Sunday, 31 January 2021

Book Review: The Cardiff Devils by Stuart Latham

 “They say that good things come in threes”.  Yes ! I know I have done that one already but I have since thought of a few decent ice hockey related analogies - so just bear with me…

Like Heineken League era imports, the Hanson Brothers in Slapshot, the Hunter brothers at the Peterborough Pirates and erm, well, perm any three Brittles….  Stuart Latham conjures again with that magic number to come up with another of his fascinating British ice hockey club histories. 

This time – in what is the second instalment in his Ice Hockey In Wales trilogy (– although you might wait quite a long time for the third one…..!),  I am pleased to present to you the third instalment instead of his JOHN LAWLESS TRILOGY!  ie the Cardiff Devils, to fit nicely alongside the Peterborough Pirates and Manchester Storm books that he has produced previously.

Now, EVERYBODY loves the Cardiff Devils – by which I actually mean that some people really do LOVE them -–and most other people love to hate them. But, whatever side of that particular fence you sit on, you can’t argue with the amount of trophies they have won over the years and the number of players they have contributed to this great sport of ours.

I sit firmly atop that fence in this debate as I was very pleased to watch the Devils beat Murrayfield Racers in a highly dramatic sudden death penalty shoot out in the 1990 Wembley Play Off final – back when domestic British ice hockey used to appear LIVE regularly on BBC1’s flagship Grandstand  programme.  I have to admit that my pleasure came mainly from the fact that they had so many former Peterborough Pirates players in their line up - but there you go...

I did, however, also enjoy the odd frisson of schadenfreude when the all conquering Devils managed to lose the Division 2 Promotion Play Off final on their home ice to the little fancied Aviemore Blackhawks one year - which will have dented the ardour of the air-horn wielding faithful for a while – and also the occasion when they got trounced by everyone (else) ’s favourite Welshmen, the Deeside Dragons, to lose the Welsh Cup as well – so that’s a bit of balance for you.

Regular readers of my ice hockey ramblings (should such hardy souls, indeed, exist...) will know that I always like to slip the odd Peterborough connection in if I can manage it and, apart from the obvious player connection – here’s another one for you: the company that built the original Cardiff rink was the same company that had built the Peterborough Rink a few years earlier – Sports Nationwide, as I believe they were called at the time. They also built the Chelmsford rink.  There you go, Stuart, you could do a “Dennis Adams Trilogy” next…! 

But I have digressed far enough – back to the present and the Cardiff Devils book. This is a very impressive tome with a whackingly huge 272 pages. It has season by season write ups and statistics for the Devils from 1986/87 to 2020/21 – although that last one is a bit thin, obviously… and also all time player records. There are memory articles penned by some of the players including Steve Moria, Jason Wood and Richie Hargreaves and photos throughout as well. 

If you are a Cardiff Devils fan – you will probably already have a copy of this – or have one on the way.  If you are interested in ice hockey in general – and British ice hockey in particular - you will certainly find this book of interest and if, like me, you have had your own experiences with the Cardiff Devils in the past, then you’ll probably enjoy reliving those memories once again.

Stuart has produced numerous books about ice hockey and other fascinating topics as well and you can find out more on his sales website HERE


 


Friday, 1 January 2021

Isle Of Wight 25 Year History Book In Preparation

Chris Randall is putting together a new book to celebrate the 25 years (so far…) of ice hockey on the Isle of Wight. 

The book will look in detail at the Isle of Wight / Wightlink Raiders team that played from 1991 until 2016 when their home Ryde Arena was shut down in controversial circumstances by the building owners.

Chris would be keen to hear from former players and officials and from also from anybody who has any photos, programmes or other memorabilia that they would like to have included in the book.  

It will also include year by year statistics and a full player A to Z - plus some bits and pieces about the Tigers second team.

There are various options available for sponsorship / advertising within the book and it is hoped to be able to arrange a special launch event on the Island once Covid restrictions are lifted later in the year.  

Anybody interested is asked to contact Chris at: HERE




Saturday, 5 December 2020

New Book: Widnes Wild - Lockdown Lookback - Available to order now!

Here’s a great Christmas present idea for the ice hockey player or fan in your life who already has almost everything and - above all - is MISSING ICE HOCKEY!   

This is not quite a full history of the Wild team as such but an interesting lookback at key moments in that history as told in the pages of the Widnes Weekly News during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic lockdown - and great memento of the team's many achievements SO FAR.... 

A5 paperback - 118 pages with black and white photos throughout.

Full contents:
Introduction
Questions for the Chairman
Widnes Wild’s First Ever Game

Richard Charles Looks Back At The First Widnes Game

Where Are They Now?

