Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Let's Build to the Play-Offs!

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Let's Build to the Play-Offs!

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROL WHITE

BILLINGHAM Stars go into the final few weekends of their regular season looking to get on a roll ahead of an anticipated play-off series with the league champions.

Travelling to Telford Tigers today will be perfect preparation for the Ultimate-Windows sponsored side.

Although not the favourites of the three remaining National Ice Hockey League (N) Moralee Division 1 title contenders, Telford are still in the hunt mathematically and will not give up the chase at this stage.

Last year's English Premier League champions have been there or thereabouts all season, however their game forfeit for infringing the rules on having the appropriate coaching staff on the bench at Blackburn in October looks to have cost the Tigers the chance to realistically challenge at the business end of the campaign.

Consequently the play-offs will represent their best hope of silverware this year and they will want to finish strongly, looking to Canadian import Jason Silverthorn to deliver the goods up front as he has done all season long.

The season will end with two derbies in two weeks for Stars, their second road trip of the weekend being at Whitley tomorrow afternoon before Billingham welcome the Warriors back to the Forum next Sunday evening.

Whitley have had a better-thanexpected campaign and currently sit in sixth place, ten points ahead of their North East rivals.

Their remaining hope going into these final games is to catch Solihull Barons just above them, as that would mean a play-off series against Solway Sharks rather than a former EPL side.

Double defeat for the Stars last weekend summed up their whole season as they failed to turn up for the full 60 minutes in both games.

This inconsistency has led to the Teessiders dropping too many points that should have been taken, and consequently they will now finish no higher than the eighth spot they currently occupy. …

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