Tuesday 25 February 2014

Whitley Tribute To Warriors Stalwart Brian

There was nice tribute  at Whitley Warriors to long standing fan Brian Elsdon who died recently aged just 53.

At his funeral, a group of Brian’s friends decided to go along to the game against Blackburn Hawks on Sunday and meet in their old stamping ground of the Clock End of the rink.

They paid their own special tribute in the 53rd minute – Brian’s age at his passing – by standing for a minute’s applause in his memory.  This must have gee-ed the players up as they were losing 2-1 at the time, then 3-1 but hit back to draw level at 4-4 with just 11 seconds to go in the match.

Brian had run the Warriors supporters club back in the 1990s and had even managed to attend a few matches earlier this season despite battling with serious illness.

Our thanks to Bobby Dixon for bringing this to our attention.
Photo by John Milton - www.togger.co.uk

Laidler Match Report: Solihull Barons 7 - Widnes Wild 1

It was a bridge too far for Wild when they travelled to the Midlands to meet table topping Solihull Barons. Late player unavailability gave Widnes a mountain to climb
Only four defencemen travelled and Wild were without the speed of Ben Brown and Filip Supa. A good Wild following welcomed the team onto the ice in front of easily the biggest away crowd of the season to date.
The game opened at a furious pace with both teams breaking quickly on their opponents net. Chris Preston and Tom Ratcliffe both tested Hewitt on the breakaway inside the first five minutes. At the other end, the outstanding Steve Gilmartin was repeatedly brought into action as the slick passing Barons bombarded his goal. Shaun Dipnall skated clear for Wild in the 7th minute but his angled shot flashed wide of the right hand post. Barons were playing with a man high in the Widnes end and only scrambling defence prevented an opening goal.  Three excellent saves from Gilmartin between the 8th and 10th minutes were much appreciated by the big crowd and further key saves with the puck fired through a crowd of players, kept the game scoreless. The crowd were brought to their feet just before the interval as Wild's Mark Higson and Rob Eley for the Barons traded blows in front of the Wild net. Eley took 6 minutes in the penalty box and Higson went to the dressing room for treatment to a wound under the eye.

The second period opened with Solihull adopting slightly different attacking options. They repeatedly drove in towards the net, forcing Steve Gilmartin to save bravely at the feet of the home forwards. Finally the deadlock was broken in the 23rd minute with Joe Henry unmarked  forcing the puck home from the edge of the crease. Within three minutes a set face-off play from Widnes saw Callum Ruddick equalise after taking a Lee Pollitt pass. After action at both ends of the ice, Solihull restored the lead when a Widnes break out in the 32nd minute was interrupted and Henry and Slater combined to give the Barons the lead back. Tired legs were evident within the Wild ranks and three goals within three minutes saw Solihull pull well ahead.
The third period opened with a sixth Solihull goal within twenty seconds of the restart. A Widnes attack broke down and a quick breakout saw Joe Henry putting the Barons further ahead. Widnes battled hard to get back into the game but the only further goal came from the Barons in the 56th minute when Richard Slater found the bottom right corner of the net after good work by Henry and Selwood. As the game drew to a close, Steve Gilmartin made the save of the game, diving to the right to keep out a fierce angled shot. He deservedly took the MVP for Wild after taking an incredible 79 shots.
For long periods of the game, Wild competed well with their high flying opponents, the real standout team in the Laidler Conference. Next weekend sees Wild travel to Sheffield on Saturday ( f.o. 15.45) before returning home to meet Coventry Blaze on Sunday ( f.o. 18.00). Hopefully, with greater player availability, Wild will be confident of adding to their league points total.
Head Coach, Mark Gillingham took a number of positives from the tough Solihull fixture. 'Remarkably, that was one of Solihull's smallest winning margins at home, so it shows just what we were up against. The Barons are comfortably the best team in this league, and we competed well for the majority of the game. We suffered from having only four defensive players available, and the fatigue that set in just before the end of the second period led to a spell that ended up decisive. Hopefully we'll be back at something like full strength for the two games next weekend, and that should allow us to get back to our stronger performances.'
Dick Gillingham
Top Photo:  Defenceman Josh Grocutt with Netminder Steve Gilmartin who was MVP after saving 72 of the 79 shots he faced.
Bottom Photo:  Wild's Chris Preston challenges for possession.
Both photos by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Monday 24 February 2014

