Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy New Year! (New Stocks Have Arrived...)

We here at Ice Hockey Review would like to wish all our readers, supporters, reporters, photographers, and all the ice hockey players, coaches, managers and - of course, the fans - the very best for the New Year. 

Please keep visiting the website during 2015 and we will endeavour to keep bringing you the best of the action in NIHL North & South.

News Update: Following a brief glitch in the supply chain due to the huge number of orders over the festive period, we are pleased to advise that we now have new stocks of the 2014 Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook and that all outstanding orders are now being dispatched.

You can order your copy of the only book on the planet that includes a full league by league and team by team round up of all competitions in NIHL North and South from the 2013/14 season now by following this order link: HERE

Personal sales are also available from Chris Mackenzie in the North East and from Chris Randall on the Isle of Wight and South Coast.

There are lots more great ice hockey books available from the same publisher listed on www.poshupnorth.com

For overseas orders, or multiple book enquires drop us a line for a price EMAIL ENQUIRY.



You can also order the book via Amazon HERE - but it costs a little more from them due to their P&P pricing structure. 



Photo: Widnes Wild mascot "Pukka" reads up on the opposition. Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Monday, 29 December 2014

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 27th & 28th December

Invicta Dynamos remain top of the table after a 7-2 home win over Solent Devils on Sunday night but 2nd place Chelmsford Chieftains closed the gap to just 2 points after they picked up 3 with an 8-3 win away at bottom club London Raiders on Saturday and then a 1-1 home draw with Wightlink Raiders on Sunday.

Milton Keynes Thunder had a bad weekend losing twice - 5-14 at home to 3rd place Streatham Redskins on Saturday7 and then 4-2 away at London Raiders on Sunday. 

That win was London Raiders first victory in 19 starts  in both league and cup games and moves them level on 8 points with Cardiff Devils and Oxford City Stars.

Photo: goal action from London Raiders v Milton Keynes Thunder - photo by John Scott

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 27th & 28th December

The Telford Tigers v Coventry Blaze fixture on Saturday evening was cancelled after Blaze were unable to ice a full team.  Assuming that the EIHA decide to award the game 5-0 to Tigers - as is usual in such circumstances - that would means that Telford take over in second place ahead of Sheffield Senators with the same number of points but a superior goal difference.

The Blaze were back in action on Sunday and took a 3-1 lead at home to Deeside Dragons before being pegged back to a 3-3 draw. The Dragons outshot the hosts 34-45 and scored twice in the last 5 minutes to salvage a point.

In the bottom of the table clash, Hull Jets beat Bradford Bulldogs 7-1 - although as the shots on gaol were 43-45., the game must have seemed a lot closer than that.

Solihull Barons were without a game and remain top of the table with 30 points - 10 points clear of the chasing Tigers and Senators.

Photo:  Deeside Dragons netminder Dom Jolly received MVP for the visitors - photo by Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 27th & 28th December

There were no league games played in the Moralee Conference at the weekend so the table positions remain the same as last week with Blackburn Hawks leading on 19 points and Solway Sharks second with 12 . The other two play off places are currently occupied by Billingham Stars - 3rd with 11 points - and Sheffield Spartans and Whitley Warriors are both tied on 10 points.

Sutton Sting have 8 points and Manchester Minotaurs are bottom with no points for their 10 games so far this season. 

In the ECCN, Blackburn Hawks lost 7-1 away at Sheffield Steeldogs EPL while Billingham Stars lost 9-2 at Peterborough Phantoms EPL. 

In the first Sheffield Winter Classic challenge match at iceSheffield, Moralee side Sheffield Spartans beat Laidler side Sheffield Senators 5-1 with two goals from Stuart Brittle & one apiece for Will Barron. Jonathan Kirk & Cole Shudra. Sens goal was scored by Sergevs Jegorovs.

Photo: Spartans v Senators in the Sheffield Winter Classic - photo by Gavin Rawson

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance

ECCN:
Sheffield Steeldogs EPL 7  - Blackburn Hawks 1
Peterborough Phantoms EPL 9 - Billingham Stars 3

Laidler:
Hull Jets 7 - Bradford Bulldogs 1 (SOG 43-45)
Coventry Blaze 3 - Deeside Dragons 3

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 7 - Solent Devils 2
London Raiders 4 - MK Thunder 2 (1st win after 19 straight defeats)
Chelmsford Chieftains 1 - Wightlink Raiders 1 (SOG 33 -43)

Photo: action from the Sheffield Steeldogs v Blackburn Hawks ECCN match - by Ella Thornton - Hawk Photography

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

Sheffield Winter Classic: Senators 1 - Spartans 5

Laidler: Telford Tigers  5- Coventry Blaze 0  game awarded to Telford - more details to follow

South 1:
London Raiders 3 - Chelmsford Chieftains 8
Milton Keynes Thunder 5 - Streatham Redskins 14

Photo: Sheffield Spartans - winners of the 2104 Sheffield Winter Classic - photo by Gavin Rawson


Report by Phil Holden:

Spartans were the winners of the inaugural Sheffield Winter Classic Game when they beat Senators 5-1 at Ice Sheffield last Saturday. Considering the terrible weather conditions there was a healthy crowd to witness was a great occasion.

Spartans had the better of the first period but were pushed all the way by Senators, who on a different day may have had more to show for their efforts but Spartans made their possession count to go in from the first period 2-0 up thanks to goals from Will Barron & Jonathan Kirk.

The second period was a lot tighter and even in terms of possession and chances with a Sergevs Jegorovs for Senators making it a very interesting contest. Sens enjoyed a good spell following on from their goal but Spartans weathered the storm to go on and gain the upper hand to go into the final period 4-1 after Stuart Brittle had netted twice, his second a nice short-handed goal late on in the period.

Spartans controlled large chunks of the third period and looked comfortable on the puck but Senators never gave up and kept them on their toes and up to the task. Cole Shudra made it 5-1 half way through the period to basically kill the game and make sure the trophy landed into Spartans hands.

An enjoyable game of hockey and one in which it was clear both teams wanted to win and played with passion which is what Sheffield hockey is all about and something both teams deserve praise and credit for.

Goals:14.40: Spartans – Will Barron…assisted Stuart Brittle, Ollie Barron
17.16: Spartans – Jonathan Kirk
26.42: Senators – Sergevs Jegorovs…assisted Josh Gent, Tom Humphries
34.53: Spartans – Stuart Brittle…assisted Ollie Barron, Elliott Knell
38.43: Spartans – Stuart Brittle
51.59: Spartans – Cole Shudra

Shots
Spartans faced a total of 28 shots… Brad Day - 14 (9+5+0), Brandon Stones - 11 (0+6+5)
Senators faced a total of 28 shots…Mark Hartley - 28 (18+10+0), Bob Browne -18 (0+5+13)

Final Score: Spartans 5 Senators 1

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Sheffield Winter Classic: Spartans v Senators - next Saturday 27th December

Next Saturday, 27th December will see the inaugural Sheffield Winter Classic Game between Spartans & Senators take place at Ice Sheffield, facing off at 4.15pm. It promises to be a great occasion in this festive and family orientated time of year, where we can celebrate Sheffield’s vibrant amateur hockey scene with friends past and present, as well as making new friends too in the process.

The Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy has continued to grow and develop from its humble beginnings in 1991; we are now one of the premier set-ups in the country.  This game is all about celebrating the Sheffield Ice Hockey Academy by showcasing our finest senior talents alongside the next generation of Spartans and Senators. As part of this celebration our current U14’s teams, the Stormers & Sabres will take part in an exhibition game which will face off at 3.30pm.

The day of the Sheffield Winter Classic is a day the academy are proud to hold such a fixture and show its self off in the best possible way. This may be a history making day as the club holds it’s first Winter Classic but there is more history to be made by the juniors who are to follow the senior players of today as it will be those young players who will be taking to the ice in future Winter Classic games.

Ticket Prices
£5 – Adult
£2 – Concession
£10 – Family ticket (2 Adults & up to 3 children)
 
This represents terrific value for money for a family fun filled afternoon of ice hockey and we look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Saturday.

Phil Holden

Photo by Liam Brookfield

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 6 - Sheffield Spartans 8


Wild returned to home ice for the final National League game of 2014, meeting third placed Sheffield Senators. The most recent game between the teams saw the Wild go down by the odd goal at Ice Sheffield. Callum Ruddick returned in defence for Widnes but they were without the injured Dan Bracegirdle, Pavel Vales and Tom Ratcliffe. Young Sheffield Academy players, Josh Benstead and George Crawshaw lined up for Wild.

The first period opened with sustained Widnes attack and they took the lead at 2.37 when Tom Revesz's shot was misjudged by Hartley. Wild went further ahead at 5.41 when Joe Greaves worked the puck out of the right corner before firing a low shot into the right corner. Sheffield were playing on the break and they pulled a goal back at 6.34 when a Jegerovs cross ice pass found Callum Rawson. His powerful rising shot beat Greg Ruxton. The Sheffield equaliser came after sustained Widnes pressure. The puck went loose on the edge of the crease, enabling Paul Lofthouse to force it past Ruxton. Wild regained the lead through Bobby Caunce at 17.05 , the forward stretching with his stick to tip the puck past Hartley.

The second period opened with an end to end attacking game.

Sheffield equalised at 24.07 when Rawsons powerful shot was half saved by Greg Ruxton but trickled into the left corner.

Widnes restored their lead at 26.52 when a Widnes shot was saved and Lee Pollitt forced the puck past Hartley. Within a minute, Wild went further ahead, Filip Supa cleverly bringing the puck from behind the net. He wrongfooted the defence and slotted the puck inside the post.

This seemed to give Sheffield renewed energy. At 33.47 they came back to 5- 4 when Gent created a chance for Rawson to fire past Ruxton. Turning sharply, he fed Sheffields outstanding forward in front of the net.The Sheffield equaliser came at 37.51 when Wheway skated in front of the defence before backsticking it high past Ruxton. Both sides fought frantically to gain a lead as the period came to a close.

The third period had barely started when a Sheffield breakaway saw Nathan Parkes - Britton shoot past Greg Ruxton at 40.23 to give Sheffield a 6- 5 lead. At 43.32 they went further ahead when the puck was worked round the Widnes end before Parkes - Britton fired straight past Ruxton. Widnes swapped netminders with Josh Benstead replacing Greg Ruxton.  It was still end to end attack and Widnes came back with a great goal by Joe Greaves. He broke quickly down the left before firing an unstoppable shot into the top left corner from an acute angle. As Wild pressed for a deserved equaliser , Filip Supa took a two minute penalty for cross checking. Sheffield took advantage of a tiring Wild to set up Sergevs Jegerovs to fire high past Josh Benstead for an eighth Senators goal at 58.31.

Joe Greaves took the MVP for Widnes after an all action attacking performance. Callum Rawson took the award for Sheffield. Filip Supa was a constant threat, working so effectively behind the goal.

This was a game which Wild had every opportunity to win with Sheffield content to hit effectively on the counter attack - their speed on the break causing constant problems for a Widnes defence missing the recovery speed of Pavel Vales. Again Bobby Caunce and Lee Pollitt worked tirelessly to set up their fellow forwards with goalscoring opportunities. With the season at the half way point, Wild are well capable of pushing for the end of season play offs.

Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Moralee Match Report: Sutton Sting 2 - Sheffield Spartans 2

Sheffield Spartans were left kicking themselves after drawing 2-2 with Sutton Sting in a game that had it’s high and low points.

A definite low point was the lack lustre first period in which both teams looked out of sorts in a scrappy contest which was not helped by some poor officiating. Sutton took the lead on just 47 seconds through John Ross. Brandon Stones had made a fine save from Shaun Ashton but the puck rebounded on to Ross’s chest and into the net for a goal. Sting  were having the better of things in the opening minutes of the game but Spartans pulled level on 8.26 after some great build up play from Scott Morris & Nick Manning found Will Barron to score. The goal lifted Spartans who came more and more into the game but with some strange calls both called & missed by the officials, the game became more laboured than it had been previously. With neither team stamping their authority on the game Spartans gifted Sting the lead on 17.20. Reece Carney-Witter did well to exploit Spartans failure to clear the zone and created space to fire in an unchallenged shot that was fumbled over the line by Brandon Stones to concede what was a defensive howler. Sutton almost scored again but Brandon was back on his game again to make the save after which there was no further incident with the period thankfully ending but unfortunate for Spartans in that they were losing 2-1.

Whatever Coach Martin White said in the dressing room during the period break clearly had the desired effect along with moving Shaun Wild from D to forward to cover the loss of Ollie Barron to injury; the result of a nasty challenge in the first period (that wasn’t called); both seemingly inspiring Spartans to put in a terrific performance. Apart from a two minute spell mid period, Spartans completely dominated the period but some solid netminding from Dmitri Zimozdra coupled with a stubborn defence kept Sting in the game. However, despite their dominance, Spartans could only convert one of the many chances they created but what a great goal it was from Scott Morris timed at 35.30, assisted Nick Manning & Dougie Jordan. Spartans were on top but it was 2-2 against a team, who on the day, were there for the taking.

Credit must go to Sutton for the way they dug in to have their best spell of the game in what now was an end to end game with both teams all out for the win. There was very little between the teams this period; Spartans enjoyed more of the possession and were passing the puck with confidence but it was Sting who created more chances and arguably the better ones too with Brandon Stones more than redeeming himself for his earlier mishap. Spartans defence were outstanding this period, not just in defending but in the build play for Spartans attacks but they couldn’t put their chances away which saw Sting counter with some nice break out plays. It was a close call as to who might win going into the final few minutes and with a draw being the likely outcome Sutton were gifted an opportunity with a powerplay after a ridiculous call on Dougie Jordan for roughing. However, despite being at a numerical disadvantage in the final minute Spartans won possession to see the game out and having to settle for a point.

Scott Morris won a deserved Man of the Match Award for Spartans whilst James Goodman got the nod for Sutton.

Final Score: Sutton Sting 2 Sheffield Spartans 2

Report by Phil Holden

Photo: Spartans' Scott Morris by David Morrison - www.david-morrison-photography.co.uk/solway-sharks

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 20th & 21st December

Invicta Dynamos overtook Chelmsford Chieftains at the top of the table with a 4 point weekend following wins away at bottom club London Raider (4-11) and at home to Chelmsford 6-2 - in game that also counted towards the ECCS.

