September 14, 2019

The new NIHL National division faces off this weekend with a Yorkshire derby between Sheffield Steeldogs and Leeds Chiefs getting the competition underway on Sunday at 4.30pm.

Ben Morgan and his Dogs are an experienced outfit whilst the new kids on the NIHL block in the form of Leeds Chiefs have been built from scratch this summer by new player-coach Sam Zajac.

A big crowd is expected at Ice Sheffield for the first competitive game in the new division and the debut of a brand new club so fans should purchase their tickets in advance from Steeldogs website.

While the ‘War of the White Rose’ is the only league game of the weekend, there is a full programme of pre-season games for the other eight teams in the division.

Swindon Wildcats and Telford Tigers go head to head over the weekend.  The Link Centre on Saturday hosts the first game (6.15pm) with the return at Telford on Sunday (6pm).

Bracknell Bees and Raiders also play a home-and-home, with the Bees hosting on Saturday (6.30pm), with Sapphire Ice the venue on Sunday for a 5.15pm face off.

The Billy Glover Trophy is up for grabs when Basingstoke Bison and Peterborough Phantoms face off in their weekend series.  Saturday’s encounter in Basingstoke is set to be an emotional occasion as Bison will pay tribute to Keith Hope before the 6.30pm face off.  Keith, a long-serving off-ice official and member of the board of the Junior Bison, passed away suddenly in the summer.  Sunday’s return in Peterborough is off at 5.30pm.

Finally, Milton Keynes Lightning and Hull Pirates pair off for their pre-season series.  The Lightning are hosts on Saturday night for a 7pm puck drop, while the teams face off on Sunday in Hull at 5.30pm.

Main photo: Tony Sargent.  Fixture graphic: David Strover