South 2 Match Report: Haringey Racers 3- Swindon Wildcats 6

The CVS Haringey Racers winning streak came to an end on Saturday night, as they lost 6-3 to the Swindon Wildcats at Alexandra Palace. 
The visitors jumped out to an early lead in the third minute via a Tom Rutkis goal, but Haringey hit back before the first break when Ricky Mills was teed up by Ben Osborne and Perry Whitlock on the power play. 
The Wildcats took the lead again straight after the break through Shannon Taylor but the Racers kept pace again when Sam Roberts was set up by Drew Campbell. Taylor added another two before the end of period, though,  sealing a hat-trick and putting Swindon in the driving seat heading into the final period.  
The Wildcats started strongly in the third, as they had in the other two periods, with Rutkis returning for his second before Logan Prince added another with ten minutes to go, putting the game out of the Racers' reach. Ricky Rutherford grabbed a consolation goal for the hosts in the final minute, assisted by Mason Webster and Anthony Child, but it was too little, too late, as Haringey waved their winning streak goodbye.
Coach Dan Sampson says: "We didn't really show up for the first two periods even though we were still in there on the scoreboard. We weren't strong enough defensively and gave their talented young kids too much time and space and we switched off at times and they punished us for it."
The Racers will host Cardiff at home on Saturday, before travelling to Oxford on Sunday and will be eager to avenge losses to both sides earlier in the season, with Sampson adding: "We're going to have to be disciplined, smart and play our best hockey. We're more than capable of getting four points out of this weekend and we just need to regroup and focus, finish as high in the league as we can and keep one eye on the cup."
Goaltender Ian Shepherd who has been struggling with a hip injury that ruled him out on Saturday is a doubt for the weekend, says Sampson: " It was a shame to lose Ian Shepherd after the warm up but he didn't feel fit to play. Our other goalie, young Sam Calder is more than capable and did a good job Saturday, we'll look at Shep in training though and make a decision on his fitness."
Photo: Racers' Ricky Rutherford by Sam Park

Sunday 23 February 2014

Moralee Conference Round Up - 22nd & 23rd February 2014

Blackburn Hawks became the second team to qualify for the end of season play offs with a 3 point weekend. They beat Telford Titans 8-1 at home on Saturday evening and then drew 4-4 away at Whitley Warriors on Sunday to keep them in second place in the league table.

Third place Billingham Stars are now 4 points behind the Hawks and they suffered a 2-3 home defeat at home to Sutton Sting who now climb up into 4th place.

Whitley Warriors scored twice in the last minute of their game with Blackburn to snatch a 4-4 draw but the point was not enough to stop them sliding out of the play off positions, down into 5th.    The Warriors are 1 point behind Sutton Sting but have played a game more.

In the other Moralee game, bottom club Telford Titans finally notched up their first win of the season at the 23rd time of asking as they beat Sheffield Spartans 6-5. The Titans now have 3 points in all, having drawn with Whitley Warriors earlier in the year.

Photo:  Warriors' GTG with just 11 secs left on the clock. Photo by John Milton - www.togger.co.uk


Laidler Conference Round Up - 22nd & 23rd February 2014

Solihull Barons maintained their lead of the top of the Laidler Conference with a 7-1 win over much improved Widnes Wild.

3rd place Coventry Blaze moved 2 points clear of Nottingham with a 3-2 home victory over the Lions while Hull Jets maintained their own late push for a play-off place with an edgy 2-1 win away at Blackburn Eagles.

Photo: Coventry 3 Nottingham 2 by Scott Wiggins - See more great photos here!

Saturday 22 February 2014

NIHL North: Saturday Games Round Up

Blackburn Hawks took a step closer to securing the runners up position in the Moralee Conference with an 8-1 win over bottom team Telford Titans.

They now have a 3 point lead over 3rd place Billingham Stars although they have now played one game more.