Dynamos top the table for Christmas with a three point advantage over last season's quadruple winners, having inflicted their first league defeat of the season.  The Chieftains, however, have 3 games in hand.

Bracknell Hornets also had a 4 point weekend to lift them up into 3rd place. They notched up back to back wins over Cardiff Devils, winning 2-6 away before shutting them out 5-0 at home.

Wightlink Raiders return to form continues with a 4-2 win over Solent Devils in the Solent derby followed by a 2-2 draw away at Milton Keynes Thunder. 

In the other league game of the weekend, Solent picked up a 4-6 win away at second bottom club Oxford City Stars.

Streatham Redskins were not in league action and drop down to 4th place but they confirmed their berth in the semi finals of the South 1 Cup by beating London Raiders 7-2 to finish second in the group behind Invicta. 

Photo: Invicta's new signing from Streatham Redskins - Slovakian Michal Oravec - scored two goals against Chelmsford. Photo by David Trevallion.



  

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 20th & 21st December

Solihull Barons remain 10 points clear at the top of the table with games in hand over most of the other teams  despite having had no game this weekend.

Sheffield Senators will keep 2nd place over the festive period after a 6-8 win away at Widnes Wild but look likely to be overtaken by 3rd place Telford Tigers at some point in the new year as they are just 2 points behind following their 16-2 demolition of bottom team Bradford Bulldogs and have a whopping 6 games in hand.

It was a gloomy weekend all round for the Bulldogs as they also lost away at Nottingham on Sunday night by 8 goals to 3 - although that actually represented an improvement as it was the first time in 6 games that they didn't concede a double-figure scoreline.

Bradford remain firmly ensconced at the foot of the table with 17 defeats from their 17 games and 11 points behind second bottom Hull Jets - who didn't have a game. 

In the other game of the weekend, Coventry Blaze beat Blackburn Eagles 7-4 in game that counted for double points.  That win moved Blaze up into 7th placed, leapfrogging the Eagles who drop to their lowest position of the season so far

Photo: Former Fife and Dundee Elite League player James Smith - seen here in action against Solihull recently - has scored 24+24=48 in just 15 games for Telford Tigers in the NIHL this season. (Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies)

Monday, 22 December 2014

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 20th & 21st December

Blackburn Hawks remain top of the league over he festive perio0d with an unbeaten record of 9 wins and 1 draw from their 10 league games to date after an 8-2 win away at Whitley Warriors on Sunday evening.    Solway Sharks are in second place with 12 points from 10 games and Billingham Stars third with 11 points from 9 games.

In the only other Moralee game of the weekend, Sutton Sting drew 2-2 with Sheffield Spartans in the iceSheffield derby.  Spartans are in 4th place in the table with 11 points from 11 games.

In the ECCN, Blackburn Hawks almost caused an upset on Saturday night when they entertained the Sheffield Steeldogs EPL team.   The Hawks were leading 3-1 heading towards the mid point in the game but got into penalty trouble and were eventually overhauled in the latter stages.

The resulting 3-4 defeat represents the best performance by an NIHL team against an EPL team in this competition so far.

The ECCN cup game between Billingham Stars and Peter Phantoms EPL on Sunday night was abandoned after 41 minutes after a serious injury to Phantoms GB international Marc Levers. It came after an accidental clash that left Levers unconscious on the ice.  It was decided to abandon the game as he couldn't be moved until he was treated by Paramedics.  Fortunately, Levers was able to walk off the ice and went to hospital for a precautionary MRI scan. The score at the time of the incident was 1-2 to the Phantoms. 

Photos
Top: Blackburn Hawks score away at Whitley Warriors - photo by John Milton www.eventog.uk

Bottom: Peterborough Phantoms EPL side's Marc Levers - photo courtesy of Peterborough Evening Telegraph

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance

Moralee:  Whitley Warriors 2 - Blackburn Hawks 8

ECCN: Billingham Stars 1 - Peterborough Phantoms EPL2 -  match abandoned at 41.51 due to serious injury - more news to follow

Laidler: Nottingham Lions 8 - Bradford Bulldogs 3

South 1:  Invicta Dynamos 6 - Chelmsford Chieftains 2 (also counts for ECCS)
Bracknell Hornets 5 - Cardiff Devils 0 (Mark Duffy shut out)
Oxford City Stars 4 - Solent Devils 6
Milton Keynes Thunder 2 - Wightlink Raiders 2

South 1 Cup - Group B: Streatham Redskins 7 - London Raiders 2

Photo: Bracknell netminder Mark Duffy receives the MVP award after the Hornets' 5-0 shut out of Cardiff Devils.  Photo by Kevin Slyfield Photography.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

Moralee: Sutton Sting 2 - Sheffield Spartans 2

ECCN: Blackburn Hawks 3 - Sheffield Steeldogs 4

Laidler:
Coventry Blaze 7 - Blackburn Eagles 4
Widnes Wild 6 - Sheffield Senators 8
Telford Tigers 16 - Bradford Bulldogs 2  (James Smith 4+6)

South 1: London Raiders 4- Invicta Dynamos 11
Wightlink Raiders 4 - Solent Devils 2
Cardiff Devils 2 - Bracknell Hornets 6

Photo: Goal action from the Blackburn Hawks v Sheffield Steeldogs ECCN game. Photo by John Milton - www.eventog.uk

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

South 2 Weekend Round Up 13th & 14th December

In a quiet weekend in South 2, the only match action involved Peterborough Islanders - who won both their games. On Saturday evening, they beast Swindon Wildcats 10-2 in the South 2 Cup Group A.  Conor Pollard top-scored with 3+1. They top the group with 4 wins and one draw from their 5 games to date and cannot be overtaken at the top.

They will probably meet either Basingstoke Buffalo on Haringey Racers in the semi-final, depending on how the final results pan out in Group B.

On Sunday evening, the Islanders won  4-1 away at Lee Valley Lions in the league to make it 7 games in a row unbeaten in all competitions.  That win saw them take over at the top of South 2 East, 1 point ahead of Slough jets, although they have played 3 games more.

Photo:  Islanders v Swindon Wildcats by Richard Davies - www.chudphotography.smugmug.com

Monday, 15 December 2014

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 13th & 14th December

Invicta Dynamos moved up to second place in the South 1 table after a 4 point weekend. On Saturday night they beat Wightlink Raiders 3-1 in a game that also counted towards the ECCS and
were actually outshot 35-41 by their guests.

Callum Fowler put the Dynamos 2-1 ahead after 48 minutes and the win was only assured with an empty net goal in the last minute. The penalty count ended up 96-55 in favour of Invicta with 83 being given out on the final buzzer so it must have been a lively encounter.

On Sunday the Dynamos won 1-4 away at Milton Keynes Thunder with new Estonian signing Ilja Urushev scoring 2+0.

League leaders Chelmsford Chieftains were without a game but remain top by one point and have a game in hand over Invicta. Streatham Redskins also had a free weekend and drop into 3rd place, one point behind Dynamos,  having played a game more.

