Monday, 22 May 2017

Puckstop.com Summer Classic - Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 5 - Grimsby Stormers 6

Sunday 21st May 2017 – Puckstop Summer Classic
Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 5 – Grimsby Stormers 6
Period Scores: 3-0, 1-2, 1-4
Penalties in Minutes: Raiders – Grimsby

Raiders Scoring:  Geraint Evans 2+2, Sam Plant 2+0, Owen Tennant 1+0, Jack Walker 0+1, Ben Donkin 0+1

The Widnes based Riverside Raiders lost their 100% record in the Puckstop Summer Classic in dramatic fashion with a narrow 5-6 defeat at the hands of the Grimsby Stormers at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.   

The Raiders had won 8-10 away in Grimsby the week before but this meeting of the top two teams in the group was always going to be a close-fought and robust encounter and the importance of the occasion was highlighted by the presence of IIHF and Elite League official Kris Wells as match referee.

The game started well for the home side who took the lead in the 5th minute through a Sam Plant strike and extended it to 3-0 by the first break with two quick goals within 12 seconds of each other from, first, Geraint Evans and then Plant again.

The period break seemed to interrupt the Raiders’ momentum as Grimsby looked the better side coming out for the second period. Two goals - in the 24th and 27th minutes - pulled them back into the game and it wasn’t until the 35th minute that the Raiders managed to muster a reply – a well taken shorthanded goal by Evans for his second of the game.

The score stood at 4-2 to the Raiders at end of the second period but there was still lots to play for in the last 20 minutes.

A goal for Grimsby after just 2 minutes of the restart put the game back on a knife edge and then the Raiders were called for having too many men on the ice during a line change.  A raft for penalties for both sides followed this and the Raiders seemed to lose their flow at this point.

Things could have got even worse for the Raiders as the Stormers were awarded a penalty shot just 3 minutes later which might have led to the equalising goal had the puck not been bravely blocked by the Riverside netminder.

A Grimsby goal did eventually follow on 49 minutes to put them on level pegging but Raiders’ Owen Tennant fired home to edge the home team back into the lead with just under 5 minutes left to play.

The lead lasted just under 90 seconds this time before the Stormers levelled again and Raiders’ hearts were broken a minute later when Grimsby took the lead for the first time in the game with the clock standing at 57.42.

The remaining time was played out at a frantic pace with penalties for both sides but no further goals were scored, meaning that the Stormers were able to come away with a 5-6 victory.

The Raiders till top the Puckstop Summer Classic table with 6 points from their 4 games to date.  The Stormers remain second with 4 points from 3 games and the Wyre Seagulls join them on 4 points after their 13-5 win over Blackburn Buccaneers.

The Riverside Raiders are at home again next Sunday 28th May when they play the Sheffield Ice Tigers at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 4.30pm and admission is free.

The Widnes Wildcats are also at home next Sunday 28th May when they entertain the Solihull Vikings in a Summer Cup game at Silver Blades Widnes. Face off is at 8.30pm - after the Riverside Raiders game - and admission is free.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

"Ice Cold Murder" - murder mystery story by Michael Chambers - Pre Order Now!

Here’s a book that will be of interest to hockey fans and non-hockey fans alike – the reason being that it is not for once a statistics and history publications but a murder mystery story!  But there is still some ice hockey content because it is a murder mystery set around an ice hockey match. 

Needless to say, the story is completely fictitious but the settings and characters are based around the old Nottingham Ice Stadium, players and people who worked there and used to go to Panthers matches.

The book has been written by Michael Chambers - who is better known for his statistical histories – but I have had a (very) small hand in helping to put it together so am in a unique position to be able to tell you a bit about it.

Basically (without giving away too much of the plot…) somebody gets murdered and there are lots of odd comings and goings and people with secrets to hide and hidden agendas to cover up. We follow Inspector Dilley as he tries to un-weave the mass web of deceptions and intrigue and see if we can guess who the murderer is before he announces it at the end.

The book has maps and diagrams to help you understand the layout of the crime scene and there are delightful photos of some of the characters and locations.      

Even if you are not interested in ice hockey, you will still find it a good read from a crime novel point and if you are familiar with the old Ice Stadium and some of its characters, then you will probably enjoy it from a fun nostalgia perspective as well.    

“Ice Cold Murder” by Michael Chambers is due for publication at the end of September and costs £8.75 including standard UK postage.  It is a special limited edition so if you want to make sure of reserving your copy, drop Mick a line now  HERE  and he will sort out payment arrangements.  