A win for the Hawks away at Whitley Warriors tomorrow night (Sunday) will confirm Blackburn's place in the end of season play offs.

* * * * *
In the NIHL North cup, Solway Sharks had to come from 2-0 down to beat Manchester Minotaurs
14-2. Sharks now join Sutton Sting in the group table on 8 points from 6 games played.  Blackburn Hawks lead the table with 10 points from 7 games.

Once the group games have been completed, the top two teams in the group will meet home and away in a two legged Cup final.

Photo: Solway v Manchester by David Morrison

Thursday 20 February 2014

Laidler Playoffs Still Going Ahead Despite Dragons Withdrawal

Event organiser John Butler has said that the inaugural Laidler Conference playoffs will still be taking place as planned at Solihull over the Easter Weekend.

He said "Over £500 worth of tickets have already been sold and we have sponsors in place for all Man of the Match awards. The recent Barons match v Coventry attracted an attendance of 846.  If we can get those sort of numbers for the three play off matches, the participating teams could receive up to £2000 each under the profit sharing arrangement."

It is anticipated that the team that finishes 5th in the league will now be invited to take part in the playoffs instead of Deeside which could give Hull Jets, Widnes Wild or maybe Sheffield Senators a chance of qualifying.

If that doesn't work out, there is also the option of holding a round robin tournament between the three remaining teams.

More news will be posted here as it is announced.

Follow the Laidler Conference Play-offs here:  Facebook Page

Dragons Withdraw From Laidler Playoffs

Deeside Dragons  - who currently occupy 2nd place in the NIHL North Laidler Conference - have announced that they will not be taking part in the play off weekend which is being held at Solihull over the Easter weekend.

The Welsh club say that the costs involved in attending the play offs - either making 2 return trips  on separate days or paying for an overnight stay - make it impossible for them to participate. 

They also point to the fact that the decision to hold these play offs was only made in January and, as such, they had not been able to include it into their budget for the season.

Solihull chairman John Butler - who is organising the play offs - has said that the event will still go ahead and that profits from the weekend will be distributed among the participating teams.


South 2 Cup Weekend Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now on sale for the NIHL South 2 Cup Finals weekend, which is being held at Oxford ice rink on the weekend of 29/30 March.

Supporters can purchase tickets either through their (NIHLS2) clubs or online using the following link: online sales
Prices and fixtures details are as follows:-

Saturday 29th March:-
Semi-Final 1 - face off 17:15 (this match will involve Oxford City Stars)
Semi-Final 2 - face off 20:00 (this match will involve Bristol Pitbulls)

Opposition will be two teams out of Chelmsford Warriors, London Haringey Racers and Wightlink Tigers (qualifiers not yet known).

Sunday 30th March
Final - face-off 18:00

Ticket Prices:
Advance Sales: Adults: Saturday (two matches) £10.00, Weekend (all three matches) £12.
On the door: Adults: Saturday £12, Weekend £15. Sunday only: Adults £8.00

Children half price on all rates. No other concessions.

Please note that there will be a small service charge if you purchase tickets online (pence, not pounds).

Tuesday 18 February 2014

South 2 Cup: Oxford City Stars 3 - Bristol Pitbulls 5

Bristol Pitbulls beat South 2 league leaders in the South 2 Cup at the weekend by 3 goals to 5.  Both teams have already qualified for the semi finals which will take place at a special finals weekend to be held at the Oxford rink over 29th & 30th March.

Long term Swindon Wildcats player Alan Armour has recently re-signed for the Pitbulls (in photo - copyright flyfifer.co.uk)

