Comment: What we’ve got back | British Ice Hockey


Ollie Betteridge with the Elite Sequence trophy, an occasion that is helped in so some ways (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

After we come to look again on what the Elite Sequence introduced for us, it’ll be greater than a event that reintroduced the game we love.

For a lot of, this was extra than simply seeing their crew or watching two groups play one another for the great shiny trophy on the finish of it.  For a lot of, it meant the whole lot.

The coronavirus pandemic restricted our lives in so many ways in which seeing one thing like go to ice hockey taken away from us created a vacuum that was troublesome to fill.

Simply seeing it again once more for the final 5 weeks gave us that feeling once more of what it means to be enraptured by sport, a two groups competing on an ice rink and the thrill that comes with it.

Probably the most disappointing facet of this competitors was we couldn’t be there to observe it in individual.  We couldn’t all mingle the best way we might each different week and even as a collective on the play off finals.  It wasn’t anybody’s fault.

However we linked once more to one thing that we would have liked and because the celebrations die down within the Elite Sequence, we are able to all really feel optimistic that we will be indirectly connecting over it as soon as once more.

Followers watched nightly to see what was happening within the competitors (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

It wasn’t merely in regards to the truth Nottingham Panthers got here out on prime and beat Sheffield Steelers over two video games to elevate it.  It was the sensation of function this served to us.

When the puck dropped again on third April, that recreation between Coventry Blaze and Manchester Storm hit house what we had misplaced for over a 12 months.

The virus and its influence goes far, far deeper than only a assortment of people sporting hockey equipment, carrying sticks and battling over a black puck.  

Individuals have died, folks have misplaced family members, folks have misplaced their jobs and solely now are we began to come back out of what’s occurred with a contemporary outlook on life.

The return of Elite ice hockey within the UK was welcomed, with solely 4 groups participating.  Funding to have the ability to play reduce out the groups from Scotland, Wales and Northern Eire whereas Guildford opted out for their very own comprehensible causes.

So 4 remained and it created one thing new for us to get behind.

Coventry Blaze picked up some good leads to the competitors (PHOTO: Scott Wiggins)

A draft, by no means earlier than seen within the UK, the place followers up and down the nation have been on the sting of their seats to see who their heroes from the opposite groups would find yourself enjoying for.

The video has been watched nearly 4,000 instances and to have Todd Kelman host it? A ‘good decide up.’

The foundations meant the import ranges have been slashed from 14 to eight and there wasn’t solely the signing information that recreated the thrill we’re used to in the summertime months, it was the considered seeing some British expertise showcase what they’ll do.

The video games themselves, towards the surreal backdrop of an empty Motorpoint Enviornment in Nottingham, gave us what we missed and it didn’t disappoint.

A Coventry crew determined to seek out the extent of success they have been having in 2019/20 earlier than the pandemic cruelly established the narrative of what may need been.

Manchester, underneath Ryan Finnerty, who introduced in various gamers he had labored with prior to now to foster a aspect who gave the whole lot on each night time.

Manchester Storm relied on gamers well-known to Ryan Finnerty and that system labored to a big diploma (PHOTO: Mark Ferriss)

Sheffield Steelers, a free scoring unit who racked up loads of targets and needed to depend on their backup goalies for a lot of the event, in the end falling on the final.

Then there’s Nottingham Panthers, who have been so disappointing to begin with as they struggled to gel the crew and get the outcomes, all of the whereas luring us right into a false sense of safety to the purpose the place they clicked and received their final six video games, together with the all essential two within the closing.

Behind the scenes, the individuals who labored lengthy hours each day to carry this to us want a whole lot of love and appreciation.  From the scorekeepers, the officers, the primary aiders to the cameramen and media who have been capable of play their half.

It’s been a hit and hopefully we’ll learn the way a lot of a hit it was by releasing what the viewing figures have been like.  In spite of everything, it will be good to know if it felt value it to the followers.

It could not have had all of our groups, nevertheless it’s a begin and it gave us a means again.  We are able to solely want that it received’t be lengthy earlier than we discover out if there’s going to be a full common season once more.

If a five-week event can restore that sense of belonging once more, think about what the return of a full marketing campaign will do.


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