Monday, 15 May 2017

Wildcats Outfoxed As Falcons Swoop

Sunday 14th May 2017 – Summer Cup
Widnes Wildcats 2 – Blackburn Falcons 8
Period Scores:  1-4, 1-3, 0-1
Penalties In Minutes: tba
Widnes Scoring:  tba

The Widnes Wildcats put in a battling performance in their Summer Cup game at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday but unfortunately ended up on the wrong end of a 2-8 scoreline at the hands of the Blackburn Falcons.

While the defeat may be disappointing, the Wildcats can take heart from the fact that they were up against a team bristling with former Blackburn Hawks and Blackburn Eagles / Lancashire Raptors national league players and that, despite the eventual scoreline, they actually matched them play for play for extended periods of the game.

As it turned out, the Wildcats actually took the lead after just 80 seconds of play after the puck took an unfortunate deflection off a Blackburn player’s skate and looped past the netminder into the goal.

The lead lasted until the 9th minute when the Falcons’ mounting pressure eventually paid off and they went on to score two more quick goals to lead 1-3 by the 12th minute.

The Wildcats called a 30-second time out following this and it helped break up the Falcons momentum and give the home side chance to reorganise. They held firm for a good five minutes and were only caught out at the back when pushing up for a second goal while on a powerplay, leaving the score at the end of the first period at 1-4 to the visitors.

The second period started badly for the Wildcats and three more goals put the Falcons 1-7 ahead by the mid-point of the game. Things began to get a bit physical and a Falcons’ player was sent to the penalty box.  The Wildcats were pushing forward to make the most of their man advantage when the puck took an unfortunate ricochet off a player’s stick and flew into the crowd. The match officials – who, otherwise, did a very good job all game – mysteriously decided to call the Wildcats’ player for “delaying the game”. 

It was somewhat unclear as to why they might have thought that a player from a team that was losing 1-7 and was on the attack on a powerplay might suddenly choose the delay the game but he was duly banished to the penalty box, thus denying the home team the man advantage.     

This incident provoked a notable phase of the game where the Wildcats were constantly under pressure and kept picking up minor penalties while trying to keep the Falcons at bay. They were forced to play 3 against 5 for the next 5 minutes or so and actually seemed to fare better while sitting back and concentrating on defending.

The Falcons thought they had scored again on 32 minutes but the goal was disallowed as it had come from a high stick and, once the various Widnes penalties had elapsed, they managed to get on the scoresheet again themselves to make the score 2-7.

The last 5 minutes of the second period were goalless and it took right up until the 55th minute of the game before the goal lamp was lit again – with Blackburn scoring their first goal since the 28th minute and rounding off the action for the match.   

The Widnes Wildcats’ next game is on Sunday 28th May when they face Solihull Vikings at Silver Blades Widnes.  It is a later than normal face off time – 8.30pm – because of the Riverside Raiders game against Sheffield beforehand which faces off at 4.30pm. Admission to both games is free so why not make an evening of it and enjoy some great competitive ice hockey…?

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Raiders Extend 100% Record in Puckstop.com Summer Classic

Photo by James Birtwistle
Saturday 13th May 2017 – Puckstop.com Summer Classic
Grimsby Stormers 8 – Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 10
Period Scores: 3-3, 3-4, 2-3
Penalties In Minutes: Grimsby 8 – Raiders 12

Raiders  Scoring:
Tom Yates 3+1, Owen Tennant, Elizabeth Wright & Geraint Lewis all 2+0, Sam Plant 1+1, David Thurnaby and Jack Warwick both 0+2,  Stephen  Harvey 0+1

The Widnes based Riverside Raiders maintained their impressive 100% start to the Puckstop.com Summer Classic competition with an entertaining 8-10 win away at Grimsby Stormers.

The Grimsby rink is under threat of closure and it was only due to the facility being granted a six month reprieve while alternative funding options are being explored that this game was able to go ahead at all.  It was originally expected that all of the Stormers’ games would have to be played away for double points.

As it was, the home team were quickest out of the blocks and raced to a 3-0 lead by the 15th minute. A powerplay goal from the Raiders’ Elizabeth Wright almost dead on 18 minute gave the Widnes side hope of an early comeback and then two quick goals in the last minute of the period -    from Owen Tennant and Sam Plant – tied the scores going into the first break.

The second period was as entertaining as the first with plenty of shots on both goals and an early goal from Thomas Yates edged the Raiders into a 3-4 lead. That lead lasted barely five minutes before the Stormers levelled the score but then goals from Wright, Tennant and Yates again put the visitors in a commanding position. However, a strike in between from the Stormers and another in the dying seconds of the period pulled the score back to 6-7 - with plenty still to play for in the remaining 20 minutes.

Two goals within seconds of each other around the 45 minute mark – scored by Yates and Geraint Evans - put the Raiders comfortably in front again but two quick goals back for Grimsby put Widnes hearts in mouths as a late fightback still looked distinctly possible.