Craig Williams And The First Ever Widnes Wild Goal
Widnes Wild In The End Of Season Play Offs
Widnes Wild In the End of Season Play Offs – Part Two 
Widnes Wild In The Promotion Game
Wild Imports – Then & Now 
Widnes Wild In The NIHL Cup
Widnes Wild’s Title Winning Season
Widnes Wild At The National Championship Game
Ken Armstrong – 200 Games And Counting

Tom Jackson’s Widnes Wild Appearance Record 
Mike Mawer Reaches 100 Game Milestone
Dan Bracegirdle Looks Back Over 100 Games
Widnes / Deeside Rivalry – Part 1 

Widnes / Deeside Rivalry – Part 2
Widnes / Altrincham Rivalry
Widnes & Blackburn – Head To Head 
Wild Break Records In Blackburn
Wild Go To Hull And Back 
NIHL Player Award Winners 
Bookshelf

Selling Price: £7.00 plus p&p


Please Select Destination




Also available via Amazon – with all their various offers and free shipping deals etc if you buy from them:  
CLICK HERE



Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Limited Edition Offer: Ice Hockey 1936 Reprint

An annotated and illustrated reprint of the original 1936 work by Major Bethune Minet Patton, this new 2020 edition includes: 

A new introduction 

A new biography of BM Patton 

A new section about the Patton Cup 

A new section about the EIHL Patton Conference 

Two new appendices 

And 10 new photographs

As well as the complete original text and content.

With the benefits and facilities of modern technology, and in a move that we hope that Patton himself would have heartily approved of, we have decided to make his book – which has been practically impossible to get hold of for over 70 years without shelling out a small fortune to a rare book dealer – available to everybody at a reasonable selling price, which we hope they will enjoy reading.

SELLING PRICE £8.00 plus P&P 


Please Select Destination For Correct P&P


Please note: for overseas purchases - due to postage costs sending items from the UK to abroad - it may be cheaper to order the Print On Demand version via Amazon: CLICK HERE FOR AMAZON LINK



Friday, 27 November 2020

New Book: Manchester Storm - The Complete History by Stuart Latham


Manchester Storm - The Complete History by Stuart Latham

ISBN No: 978-1-8381165-3-8

235 pages B5 Size - Published 02/11//2020

Selling Price: £15.99

Featuring Stats, photos and articles by the players

OK – it’s time for another “Trilogy Analogy” now as we look at Stuart Latham’s third book in this series of three about ice hockey in Manchester.  I’m actually really looking forward to see if he’s going to do a “Rambo” with this and retrospectively rename them all at some point in the future and call the fourth one the same as the second – but that’s just me, I suppose…. 

Today we are looking at “Manchester Storm - The Complete History” which, with a title like that, probably doesn’t need much more of an introduction.

Like most keen hockey fans of the time, I closely followed the fortunes of the Storm when they first started up – John Lawless, Hilton Ruggles etc - not least because they were playing in the same division as my beloved Peterborough Pirates. To my eternal regret I never went to see the Pirates play them at the impressive Manchester Arena and, in fact, to this day, have never seen the Manchester Storm in action.   

All of that makes this a really interesting book for me to get my teeth into – and Stuart has done a really good job of this because there have been, in fact, two separate eras of the Manchester Storm.

As well as all the stats and photos that you’d expect there are also contributions from:

Daryl Lipsey

Hilton Ruggles

Martin Smith

Brad Rubachuk

Frank Pietrangelo

Kurt Kleinendorst

Jon Hammond

John Lawless

Dave Biggar

Andy McKinney

Mike Morin

Neil Russell

Jared Aulin

Richard Evans

& Margaret Pullen

- which is great as it brings together memories from players, coaches ,fans – and even the match announcer – a rare breed with a unique view of the game who - in my opinion - always have plenty to say! 

Just like Stuart’s other books, as a stand-alone club history, this will be of interest to general ice hockey fans from the UK and abroad – particularly with this one covering the Superleague and Elite League teams, ie “top tier” British hockey.   

Plus, of course, it fits very nicely with the other volumes of Stuart’s “Manchester Trilogy”, ie: “60 Years of the Altrincham Aces” and “The Rise And Fall Of The Manchester Phoenix”. 

Stuart has also recently produced similar books about the Deeside Dragons and Bristol Pitbulls teams and previous projects have included Bracknell, Peterborough and Swindon ice hockey clubs.

All of these are available by mail order but, because of production lead-times etc, I am told they HAVE to be ordered by 7th December at the latest if you want them delivered in time for Christmas.

