Five Things We Learned: Good weekend for teams in orange and black

We’re still catching our breath over what we’ve seen from yet another packed weekend of action from up and down the country.

So let’s share our biggest things we’ve learned over the course of the past few days

1. Good weekend for teams in orange and black

If your team wear orange and black, there’s a fair chance you would have had something to celebrate this weekend.

Sheffield Steelers took home the Challenge Cup after a 17-year wait for the trophy in Sunday’s final at Cardiff’s Viola Arena against the Devils, prompting great celebrations and somewhat questionable photos from the shower room afterwards.

Then you have Telford Tigers winning 6-4 away from home in the first leg of the NIHL National League Cup and Swindon Wildcats losing to hand them the advantage in the race for the NIHL National League race.  A good weekend indeed.

Luke Ferrara’s late winner for Coventry over Dundee on Sunday has given Glasgow Clan something of a play-off advantage (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

2. How Coventry have handed Glasgow a play-off advantage

Coventry Blaze are in third place after picking up two more victories, beating Manchester Storm and Dundee Stars to climb above the idle Belfast Giants and Nottingham Panthers this weekend.

In doing so, they’ve helped to give Glasgow Clan a play-off advantage as Zack Fitzgerald’s side beat the Stars in their only game and with only a handful of games remaining, Blaze have helped by taking points off the other teams in that position.

It’s still all to play for, of course and plenty of things could still happen, but it certainly made the fans in Glasgow a little more happier.

Mike Cazzola will be hoping he and his Fife Flyers will still have something to play for after this weekend (PHOTO: Flyers Images)

3. Do or die for Fife this weekend

By the end of the week, we’ll have a better idea of whether Fife Flyers have it in them to make a final push for the play-off places.

Two tough games await them as they go to in-form Coventry on Friday before heading home to meet Glasgow Clan and depending on other results, could be out of things altogether, with a seven-point gap and ten possible points to play for.

It would be quite a turnaround for them to be able to do it this later in the season and they have two more trips to Belfast to come.  If they were to do it, it would be one hell of a comeback.

1,000 appearances between them – it was a special weekend for MK pair Leigh Jamieson (left) and Grant McPherson (PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

4. McPherson and Jamieson – MK Millenium men

Milton Keynes Lightning have been enjoying life again after a rough couple of years so it was good to see of their “club men” achieve a big milestone each.

Leigh Jamieson and Grant McPherson very much live and breathe Lightning and their return when MK returned to the National League ranks was warmly welcomed by fans.

So, with 500 games each being marked pretty much together, it was only right the fans turned out to celebrate their achievement of being two legends for MK.

Will Raiders be celebrating an NIHL National play-off spot next week? (PHOTO: Raiders)

5. Raiders could be buzzing at expense of Bees

There’s three points in it and four games to go as the NIHL National play-off race also comes down to the final games and Raiders could be the team to confirm it this weekend.

It’s been a fascinating battle with Bracknell Bees and both teams meet again on Saturday in a fixture that could prove decisive depending on how it pans out.

The form book is backing the Romford side, with six wins out of seven against the Bees and on the back of Raiders beating them 2-1 on Saturday.  It looks like Bracknell might have their work cut out in the final run-in.

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