Photo: Invicta Dynamos' Callum Fowler scores against Wightlink Raiders.  Photo by David Trevallion

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 13th & 14th December

League leaders Solihull Barons reinforced their dominance at the top of the table with a 4 point weekend that now extends their unbeaten start to the season to 17 games.

They had to come back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 away at Telford Tigers in what was by far the Barons' closest result of the season so far.  Despite being outshot 24 to 70, Tigers lead 3 -2 going into the last 10 minutes. In all netminder Denis Bell turned away 66 of the 70 shots that he faced.

On Sunday evening, the Barons had much easier time of despatching Coventry Blaze 16-2 in another Midlands derby.  Joe Henry top-scored with 3+4 in a game that saw 104 PIMs.

Tigers are 3rd in the table after another close game on Sunday when they won away at Nottingham Lions 1-2.

Lions had beaten bottom team Bradford Bulldogs 4-12 away on Saturday (in photo) and the Bulldogs were shut out 11-0 away at Deeside Dragons on Sunday.

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, Sheffield Senators won 6-3 away at Hull Jets to keep them in second place, two points ahead of Telford.

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 13th & 14th December

Solway Sharks are second the table following a 15-1 demolition of Manchester Minotaurs on Saturday evening in which they outshot their guests 70 to 14.

The game was effectively over as a contest by the end of the first period when Sharks were already leading 9-0 and during which time the Minotaurs were only able to muster two shots on goal. New Zealander John Hay was top scorer for the Sharks with 3+3.  Lee Pollitt scored the Minotaurs' only goal to deprive Solway of their first shut out of the season.

Billingham Stars missed out on the chance to retake second spot on Sunday night when they drew 1-1 away at Whitley Warriors in the first North East derby of the season.

League leaders Blackburn Hawks are 5 points clear of the Sharks, having played one game less. They lost 7-1 away at Peterborough Phantoms EPL on Sunday night in the ECCN.

Photo: Solway Sharks' Josh Hay scores against Manchester Minotaurs. Photo by David Morrison - www.david-morrison-photography.co.uk/solway-sharks    

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance

Moralee:  Whitley Warriors 1 – Billingham Stars 1

ECCN:  Peterborough Phantoms EPL 7 – Blackburn Hawks 1

Laidler:
Hull Jets – Sheffield Senators
Solihull Barons  16 – Coventry Blaze 2  (SOG: 78-31)
Deeside Dragons 11 – Bradford Bulldogs 0
Nottingham Lions 1 – Telford Tigers 2

South 1: Milton Keynes Thunder 1 – Invicta Dynamos 4

South 2 East: Lee Valley Lions 1 – Peterborough Islanders 5
 
Photo: Blackburn Hawks captain Chris Arnone closes in on young netminding prospect Adam Long in the ECCN game away at Peterborough Phantoms.  Photo by John Milton - www.eventog.uk

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

Moralee: Solway Sharks 15 - Manchester Minotaurs 1

Laidler:
Bradford Bulldogs 4 - Nottingam Lions 12
Telford Tigers 3 - Solihull Barons 4 (SOG 26-70)

South 1: Invicta Dynamos 3 - Wightlink Raiders 1 (also counts towards ECCS)

South 2 East: Lee Valley Lions 1 - Chelmsford Warriors 6

South 2 Cup: Peterborough Islanders 10 - Swindon Wildcats 2

Photo: Solihull Barons come back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 away at Telford. Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Moralee Match Report: Sheffield Spartans 4 - Sutton Sting 4

Sting in the Tail for Spartans
Sheffield Spartans were left kicking themselves after letting a winning position slip in the final seconds of the game to draw 4-4 with Sutton Sting. It was however a fair result in what was a great game of hockey.

In an end to end first period it was a close game with neither team really getting the upper hand until Sting took the lead on 16.01 through Vjaleslavs Movko. It was a disappointing goal to concede as Spartans defence were caught napping and left themselves wide open to allow Movko to take his chance well to score.

Spartans had a great chance to equalise whilst short-handed after Brandon Stones had been called for delaying the game for knocking the net off its moorings. Sting had the puck in the net but the goal was washed out with the puck clearly going in after the net was off. It was a strange call on Brandon in some regards with Sutton’s net being knocked off its moorings on a couple of occasions with play continuing for a few minutes with none of the officials noticing it, despite skating past it several times in open play. Spartans turned over possession and found Scott Morris in the clear only for him to be pulled back for which a penalty shot was called. Morris pulled Zimozdra out of position but couldn’t get his shot away on target. Sutton finished the period strongly and were unfortunate not to make it 2-0 with the post coming to Spartans' rescue.

Spartans dominated the first half of the period and went on to put themselves into a commanding position with three goals. Will Barron & Chris Wilcox combined well to set up Scott Morris to score a nice goal on 21.36 to draw level. Some good work from Ollie Barron on the powerplay set up Andy Turner to score on 24.39. As Spartans pushed forward Elliott Knell’s neat pass found Ollie Barron who made no mistake on 28.19 to make it 3-1. Whilst clearly on the up and in the driving seat Spartans pressed the self-destruct button to fail to react when under very little pressure as Movko found Mark Turner who’s half hit shot eluded Brandon Stones to go through his legs to concede what was a defensive howler.

This lifted Sting and they enjoyed a good spell to play some excellent hockey but Spartans defence were back on their game to deny them but were fortunate when John Ross couldn’t get his stick on the puck with an almost empty net at his mercy and a cracker of a shot came back off the piping. Spartans soaked up the pressure to finish the period strongly but couldn’t make their chances count this time, in particular the last minute or so whilst on the powerplay after Dmitri Zimozdra had eventually been called for delaying the game after deliberately knocking the net off its moorings one time too many. The period finished with Spartans 3-2 in front, arguably having just about done enough to say that they deserved to be.

It was however a very close game, a very exciting an enjoyable one too. It was there for the taking with some good hockey being played out and it was hard to predict which way it would go. This was also the case after Richie Oliver scored a nice goal to tie it up at 3-3 timed 44.23; a goal that you could sense was coming when it did. There was nothing between the teams from this point and just when it seemed we were destined for the last minute to be played out and settle for a point apiece the game exploded back into life. Some great individual skill from Ollie Barron created a chance from nothing for him to score a great goal on 59.12 and make it 4-3 to Spartans. As Sutton pulled their netminder for a numerical advantage Spartans put themselves under some needless pressure by continually icing the puck for face offs in their defensive zone. They paid the price when Sutton won possession to see Richie Oliver equalise from Simon Offord with just 12 seconds left on the clock. Spartans were guilty of making the wrong choices in what was a winning position to see them ultimately drop a point with a final score of 4-4.

However it has to be said that it was a fair result in the end, it would have been harsh on either team to have lost in what was a fantastic game of hockey and a great advert for the sport for which both teams deserve praise and credit. MVP was awarded to Cole Shudra whilst the impressive Vjaleslavs Movko won it for Sting.