To find out more about Stuart’s books on a wide range of topics – not just ice hockey, check out his sales website at: https://www.sandtsales.co.uk/online-shop 


New Book: The Rise And Fall Of The Manchester Phoenix by Stuart Latham


New Book: The Rise And Fall Of The Manchester Phoenix by Stuart Latham

ISBN No: 978-1-838116-56-9

214 pages B5 Size - Published 21/10/2020

Selling Price: £15.99

Featuring Stats, photos and articles by the players

They say that good things come in threes and, unlike the Porky’s Trilogy, which I have previously alluded to and of which - in my opinion - number 2 isn’t as good as 1 and 3 …, I am pleased to report that this is definitely NOT the case with Stuart Latham’s new book about the Manchester Phoenix ice hockey team.

It is called “The Rise and Fall of the Manchester Phoenix” so I guess you can imagine that it doesn’t have an overly happy ending – but there are lots of good bits to remember and celebrate in between the actual “Rise” and “Fall” parts.
I never, in fact, saw the Phoenix team play - although I did watch them warm up once, prior to the first game they played at Widnes – and, having never really followed the English Premier League per se as a dedicated fan, I can safely say that much of what Stuart has collected together in this book is new ground for me.
There are huge rafts of player stats, league tables and other bits and pieces - which all ice hockey fans love – and lots of fascinating photos as well.
There are articles and reminiscences from Margaret Pullen, Tony Hand, Carl Graham Steve Fone, Richard Amor Allan, Terry & Julia Sobutta, Peter Hagan, James Hadfield, Dave Clancy, Mark Lovell, Thomas Revesz, Aran Fox, Gary Lee, Paule Mayoh and Lisa Howard who all had involvement of some sort or other with the club over the 12 seasons of its existence. This is always nice to see as you get different points of view rather than just a mere list of what happened when – of which there is also plenty.
There are also sections about the ENL teams from that period, ie Phoenix ENL, Trafford Metros and Manchester Minotaurs.
You’ll probably know that there was a bit of falling out surrounding the Phoenix team which eventually led to their demise prior to the end of the 2016/17 season - but what went on behind the scenes is a matter for another occasion. As Stuart says in his introduction: “this book will focus on what happened on the ice!”
If you are keen a fan of the Manchester Phoenix, you’ll probably already have a copy of this – and if not, you’ll probably be getting one for Christmas.
As a stand-alone club history, it will be of interest to general ice hockey fans from the UK and abroad - and it fits very nicely between the other volumes of Stuart’s “Manchester Trilogy” between “60 Years of the Altrincham Aces” and “Manchester Storm - The Complete History”. (don’t ask me about this Manchester / Altrincham business, it’ll take too long to explain…)
Stuart has also recently produced similar books about the Deeside Dragons and Bristol Pitbulls teams and previous projects have included Bracknell, Peterborough and Swindon ice hockey clubs.
All of these are available by mail order but, because of production lead-times etc, I am told they HAVE to be ordered by 7th December at the latest if you want them delivered in time for Christmas.
To find out more about Stuart’s books on a wide range of topics – not just ice hockey, check out his sales website at: https://www.sandtsales.co.uk/online-shop

Monday, 12 October 2020

New Book: The Deeside Dragons by Stuart Latham

The Deeside Dragons by Stuart Latham

ISBN No: 978-1-8381165-3-8

204 pages B5 Size - Published 18/09/2020

Selling Price: £15.99

Featuring Stats, photos and articles by the players

 

With guest articles from Gary Chopper Lee, Lol Paul, Bryn Roberts and Shaun Bebbington and player contributions from Dave Clancy, Steve Fellows, James Parsons, Marc Lovell, Dom Jolly & Chris Jones.

Stuart has also produced similar books about the Altrincham Aces, various Peterborough teams, Bracknell Bees and Swindon Wildcats and there are more in the pipeline about Manchester Storm, Bristol Pitbulls and Manchester Phoenix.  

You can find out more about his publications on his sales website at: https://www.sandtsales.co.uk/online-shop 

Friday, 9 October 2020

New Book: Ice Hockey (1936) by Major BM Patton - Annotated & Illustrated 2020: A facsimile reprint of the original 1936 edition with new introduction, author biography and appendices


An annotated and illustrated reprint of the original 1936 work by Patton, this new 2020 edition includes:

A new introduction

A new biography of BM Patton

A new section about the Patton Cup

A new section about the EIHL Patton Conference

Two new appendices

And 10 new photographs

As well as the complete original text and content.