More info:   Pitbulls Facebook Page


See more great ice hockey photos at www.flyfifer.co.uk  

North 2 Match Report: Nottingham Lions 3 - Widnes Wild 4

The remarkable rise in the fortunes of Widnes Wild was further emphasised on Sunday night when they came away from the National Ice Centre with two valuable league points.
Nottingham had already defeated runaway leaders, Solihull Barons as well as Deeside and Coventry on their own rink. A big crowd assembled for this game, many coming through from the earlier Elite League game in the neighbouring arena.
The game got off to a sensational start with a Widnes goal in just 5 seconds. From the face off, Widnes attacked and Daniel Bracegirdle fired home past Alan Levers - with the netminder apparently 'screened' by a defenceman. One of the quickest goals on record prompted a marvellous end to end contest which hung in the balance until the final buzzer.
Both sides launched waves of attack, with the Lions keen not to fall further behind. The equaliser came in the 15th minute when American forward, Luke Branin, fired an angled shot into the right corner of the net. Both netminders were repeatedly brought into action, making vital saves to keep their teams in touch. Levers made three remarkable consecutive saves in the 17th minute as Widnes pressed and at the other end, the in form Steven Gilmartin, made a great glove save with the puck destined for the top left corner.
The second period went the way of the home side. In the 22nd minute big Wild defenceman Tony Melbourne took a holding penalty adding to five minutes of incessant pressure on the Widnes net. The pressure was relieved when Shaun Dipnall broke clear for Wild and tested Levers with a great angled shot. When Nottingham's Reece Glossop took a 2 plus 10 penalty for roughing and misconduct in the 29th minute, Caunce and Roberts combined well to bring a big save from Levers. Nottingham chanced their arm and in a breakaway raid, Dan Hazeldine took the one on one opportunity when shorthanded to fire high past Gilmartin to give the Lions a lead. Despite some good constructive attacking play from the visitors, the final pass was often wayward. As the period drew to a close, first Ben Brown on the left and a Callum Ruddick shot from the blue line almost brought the equaliser. With shots at 13 - 7 in favour of the home side, the teams went to the dressing room with the Lions slightly on top in a close contest.
The final period saw the visitors in determined mood and when Bobby Caunce broke clear, a clever final deke from the star centreman almost beat Levers. Within a minute Wild were on the powerplay again and when Caunce's fierce shot was blocked, Ben Brown took the rebound  to shoot home the equaliser at 42.54. The goal fired the travelling fans, gathered opposite the Wild team bench. Defending short handed, when Melbourne took a delaying call, Wild suddenly broke out but Joe Charlton couldn't quite manage to beat Levers.
With the game finely balanced, a touch of inspiration was needed and it came from new signing Geoff Wigglesworth. The former Manchester man put increasing pressure on the home defence, repeatedly blocking passes out of defence with energetic forechecking. He had arrived late in Nottingham due to work committments, but he proved to be the match winner. He put Wild ahead in the 51st minute on the powerplay - when Ruddick and Brown combined, Wigglesworth lost his marker at the far post to slot home from close range.

A defensive error and an intercepted pass saw Nottingham equalise with an angled shot from Connor Glossop in the 52nd minute.
With the game finely poised, netminder Gilmartin found Bobby Caunce who broke clear supported by Wigglesworth. A perfectly timed pass across the face of goal found saw the new signing hit a one timer into the net and give the visitors the lead. From the face off Nottingham broke clear and an outstanding leg save from Steve Gilmartin was needed to retain a hard earned lead. Both sides called a time out and with Nottingham withdrawing netminder Levers for another attacker, at 58.46, it was a frantic finale. Twice Wild broke clear and missed an empty net by inches. The welcome relief of the final buzzer prompted huge celebrations in the visiting camp, Wild overcoming a talented Lions team for the second time in a month. Netminder Steve Gilmartin was awarded the MVP. for an outstanding display and several matchwinning saves.
Head Coach, Mark Gillingham, enjoyed his first senior victory in Nottingham as either a player or coach and he praised the outstanding efforts of his team:
"I think this was the toughest win we've had in this strong run of form we've been on. We were a little bit out of sorts for two periods, but had worked hard enough to make sure we were still in with a chance going into the third, and knew one strong period could be enough, which is how it played out. Although Nottingham have been struggling a little bit as of late, it's primarily been away from home, and they've beaten virtually everyone in Nottingham, so to travel to the East Midlands and pick up the win there is testament to how far we've come over the last few weeks. It's going to be an even tougher game next week at Solihull, who have been by far and away the strongest team we've seen so far this season, but we will travel with confidence and we know that any team can be caught off guard in this league."
Next Sunday, Wild travel to the Midlands again, to take on runaway league leaders Solihull Barons (18.00). The visitors will be hoping to reproduce the outstanding form which has led to four succesive victories.
Dick Gillingham
Top - #99 Geoff Wigglesworth and #27 Ken Armstrong put pressure on the Nottingham goal
Bottom - Netminder Steve Gilmartin awarded MVP   Both photos by Geoff White www.gw-images.co.uk