Final Score: Spartans 4 Sutton Sting 4

Report by Phil Holden

Photo: Spartans' Cole Shudra - seen here playing for Sheffield Steeldogs - by Jake Oakley Photography - @snapperjakeO 

Laidler Match Report: Deeside Dragons 5 - Widnes Wild 8

For their second visit of the season to Queensferry, Widnes welcomed back Pavel Vales, Sam Dunford and Tom Ratcliffe but Ken Armstrong , Ben Brown and Kieron Strangeway were unavailable along with Tom Barry. With Greg Ruxton injured and Nicole Jackson otherwise committed, Sheffield based junior , Josh Benstead was selected in goal.

As is expected of these derby games it opened at a breakneck speed but it was Wild first to test the netminder Dave Clancy. Shots from long range and from close in tested him but the game remained scoreless. When James Parsons took a penalty for boarding at 12.04, Wild took a deserved lead on the powerplay. The puck was worked round the net for Filip Supa to shoot high into the top left corner. Another Wild powerplay at 15.13 saw Shaun Dipnall thread the puck through to Bobby Caunce but his shot was saved at the foot of the right post.

Wild extended their lead at 15.43 when Lee Pollitt shot low from a Shaun Dipnall pass. Chris Preston took a 2 minute penalty for cross checking and young netminder Josh Benstead made two great saves from close in. Just before the first interval Pavel Vales and Simon Furnivall battled in the corner - both receiving 2 pls 2 for roughing.

The 2nd period began with Deeside having a 5on 4 powerplay.but within seconds Deeside took a high sticks penalty. At 22.04 wild went further ahead. Deeside netminder rushed out but his clearance was blocked. The puck was fed to Filip Supa who shot into an empty net from an acute angle on the right. Deeside were coming more into the game and keeping possession in the Widnes end. Josh Benstead made another great save blocking a fierce shot from point blank range at25.14. Both Sam Dunford and Matt Wainwright were sent clear for Widnes but their shots were well saved. Wild sent their noisy travelling support into raptures when they went 4 -0 ahead at 36.50. Tom Fielden got clear ,feeding Chris Preston. His accurate cross ice pass from the left was slotted home by Bobby Caunce.

Widnes had a rather lethargic look as the third period opened and it came as no surprise when Deeside opened their scoring in the 41st minute, James Parsons finishing well. Aled Roberts and Tom Ratcliffe had an altercation at 42.32 and went to the penalty box. Widnes were next to score a long shot along the ice from the left appearing to be deflected on the edge of the crease, at 43.44, by Filip Supa Deeside were now causing real problems for the Wild defence and the Dragons added a second goal, James Parsons firing in a powerful shot from the wing at 46.00.

Widnes went further ahead - taking advantage of a powerplay when Deeside took two slashing penalties. It was a beautifully executed goal with interpassing between Dipnall, Pollitt and Supa, the latter finding the net at 48.17. Within a minute Widnes had a seventh. Work round the net saw Supa feed Dipnall who slotted home at 48.59.This goal prompted a netminder change for Dragons, Matt Compton replacing Clancy Inside a minute, Deeside had scored a third, Alex Roberts fired in a powerful shot from just inside the blue line. Bobby Caunce was next to be put clear on the powerplay but Compton saved his shot. Tiredness and a lack of concentration was noticeable in the Wild defence and Marc Lovell shot home from the blue line for a fourth Dragons goal at 54.29. They added a fifth at 56.06, Parsons finishing in typical style after good work from Chappell and Lovell.

Fortunately a Deeside error allowed Filip Supa to break clear and round Compton for his fifth and Wild's eighth goal - shorthanded and absolutely crucial, after sustained Deeside pressure. After dominating the game for so long, there was great disappointment in conceding four late goals but that couldn't detract from a third win this season against last years second placed team.

For Wild there were outstanding displays from five goal Filip Supa and young netminder 17 year old Josh Benstead - in his first full senior game. Geoff Wigglesworth took the Wild MVP for a great show of hardwork and determination but the whole team can be proud of this memorable win. Mention must be made of the fanatical, noisy travelling support, who backed the team all the way to the final hooter. Four league points from a testing weekend was just reward for Wild.The team now have a well deserved break before the final pre Christmas fixture at home against arch rivals, Sheffield Senators, on 20th December.

Report by Dick Gillingham

Photo: Filip Supa scores his 5th goal for Widnes - by Geoff White - www..gw-images.co.uk

Laidler Match Report: Coventry Blaze 2 - Sheffield Senators 1

Sheffield Senators came unstuck against a dogged and determined Coventry Blaze in the NIHL North Laidler Conference on Saturday. The teams were closely matched in what was at times a little scrappy game and were basically cancelling one another out to go into the second period with the score 0-0. The second period continued as the first had gone but Blaze nipped into the lead to make the most of their chance on 23.05 with Dale White scoring.

Senators will have been disappointed not to deal with things as they would have probably liked but there was nothing they could do when Blaze added another shortly after; a well worked powerplay goal timed at 25.45 scored by Arthur Brookes with assists for Philip Mulcahy & Dale White. Senators didn’t give up and were working just as hard as Blaze and deservedly pulled one back through Mike Mawer, assisted Charlie Thompson timed 34.35.

The final period never really got going, it became scrappy at times which was not aided by some over fussy refereeing but it was still an intriguing contest as Blaze defended their lead with zest against a hard working Sens team who were doing their best to pull level. It was still a pretty even game but Coventry were just that little smarter and wiser at times which was the main difference between the teams on the night to see Coventry just shade it to claim a deserved victory.

Final Score: Coventry Blaze 2 Sheffield Senators 1

Report by Phil Holden

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

South 2 Weekend Round up - 6th & 7th December

In South 2 East, second place Peterborough Islanders kept the pressure on league leaders with an 8-1 win over Lee Valley Lions. That puts them just one point behind Slough, although they have played 2 games more.

Haringey Racers remain in 3rd place despite a 2-6 home defeat at the hands of 4th place Chelmsford Warriors. Lee Valley picked up a 6-4 win at home to Invicta Mustangs on Sunday to extend the gap between the two bottom teams to 6 points.

In South 2 West, Bristol Pitbulls remain bottom of the table after a 2-3 defeat at home to Cardiff Devils, in a match where they outshot the visitors 52 to 29. In the other game Basingstoke Buffalo and Swindon Wildcats drew 5-5  meaning that Devils take over at the top of the table.

In Group B of the South 2 Cup, Slough Jets extended their 100% record in all competitions to 12 with a 4-9 win away at Wightlink Tigers. They top the group with 10 points from 5 games and are already guaranteed a place in the semi finals.

Photo: action from Peterborough Islanders v Lee Valley Lions - by Richard Davies www.chudphotography.smugmug.com

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 6th & 7th December

Defending champions Chelmsford Chieftains returned to the top of the table following their 7-2 home win over London Raiders on Sunday night.

Previous table toppers Streatham Redskins had a weekend to forget, losing out to a goal 90 seconds from the end in a 9-8 defeat away at Bracknell Hornets on Saturday and then succumbing 1-6 at home to a vastly improved Wightlink Raiders on Sunday.

The Chieftains now lead the table by two clear points and have played 3 games fewer than the Redskins.

Milton Keynes Thunder had an unbeaten weekend, drawing 4-4 away at Wightlink on Saturday and then shutting out Bracknell 3-0 on Sunday.

