NORTH 2 LINE WITH THE EIGHT TEAMS AHEAD OF 21/22 PUCK DROP. There’s a much changed lineup this September for NIHL North 2, but no less competition when the puck finally drops in September.
Altrincham Aces, Bradford Bulldogs, Coventry NIHL Blaze, Hull Jets, Nottingham Lions 2, Sheffield Titans, Sutton Sting and Telford Tigers 2 make up the division for season 21/22.
The league campaign will have one home and one away game against the other teams, with regular season running from September 18 to April 10.
As in previous seasons, the top four sides from the table will advance to the Playoff Finals Weekend over April 16/17 with semi finals 1v4 2v3 on the Saturday and final on Sunday.
There will be an additional Cup competition with the sides split into two groups playing home and away against the other teams in the group. The top two teams will qualify for crossover semi finals (1A v 2B etc) scheduled for mid December. The final will take place in January, and all knockout games are played over two legs.
Returning to the fold after a short hiatus is the Coventry NIHL Blaze. Their GM Steve Brookes said: “We are looking forward to getting back on the ice after being absent for two seasons. The NIHL Blaze have re-grouped, rebranded and are looking forward to making an impact on the league.”
Telford Tigers 2 continue their development pathway at the club, and GM Tom Watkins added: “‘This is great news that we have an exciting competitive league format and cup competition for the players to compete, renew old rivalries and allow all hockey fans to follow their teams once again.
“It’s been a long time but this is exiting news and gives us all something to look forward to. We are keen for all Tigers fans to get behind the guys in the Laidler Division and have once again offered free admission to all season tickets holders to follow Tigers 2 games, just one of the benefits of our season ticket package.”
Joining the division as a brand new team are Sheffield Titans, a new senior team in the Sheffield Academy. Their head coach Michael Szollosy commented: “We’re really excited here in Sheffield to be able to join NIHL North 2. Our team will be young and hungry, and a key stepping stone on a pathway that we want to create here in Sheffield, from U10s straight through to our NIHL1 Scimitars and beyond. We’ll be working closely with Coach Steve Weeks at the Scimitars, building opportunities for young players to gain the experience and skills that will help them progress. It is a shame that the U20s league hasn’t carried on, but the Titans will still provide that bridge between junior and senior hockey here in Sheffield.”
Work is underway between clubs and the NIHL fixtures secretary and the schedule will be published as soon as it is available.
NIHL NORTH 2 KEY DATES:
Pre-season – September 11-12 2021
Regular season start – September 18 2021
Regular season end – April 10 2022
Cup semi finals – December 4/5 11/12 2021
Cup Final – January 8/9 15/16 2022
Playoff Finals Weekend – April 16-17 2022