However a shorthanded goal from Captain Lewis rounded off the scoring for the game and the Raiders came away with an important 8-10 victory.

The Raiders remain top of the Pucktop.com Summer Classic league table with 6 points from their opening three games with Geraint Lewis topping the scoring charts with 7+1.

The Riverside Raiders are back at home next Sunday 21st May when they play the return fixture against Grimsby Stormers at Silver Blades Widnes.  Face off is at 4.30pm and admission is free.    

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Review; NIHL North Play Off Weekend Highlights DVD from Pyro Media - available to order now!

If you’re a follower of NIHL North ice hockey – or are now going to be next season after the merging of the divisions - here’s something you might like to have a look at. 

Matt Donnachie and the team at Pyro Media filmed all the games at the NIHL North Play Off weekend at iceSheffield in April and have made them available to buy and keep as an everlasting souvenir.

The games covered are the Moralee Conference semi-finals – Solway Sharks v Solihull Barons and Billingham Stars v Blackburn Hawks – that were played on the Saturday and the Moralee final that was played on the Sunday.  (If you don’t already know who won, I’m not going to spoil it for you until after you have watched the video…!)

There are also the two Laidler Conference semi-finals:  Blackburn Eagles v Sheffield Senators and Widnes Wild v Altrincham Aces from the Saturday - and the Laidler final from the Sunday as well.

As I wasn’t able to attend the actual weekend, it is great for me to be able to see everything that went on – and even if you were there, you probably won’t have seen everything that happened, so it will be nice to be able to have another look.

The video footage is taken from several viewpoints and there are slow motion replays of the main talking points.  Commentary is by the team from NIHL Radio who also did a really good job of providing the live play-by-play audio coverage via internet radio over the weekend itself.

Now the technical bit:  there are various options available to purchase and you can either buy them as a digital version or a physical DVD.  Depending on where your interest lies, you can order a single  game in its entirety or a highlights package of all games from the weekend and there are different pricing options and offers available.

Being a bit old fashioned, I chose the DVD version of the weekend highlights package and I have to say that it really is worth getting.

Last year’s DVD was good and a nice souvenir of the play offs but this year’s version incorporates a number of improvements.  For example, there are 2 separate discs in the DVD highlights package this year – one with the 3 Laidler games on it and one with the 3 Moralee games - and there is a "start menu" so that you can select which game you want to see. Each game has about 45 minutes of highlights and there are post match interviews and coverage of the trophy presentations as well.

To find out more about the different formats, options and packages - and to place your order – go to the official website at http://www.pyromedia.co/NIHL

Please note that the various offer prices are only valid for limited periods as stated on the website.  DVDs have to be ordered by the end of May at the latest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

          

Thursday, 11 May 2017

WPL Title Decider at Chelmsford This Sunday

Match action from Chelmsford Cobras' exciting 7-6 home win over
the Widnes Wild women's team earlier in the season. 
(Photo by Perry Tomlinson) 
There is a fascinating game in store at Chelmsford this Sunday lunchtime as the destiny of this season’s Women’s Premier League title will be decided.

It’s the final game of the league campaign for both Chelmsford Cobras and Streatham Storm and by happy coincidence, the top two teams in the division meet in a “winner takes all” encounter.

The Storm are currently top of the WPL table with 18 points from their 11 league games and the Cobras are just one point behind, having led the table for much of the season.

The Cobras beat Streatham 3-4 down in South London back in November but since then have only won two of their last 5 games – drawing away at both Nottingham Vipers and Widnes, who are both in the bottom half of the table – and losing their last game 8-3 away at Slough in what was the first game to be played on the temporary ice surface there.

The Storm have gone unbeaten since the start of the year and only dropped one point – in a 3-3 draw away at Milton Keynes last weekend – since their defeat by Chelmsford.

They played two games in April whereas, due to the vagaries of the league fixtures, the Cobras have not had a competitive game since 4th March so it will be interesting to see how that has a bearing on team performances.

With Streatham having a one point lead at the top of the table, a draw would be enough to hand them the title while Chelmsford obviously need to win the game to be crowned champions.

It would be an amazing turn-around for the Cobras, who finished bottom of the WPL last season, while Streatham finished in 3rd place and reached the play off final.

Streatham has a proud place in the history of women’s hockey and the earlier Streatham Strikers were one of the first properly organised women’s teams in the country with their own ice and facilities back in the early 1980s.  They won the early English Women’s League title in both 1986/86 and 1987/88 seasons.

Chelmsford Cobras take on Streatham Storm this Sunday 14th May at the Riverside Ice & Leisure Centre in Chelmsford in the match that will decide the Women’s Premier League championship. Face off is at 12.20 (midday…) and admission is free…!  

