The first games take place this weekend in the National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) while there are also pre-season games featuring NIHL sides.

NIHLFILee Valley Lions host Swindon Wildcats in the NIHL South 2 Cup (17.30), while League play gets underway in North Division 2 at Skydome where Coventry Blaze play Blackburn Eagles (19.30).

Sunday’s games see play begin in NIHL North 1.  Newly promoted Dragons welcome Billingham Stars to Deeside (17.45) before Solihull Barons host Sutton Sting (18.00).  There’s a pair of games in the slate in North 2 as Widnes Wild begin their league campaign at home to Hull Jets (17.30) and Nottingham Lions play Sheffield Senators (19.30).

As far as challenge games go, North 1 league and playoff champions Blackburn Hawks started the pre-season on Friday night going down 10-0 at EPIHL Sheffield Steeldogs.  The two sides meet again at Blackburn Arena on Sunday (17.45).

Saturday night in Streatham sees a special pre-season game for the home side – complete with new nickname RedHawks – face an All Star team selected by Dave Carr, formerly of that parish, raising funds for Breast Cancer Care.  Streatham Ice Rink have donated the ice time, EIHA have registered the ‘All Stars’ so as much money as possible can be donated to the charity.  Face off on the Streatham High Road is 5.30pm with doors opening at 5pm.

Bracknell Hornets and Chelmsford Chieftains play a home-and-home series across the weekend, starting in Bracknell on Saturday night (18.00) with the return in Chelmsford the following night (18.30).

Bristol Pitbulls travel to Milton Keynes on Sunday for a pre-season test with MK Thunder (18.30).

If you’re going to a game this weekend let us know on our social media (@EIHA_Official on Twitter) and we may give you a mention.