With the benefits and facilities of modern technology, and in a move that we hope that Patton himself would have heartily approved of, we have decided to make his book – which has been practically impossible to get hold of for over 70 years without shelling out a small fortune to a rare book dealer – available to everybody at a reasonable selling price, which we hope they will enjoy reading.

Mail order link - CLICK HERE

Monday, 28 September 2020

Peelers Club Launch Sponsorship Initiative

The Peelers team during their latest training session at Planet Ice Widnes (Photo by Andrew Goodier)

Following their latest successful training session at Planet Ice Widnes, the new Peelers northern police ice hockey club have announced a series of sponsorship opportunities so that fans and local companies can help support the team.

The individual player sponsorship costs £150 and will last for three seasons.  The benefits to the sponsor will include: sponsor’s name on the player’s shirt, invitations to games, photo opportunities with player mentions on social media, acknowledgements via match announcements at Peelers home games and a souvenir mini shirt.

There are other sponsorship packages available and deals can be tailored to suit all pockets and budgets.  Ice hockey equipment suppliers Hockey Hound – for example - are providing the all –important pucks for the season’s matches and training sessions while club coach Neil Herring is supporting the players’ skates maintenance through his “Kip’s Skate Workshop” business.

The Peelers team are named after the founder of the UK police service Sir Robert Peel and the club is aimed at people who have an association with the police including Police Officers, PCSOs, Special Constables, civilian staff and ex-members or employees. It has players with a wide range of experience and ability from former GB internationals down to complete beginners.

Once the current coronavirus crisis is over, the team plans to play a series of charity games against other emergency teams with the hope of creating a league in the near future.

Anybody who would like to sponsor the team in some way is asked to get in touch via email to peelersihc@gmail.com

Supporters can follow the progress of the new Peelers club via their Facebook page HERE and the team are always keen to hear from any prospective new members who fulfil the eligibility criteria.


Friday, 21 August 2020

Peelers IHC First Training Session At Widnes

Neil Herring puts the Peelers players through their paces.  (Photo by Robert Martin). 

A brand new ice hockey team took to the ice for the first time at the Planet Ice rink in Widnes last week with the debut training session of the Peelers IHC Northern Police club.

The Peelers are named after the founder of the UK police service Sir Robert Peel and the club is aimed at people who have an association with the police including Police Officers, PCSOs, Special Constables, civilian staff and ex-members or employees. It has players with a wide range of experience and ability from former GB internationals down to complete beginners.

Despite only having been in existence for a few months, the fledgling club actually has some 60 team members in total from 12 different police forces and constabularies across the north of England. However, due to shift pattern working and travelling distances, the plan is to rotate training sessions around other rinks across the country so that everybody gets an equal chance to be involved.

The training session was run by Peelers club coach Neil Herring, who has a vast experience in the game having previously been involved with the Manchester Storm and Hull Pirates teams and is also a team sponsor via his company Kip's Skate Workshop (click here for details ). Belfast Giants GB international gold medal winning player  Paul Swindlehurst was a guest coach for the session at Widnes on Thursday and they put the Peelers players through their paces, starting off with a brief introduction to the rules and a run through of the upcoming drills.

The group of players in attendance - some of whom were playing for the first time - were then split into 6 groups, with each group practising different manoeuvres on the ice at intervals. The coaches, who supervised the session on the ice, put the players through various skating and passing drills, with an emphasis on speed of movement and puck control.

The two goalies on the team were also put through their paces, with a number of shooting drills and scrimmages taking place towards the end of the session.

A great time was had by all and it will be exciting to see going forward how this new team gets on.

Sergeant Andy Cooper of Cheshire Police, one of the organisers behind the new team, said:

I’m a complete novice and, up until March, I had never picked a hockey stick up. It’s always been a goal to play and an opportunity to learn came along with this new team. It’s great to have the Elite League coaches supporting the session - it also buys interest for the more advanced players going forward to be coached by pros.”

Vanessa Crickmore-Clarke - who also plays for the Widnes Wild womens team and won the women’s league title last season - is one of the more experienced players on the Peelers team. She said:

“I had a really excellent time - it was a positive event after the impact of the virus. It’s really good that the development of the team was able to happen despite the pandemic. Any coaching will help; you can always learn something new. It’s good to be able to sharpen up your abilities and be able to brush your skills up.”

The team intends to meet once a month at different rinks throughout the north of England, with training sessions lasting a few hours to make the most of the time. The plan for fixtures looking ahead is to play charity games, with the hope of creating a league in the near future with other emergency teams.