 

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Summer Cup: Widnes Wildcats 5 - Whitley Bay Islanders 8

Sunday 7th May 2017 – Summer Cup
Widnes Wildcats 5 – Whitley Bay Islanders 8
Period Scores:  1-3, 3-3, 1-2
Penalties In Minutes:  Widnes 37 – Whitley 49

Widnes Scoring:
Lubomir Felber 2+0, Dalibor Rakoczy 1+1,Andrejs Tenbergs & Phil Hamer both 1+0, Jake Berry, Lindsey Perry, Martin Dietrich & Neil Herring all 0+1

Match Report by Paul Breeze (www.icehockeyreview.co.uk)

The Widnes Wildcats suffered defat in their first Summer Cup game of the 2017 competition as they were beaten 5-8 at home by the Whitley Bay Islanders at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.

The game started well for the Wildcats and they took the lead as early as the 2d minute with a great solo goal by Lubomir Felber.  The visitors soon got into their stride after the long journey from the North East , equalising after 12 minutes and then scoring two further goal later on in the period to take a 1-3 lead into the first break.    

Two more goals early in the second period looked to have the game almost sewn up for the visitors but then things began to get rather lively.  A Whitley player picked up a 2 minute penalty for roughing at 28.51 and within 20 seconds, Andrejs Tenbergs pulled a goal back for the Wildcats on the resulting powerplay. This sparked an incident that saw two Whitley players banished from the game and Tenbergs himself pick up a 2 +match penalty.

In the aftermath of these penalties, the Wildcats scored two more goals – through Phil Hamer on 32 minutes and Dalibor Rakoczy 3 minutes later – to bring the score back to 4-5 but any hopes of a Widnes rally were dashed as the Islanders picked up another goal in the very last second of the period.

A 7th goal for the visitors midway through the third period looked to have settled the game although a second goal of the evening from Felber with some 6 minutes left on the clock did give the Widnes camp some cause for optimism. A Whitley powerplay goal in the very last minute of the game rounded off the action for a final score of 5-8.

The Wildcats are at home in cup action again next Sunday 14th May when they take on the Blackburn Falcons at Silver Blades Widnes.  The game faces off at 4.30pm and admission is free.

 

 

 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Widnes Wild Souvenir Booklet - Available To Pre-Order Now!

A Year In the Wild - The 2016/17 season following Widnes Wild in the NIHL North Laidler Conference
A special souvenir booklet to celebrate Widnes Wild’s first trophy win in their relatively short 4 year history, featuring match reports from all Widnes Wild games for the season and game sheet information and photos as available.

It also includes end of season stats, interviews, a review of the Wild women’s team’s season and much more besides.  

Available to pre-order now – copies will be mailed out at the end of the summer break.


Selling price £7.50 inc free UK P&P
 


2017 NIHL Yearbook "Earlybird Offer" Announced

The new 2017 edition of the Ice Hockey Review NIHL Yearbook is now available to pre-order!  By taking advantage of our great “earlybird” offer, you can benefit from a very special price and also be among the first to receive your copy when they are mailed out in October.

2017 NIHL Yearbook  - earlybird offer: £8.00 inc free UK p&p  (cheaper than last year..!)



Please note: this price is for UK orders only and includes free UK postage and packing.  For overseas orders, please drop us a line ( HERE ) before ordering.

For more details about the 2017 NIHL Yearbook and its contents, click HERE

Monday, 24 April 2017

Widnes Wildcats Announce Summer Cup Fixtures

The Widnes Wildcats have announced their Summer Cup fixtures for the 2017 competition.   The first home game is Sunday 7th May at Silver Blades Widnes when they face the Whitley Bay Islanders in a 4.30pm face off.

All of the home games are on Sundays and are mainly 4.30pm face offs, although the game against Solihull Vikings on 28th May faces off at 8.30pm after the Riverside Raiders home game. The following home game – on 11th June against the Durham Dragons - is also an 8.30pm face off. Admission to all home games is free!

The full list is as follows (home games are in bold):
 
7th May: home vs Whitley Bay Islanders – 4.30pm
14th May: home vs Blackburn Falcons – 4.30pm
28th May: home vs Solihull Vikings – 8.30pm  (after Raiders game)
11th June: home vs Durham Dragons – 8.30pm
18th June: away @ Solihull Vikings – 7.30pm
1st & 2nd July: RecFest @ Ice Sheffield
16th July: home vs Kingston Cobras – 4.30pm
22nd July: away @ Kingston Cobras – 5pm
23rd July: away @ Blackburn Falcons – 6pm
30th July: home vs Grimsby Lightning – 4.30pm (double points)
5th Aug 5th: away @ Durham Dragons – 12 noon
6th Aug: home vs Cleveland Comets – 4.30pm
19th Aug: away @ Cleveland Comets – 5.30pm
20th Aug: away @ Whitley Bay Islanders – 12 noon.