Promoted Oxford City Stars picked up only their 3rd win of the season with a 4-2 win away at London Raiders and that leaves the Lee Valley tenants 2 points adrift at the bottom of the table, albeit with 2 games in hand over the Stars.

In the other 2 South 1 games of the weekend, Invicta Dynamos beat Cardiff Devils 11- 2 and Solent Devils beat Oxford 10-2.

Photo: Goal action from Bracknell Hornets v Streatham Redskins - by Kevin Slyfield Photography.

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 6th & 7th December.

Team of the weekend in the Laidler Conference would have to be Widnes Wild who picked up 4 points on the road - with a 4-2 win away at Blackburn Eagles on Saturday and then beating local rivals Deeside Dragons 5-8 on Sunday, with Filip Supa scoring 5+1 . Those results lift them up into 4th place in the table, with Dragons dropping to 5th.

Solihull Barons extended their lead the top of the table with a 17-1 demolition of bottom club Bradford Bulldogs, in which Niklas Ottoson scored 5+2 and Thomas Soar 2+6. Second place Sheffield Senators lost 2-1 away at Coventry Blaze  which means that the Barons now have a 10 point lead at the top.

In the other game of the weekend, Nottingham Lions beat Hull Jets 14-4 to move above Blackburn Eagles into 6th.

Photo: Goal action from Solihull v Bradford - photo by Keith & Jenny Davies

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 6th & 7th December

Blackburn Hawks extended their lead at the top of the table to 7 points with a 1-4 win away at defending champions Solway Sharks on Saturday night. Second place Billingham Stars were unable to close the gap on Sunday as they were beaten at home by the same scoreline by the Sharks, who move up four places in the table as a result and now replace them in second.  

The other Moralee game of the weekend saw Sheffield Spartans draw 4-4 with Sutton Sting in the iceSheffield derby which means that there is now a pack of 3 teams all level on 10 points battling it out for second place at this stage of the season while the Hawks sit comfortably in the driving seat with a 7 point advantage.
Hawks entertained the Telford Tigers EPL side on Sunday in the ECCN and managed to keep the score down to a narrow 2-5 defeat that saw Hawks netminder Stuart Ashton save a penalty shot for the second game in a row.  That result saw the Tigers move clear at the top of the group table, 2 points ahead of Manchester Phoenix EPL who have played a game more.

In full keeping with the spirit of this crossover cup competition, Tigers iced several members of their NIHL 2 side on Sunday including 4 under-18s.  Promising young netminding talent Denis Bell - who represents GB at under 18 level - came on for the last 7 minutes once Sam Gospel’s net had been breached for the first time and he will definitely be one to watch at the highest level for the future.

Unfortunately, his EPL team debut was marred by conceding a goal just as the buzzer was sounding at 60.00 which left him with a 50% Save% record for the game!
Also for the Tigers, GB international and many time champion Jonathan Weaver made what may well have been his first ever appearance on Blackburn ice in a senior career spanning over 20 years and was joined by Rick Plant who actually played 2 games for the Hawks in the British League back in 1995/6. 

Photos:
Top: Telford Tigers’ GB International Jonathan Weaver at Blackburn on Sunday night. Photo by John Milton – www.eventog.uk

Bottom: Tigers’ netminder Denis Bell playing his first game for the EPL team. Photo by Ella Thornton –  Hawk Photography

 

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance - 7th December

Moralee:
Sheffield Spartans 4 - Sutton Sting 4
Billingham Stars 1 - Solway Sharks 4

ECCN: Blackburn Hawks 2 - Telford Tigers EPL 5

Laidler:
Solihull Barons 17 - Bradford Bulldogs 1 (Soar 2+6, Ottoson 5+2)
Deeside Dragons 5 - Widnes Wild 8 (Supa 5+)
Nottingham Lions 14 - Hull Jets 4

South 1:
Chelmsford Chieftains 7 - London Raiders 2
Milton Keynes Thunder 3 - Bracknell Hornets 0
Streatham Redskins 1 - Wightlink Raiders 6
Solent Devils 10 - Oxford City Stars 2

ECCS: Basingstoke Bison EPL 10 - Invicta Dynamos 1

South 2 West:
Bristol Pitbulls 2 - Cardiff Devils 3
Swindon Wildcats 5 - Basingstoke Buffalo 5

South 2 East: Lee Valley Lions 6 - Invicta Mustangs 4

South 2 Cup B:  Wightlink Tigers 4 - Slough Jets 9


Saturday, 6 December 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance - 6th Dec 2014

Moralee: Solway Sharks 1 - Blackburn Hawks 4

Laidler:
Coventry Blaze 2- Sheffield Senators 1
Blackburn Eagles 2 - Widnes Wild 4

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 11 - Cardiff Devils 2
London Raiders 2 - Oxford City Stars 4
Wightlink Raiders 4 - Milton Keynes Thunder 4
Bracknell Hornets 8 - Streatham Redskins 7

ECCS: Milton Keynes Lightning EPL 5 - Chelmsford Chieftains 2

South 2 East:
Peterborough Islanders 8 - Lee Valley Lions 1
Haringey Racers 2 - Chelmsford Warriors 6

Photo: action from Blackburn Eagles v Widnes Wild - by Steve Pollitt


Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Ideal Christmas Present For Every NIHL Player and Fan!

The 2014 Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook has full team by team and division by division stats and summaries of the 2013/14 season in NIHL North and South Divisions 1 & 2 at the following teams' home matches:

Solway Sharks, Blackburn Hawks, Widnes Wild, Streatham Redskins, London Raiders, Haringey Racers - with more to be added to the list soon.

Plus: Whitley Warriors and Billingham Stars games via Chris Mackenzie
&  Wightlink Raiders & Tigers and Solent Devils games via Chris Randall

You can also get copies via mail order by following the links below. Singles copies cost £7.50 inc free UK P&P or why not put a group order together and make £££s for your club...?!?!  

Order links and more details HERE

You can also buy it on Amazon  HERE but, due to their postage pricing structure, it cost a bit more.

South 2 East Match Report: Haringey Racers 6 - Lee Valley Lions 5

In a much changed team from our last home game we welcomed three new players to the line up and missed a couple with one out on loan

The first period was a close thing as the teams traded shots and went in even at one each.

The second period was a penalty a ridden time for the Racers but they still went in even at two each after trading a couple of quick goals.

The third period was more of a one way game, with Racers out shooting the Lions by two shots to one but only just getting a victory by the odd goal in a seven goal thriller.

Final score Racers 6   Lions 5

Shots on goal                                         Penalties
Lions 46 (6)   Racers 34 (5)              Lions 12 mins   Racers 28 mins

MOM for the racers   sam roberts

Racers points
Sam Roberts 3+1
Matt Brown 1+1
Romanas Fedotovas 1+1
Perry Richardson     1+0
Sam Park 0+2
Robbie Veares 0+1
Ricky Mills 0+1
ben osborne 0+1
mark saunders 0+1
Declan Rhys Jones   0+1

South 1 Reports: Bracknell Bees 6 - Solent Devils 4 & Solent Devils 4 - MK Thunder 5

Saturday 29th November 2014
 
Late goals cost the Devils dearly
 
Despite leading with just six minutes remaining the Devils returned home from Bracknell pointless.
 
