April 6, 2018
On the eve of the NIHL Final Four weekend, the league is pleased to announce the winners of the Player of the Month award for March.
As in previous months our panel of media representatives discussed the players’ performance and conduct throughout the month in all four divisions of the NIHL and have reached their decisions on the winners.
For March 2018 the Players of the Month are:
South 1 (Britton) – Aaron Nell (Swindon Wildcats)
South 2 (Wilkinson) – Aaron Craft (Basingstoke Buffalo)
North 1 (Moralee) – Denis Bell (Telford Tigers)
North 2 (Laidler) – Nathan Britton (Sheffield Senators)
Swindon Wildcats player/coach Aaron Nell has been selected as the NIHL South 1 (Britton) Player of the Month.
Strong on the puck and a keeper’s nightmare in front of net, Nell went 11+13 across the month from 8 games in all competitions – making him involved in over 60% of his team’s 38 goals. With 1+1 in each of the Autumn Cup final games, he played a major part in the Wildcats first trophy win in 27 years. In his final game of the season he played a part in every one of the Wildcats’ 6 goals.
Basingstoke Buffalo netminder Aaron Craft has been selected as the South 2 (Wilkinson) Player of the Month. During a tough March for the Buffalo, Craft was stellar between the pipes, keeping Basingstoke competitive against some difficult opponents. Craft stopped 46 of 48 shots in a close loss to Bristol, and he was equally impressive against Slough, making 53 saves including 23 in a scoreless first period. With additional solid performances against Guildford and Lee Valley, Craft finished the month with an impressive .937 save percentage.
Telford Tigers stopper Denis Bell picks up the award in North 1 (Moralee). The netminder backstopped his side to third place in the league and a run to the North 1 playoff title, including a 26-save shutout of league champions Sheffield in the Playoff Final first leg. Overall in the month he posted 0.906 percentage and four wins from six starts.
Nathan Britton of Sheffield Senators is the winner of North 2 (Laidler) for this month. The Sens missed out on postseason play but finished the season with five wins from six including success over champions Sutton and other playoff-bound sides Telford and Widnes. Britton potted 8+3 in seven games including a hat-trick against Telford, which included the overtime game winner.
Congratulations to all winners and thanks to the panel for their deliberations this month and throughout the 17/18 NIHL season.
The NIHL Players of the Year have also been picked and these will be announced at the respective Finals weekends over the next three weeks.
This coming weekend in Coventry, NIHL 1 North and South Players of the Year will be announced and presented, while North 2 will follow at Widnes next weekend and South 2 at Bracknell on the weekend of 21/22 April.