You can find out more about this year’s summer cup competition via the Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/summercuphockey/ or the website at  http://www.summercup.co.uk/

Monday, 17 April 2017

Puckstop Summer Classic: Raiders Keep 100% Record After Seagulls Win

Sunday 16th April 2017 – Puckstop Summer Classic
Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 6 – Wyre Seagulls (Blackburn) 2
Period Scores: 2-0, 1-0, 3-2
Penalties In Minutes: Raiders 6 – Seagulls 10

Raiders Scoring:  Gez Lewis 3+0, Sam Plant 1+2, Owen Tennant 1+1, Tom Yates 1+0, Adam Murphy, Ben Donkin, Elizabeth Wright all 0+1

The Riverside Raiders consolidated their position at the top of the Summer Classic league table with an impressive 6-2 win over Wyre Seagulls at Silver Blades Widnes on Sunday.

Following on from their 1-5 win away in Sheffield the previous week, this gives them a 100% start to their campaign in the 5-team league which also includes teams from Sheffield, Grimsby and another team from Blackburn. 

The Raiders made a flying start to the game, taking the lead after just 1 minute with a fine strike by Gez Lewis, assisted by Sam Plant.  A little under 2 minutes later, it was 2-0 to the Raiders as Lewis, again, picked up a rebound off the Wyre netminder and slotted the puck into the net.

Once they had got over this initial setback, the Wyre Seagulls upped their game and put some impressive plays together themselves. Both teams spent the remainder of the period trying to not to give anything away and the score remained 2-0 at the first break.

The Seagulls looked much better all round in the second period and looked the more likely to score until they started picking up penalties, which broke their momentum and left them shorthanded.

The Raiders scored their third goal at 32.38 – a well taken individual effort by Owen Tennant – and the game looked to be gradually slipping away from the visitors.

The third period started off in much the same vein as the second with the Wyre Seagulls quickest out of the blocks.  They thought they had scored their opening goal just 19 seconds from the restart but the referee had already blown the whistle to halt the play before the puck crossed the line.

A 4th goal for the Raiders came at 44.55 as Tom Yates fired in his first goal for the team after some excellent skating around the net by Adam Murphy and it looked as if the home side had this game well and truly in the bag. A powerplay opportunity on a slashing penalty against the Seagulls saw them push forward to try and extend their lead but they were caught out by a Wyre breakaway and the away side scored their first goal, short-handed, to pull the score back to 4-1.    

If any nerves had begun to jangle on the home bench at this point, they were quickly dispelled when Gez Lewis scored his hattrick goal – and the Raiders’ 5th - with just under 10 minutes left in the game.

The Raiders thought they had scored again just 2 minutes later when the puck crossed the Wyre goal-line. Unfortunately, the Seagulls netminder also went into the net and, with all the accompanying pushing and shoving around the goal crease, the goal was not allowed.

Less than a minute after that, however, it was pretty much all over as Sam Plant picked up on some great forward passing from Owen Tennant and Elizabeth Wright to score the Raiders’ 6th goal.

The clock ticked down slowly towards the Raiders’ victory but much credit must go to the visitors who put up a battling performance throughout and never gave up for a second.  Their tenacity eventually paid off – albeit too late to affect the result -when they scored their second goal of the game with just 2 seconds left in the final period.

The result leaves the Riverside Raiders top of the Summer Classic league table with 4 points from their 2 games so far. 

The Raiders are next in action on Saturday 13th May when they travel to the east coast to face the Grimsby Stormers, and their next home game is the following weekend – on Sunday 21st May - when they play Grimsby at Silver Blades Widnes.

Before that, however, the Widnes Wildcats team are in competitive action as they play their first home game in the Summer Cup competition on Sunday 7th May against Cleveland Comets at Silver Blades Widnes.  Face off is at 4.30pm and admission is free.   

Monday, 10 April 2017

Aces & Metros Reunion Game At Altrincham - 8th April 2017

Photo by Dean Edgar - see bottom of post for list of names
Saturday 8th April 2017 – Silver Blades Altrincham
Altrincham Aces & Trafford Metros Reunion Game
Black Team 13 – White Team 9

Black Team - Bench coach: Dave Shepherd
Stephen Shepherd, Nick Crawley (2 goals), Mark Thomas, Ged Smith (4 goals), Paul Fleury (2 goals), Stephen Elliot (1 goal), Brian Collier, Ian Hough, Steve Fellows (4 goals), Bernie Snagg, Arran Richardson, Kevin Cassidy, Dave Clancy - nm (SOG 48)

White Team - Bench Coach: Tony Lacey
Alan Hough (1 goal), Ari Mikkolla, Greg Allen (3 goals), Russ Richardson (1 goal), Simon Mills (1 goal)
Gary Shearman, Willy Broadhurst (2 goals), Martyn Barratt, Chris Mills, Paul Morgan, Steve Nurse, Andy Bennett, Ian Broomfield, Billy Price (1 goal), John McGarrigle - nm (SOG 50)

What started off as an idea for a bit of a fun scrimmage between a few old teammates turned into something much bigger as the first Former Altrincham Aces and Trafford Metros Players Reunion game took place at Silver Blades Altrincham on Saturday.

