Robert Newbolt30 Jan 2017Robert Newbolt»

At this time last year I wrote that champions Sheffield Steelers' back to back defeats put them out of the title race and then they went on to win the league.


But that was against Coventry Blaze, this time it was against title challengers Belfast Giants.

After what could very well be a title defining weekend ended in maximum points for the Giants their player coach, Derrick Walser had this to say “We were willing to try to do everything to get out of there with the points. It just takes hard work and we were dedicated to trying to get the two points. We stuck together and we never really hung our heads.

Last year that was a problem, this year it’s not. If we get down by a goal, we’ve figured out that we just need to calm down a bit and that first power play goal really seemed to settle us.

I thought in the second period we had quite a few chances to get more than we did, then in the third period some beautiful goals from the skill guys, who really came through for us.”

Now there are still three teams in title contention but Sheffield Steelers in third place have just made the gap very significant as they have now lost their last three home games and leaders Cardiff Devils eight points in front albeit they do have a game in hand.

But, as I see it, their main rivals are Belfast giants. Even though they have two games in hand they are seven points in front of the third placed side and only one point behind the leaders and seem, at the moment to be the most consistent of the challengers.

However, there is over a quarter of the games to play so anything could happen.

1Cardiff Devils3621537131:9355
2Belfast Giants3720548122:9354
3Sheffield Steelers35193310127:9047
4Fife Flyers36163215114:10940
5Nottingham Panthers34153412114:11240
6Braehead Clan38171317131:12939
7Manchester Storm36141417100:10934
8Coventry Blaze38104321108:14131
9Dundee Stars3684420107:13028
10Edinburgh Capitals3492122101:14923

Last updated: 30 Jan 2017, 09:09

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