Report by Robert Martin 

You can hear Robert's interview with organiser Scott here:

Friday, 14 August 2020

New Book: 60 Years Of The Altrincham Aces by Stuart Latham


For anybody interested in British ice hockey, Stuart Latham has put together a great new book about the history of the Altrincham Aces. For orders placed via Stuart direct or through the Altrincham club - once they can start having games again, at least - 40% of the proceeds will go to the Aces team – which is great news.

Contents include:
The original Altrincham Aces (1961-1987)
Trafford Metros (1987-1995)
Altrincham Aces – Reborn (1995-2002)
Altrincham Aces – Modern Era (since 2015)

The book is packed with league tables, player statistics and lots of great photos courtesy of Walter Bayliss, Rob Hutchinson & Mark Ferriss.

Early club information courtesy of Richard Jones

Guest articles from Lol Paul, Simon Mills, Sarah Hutchinson, Thomas Revesz, Aran Fox, Paule Mayoh, Sam Dunford, Sean Jones, and Paul Breeze


176 pages B5 format.
Price 15.99 plus £4.50 p&p
ISBN: 978-1-8381165-0-7


For order details and information about other great books, check out Stuart's sales website HERE

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Book Review: Brighton Tigers - A Story Of Sporting Passion

A lot of modern ice hockey fans probably won’t know that the Brighton Tigers were a big part of hockey history from the opening of their superb SS (Sports Stadium) in the 1930s right up until it was controversially closed in 1965 just when British ice hockey was slowly edging towards its next golden era.

However, I have been watching ice hockey just about long enough to remember the valiant Brighton BVH Royals team who kept the hockey flag flying for the South Coast in Division 3 of the British League where they had to play all of their games away for double points so - as a keen reader of Stewart Roberts’ excellent Ice Hockey Annual over the years, I have always followed the various campaigns to get a new ice rink built in Brighton and, when Stewart announced that he was working on this history of the former Tigers team, I knew it would be something special.

While the main thrust of this book is, obviously, the Tigers teams of the 1930s to the 1960s there is a very interesting introduction that tells of earlier rinks in the Brighton area – namely the Victorian circular rink that operated from 1897-1901 and then a more modern facility at Hove (1929-1932).

This book is an absolute mine of information. Who knew, for example, that while most leisure facilities were closed for the duration of World War 2, the Brighton Sports Stadium had ice hockey matches on every week featuring a mixture of local players and visiting Canadian servicemen…?

There is a complete player directory of everybody who ever turned out for the Tigers teams - and that is quite an achievement in itself bearing in mind the scarcity of statistical information from the pre-war and immediate post war periods - as well as lots of great photos of many of the stars.

I may be slightly biased as this is the sort of book that I like to produce myself  - as well as to read - but it means that I can easily appreciate the huge amount of work that is involved in putting this sort of thing together  – seeking out all the facts and figures, getting permission for all the photos, checking and rechecking all the data…  It’s is a huge undertaking and even more so when a lot of the people are dead and there is nobody around to ask anything!

Whether you’re a modern hockey fan – or a bit of a nostalgia fan like me – or maybe know nothing about it and want to find out more, this book is definitely worth read.

And you don’t have to take my word for it – here are comments that a few other people have made:

“Book arrived yesterday, thank you. I've got to say how very impressed I am with it. You should be very proud. An everlasting history of the famous Brighton Tigers and an absolute must for Tigers (Bengals) fans everywhere and for sports fans generally in Brighton.” - Gordon Wade, Heineken League statistician.

“Received through the post yesterday a copy of your book on Brighton Tigers. It is excellent - superb lay-out and illustrations. Congratulations on a wonderful achievement that provides a comprehensive record of the sport in Brighton. And can be used as a powerful PR tool to 'sell' Brighton to any potential developers as the place in the UK to locate a new ice facility.” - David Gordon, ice hockey historian and member of Britain's Hall of Fame committee.

“Thanks for sending the book so quickly. I’m having fun dipping in and out of it from time to time and it’s really interesting to hear and see what went on before I was even born. I think it’s a fabulous book, very striking and smart-looking and very well put together.” - Vicki Gardner, Brighton resident.

“Really enjoying the book - Great work! And a real history lesson too, makes me wanna get the skates on!” - Gary O'Brien, son of Tigers' legend Mike O'Brien.

You can order your copy of the book via Amazon HERE

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Launch Of the "Peelers IHC" Northern Police Team


A new ice hockey team will be taking its first steps at the Planet Ice rink in Widnes this July with the first ever training session of the brand new Peelers IHC Northern Police team.

