Basingstoke, Hampshire (PRWEB UK) 10 April 2014
BASINGSTOKE Bison, owned by Planet Ice, took the crown with a superb 5-3 victory, over league champions Manchester Phoenix who have trained out of Silver Blades ice rink in Altrincham for the last 7 years.
Ice Hockey fans will recall that it was only 6 years ago that both teams resided in the Elite Ice Hockey League, and struggling to win games, met with owners of both the Planet Ice and Silver Blades brand to discuss the future and a potential move to the English Premier League. Planet Ice and Silver Blades represent the largest portfolio of ice rinks in Europe. Neither team has looked back since. Planet Ice Managing Director John Neville commented, "Ice Hockey is a minority sport in the UK and the fanbase is really important to the teams existence - having a successful team is key to keeping the fans happy and creating growth. Some of the best Ice Hockey you can watch today comes out either Planet Ice or Silver Blades buildings which is a testament to us and demonstrates clearly how supportive we are to the teams, the league, and the sport. I am delighted for both teams to be in the final and would like to congratulate all the team at Basingstoke on their win – they have worked really hard this season and deserve it." Neville also commented, "Planet Ice have really made a positive impact on the sport over years and it’s great to see a winning Planet Ice team, in a Planet Ice building."
After a goalless first 20 minutes in which the Bison had the better chances, it was Manchester who struck first followed by The Herd’s Ciaron Long equalising 26 seconds later. Canadian Joe Rand, after a penalty awarded to the Bison, slotted home to give his side the lead at 31:36.
James Archer equalised for Manchester in the final period followed by a third goal from Bison’s Joe Baird from the blue line. A tense final minutes, as the lead was doubled by Tomas Karpov and then Phoenix scored from Kovar at 56:49 after a goal mouth scramble. In the remaining seconds of the game the nail in Manchester’s coffin was Connolly pushing forward and scoring for the Bison with only two seconds remaining.