Three late goals by Bracknell Hornets secured all the points for the home team despite a spirited performance by a Devils team determined to make amends for the 1-11 defeat they suffered at home earlier in the season. In a match that lasted almost three hours there were times when the both teams were frustrated by refereeing decisions. In the most serious incident George Norcliffe received a stick in his face, leaving a trail of blood across the ice, but to the astonishment of both sets of players no penalty was called. Thankfully after about ten minutes of treatment George returned to the ice, but the outcome could have been so much worse.
 
Devils started strongly, and were opened the scoring in the second minute as Alex Murray found Ralfs Circenis free on the blue line, who beat the Bracknell netminder with the first shot of the match. The play switched from end to end, and Bracknell equalised in the fifth minute. The injury to George in the eleventh seemed to unsettle the Devils, and soon after Bracknell took the lead. The frustration boiled over, with the Devils losing key player Mitch Murray in the closing seconds of the period.
 
Devils started the second period defending a 5 on 3 powerplay, and the despite some heroics by the defence and incredible saves by man of the match Christian Cole, the home team eventually found the back of the net in the third minute of the period.   As the game progressed the Devils continued to pressurise the Bracknell net, and pulled a goal back in the 29th minute, as Andrew Magee tipped the puck into the back of the net after Alex Murray won the face-off just four seconds into the powerplay. With no further scoring in the second period the Devils went into the second break just 2-3 down.
 
The final period started well for the Devils, Ralfs Circenis broke free and although his shot went wide George Norcliffe picked up the rebound off the rear boards to bury the puck in the back of the net to equalise in the fourth minute of the period. The game looked to be heading for a draw, with both netmiders pulling off some fine saves, but with just nine minutes remaining Drew Campbell scored to see the Devils re-take the lead. As the clock ran down however, hopes of another Devils victory on the road seemed to evaporate as Bracknell took advantage of their powerplay opportunities, scoring three times in the last six minutes to give the home team a 6-4 victory.
 
Match Stats
Devils scoring: George Norcliffe & Ralfs Circenis (1+1), Andrew Magee & Drew Campbell  (1+0) , Alex Murray (0+2), Mitch Murray (0+1)
Shots on Devils: Christian Cole 49 shots (6 goals)
Shots on Bracknell: 27 shots (4 goals)
Period scores: 2-1/1-1/3-2
Penalty minute: Bracknell: 28, Devils: 67
 
 
Sunday 30th November 2014
 
Devils comeback falls just short
 
After a disappointing first period the Devils came within a goal of an amazing come-back.
 
In recent weeks the Devils have been having a good first period, and not quite holding out for the points, but today’s match was the exact opposite. Despite a high work-rate the Devils lost the first period 0-4, but with fight, determination and skill fought back to within a goal of the visitors from Milton Keynes. For the Devils the match ended a few minutes too soon as they were dominating the final period.
 
Apart from the goals the first period was quite even, but the puck didn’t quite seem to be falling for the Devils, and Milton Keynes were able to score a regular intervals throughout the period. The team spirt within the Devils team this year was evident, as they came out for the second period with real belief that they could still win the match. A blue line boomer from Ben Lock finally broke the Milton Keynes shut-out, but despite outshooting their visitors 21-13 the home team couldn’t beat the netminder again this period.
 
The Devils’ never-say-die attitude nearly paid dividends as all the players continued to push for the goal, and kept the Milton Keynes forwards at bay. Man of the Match George Norcliffe opened the scoring in the fifth minute of the third period as he latched onto a rink wide pass from Andrew Magee.  Less than two minutes later another inch-perfect pass from Magee found Chris Beal in space, who made no mistake as he slid the puck past the netminder. Now trailing by just two goals the Devils continued to press, and with 44 seconds left on the clock Josh Abbott beat the netminder to set up a frantic end to the match. Despite peppering the net the Devils were unable to score again, and fell just short of the win they deserved.

Match Stats
Devils scoring: Chris Beal, Josh Abbott, George Norcliffe & Ben Lock (1+0), Andrew Magee (0+2), Steve Gosset, Shaun Rudkin, Alex Murray & Drew Campbell  (0+1)
Shots on Devils: Christian Cole 37 shots (5 goals)
Shots on Milton Keynes: 50 shots (4 goals)
Period scores: 0-4/1-0/3-1
Penalty minute: Devils: 6, Milton Keynes: 38
 
Reports by Simon Beal
 
Photo: Match action from Bracknell v Solent by Kevin Slyfield

Laidler Match Report: Solihull Barons 7 - Sheffield Senators 2

Sheffield Senators faced a tough test in Solihull against the unbeaten Barons and despite losing 7-2 put up a creditable performance to make their opponents work hard for their win.

Initially it was pretty even in the opening stages of the game but Barons stole the lead with a scrappy goal when their persistence paid off to force the puck home through Josh Bruce on 5.13. Solihull gained the upper hand to go two up with a good goal from Joe Henry timed 11.36. Shortly after that we were all subject to a long delay due to a fault with the lighting with play eventually continuing with the problem unresolved. Solihull took control of the game after the restart to score two quick goals, the first from Richard Slater on 13.46 followed by Josh Bruce’s second timed 15.04 to put Barons in front 4-0. It was a little harsh on Senators who continued to battle away to finish the period strongly against a Barons team that looked in control for large parts of the period.

Despite a lively start to the period, Senators found themselves 5-0 early on to a Tomas Janak goal on 22.21 but this seemed to inspire Sens more than Barons who came under quite a bit of pressure from a Senators team that were playing some good hockey. However, Barons showed their class when they worked to turn over possession and create a chance on the penalty kill which was put away nicely by Josh Bruce for his hat-trick on 30.33. Senators didn’t give up and it took another good move to set up Andrew Whitehouse to make it 7-0 on 33.24. Undeterred Senators continued to heap pressure on Solihull’s goal and their efforts were justly rewarded when Tom Humphries popped his effort into the back of the net at 34.13. A well worked powerplay goal assisted Sergevs Jegorovs. Barons looked to hit on the counter but a well organised Sens defence backed up by Bob Browne snubbed out any threat as Senators continued to pressurise Solihull and it paid off on 38.54; Callum Rawson taking his chance well after being teed up by Mikey Mawer. Sens almost pulled another back but Barons netminder got enough on it to take the sting out of the shot to see the puck drop dead just a couple of inches from the goal line. Senators finished the period the stronger team and the silence from the crowd as the teams left the ice spoke volumes.

Although the final period was goalless it was still action packed with Senators arguably the better team who were making Solihull work very hard and pushed them all the way and at times frustrated their opponents in what was a good physical game of hockey. It got a bit heated to see Joel Aheran & Josh Bruce exchange blows followed shortly afterwards by Cam King & David Rogers. Things looked like they may have spilled over even more when a Solihull player was cross-checked from behind but thankfully hockey broke out with both teams trying to add to their tally but unable to do so to see the game finish…Solihull Barons 7 Senators 2.