The Peelers are named after the founder of the UK police service Sir Robert Peel and, despite having only been formed a few weeks ago – in the middle of the Covid 19 lockdown - already have some 60 team members from across 12 different police forces and constabularies across the north of England.

The club is aimed at people who have an association with the police including Police Officers, PCSO, Special Constables, Communication Staff, Police Staff and Ex Members or employees and has players with a wide range of experience and ability from former GB internationals down to complete beginners.

The team plan to meet once a month at a different rink around the north of the country so as to balance out the travelling for members who are based further away and to hold training camp style sessions of 4 to 5 hours duration to make the most of the time together. 

The Peelers IHC will initially be playing memorial and charity games but there are also plans to set up  tournaments and a league with other emergency services teams.

To find out more about the Peelers IHC, follow their Facebook page HERE 


Sunday, 7 June 2020

North West Lions Set To Roar


Recreational players from across the North West have been invited to join a new ice hockey team, which will see them taking part in overseas tournaments - flying the flag for their region and country.

Rather like the British Lions rugby union representative team, the new North West Lions tournament ice hockey team has been set up especially to play matches abroad and, as its name suggests, will comprise players taken from the north west rinks of Widnes, Deeside, Altrincham and Blackburn.

With the costs and time commitments involved in travelling abroad for this sort of event being a problem for many, it has always been difficult in the past for regular recreational teams to get enough players to be able to take part - and the idea of this new team is to draw together a suitable pool players from across the region to be able to send a strong enough team to compete against foreign opposition.

The Lions have been invited to take part in an 8-team tournament in Vlasim in the Czech Republic next April and, assuming that the restrictions on foreign travel and sporting events have been relaxed by then, that will be their first competitive outing.

Planning is still in its very early stages and any players interested in being involved with the North West Lions are asked to get in touch via the Facebook page HERE



Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Player Of The Month Awards For February 2020

Leen de Decker (left) of the Widnes Wild women's team and Phil Pearson of the Wild NIHL team both scooped their Divisional player of the Month awards for February 2020 - the first time that two players from the same club have been selected in the same month. (Photos by Paul Breeze and Geoff White)    

The NIHL and WNIHL have announced the winners of the OddBalls Player of the Month awards for February 2020.

In the National Ice Hockey League the winners are:
NATIONAL DIVISION: Martins Susters (Peterborough Phantoms)
DIVISION 1 NORTH: Richard Lawson (Whitley Warriors)
DIVISION 1 SOUTH: Ryan Watt (Streatham IHC)
DIVISION 2 NORTH: Phil Pearson (Widnes Wild)
DIVISION 2 SOUTH: Josh Abbott (Guildford Phoenix)

Across the Women’s National Ice Hockey League, the divisional winners are:
ELITE LEAGUE: Sarah Hutchinson (Solihull Vixens)
PREMIER LEAGUE: Libby Bird (Kingston Diamonds)
DIVISION ONE NORTH: Leen de Decker (Widnes Wild)
DIVISION ONE SOUTH: Ellen Jo Cole (Coventry Phoenix)
UNDER 16 NORTH: Ava Breuza (Kingston Diamonds)
UNDER 16 SOUTH: Lily Endicott (Swindon Top Kittens)

All winners receive an Obble hat, courtesy of the prize sponsors, clothing company OddBalls.

OddBalls are an underwear and clothing brand who raise money and awareness for testicular cancer. They have also recently partnered with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust using their women’s clothing ranges to raise money and awareness of cervical cancer.

Their latest ranges of men’s, women’s and kids clothing as well as accessories like umbrellas and towels can be found online at www.myoddballs.com .

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

NIHL Player of the Month Awards For January 2020

Shaun Dippnall of Widnes Wild won the Laidler Division award for January (photo by Geoff White / gw-images.com)
The NIHL are pleased to announce the winner of January’s Player of the Month, presented in association with OddBalls.
Each divisional winner receives an iconic ‘Obble’ hat courtesy of our sponsors.
Once again the standard was very high and the final choice was a difficult one, however congratulations to each of the winners.

National Division – Jason Hewitt (Hull Pirates)

North 1 (Moralee) – Harry Harley (Whitley Warriors)

North 2 (Laidler) – Shaun Dippnall (Widnes Wild)

South 1 (Britton) – Rupert Quiney (Streatham IHC)

South 2 (Wilkinson) – Petr Cech (Guildford Phoenix)

OddBalls are an underwear and clothing brand who raise money and awareness for testicular cancer.  They have also recently partnered with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust using their women’s clothing ranges to raise money and awareness of cervical cancer.
Their latest ranges of men’s, women’s and kids clothing as well as accessories like umbrellas and towels can be found online at www.myoddballs.com.

