedule for Tuesday just gone but it turns out that the benches we were planning on using are no more so (at the time of writing on Tuesday) we are looking to reschedule as soon as possible.
Enjoy tonight’s game
My team, your team, OUR TEAM