This was the first meeting up for many of those old players since the farewell tournament when the old Devonshire Road rink was closed in 2003 and there were lots of great names from the good old days on view.

The timing of the game was rather unfortunate as the date chosen coincided with the appearance of the modern day Altrincham Aces in the NIHL North Laidler Conference play offs in Sheffield for the very first time but, luckily, their semi-final game against Widnes Wild faced off at 10.30 in the morning meaning that there was plenty of time for devotees to race back across the Pennine to be back for this event in the afternoon.

The match brought together players who had played in the Southern League days of the 1970s such as Bernie Snagg and Ged Smith along with lots of memorable names from the 80s and 90s teams as well.  It was refereed by Paul Bayliss who played for Aces and Metros teams for over 20 years and went on to be a well-respected manager and coach at the Altrincham rink.

Long term management duo Keith Purvis and Graham Horlock were in attendance - along with other former players, friends, family members and hockey fans from across the north west who wanted to support the occasion - and former Aces, Metros, Oxford  and Blackburn import Ari Pekka Mikkola even came all the from Finland to play in the game.  

Rather than having “Aces v Metros” - which would, in fact, been very difficult to arrange as many of the players had played for both teams over the years – the players were divided into two roughly equal teams wearing black or white shirts.

As is the case with such occasions, the result on the ice was relatively unimportant when compared to the nostalgia and camaraderie that accompanied it off-ice but, for the record, the Black team won 13-9 with Ged Smith and Steve Fellows both top-scoring with 4 goals each. Greg Allen was the top scorer for the White team with 3 strikes.

There was also a raffle and £170 was raised in aid of the Trafford Tornados Junior club.

Organiser Stephen Shepherd said: “The game was played in a competitive spirit - bearing in mind it was originally just meant to be a group of lads that got together for a scrimmage. I really enjoyed the whole occasion. A lot of people who used to come and watch us play turned up, which was great, and people have suggested that we should do it again.  If we do – I think we’ll need to put more planning into it!”



Aces & Metros Reunion Game Photo by Dean Edgar

Back Row, Andy Bennett, Simon Mills, Steve Nurse, Ari Mikkola, Ian Broomfield, Paul Broadhurst, Greg Allen, Billy Price, Alan Hough Steven Fellows, Mark Thomas, Tony Lacey, Paul Morgan, David Shepherd, John McGarrigle, Stephen Elliott, Ian McDade.

Front Row, Gary Shearman, Dave Clancy, Bernie Snagg, Ged Smith, Nick Crawley, Kev Cassidy, Russ Richardson, Stephen Shepherd, Arran Richardson, Brian Collier.

Riverside Raiders Win Summer Classic Opener In Sheffield

Photo by James Birtwistle
Saturday 8th April 2017 – Puckstop Summer Classic
Sheffield Ice Tigers 1 – Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 5
Period Scores:  0-2, 0-2, 1-1
Penalties In Minutes:  Tigers 14 – Raiders 8

Raiders Scoring: Anthony Hughes 2+0, Gez Lewis 2+1, Sam Plant 1+0, Charlie Perry (nm), Peter O’Mahony, Jordan Birtwistle, Owen Tennant all 0+1

The Widnes based Riverside Raiders got their Puckstop Summer Classic campaign off to a winning start with a 1-5 win away to Sheffield Ice Tigers in the Steel City on Saturday night.

Because the game was arranged for the same day that the iceSheffield venue was staging 4 semi-final games in the NIHL North play offs, the Raiders’ game didn’t face off until 10.30pm and finished well after midnight.  

The Raiders scored the first goal of the game after 11 minutes through Anthony Hughes – who was playing his first ever game – assisted by Jordan Birtwistle, and that goal remained the difference between the two teams at the first break.

Two more goals for the Raiders in the second period – by Gez Lewis (31.04 – assist Charlie Perry) and Hughes again (34.10 – assist Peter O’Mahony) – pretty much put the game beyond the reach of their hosts and a fourth goal from Lewis – his second of the game - at 45.19 (asst Owen Tennant) looked to have killed the game off.