WNIHL Player of the Month Awards For January 2020

The WNIHL management are pleased to announce their Players of the Month for January, presented in association with OddBalls.
Each winner receives an iconic ‘Obble’ hat courtesy of our sponsors.
Elite – Saffron Allen (Solihull Vixens)
Premier – Mackenzie Wilding (Cardiff Comets)
Division 1 – Lucy Farestvedt (Coventry Phoenix)
U16 North – Melissa Veal (Kingston Diamonds)
U16 South – Ellie Wallace (Swindon Top Kittens)
OddBalls are an underwear and clothing brand who raise money and awareness for testicular cancer. They have also recently partnered with Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust using their women’s clothing ranges to raise money and awareness of cervical cancer.
Their latest ranges of men’s, women’s and kids clothing as well as accessories like umbrellas and towels can be found online at www.myoddballs.com.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Oddballs Player Of The Month Awards For November 2019

Widnes Wild woman's team captain Emma Pearson was named WNIHL Div 1 North Player of the Month for November (Photo by Paul Breeze)


The National Ice Hockey League (NIHL) and Women’s National Ice Hockey League (WNIHL) have announced their Oddballs Players of the Month for November.


Each winner will receive an ‘Obble Hat’ courtesy of our friends at Oddballs. Oddballs manufacture clothing and underwear for men, women and kids while at the same time raising funds and awareness for testicular cancer.

 
NIHL NATIONAL

The shortlist for November is: Jason Hewitt (Hull Pirates), Scott MacKenzie (Telford Tigers), Dan Weller-Evans (Basingstoke Bison).

November’s NIHL National Player of the Month is DAN WELLER-EVANS. In a run of starts this month, Weller-Evans won five of six games and posted save percent and goals against average among the top goalies in the league.


NIHL NORTH

Division 1 (Moralee) has shortlisted Phil Edgar (Whitley Warriors), Lewis Houston (Solway Sharks) and Tom Soar (Solihull Barons).

The Oddballs POTM for November is PHIL EDGAR. In his third season with Whitley, Edgar has led the Hillheads outfit to Cup semi finals and top of the league, potting seven goals including a hat-trick against Solihull Barons.

Division 2 (Laidler) shortlist for the month is Warren Gilfoyle (Hull Jets), James Shaw (Dragons), Vlads Vulkanovs (Altrincham Aces).

The winner of the November award is VLADS VULKANOVS. The Latvian hit the net in all six games, totalling 13 goals with two hat-tricks as the Aces push up towards the playoff spots.

NIHL SOUTH

In Division 1 (Britton), the three shortlisted players were Christian Cole (Solent Devils), Ben Ealey-Newman (Bracknell Hornets), David Millner (Bracknell Hornets).

November’s winner is CHRISTIAN COLE. ‘Chico’ posted .918 save percentage in the month as Devils kept their unbeaten record at the top of a super-competitive title race.

Wilkinson Division 2 have named Joe Bliss (Invicta Mustangs), Jake Luton (Invicta Mustangs) and Bailey Wooton (Peterborough Phantoms 2) as their shortlist.

The November winner is JOE BLISS. Mustangs were a perfect 6&0 in the month backed by Bliss’ 10 goals and nine helpers.


WOMEN’S NATIONAL ICE HOCKEY LEAGUE

First of all in WNIHL, the Elite League player of the month is MEGAN BURTON (Solihull Vixens). Megan made the step up to senior women’s hockey last season, asking if she could train with the Vixens. Her focus and hard work got her noticed and she was offered a team spot at the start of 2019 and has been a regular team member ever since. Megan’s focus, work rate and dedication has not faltered or wained since and she has now become a stable, composed, mature and reliable top line D partner. The Vixens played 2 games in November, winning 5-4 and 6-0 with Megan not missing a shift and picking up a +- of +7 over the 2 games.

In the Premier League, the POTM is MYA HAREWOOD (Cardiff Comets). As the youngest player on our team, Mya may be small, but she is mighty. In November we gained our first point in the Premier League in a draw against Chelmsford Cobras which Mya was integral for. She scored a fantastic hat-trick in the game – all unassisted – and was a force on the power plays. She truly stepped up to the challenge of this new league, and continues to be an inspiration for players new and old to the team.

