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2011-12 Season

2011-12 season

July 17, 2012

The 2011-12 Elite League title was won by Belfast Giants for their second league championship in the tournament's nine-year history.

Along the way they broke numerous records, including a league-high and franchise-record 95 points with 46 wins in 54 regular-season games.

Going into the new year it was realistically a three-horse race with Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers playing catch-up to the Giants.

The Panthers fell out of contention when they lost twice at home to the Giants in mid-February, but Sheffield's challenge lasted until the penultimate weekend of the regular season.

With games in hand, the Steelers knew they had to win them all if they were to take the title for a second year in a row, including back-to-back matches in Northern Ireland.

And the Elite League championship was won by the Giants on Friday 16th March 2012 as they skated to a 5-1 victory over their nearest challengers.

Panthers became the first side in Elite League history to win a trophy three years in a row with their Challenge Cup final victory over Belfast.

It was a repeat of the 2011 final but this time the two-legged encounter was much more one sided. The Panthers won the first leg in Northern Ireland 5-1 and followed that up with a 5-3 victory at the National Ice Centre for a 10-4 aggregate success.

The 2012 playoffs provided one of the biggest shocks in the history of the League as Hull Stingrays beat Sheffield over two legs in the quarter-finals to reach the final-four weekend.

But they were no match for the Panthers in the semi-final losing 10-3 to Corey Neilson's side - the heaviest defeat in Elite League playoff history.

Just like in 2011 Cardiff Devils beat the Giants for a place in the playoff final, but this time the game went to a penalty shoot-out.

The game ended 3-3 and Cardiff, who had not won a shoot-out all season, went through thanks to Kenton Smith's winning shot.

It meant a repeat of the 2011 final and this was a more cagey affair. David-Alexandre Beauregard's third-period strike put Panthers ahead and David Clarke wrapped the game up with a empty netter to seal a 2-0 victory over the Devils and a second successive playoff final win for Nottingham.


Tags: 2011-12 season

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