Monday 17 February 2014

NIHL South Division 2 Match Report - Haringey Racers 10 - Basingstoke Buffalo 4

The CVS Haringey Racers rolled over the Basingstoke Buffalo with a 10-4 win at Alexandra Palace on Sunday (February 16th).
Despite the Buffalo taking the lead in the first minute through former Racer Danny Ingoldsby, Haringey quickly got into gear, with first period goals from Matt Brown (2), Sean Martin, Anthony Child and Lee Mercer putting them firmly in the driving seat by the first break.
Ricky Mills added another five minutes after the restart but the visitors tried to show they were not dead and buried as they converted two powerplay goals inside a minute at the halfway mark.
Drew Campbell struck soon after, only for the Buffalo to score again and stay within reach at the end of the second period.
The final third was all Haringey though, as Brown returned to complete a hat-trick and Mills and Child wrapped up braces to put the Buffalo to bed.
Racers' captain Lee Mercer says: "It was a solid win in the end but a bit of a sluggish performance from us. I don't think we ever got out of third gear. A win is a win though and it has put us on a streak and will help us build momentum ahead of next weekend. That's all we can do at this stage, just keep winning games and building momentum as we try to hunt down the league leaders and just see where it takes us."
The Racers will host the Swindon Wildcats, who beat them 7-1 at Swindon earlier in the season but Mercer expects a better result, adding: "We're like a different team to what we were then. They've got some dangerous players and can really hurt you but if we focus on limiting their quality opportunities, we'll give ourselves a chance to keep this streak going."
Photo: Racers' hat trick hero Matt Brown by Richard Davies.

Moralee Conference Play Off Details Announced

Ticketing arrangements have been announced for the Moralee Conference Play Off weekend which will take place at Dumfries on 12th and 13th April 2014.

The first semi final will face off at 1pm on the Saturday afternoon between champions Solway Sharks and whichever team finishes 4th in the final table.

The second semi final between the teams finishing second and third will face off at 4.30pm.

At 8pm in the evening, the winners of the Pro Hockey News player and coach of the year awards will be announced in the rink bar.

The two semi-final winners will meet in the play off final on the Sunday afternoon in  a 2pm face off.

Advance tickets for the weekend are now available at £25 for all three games via Ticketweb by following this link:   Play Off Weekend Ticket Offer

or £10 per game:  http://www.ticketweb.co.uk/search/Dumfries+Ice+Bowl+Dumfries

Sunday 16 February 2014

Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend Of 15th & 16th February

League leaders Solihull Barons  maintained their 5 point lead at the top of the table with an 8-0 win away at bottom club Blackburn Eagles.

Second place Deeside Dragons look likely to finish as runners up after their 9-3 victory at home to 3rd place Coventry Blaze left them 7 points clear of the Midlanders.

Nottingham Lions failed to capitalise on Coventry's defeat and remain level on points behind them in 4th place after a 3-4 home defeat to Widnes Wild. The Wild took the lead after just 5 seconds and went on to notch up their 4th win in a row.

The league's newest team now move above Sheffield Senators into 6th place - just 3 points behind 5th place Hull Jets with two games in hand.

Photo: Deeside Dragons' Ben Simister celebrates his hat-trick goal. By Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk

Moralee Conference Round Up Weekend of 15th & 16th February 2014

Solway Sharks secured the Moralee Conference / North 1 title for the second year in a row with a 4-0 shut-out win away at Billingham Stars.  This came after their 8-5 home win over Whitley Warriors on Saturday night and means that, with 4 games left to play, the team from Dumfries can't be caught at the top of the table.

Whitley's 3-1 win at home to Sutton Sting means that they are now level on points with the Sutton in Ashfield club in the race to secure the final play off spot, although the Sting have a game in hand.

