The Solway Sharks crowned the winners of the National Ice Hockey League North Division as their rivals err
The Solway Sharks were crowned league champions this weekend, despite not touching the ice.
The Building Craftsmen-sponsored Dumfries side found themselves in an unassailable position at the top of the National Ice Hockey League’s North Division on Sunday when their closest rivals, Whitley Warriors, suffered a defeat at the hands of Nottingham Lions meaning the Warriors can’t rack up enough points. to catch the Sharks, who had a free weekend, in the remaining fixtures.
The Sharks have only been beaten in the league twice this season, once by Solihull Barons and an extra-time loss to the Nottingham Lions, who unwittingly handed the trophy to the Sharks on Sunday.
The Sharks have four league games to go but their position at the top of the table means they have already qualified for the National Final weekend in Coventry on May 1, where they will face Streatham who won the South 1 Championship , with the aim of being crowned national. Champions.
The Sharks will also face home and away matches against whoever finishes eighth in their league in a bid to secure a place at the playoff weekend in Leeds on April 23, where they would compete for the Champions Trophy. playoffs.
The first match is a game against Sheffield Scimitars at the Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday, where the team will receive the league trophy at the end of the match.
Head coach Martin Grubb said: “We are all obviously delighted to have won the league and it is a testament to the hard work of the players throughout the season and the support from everyone at the club. Although it was great to win the title, it was a little disappointing on Sunday because we really wanted to win it on the ice in front of our fans.
“As a coach you feel great pride when you see your players celebrating together at the final buzzer and seeing the joy it brings them as a group, but we certainly have no complaints about becoming champions in this way. The team was desperate to prove that we were the best and most consistent team in the league.
“The whole club has worked hard after returning to the sport and the support the players have received from staff, board, volunteers and fans has helped them to ensure they cross the line. arrival to finish in first place.
“The players have been fantastic all season, but they also know it’s just the beginning because we want to win the remaining competitions as well, especially given the opportunity we have to play in a domestic league game.
“We thank everyone for their well wishes and would like as many people as possible to be at the Ice Bowl this Saturday to share the celebrations with us as the players will be aiming to put on a show against Sheffield before lifting the trophy. league.”
Sharks take on Sheffield Scimitars on Saturday night at 7 p.m., with the League trophy presentation taking place after the game.