The English Premier Ice Hockey League

The English Premier Ice Hockey League (the EPIHL) represents the second tier of ice hockey in the UK. Much like the Elite Ice Hockey League, but unlike the National Ice Hockey League, in which Streatham Redskins play, the EPIHL is made up of professional teams. It is, however, regarded as a developmental league.

There are at present 10 clubs in the league but a total of 27 have been there over the years since the league was founded in 1997. The only team to have been in the EPIHL since the beginning and still is present is Swindon Wildcats. The full list at present is:

  • Bracknell Bees
  • Chelmsford Chieftains
  • Guildford Flames
  • Milton Keynes Lightning
  • Peterborough Phantoms
  • Romford Raiders
  • Sheffield Scimitars
  • Slough Jets
  • Swindon Wildcats
  • Telford Tigers
  • Whitelink Raiders

The league began in 1994160753657_c89597f96c_b7 as the “National Division” of the English National Ice Hockey League (now the National Ice Hockey League since the admission of Scottish and Welsh clubs) and was formed to provide a home for clubs who could no longer afford the increase in operating costs of remaining in the British National League but who, because they employed professionals from traditionally hockey-playing countries such as Canada, played better ice hockey than was found in the rest of the ENIHL.

In the first season, teams in this division played a series of games against the other teams in the division, and also played against the other teams in the ENIHL. Solihull Blaze won everything that year. Next season, though still in the ENIHL, the national division took the name “Premier Division” and played only other members of the same division. When that season came to an end, the Premier division had removed itself from the ENIHL, and now existed (as it does today) as the English Premier Ice Hockey League.

 

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