The Wyre Seagulls won their second Summer Classic Cup Play Off title in a row, with a thrilling 0 – 4 win over the Flintshire Phantoms in the Play Off Final at iceSheffield on Sunday, 11th August 2019.
It was an exciting finale to a Tournament that started back in December 2018 and included ten teams, split into Eastern and Western Conferences. Both the Seagulls and the Phantoms qualified for the Play Offs weekend by finishing first and second in the Western Conference, respectively.
The Phantoms snatched the top spot in dramatic fashion with a 1 – 4 away win over the Seagulls in a game that was played at the Planet Ice Rink in Widnes, due to the Blackburn rink being closed for refurbishment. Because of the timing of that final group game, there was no time left before the Sheffield weekend to arrange and play the quarter finals that had originally been expected, so the top two went straight into the semi finals.
With less disruption to the Eastern Conference fixtures, table toppers Grimsby Stormers beat Sheffield Ice Tigers 12 – 4 in the first quarter final and third place Kingston City Knights beat runners up, second place Whitley Wild Cats, 3 – 4 away in the north east to secure the other semi final berth.
In Saturday’s Play Off semi final games, the Wyre Seagulls beat the Grimsby Stormers 9 – 5 and the Flintshire Phantoms beat Kingston City Knights 8 – 2 to set up a repeat of the Western Conference battle for Sunday’s Play Off final.
The third place game between the two Eastern Conference sides saw Grimsby Stormers beat Kingston City Knights.
The Play Off final saw the Wyre Seagulls beat the Phantoms 4 – 0, with goals from Christian Wareing (2), Adam Fleet and Matt Duncan the difference between the two teams.
Somewhat fittingly, the Wyre Seagulls became the first team to lift the highly impressive Summer Classic Trophy, which is similar in size and design to the world-famous Stanley Cup and which has been named in memory of former Blackburn Rec. ice hockey player Rob Craig.
The exceptionally well organised ice hockey Summer Classic Cup will return for 2020, possibly with different teams and different arrangements, or possibly not, and we are very much looking forward to it.
Congratulations to the organisers, and all the teams, volunteers and officials involved and huge thanks to all the sponsors.