26th of July 2018
2018 /19 NIHL S1 Fixtures Released -But The League Loses Cardiff Fire ...
The 2018/19 National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) season moves a step closer today with the announcement of the fixtures for NIHL South 1 (Britton).
First of all the League Management Committee (LMC) are sorry to announce that Cardiff Fire will not be taking their place in NIHL South 1 for the coming season. This was communicated to the LMC by Cardiff Fire ahead of the recent fixtures meeting and announced to the clubs at that meeting.
Cardiff Fire director of hockey Mark Cuddihy added: "Unfortunately, there have been a number of unforeseen circumstances which have caused us to make the decision to withdraw from the league.
"Up until four weeks ago, I felt we had the best summer for recruitment in a long time. However last Friday everything changed it was hands down the worst.
"It was important for me to make the decision before the fixtures meeting to minimise any disruption on the other teams. I would like to thank the other team owners for their words of support and in fact sympathy over the last few days and also to Richard Carpenter for his help and advice.
"I am completely devastated to have to withdraw for the coming season, however my job is to ensure the longevity of Cardiff Fire and the harsh reality is we were in danger of that not being the case had I not acted and made this tough decision.
"Our intention is to continue to grow our fanbase, grow the commercial side, develop more young talent and be back better and stronger in Division 1 for the 2019/20 season."
NIHL league manager Richard Carpenter said: "It goes without saying that it is a matter of great sadness to lose a team from the NIHL, especially so close to the start of the season.
"However, I would like to thank Cardiff Fire for both their professionalism in this matter, and for their upfront and considered communications over what was a very difficult situation.
"I would also like to thank the member sides of the NIHL for their cool-headed and rational response to a difficult situation and for resolving it so quickly."
NIHL South 1 will run with eight teams this season and will play three home and three away games in league play for 21 home games per team.
The NIHL South Cup will now feature all eight teams. The first round of league matches, 1h 1a against the other seven teams, will double up as the first round of Cup games. The top four sides in this points table will qualify for the semi finals.
The Autumn Cup competition will proceed as previously announced.
NIHL South 1 action gets underway on the weekend of 15/16 September with a full programme of ten matches including the first Autumn Cup games.
Basingstoke Bison actually don't begin their league defence until September 29 due to their Autumn Cup games. The Raiders are the first league opponent for new head coach Ashley Tait.
Autumn Cup holders Swindon Wildcats play their initial Cup fixtures straight off the bat, going home and home with Hull Pirates, Sheffield Steeldogs and Telford Tigers over three weekends in September, before starting their league campaign on October 6th.
League play runs until the weekend of 16/17 March and will be followed by the NIHL Playoffs.
Richard Carpenter concluded: "Moving forward, this eight team league should provide high level of entertainment for the fans and I'm looking forward to the start of the new season."
Follow @NIHLhockey on Twitter for the latest news from the National Ice Hockey League and look out for the hashtag #oneNIHL on social media.
FIxtures for NIHL North 1 are in draft with the clubs at the moment for final agreement, and work is underway on the respective Division 2 fixtures. Details will be released as soon as details are confirmed.
At this moment the Autumn Cup fixtures are to be considered provisional until full ratification of the North 1 fixtures.
Reaction from a Bison perspective will follow in due course but for now we can confirm that we will hosting 25 games and will update prospective season ticket holders in due course with regards to the 26th game.
Coach Tait on seeing the fixtures commented, "The season gets closer, the boys are back on the ice and with the release of the fixtures anticipation and excitement increases we can't wait to start the defence of our titles with our new look roster".
The complete 2018 / 19 can be downloaded here
and are listed below:
Sat 8th September Challenge Peterborough Home 6.30pm
Sun 9th September Challenge Peterborough Away 5.30pm
Sat 15th September Autumn Cup Sheffield Home 6.30pm
Sun 16th September Autumn Cup Sheffield Away 5.30pm
Sat 22nd September Autumn Cup Hull Pirates Home 6.30pm
Sun 23rd September Autumn Cup Hull Pirates Away 5.30pm
Sat 29th September League Raiders Home 6.30pm
Sun 30th September League Invicta Dynamos Away 5.15pm
Sat 6th October Autumn Cup Telford Tigers Home 6.30pm
Sun 7th October Autumn Cup Telford Tigers Away 6.00pm
Sat 13th October League Peterborough Home 6.30pm
Sun 14th October League Raiders Away 5.30pm
Sat 20th October League MK Thunder Home 6.30pm
Sat 27th October League Invicta Dynamos Home 6.30pm
Sun 28th October League Bracknell Bees Away 6.00pm
Sat 3rd November League Streatham Home 6.30pm
Sun 4th November League Peterborough Away 5.30pm
Sat 10th November League Swindon Wildcats Home 6.30pm
Sun 11th November League MK Thunder Away 6.45pm
Sat 17th November League Swindon Wildcats Away 6.15pm
Sat 24th November League Raiders Home 6.30pm
Sun 25th November League Streatham Away 6.45pm
Sat 1st December League Bracknell Bees Home 6.30pm
Sun 2nd December League Mk Thunder Away 6.45pm
Sat 8th December League Streatham Home 6.30pm
Sun 9th December League Invicta Dynamos Away 5.15pm
Sat 15th December League Peterborough Home 6.30pm
Sun 16th December League Streatham Away 6.45pm
Sat 22nd December League Invicta Dynamos Home 6.30pm
Sun 23rd December League Raiders Away 5.30pm
Fri 28th December League Swindon Wildcats Home 6.30pm
Sun 30th December League Peterborough Away 5.30pm
Sat 5th January League Invicta Dynamos Home 6.30pm
Sun 6th January League Streatham Away 6.45pm
Sat 12th January League Bracknell Home 6.30pm
Sat 19th January League Mk Thunder Home 6.30pm
Sun 20th January League Bracknell Away 6.00pm
Sat 26th January League Streatham Home 6.30pm
Sun 27th January League Peterborough Away 5.30pm
Sat 2nd February League Reserved for Cup Semi-Final
Sun 3rd February League Reserved for Cup Semi-Final
Sat 9th February League Peterborough Home 6.30pm
Sun 10th February League MK Thunder Away 6.45pm
Sat 16th February League Swindon Wildcats Away 6.15pm
Sun 17th February League Swindon Wildcats Home 5.30pm
Sun 24th February League Raiders Away 5.30pm
Sat 2nd March League Raiders Home 6.30pm
Sun 3rd March League Swindon Wildcats Away 6.15pm
Sat 9th March League Bracknell Bees Home 6.30pm
Sun 10th March League Bracknell Bees Away 6.00pm
Sat 16th March League Mk Thunder Home 6.30pm
Sun 17th March League Invicta Dynamos Away 5.15pm