In the weekend's other games, Manchester Minotaurs beat Telford Titans 5-3 to pick up their first win since the middle of December while Blackburn Hawks' 3-3 draw away at Sheffield Spartans on Saturday means that they now edge 1 point head of Billingham in 2nd place in the table, with one game in hand.

Photo by David Morrison

NIHL North: Saturday Games Round Up

League leaders Solway Sharks took a step closer to the Moralee Conference (North 1) title with an 8-5 home win over Whitley Warriors while second place Blackburn Hawks drew 3-3 away at Sheffield Spartans.

This means that the Sharks just need to take one point from their game away at Billingham Stars this evening to win the title for the second successive season.

A full round up of all the weekend games in NIHL North 1 & 2 will be posted on Monday.

Photo: Sheffield Spartans v Blackburn Hawks by John Milton - www.togger.co.uk

Tuesday 11 February 2014

South 2 Cup: Bristol Pitbulls Through To Oxford Finals Weekend

Bristol Pitbulls became the second team to book their place at the NIHL South 2 Cup Finals weekend following their 4-2 Group B win away at Slough Jets at the weekend.

Oxford City Stars have already qualified from the same group and the other semi-finalists will be between London Haringey Racers, Wightlink Tigers and Chelmsford Warriors whose Group A schedule will not be completed until the middle of March.

The South 2 Cup Finals weekend will be held at Oxford  over the weekend of 29th and 30th March with both semi-finals being played on the Saturday and the Cup final  facing off at 6pm on the Sunday.

Special price weekend tickets will be available to buy in advance and single game tickets will be available on the door. Once sales arrangements are announced, we will let you know!

Photo: Jets' Zoran Kosic and Pitbulls' Jamie Newton - copyright Peter Fears

Monday 10 February 2014

NIHL North: Three In A Row For Widnes Wild

Widnes Wild made it three wins in a row with their 8-5 win over Blackburn Eagles last night following on from wins over Hull Jets (6-5) and Nottingham Lions (5-1).

With 7 wins under their belt overall, it looks as if the NIHL's newest team are beginning to find their feet and they are now just 1 point behind Sheffield Senators in the Laidler Conference with 3 games in hand.

Photo: Wild's Ken Armstrong scores against his old team:  by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Sunday 9 February 2014

NIHL North: Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend Of 8th & 9th February 2014

League leaders Solway Sharks still need 5 more points from their remaining 6 games  to secure their second consecutive North 1 title, following a 2-2 draw with Sheffield Spartans on Saturday night.

Blackburn Hawks maintained their place in 2nd spot with a 7-2 win over Whitley Warriors (see photo) while Billingham Stars stay right on their tail in 3rd place following their 3-2 win away at Sutton Sting.

Spartans completed a successful unbeaten weekend with a 7-4 win over Manchester Minotaurs. They are now level on points with 5th place Whitley and just two points off the last play off place which is currently occupied by Sutton.

Photo: Blackburn Hawks v Whitley Warriors by John Milton - www.togger.co.uk

NIHL North: Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend Of 8th & 9th February 2014

League leaders Solihull Barons showed no signs of cobwebs after their three week break as they demolished 3rd place Coventry Blaze 13-3 in the Midlands derby.

Second place Deeside Dragons beat Hull Jets 8-3 to keep the pressure up in the title but remain 3 points behind the Barons having played two games more.

Widnes Wild made it 3 wins a row with an 8-5 victory over Blackburn Eagles but failed to lift themselves out of 7th place as 6th place Sheffield Senators beat last season's champions Nottingham Lions 4-1. 

Two defeats in two days leave Hull Jets still 4 points behind Lions who occupy the coveted last play off spot.

Photo: Chris Jones scores for Deeside Dragons v Hull Jets  by Peter Sheffield ( www.psd-images.co.uk) 

Ticket Arrangements Announced For Laidler Conference Play Offs at Solihull

Ticket prices and booking details have been announced for the Laidler Conference playoff weekend which will be held at the Blue Ice Solihull ice rink over the Easter Weekend of 19th, 20th and 21st April.

