|The Guildford Lightning team celebrate winning the Women’s Elite League play off final (Photo by Flyfifer Photography)
Widnes staged another top level ice hockey event at the weekend with the Women’s Trophy Weekend being played at the Planet Ice rink.
An incredible 10 games played over the two days saw many of the country’s top women players meet in the semi finals of the Women’s Elite League (WEL), Women’s Premier League (WPL) and English Division 1 (D1) on Saturday, with 4 finals on Sunday.
In the Women’s Elite League semi finals, runaway league champions Solihull Vixen surprisingly lost 4-6 to Guildford Lightning - the only time they have lost to them in 5 meetings this season - while 4th place finishers Streatham Storm beat league runners up Queen Bees 2-1. This meant, unusually, that neither of the WEL’s top teams of recent seasons would appear in the play off final this year.
In the Women’s Premier League semi finals, league champions Bristol Huskies – who had gone through the regular season unbeaten in all 16 games - beat Kingston Diamonds 3-0 and Sheffield Shadows beat the Firebees 4-1.
In the North v South Division 1 semi-finals, D1 North champions Whitley lost 3-5 to D1 South runners up Streatham and Solway Sharks Ladies lost 2-8 to S1 champions Swindon Topcats to set up an all-south final.
Sunday saw 4 back-to-back finals. In the Elite League decider, Guildford Lightning won their first ever WEL title with a 5-2 victory over Streatham Storm, while the WPL final saw Bristol Huskies make it a league and play-off double with a 7-3 win over Sheffield Shadows.
In the all-south Division 1 final, the Swindon Topcats beat Streatham 7-0 to secure the play off crown to go with their league title. They also win promotion to the Women’s Premier League for next season, depending on any league restructuring.
The Under 16 girls national play off saw southern champions Haringey-based London Capitals beat north winners Kingston Diamonds 2-1.