Para ice hockey: Sheffield Steelkings are British champions
The Sheffield Steelkings are the 2019 British Para Ice Hockey League Champions after an 8-0 win over Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday.
Due to an issue with the rink in Peterborough the game was relocated at the last moment to a rink in Milton Keynes, but the change of venue didn't throw-off the Steelkings who had the title sewn-up after racing to a 5-0 lead after the first period.
Gary Farmer got them started inside three minutes, before Matt Clarkson struck twice after assists from John Oakley and Andrew Jackson. Matt Woollias earned a brace of his own to close out a dominant first period display.
Clarkson finished off a sweeping move to earn his hat-trick five minutes into the second period and Woollias assisted Barry Grayson, his shot squirming under the Peterborough goaltender.
The third period saw the Steelkings experiment with line combinations and give more ice time to developmental players, Clarkson's tally inside the first two minutes being the only goal of the period. Peterborough exerted some late pressure looking for a consolation goal, but the Steelkings maintained the shut-out.
“This is an absolutely amazing experience,” said Club Chairman Jake Oakley “I'm so proud to be able to coach such an incredible group of people, and it makes all the blood, sweat and tears completely worth it! Everyone at the club has worked really hard, the players and the off-ice staff and helpers, and to do this in our fifth season is just brilliant.”
Attention now turns to the playoffs, this year to be held at IceSheffield on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September. Steelkings meet Peterborough again in the first round, on the Saturday at 11:30; with the Manchester Mayhem and Cardiff Huskies facing-off in the second game. The Sunday features the bronze medal game at 10:45 with the playoff final at 13:00.The weekend is completely free and the Steelkings would love to see as many people there as possible.