Until the final league positions are known at the end of the season,  it is not possible to be sure which teams will be taking part or in which of the semi final match they will be playing they will be playing.  However, tickets are on sale now for the individual matches and there is also a special price for tickets for all three games (click on the image, left, for a clearer view).

The special price tickets must be ordered and paid for before the play off weekend. Normal full price tickets will be available on the day depending on availability. 

To book your tickets, call John Butler on 0121 770 8000 or email to info@pbsports.co.uk 

There are also a number of sponsorship and advertising opportunities available. Here again, call John Butler on 0121 770 8000 or email  admin@laidlerplayoffs.com 

To keep up with news about the Laidler Conference Playoffs, join the Facebook page here

NIHL North: Saturday Games

There were just two games played on Saturday in NIHL North but both had big implications.

In the Moralee Conference, Sheffield Spartans picked up a hard fought 2-2 draw away at league leaders Solway Sharks. That result leaves the Sharks needing 5 points from their remaining 6 games to secure their second successive North 1 title.

Spartans are in 6th place - 9 points clear of 7th place Manchester Minotaurs and could still have an outside hope of  battling for the 4th play off spot, depending on the performance of the other teams in the mix.

In the Laidler Conference, Nottingham Lions won a closely fought 1-0 victory away at Hull Jets. That result puts 4th place Lions comfortably 6 points clear of 5th place Jets in their quest to secure a top four play off place.

Photo: Spartans netminder Bradley Day was MVP against Solway Sharks - photo by Oliver Barron

Friday 7 February 2014

NIHL North: Warriors Lose Sample For Rest Of Season

Whitley Warriors will be without the services of Ryan Sample as they battle for a place in the Moralee Conference play offs.

For more on this story, click here: www.whitleywarriors.net

Photo by Colin Edwards

Send us YOUR NIHL news and photos.  click here for details.

Monday 3 February 2014

NIHL North: Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend Of 1st & 2nd February 2014

Solway Sharks edged closer to their second consecutive North 1 league title after a four point weekend in the road.

An edgy 3-2 win away at Manchester Minotaurs on Saturday night was followed up with a 6-1 win away at Telford Titans on Sunday.  That means that the Sharks only need 6 points from their remaining 7 games to be crowned Moralee Conference champions.

Blackburn Hawks moved up into second place win a 7-4 victory over Sheffield Spartans as Whitley Warriors beat Billingham Stars 5-1 in the North East Derby to knock them down into 3rd place.

Sutton Sting beat Manchester Minotaurs  11-5 in a league/cup combo game to keep themselves in 4th place, although with Whitley’s recent upturn in form - they sit just 2 points behind in 5th - the composition of the end of season play offs is far from decided.

Photo: Blackburn Hawks v Sheffield Spartans by John Milton - www.togger.co.uk

NIHL North: Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend of 1st & 2nd February 2014

Second place Deeside Dragons once again missed out on the opportunity to close the gap on league leaders Solihull Barons. Their 6-2 defeat away at Nottingham Lions on Sunday means that they still trail the Barons by 3 points and have now played two games more.

7th place Widnes Wild made it two wins in a row with a thrilling 6-5 win at home to 5th place Hull Stingrays. Shaun Dipnall lead the scoring for the Wild  (in photo) with a hat-trick while Bobby Caunce contributed 2+2.

Those results mean that Nottingham join 3rd place Coventry on 24 points and have opened a large gap between themselves and 5th place Hull, which may become crucial as the race for play off places hots up in the closing stages of the regular season.
Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Sunday 2 February 2014

NIHL South 1: Chelmsford Shut Out Run Brought To An End

Chelmsford Chieftains' sensational shut out run was brought to an end on Saturday evening away at NIHL South 1 bottom team Milton Keynes Thunder who managed to score at 58.19 to deny the Essex side a 4th consecutive clean sheet.  The 12-1 win kept the Chieftains on top of the South 1 table ahead of Sunday's matches.

The Chieftains last conceded a goal in the 49th minute of their game at Isle of Wight 4 games ago, so ignoring the odd seconds, they still managed a run of 250 minutes without letting a goal.

Photo: action from the 8-0 home win over Cardiff Devils on 25th January.  Photo by One Shot Images www.facebook.com/oneshotimages