Slough Jets end English ice hockey season with play-off title

Ice hockey

Slough Jets beat Manchester Phoenix 4-1 at the Coventry Skydome to become the English Premier Ice Hockey League's play-off champions on Sunday.

Two powerplay goals within a minute in the first period from Adam Calder and player-coach Doug Sheppard put Jets in control before Ciaran Long replied for Tony Hand's Phoenix side just before the end of the first.

A goal in the second period from Darius Pliskauskas, assisted by Dan Davies, restored the two-goal cushion, and a second for the Jets' Lithuanian forward less than two minutes into the third sealed the play-off championship for the Berkshire side, who finished the regular season fourth in the EPL league table.

Jets had reached the play-offs in Coventry after turning round a 7-4 first leg deficit to defeat Milton Keynes Lightning with a last-minute overtime goal in their quarter-final on Easter Sunday to win 11-10 on aggregate.

In Saturday's semi-finals, forward Ryan Watt scored twice as Slough Jets bounced back from a 2-0 deficit to defeat EPL league and cup double-winners Guildford Flames 3-2.

Flames played most of the match without their first-choice netminder after Mark Lee succumbed to injury in the first minute.

Later, Stephen Wallace's penalty shot gave Manchester Phoenix a 6-5 victory over the Sheffield Steeldogs following overtime in a pulsating semi-final. In a combative, equally-matched tie, match officials were forced to hand out over 70 minutes of penalties, while both teams came to blows at the end of the second period.

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