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The 2004–05 Elite Ice Hockey League season was the second season of the British Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Manchester Phoenix did not ice due as they could not agree a deal with the Manchester Evening News Arena.
The second season of the EIHL saw a series of games between the EIHL clubs and the members of the British National League (BNL). In addition to three home games and three away games against their Elite opponents, each club also played one home game and one away game against the BNL clubs in crossover matchups. Results in these crossover games would count towards a team's points tally. The NHL lockout also saw a number of National Hockey League (NHL) players join British clubs. Coventry Blaze won a Grand Slam of all three titles, winning the Championship with an overtime victory over the Nottingham Panthers.
The crossover games with the BNL clubs were seen by many to be the first stage towards the amalgamation of the two organisations into one league. However, early in the season it was revealed that teams including Edinburgh Capitals and Newcastle Vipers were seeking to resign from the BNL and join the Elite League. A withdrawal of the these clubs would leave the BNL with only a small number of participating teams. This situation led to the resigning teams temporarily withdrawing their Elite League applications and entering into collective discussions on the entire BNL joining the EIHL instead. The Elite League offered the BNL clubs invitations to join the EIHL structure, which were declined due to unfavourable terms. Subsequently Edinburgh and Newcastle resubmitted individual applications to the Elite League, both of which were accepted. A combination of this and Bracknell Bees owner John Nike's announcement that he was withdrawing funding from the BNL team prompted the collapse of the BNL at the end of the 2004–05 season.
During the early part of the season, the results from league games also counted towards a separate Challenge Cup table. However, in a change to the previous season, there were two groups of teams, Group A with three teams and Group B with four teams. After each team had played each team in their group once at home and once away, the top two teams of each group qualified for the semi finals.
1 1 point awarded for an overtime loss.
1 1 point awarded for an overtime loss.
Winner A (Coventry) vs Runner-up B (Nottingham)
- Coventry Blaze 2–1 Nottingham Panthers
- Nottingham Panthers 3–3 Coventry Blaze (Coventry win 5–4 on aggregate)
Winner B (Cardiff) vs Runner-up A (Sheffield)
- Sheffield Steelers 2–2 Cardiff Devils
- Cardiff Devils 3–1 Sheffield Steelers (Cardiff win 5–3 on aggreagate)
- Coventry Blaze 6–1 Cardiff Devils
- Cardiff Devils 4–5 Coventry Blaze (Coventry win 11–5 on aggregate)
The top six teams qualifed for the playoffs.
The top six teams qualified for the playoffs. Group A consisted of Coventry, Nottingham and London while Group B consisted of Belfast, Cardiff and Sheffield. Each team played the other teams in its group twice at home and twice away. The top two of each group then qualified for the playoff weekend at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.
Winner A vs Runner-up B
- Coventry Blaze 3–0 Sheffield Steelers
Winner B vs Runner-up A
- Cardiff Devils 1–3 Nottingham Panthers
Third place playoffEdit
Loser A vs Loser B
- Sheffield Steelers 4–2 Cardiff Devils
Winner A vs Winner B
- Coventry Blaze 2–1 Nottingham Panthers (after overtime)
- Coach of the Year Trophy – Paul Thompson, Coventry Blaze
- Player of the Year Trophy – Tony Hand, Belfast Giants and Neal Martin, Coventry Blaze
- Ice Hockey Annual Trophy – Tony Hand, Belfast Giants
- Best British Forward – Tony Hand, Belfast Giants
All Star teamsEdit
|First Team||Position||Second Team|
|Jody Lehman, Coventry Blaze||G||Martin Klempa, Belfast Giants|
|Neal Martin, Coventry Blaze||D||Wade Belak, Coventry Blaze|
|Doug Schueller, Coventry Blaze||D||Calle Carlsson, Nottingham Panthers|
|Tony Hand, Belfast Giants||F||John Cullen, Cardiff Devils|
|Adam Calder, Coventry Blaze||F||George Awada, Belfast Giants|
|Vezio Sacratini, Cardiff Devils||F||Ashley Tait, Coventry Blaze|
The scoring leaders are taken from all league games.
- Most points: 76 Dan Carlson, Coventry Blaze
- Most goals: 37 Adam Calder, Coventry Blaze
- Most assists: 55 Tony Hand, Belfast Giants
- Most PIMs: 490 Andre Payette, Coventry Blaze
- Ice Hockey Journalists UK
- The Internet Hockey Database
- Malcolm Preen's Ice Hockey Results and Tables
- ↑ Phoenix pull out of league. BBC (2004-07-08). Retrieved on 2007-12-05.
- ↑ Grand Slam triumph for Coventry. BBC (2005-04-10). Retrieved on 2007-06-02.
- ↑ Nigel Duncan (2004). Capitals eyeing their place among the elite. The Scotsman. Retrieved on 2006-07-03.
- ↑ Bolton Evening News (2005). Leagues look set to merge at last. This is Lancashire. Retrieved on 2006-07-03.
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