Solihull maintain their unbeaten record to sit at the top of the table but they were given a game & made to work hard for their points against a spirited Senators team that worked their socks off to play some good hockey against a very good team. They did deserve to win in that they created some good chances and put them away to take control of the game, from which they went on to see it out to claim the win; however Senators deserve praise and credit for their performance, one that rightly gives them hope & optimism for the weeks ahead.

Report by Phil Holden
Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies:  Joe Henry celebrates a Barons goal

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 4 - Telford Tigers 8

Telford Tigers made an early return to the Silverblades Widnes, still smarting from only their second defeat of the season in Widnes last week. Tom Ratcliffe, Kieron Strangeway, Tom Fielden and Nicole Jackson returned to a strong Widnes line up but Bobby Caunce was declared unfit with an ankle injury..

Nicole Jackson started in net for Widnes and the game opened at a frantic pace, with both netminders brought into early action. The Widnes forwards were combining well and several top saves from Bell prevented goals. Telford took a shock lead at 10.18. They worked the puck around the Widnes end and an accurate angled low shot from Daniel Croft found the bottom corner of the net. Great saves from Telford's Bell followed from Filip Supa shots. The Tigers stretched their lead at 18.56, a Widnes defensive error allowing Brad Betteridge to break clear and beat Nicole Jackson with a high shot. The first interval was marked with a charity Air the Bear, when the crowd flung dozens of teddy bears onto the ice in aid of a local childrens hospice.

The second period saw early pressure from the visitors and when Widnes were reduced to 4 skaters a Telford attack saw a tip in goal , high into the top left corner from Joe Aston at 24.09.

Telford took a 4 -0 lead at 29.08 - the puck being backhanded into the bottom left corner by Brad Betteridge. Widnes called a 30 second time out and it had an effect. They opened their scoring at 32.44 when Shaun Dipnall forced the puck low past Bell. Inside three minutes Widnes scored a second - a real quality finish from Lee Pollitt after good work by Supa and Dipnall. Telford came back with a fifth - a low shot from Betteridge beating Jackson at 35.12.

The third period followed a similar pattern with lots of energetic Widnes pressure and Telford systematically looking for a high attacker to punish Widnes on the break. However it was Wild who were first to score, Bell making a save from point blank range with the puck looping up and over his head into the net. The goal was awarded to Filip Supa at 46.06. Telford came straight back and an attack on the right saw Joe Aston beat Jackson with a low shot into the bottom corner. The next minute saw Pollitt win a face off in the Telford end and a fierce Dipnall shot well saved by Bell. Another defensive error from the Wild saw James Smith break away to beat Nicole Jackson to put Telford 7- 3 ahead. The goal signalled a netminder change for Widnes - Greg Ruxton replacing Nicole Jackson. A similar goal at 50.55 saw James Smith beat Ruxton inside the post.

An incident in the Widnes end saw Telford's Joe Aston and new Widnes signing Joe Greaves dropping the gloves and fighting. Greaves received a match penalty for a head butt at 52.08. Immediately Supa broke away and only a brilliant save from Bell prevented a Widnes score. More Widnes pressure brought a fourth goal at 58.53 - Shaun Dipnall forcing the puck under Bell from the edge of the crease.

This was a game highlighted by missed Wild scoring chances ( they outshot the visitors) , some great Telford netminding and defensive errors at both ends. Telford displayed some high quality finishing, which ultimately won the game. Shaun Dipnall took the MVP for Widnes for an impressive all action, goalscoring display.

Next weekend Wild travel to Blackburn on Saturday for the first time this season for a 17.45 face off. The following night, Sunday, they visit Deeside Dragons hoping for a third win of the season against their Welsh opponents. The game starts at 18.45.

Report by Dick Gillingham

Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Monday, 1 December 2014

Moralee Match Report: Manchester Minotaurs 4 - Sheffield Senators 10

Sheffield Spartans triumphed 10-4 in Altrincham against Manchester Minotaurs but the score doesn’t reflect how the game panned out. Spartans dominated large parts of the game with some great hockey but also hustled to grind out goals to deservedly win.

The first period started with both teams enjoying spells of possession but failing to take control of the game until Ollie Barron popped one in from Elliott Knell & Stuart Brittle timed 6.42. Prior to that Minotaurs had created the best opportunity but a great save from Brandon Stones denied them what looked like a certain goal. Spartans slowly gained the upper hand and spent the last half of the period basically camped in Minotaurs defensive zone but only had Andy Turner’s clever tip in on the powerplay to show for their efforts; goal timed 14.59 with assists to Shaun Wild & Jonathan Kirk. It was amazing that it was only 2-0 to Spartans at the end of the period and in some regards we’d let Minotaurs off the hook but they deserve credit for digging in to keep the score down.

Manchester started the period in determined mood but found themselves 3-0 down when a lovely pass from Nick Manning, that split Minotaurs defence, found Will Barron who put away his one on one play despite Fox’s best efforts to keep the puck out. Just as Spartans were settling Minotaurs hit back with a Tomas Hnilca powerplay goal on 24.16 but Spartans response was swift with two quick fire goals to make it 5-1. James Maughan scored on 25.50; assisted Chris Wilcox & Nick Manning followed by a well worked goal that saw James Maughan & Nick Whyatt set up Alex Harding on 26.18. Spartans had some excellent chances that went just wide or that were saved but it wasn’t all one way and they were grateful for some solid netminding from Brandon Stones and Matt Croyle, after changing netminders, to take the sting out of the game at times.

Spartans controlled the lion’s share of the period but had to be alert as Manchester looked to counter but when Shaun Wild, assisted James Maughan on 46.06, then Ollie Barron, assisted Jonathan Kirk & Stuart Brittle on 47.59 Spartans looked home & dry. That was until Lee Pollitt scored a very good goal shortly after timed 48.34. Minotaurs almost added another but a good save from Matt Croyle denied them and seemed to stir Spartans back into life who again put Manchester under pressure to once again stamp their authority on the game and put it completely out of Manchester’s reach. Some nice build up play from Alex Harding & Dave Pyatt set Nick Whyatt on his way to score a good goal on 55.21 to make it 8-2. From the subsequent face off Nick Manning & Will Barron set up Dave Pyatt who made no mistake with his effort on 55.49.

More intense pressure yielded another goal for Spartans when Scott Morris scored on 58.19 after some good play from Will Barron & Nick Manning to make it 10-2. As the clock ticked down and the game won, Spartans took their eye off the puck for Brian Worrall to fire in for a well taken goal to make it 10-3 on 59.50. Spartans frustration was clear to see, even more so when their failure to react saw Minotaurs score again with one second left on the clock through Kieren Death.

There was a little confusion with it being so late on as to whether the goal stood but it did with the confusion stemming from the scoreboard operator not being bothered to put the goal up. Their apparent disappointed mood was shared by Spartans during the end of game handshakes and although those two late conceded goals brought a frustrating conclusion to the game they should not be allowed to detract from what was a good performance from Spartans. It wasn’t pretty at times but they played well, worked hard and showed a determined will to get the job done. There were some good performances with no single player having a bad game but Will Barron was a worthy winner of the Man of the Match beers.

Final Score: Manchester Minotaurs 4 Spartans 10

Report by Phil Holden

Photo: Spartans attack the Minotaurs' goal - photo by Steve Pollitt