DURHAM, UK – The showpiece weekend of the Elite League season is now almost upon and fans throughout the UK are looking forward to the 4 hockey games they will see at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham across the weekend.
The opening match up of the play off weekend sees the Elite League Champions the Belfast Giants taking on the Fife Flyers. Fife will be going all out to cause an upset in their first ever appearance at the Elite League play off weekend however given Belfast finished a colossal 36 points ahead of Flyers in the league standings a Fife victory in the semi final would arguably be the biggest ever Elite League Play off final 4 upset.
Games between Fife and Belfast this season has seen the side from Northern Ireland win the majority of fixtures however Flyers will take huge belief from the fact that the last time these 2 sides met Fife came out on top by 6 goals to 2 in mid March in Scotland. Flyers also demonstrated they were at the top of the game in their quarter final match ups with the Dundee Stars winning both legs of the tie against their highly ranked opponents.
Despite Fife’s recent hot streak of form Belfast are still overwhelming favourites with the bookies at 8/13 to record a success over the Flyers in regular playing time. Those fans who like to be on the side of the underdog can get almost 3/1 on Fife coming out on top at the 60 minute mark.
The other semi final sees the Braehead Clan take on the Sheffield Steelers which is set to get underway at around 5pm on Saturday. Both sides come into play off weekend in fine form – Braehead were able to dispose of the Nottingham Panthers in the quarter finals by 9 goals to 1 while Sheffield got the better of the Coventry Blaze by 9 goals to 3 at the same stage of the competition.
Steelers did finish 10 points ahead of the Clan in the final league standings however games between the 2 sides in league action have seen both organisations come away with 2 victories. Interestingly all of the games between Steelers and Clan this season have been won by the team on the road.
The bookies favour Sheffield quite heavily in the 2nd semi final as the Steelers are priced up at 4/5 to claim victory in regulation time while 21/10 can be found on the Braehead Clan winning inside the 60 minutes.
Pro Hockey News will have a representative at the play offs all weekend and match reports will appear online as close to the final whistle as possible.
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