The Ice Tigers scored a consolation goal at 51.21 while the Raiders were shorthanded on a roughing penalty but the 4-goal advantage was restored at 54.48 when Sam Plant scored ,assisted by Lewis, to round off the scoring for the night.

The Riverside Raiders are in home action next Sunday 16th April when they face the Blackburn-based Wyre Seagulls in their next Summer Classic game at Silver Blades Widnes.  Face off is 4.30pm and admission is free.      

Friday, 31 March 2017

NIHL North Play Off Weekend Videos - Pre Order Now

You can now pre-order your very own DVD or digital highlights of this year’s NIHL North Playoffs being held at iceSheffield on the 8th & 9th April.

This year you can also buy a copy of any full game on DVD or via digital version.

- Highlights: DVD £10 (+£1 P&P) or digital version £7.99

- Full game: DVD £5 (+£1 P&P) or digital version £3.49

All of these include match commentary, previews, analysis and interviews as well as replays, slow motion and goal cameras! Better still, you will be supporting British hockey with your order as the teams will receive part of every purchase!

Orders will also be able to be placed at the Playoffs weekend, though we advise purchasing online which you will be able to from until a month after the Playoffs have been held

For more information or to place your order – go to www.pyromedia.co/NIHL

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bandy "Try It" Session at Planet Ice Peterborough, Sunday 19th March

There’s a great opportunity to be involved in a little bit of ice sport history next Sunday 19th March as the first bandy event to be staged in this country for 100 years will take place at Peterborough Planet Ice arena – with an opportunity for ice skaters to go along and give the game a try.

It is a fitting venue for the renaissance as the game was originally played on the frozen fens back in the 1890s but lost its popularity in this country after the First World War, although it has continued to be a highly popular sport in many other countries to this day.

A new English Bandy Federation was set up earlier this year and members are now spreading the word and encouraging new people to become interested in the sport.

The driving force behind this project is new EBF President Lyn Gibb-de Swarte, a long term speed skater and coach who was also a founder member of the Streatham Strikers women’s ice hockey in the early 1980s.  She has announced plans for a purpose built 100m x 60m indoor bandy ice field – the only one in the country – at a new proposed “Littleport Ice Stadium” - to be constructed at Littleport near Ely in Cambridgeshire, which is in the very heart of fen skating country.

The facility will also have the only 400 meter speed skating track in the country, which will help introduce new people to that sport and also save British competitors having to travel to Holland for training and competitions – as that is where the nearest  full size oval track is situated.

The game of bandy has been described as both “soccer on ice, and ice hockey with a ball” and Lyn sums it up as” Bandy is a fast, skillful, non-contact sport that any skater can play - and the kit doesn’t cost a fortune either. It’s great fun to watch too, with similar rules to soccer.”

You don’t need have to have played any sort of ice sport before to be able to join in the session, although a basic level of skating ability is necessary.

The bandy try-it event at Peterborough runs from 8pm to 9.30pm on Sunday 19th March and includes a half hour introduction to the game followed by an hour on the ice.  The cost is £5 per person and FREE for under-16s.  Balls and sticks will be provided  

The event will be overseen by top bandy coaches from Sweden and also the Czech Head Coach Michael Bratt who has over 20 years’ experience coaching in Sweden, Holland & Russia and now back in his native land.

To find out more about the game of bandy and forthcoming events, check out the English Bandy Federation’s website HERE

 

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Riverside Raiders (Widnes) Announce Summer Classic Dates

The Widnes based Riverside Raiders recreational team have announced they they will be taking part in the 2017 Summer Classic competition, sponsored by www.puckstock.com . 

The competition consists of 5 teams who will play each other home and away on a league basis. The other teams are the Sheffield Ice Tigers B team – who play their home games at iceSheffield, Blackburn Buccaneers and Wyre Seagulls who both play at Blackburn Arena and Grimsby Stormers whose rink has now been granted a six month reprieve and will now - happily - be able to host home games.
 
The Riverside Raiders fixtures are as follows (home dates in bold):

Saturday 8th April 2017: away @ Sheffield Ice Tigers “B” – 10.30pm  
Sunday 16th April 2017: home v Wyre Seagulls - 4.30pm
Saturday 13th May 2017:  away @ Grimsby Stormers (new date added...)
Sunday 21st May 2017: home v Grimsby Stormers - 4.30pm
Sunday 28th May 2017: home v Sheffield Ice Tigers “B” Home - 4.30pm
Saturday 3rd June 2017: away @ Wyre Seagulls (Blackburn) - 6pm
Sunday 2nd July 2017 - home v Telford .4.30pm (NOTE - Challenge match)  
Saturday 8th July 2017: away @ Blackburn Buccaneers - 6pm  
Sunday 23rd July 2017: home v Blackburn Buccaneers - 4.30pm

The Raiders home games are all at Silver Blades Widnes with 4.30pm face off times and free admission. You can follow the Riverside Raiders via their Facebook page HERE

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Altrincham Aces / Trafford Metros Reunion Match - 8th April at Silver Blades Altrincham

For anybody who remembers the good old days of the Heineken British League period - which was a golden age for our sport in terms of rink building, league expansion, TV coverage and development of British players -  here is an event not to be missed.