For Division 1 South, the WNIHL POTM is JODIE ATTRILL (Slough Sirens). Jodie has been voted in as captain this season and has been leading by example with great attitude both on and off of the ice. This includes assisting the coach by ensuring off ice warm up is undertaken and getting everyone mentally ready for the game. Jodie played a vital part in our win over Streatham this month as she has changed her style of play in which she lead the girls to work hard and get the win

Finally in Division 1 North, EMMA PEARSON (Widnes Wild) is the Player of the Month. Emma had a hand in seven of the teams nine goals in the month, along with the encouragement given to beginner players on and off the ice as well as setting up off ice sessions for the players. She does a large amount off the ice as well with managing the team Fixtures Live.

Congratulaions to all winners and nominees, the Oddballs ‘Obble’ hats are on their way. Thanks to our friends at Oddballs for their continued support, visit www.myoddballs.com  to view their full ranges for men, women and kids.

Tuesday, 12 November 2019

NIHL National Division: Leeds Chiefs 1 - Swindon Wildcats 4 (Played at Widnes)


Team warm ups - Photo by Paul Breeze

National Division ice hockey made a rare appearance in Widnes on Sunday as the Leeds Chiefs played a home game against Swindon Wildcats at the Planet Ice Rink.

Leeds are a new team to ice hockey this season and, as their new home rink at Elland Road is not yet complete, they are having to play "home" games at other venues to avoid a fixture backlog later in the season.

This was the first ice hockey match at national league level to be played at the Widnes rink since Manchester Phoenix played Swindon there back in January 2017 and was, therefore, of interest to many hockey fans from across the country, as well as local Wild fans.

With the Swindon Wildcats leading the National Division at the start of the weekend and the Chiefs sitting bottom with just 3 wins and just 7 points from 13 games, it always looked likely that this game would see an away win. Swindon took the lead on 12 minutes but the Leeds Chiefs gave as good as they got and honours were otherwise pretty much equal in terms of possession and shots of goal in the first period.

The second period was just as entertaining to watch, with end-to-end hockey, although the Wildcats out-shot Leeds by 19 to 10. Just as it looked as if the period would play out goal-less, Swindon fired in 2 quick-fire goals within 30 seconds of each other in the 39th minute and this handed them a huge advantage, taking a 0 – 3 lead into the second period break.

Leeds finally managed to find the back of the net in the 49th minute, with a fine strike from Radek Meidl but that was as good as it got for the home side. Swindon restored the 3-goal advantage 3 minutes later and the score remained 1 - 4 at the final buzzer.

The Leeds Chiefs have two more "home" games scheduled to be played at the Planet Ice Arena in Blackburn during November and then hope to have their home Leeds rink ready to stage matches from December onwards.

GB Under 18 Women Win 4-Team Tournament In Dumfries


Great Britain U18 Women are the winners of the 4Nations tournament in Dumfries following a 4-2 victory over Poland U18 Women on the final day.
GB came from 2-0 down to clinch success and add to their victories over Spain U18 Women and Iceland Women earlier in the tournament.
The two teams took part in a perfectly-observed silence for Remembrance Day before face-off.
There were no goals in the opening session but Lucy Beal and Emily Harris (short-handed) had chances for GB inside the opening 10 minutes.
The game burst into life in the second period with five goals. Poland scored twice in eight seconds as Iga Schramm tapped in at far post (23:16) before a clearance deflected off Karolina Baran (23:24).
GB roared back into the game with Amy Robery and Kaitlyn Morrison setting up Sophie Campbell, whose neat forehand-backhand finish on the powerplay reduced the deficit to one (27:29).
Britain were ahead by the end of the period as Grace Garbett fed Harris who fired in her fifth goal of the tournament from the left circle (33:48), while a turnover at the Poland blueline led to Chamonix Jackson forcing the puck home (37:14).
Morrison scored GB’s fourth on a four-on-three powerplay from close range (55:20) to ensure a perfect record for GB at the 4Nations.

Head coach, Cheryl Smith, said: “Myself and the coaching staff are thrilled at what we have seen over the weekend.
“I said from the start that getting wins would be good but the performances would be the most important thing.
“The way we came back from two goals down and didn’t panic today was exceptional.
“We have a great group of girls who have worked so hard for each other and understood the gameplan for the weekend.
“We have a tough World Championship in January but we can look forward to it with confidence.”
Results
Friday 8th November
Spain U18 Women 0-3 Great Britain U18 Women
Iceland Women 1-7 Poland U18 Women
Saturday 9th November
Spain U18 Women 3-4 Poland U18 Women (after penalty shootout)
Great Britain U18 Women 4-3 Iceland Women
Sunday 10th November
Spain U18 Women 6-5 Iceland Women (after penalty shootout)
Poland U18 Women 2-4 Great Britain U18 Women
Photo credit: Helen Hobbins and Charley Keen.