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The 2002–03 Ice Hockey Superleague season was the seventh and final season of the Ice Hockey Superleague (ISL).

The Ayr Scottish Eagles, under new management, moved from the Centrum Arena in Ayr to the Braehead Arena just outside Glasgow and shortened their name to simply the Scottish Eagles.

The Ahearne Trophy was played for again this season with the competition taking with teams from the Norwegian GET-ligaen.

Starting the season with seven teams, the league invited members of the British National League (BNL) to take part in the Challenge Cup. The call was taken up by the Coventry Blaze, meaning eight teams took part in the competition. However, after playing their Challenge Cup games, the Manchester Storm went into liquidation and their record for the Challenge Cup and league games was expunged. Not long after, the Scottish Eagles confirmed they had withdrawn from the league with the intention of re-launching the following season. The Eagles' record was also expunged and their place in the Challenge Cup semi-finals was taken by third place team Belfast Giants. On 30 November 2002, the Bracknell Bees announced that they would be moving from the ISL to the BNL for the following season. When the London Arena was sold for development the London Knights had played their final game.

Leaving the ISL with only three teams, the league folded at the end of the season and the three surviving clubs – Belfast Giants, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers – helped form the Elite Ice Hockey League for the following season (see 2003–04 EIHL season).

Challenge CupEdit

With eight teams taking part in the Challenge Cup and with a British National League team taking part, the competition was separate to the league and the teams were split into two groups of four teams: Belfast Giants, Manchester Storm, Scottish Eagles and Sheffield Steelers were in Group A and Bracknell Bees, Coventry Blaze, London Knights and Nottingham Panthers were in Group B. The top two teams of each group progressed to the semi finals. The semi finals and finals were all one off games.

Group AEdit

Group A GP W T O L GF GA Pts
Sheffield Steelers 6 5 0 0 1 22 12 10
Scottish Eagles1 6 3 0 1 2 18 20 7
Belfast Giants 6 2 1 1 2 13 14 6
Manchester Storm 6 1 1 0 4 13 20 3

1 Belfast Giants go through taking Scottish Eagles place due to retiring from the league and competition.

Group BEdit

Group B GP W T O L GF GA Pts
Nottingham Panthers 6 4 1 1 0 23 13 10
London Knights 6 4 0 0 2 19 12 8
Bracknell Bees 6 2 2 0 2 15 18 6
Coventry Blaze 6 0 1 1 4 13 27 2

Semi finalsEdit

1st place Group A (Sheffield ) vs 2nd place Group B (London)

1st place Group B (Nottingham) vs 2nd place Group A (Belfast)


Winner semi final 1 vs Winner semi final 2

Ahearne TrophyEdit

Ahearne Trophy GP W T O L GF GA Pts
ISL (UK) 10 8 0 0 2 50 27 16
Eliteserien (Norway) 10 2 0 0 8 27 50 4


Each team played four home games and four away games against each of their opponents. All five teams in the league were entered into the playoffs.

Superleague GP W T O L GF GA Pts
Sheffield Steelers 32 18 5 1 8 86 57 42
Belfast Giants 32 17 6 1 8 111 78 41
Nottingham Panthers 32 15 4 0 13 92 92 34
London Knights 32 11 8 1 12 87 90 31
Bracknell Bees 32 5 5 2 20 71 130 17


All five teams in the league took part in the playoffs. After an initial round where each team played all the other teams twice at home and twice away, the top four teams qualified for the finals weekend.

Round oneEdit

Superleague GP W T O L GF GA Pts
Belfast Giants 16 12 1 1 2 65 36 26
London Knights 16 10 2 0 4 55 42 22
Nottingham Panthers 16 10 1 0 5 55 42 21
Sheffield Steelers 16 2 1 3 10 28 52 8
Bracknell Bees 16 3 1 0 12 41 72 7

Semi FinalsEdit

1st place vs 4th place

2nd place vs 3rd place


Winner semi final 1 vs Winner semi final 2

  • Belfast Giants 5–3 London Knights


All Star teamsEdit

First Team Position Second Team
Joel Laing, Sheffield Steelers G Ryan Bach, Belfast Giants
Robby Sandrock, Belfast Giants D Dion Darling, Sheffield Steelers
Marc Laniel, Sheffield Steelers D Jim Paek, Nottingham Panthers
Lee Jinman, Nottingham Panthers F Greg Hadden, Nottingham Panthers
Dan Ceman, Bracknell Bees F Rhett Gordon, Sheffield Steelers
Paxton Schulte, Belfast Giants F Kevin Riehl, Belfast Giants

Scoring leadersEdit

The scoring leaders are taken from all league games.



Preceded by
2001–02 ISL season
ISL seasons Succeeded by
2003–04 EIHL season
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