A special reunion game featuring players from the Altrincham Aces and Trafford Metros teams from that memorable period is being staged at the Silver Blades rink in Altrincham on Saturday 8th April. Admission is £3 per person and face off is at 4.30pm.  The cafĂ© and bar will be open and a souvenir match programme is being prepared.   

Final line ups have yet to be announced but there will be two teams of Aces and Metros legends with the following players having already been confirmed:

Stephen Shepherd, Ian Hough, Alan Hough, Ged Smith, Brian Collier, Nick Crawley, Tony Harcourt, Pete Broadhurst, Paul Broadhurst, Paul Fleury, Simon Mills, Russ Richardson, Arran Richardson, Martyn Barratt, Tony Casson, Gregg Allen, Kevin Cassidy, Steve Nurse, Paul Morgan, Bernie Snagg, Laurence Paul, Andy Bennett, Ian Broomfield, Billy Price, Gary Shearman, Brian Jokat, Ari Mikkola

Netminders: John Dunford, John McGarrigle, Charlie Birch, Dave Clancy
Bench Coaches: Dave Shepherd & Tony Lacey
Match Officials:  Paul Bayliss & Les Heighway
Goal Judges: Gary Weightman & Nigel Higgs

For more information - and to keep up with the latest event news - join the event page on Facebook HERE

There will be a 50/50 draw and a raffle / tombola on the day to raise funds for the Trafford Tornados Junior club.  Prizes are keenly sought for the raffle and any donations can be handed to an event organiser, Tornados club official or at the Altrincham rink box office.  


Last Few Copies of IHR 2016 Still Available - order YOURS Now!

While everybody is enjoying the climax to yet another thrilling of NIHL ice hockey and looking forward to cup finals, play offs and the like, don’t forget that you can relive all the excitement of LAST season’s competitions in the Ice Hockey Review 2016 NIHL Yearbook.

It covers all teams that played in NIHL North and South Divisions 1&2 in the 2015/2016 season with facts, figures and photos covering all league cup and play off competitions – and a lot more besides.

You can order your copy by mail order  HERE  or you can also get copies form Chris Randall on the Isle of Wight.

Also - for the first time, copies are available to buy from Silver Blades ice rink shops at Widnes, Blackburn, Solihull, Altrincham, Gillingham and Cannock.  

As soon as this season is finished, we will be starting work on the 2017 NIHL Yearbook and details of our special earlybird offers will be announced during the summer.

Big thanks to Matt Donnachie of Pyro Media for this great photo ( http://pyromedia.co/ )

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Antony Morris Memorial Cup Game At Widnes - 8th January 2017

There’s an early New Year opportunity for sports fans to enjoy an entertaining evening out and support two very good causes as the annual Antony Morris Memorial cup ice hockey game is staged at the Silver Blades ice rink in Widnes on Sunday 8th January 2017.

Antony was a recreational player with the Widnes Wildcats and he died after a fall on a night out in Liverpool in November 2015 aged just 29.

The game will be played between the two Widnes senior recreational teams, the Widnes Wildcats and the Riverside Raiders, and funds raised on the night will be split between the Ronald McDonald House charity which enables families to remain close by while their children are in hospital and the Cathie Stankevitch Foundation social inclusion charity. 

Admission to the event is free and face off is at 5.30pm .
 
There will be collection buckets on the door and a raffle. Other fundraising measures will be announced in due course and anybody interested in attending, donating a raffle prize or otherwise supporting the event can find out more information via the “Riverside Raiders (IHC) Widnes” or “Widnes Wildcats” groups on Facebook.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Have You Got YOUR copy yet?

Invicta Dynamos' Arran Strawson
with his copy of the NIHL Yearbook
(Photo by Chris Randall)
Update from NIHL South editor Chris Randall’s trip to Streatham:

“It's not just hockey fans who like to get their hands on a copy of the NIHL Yearbook. None other than South Yorkshire born defence man Arran Strawson makes sure he gets his copy every year. He likes to look back and reflect on his team, the Invicta Dynamos – season’s fortunes, as well as the league in general.”

You can order your copy now via the website HERE  in person from Chris Randall on the Isle of Wight  HERE , via Amazon  HERE or coming soon to a skate shop / supporters club near you!
 
Offers and discounts available for retailers, clubs and fundraisers – drop us a line HERE !