Monday 28 April 2014

Warriors' Culley Announces Retirement

Whitley Warriors forward Karl Culley has announced his retirement from ice hockey after a successful and lengthy career in the British game.

Karl has played the majority of his hockey for the Warriors at Hillheads however he has also taken to the ice in the colours of the Sunderland Chiefs, Billingham Stars and Newcastle Vipers during his playing career.

Read more on this story here:

Photo by David Morrison -

Sunday 27 April 2014

Slough Jets To Drop Out Of EPL

The Slough Jets club have announced that they will NOT be competing in the English Premier League next season. They cite rising costs and decreased sponsorship revenue as reasons for this decision.

Reports in local press suggest that Slough will continue to have a team in NIHL South 2.

More information can be found here:

Thursday 24 April 2014

Oxford City Stars To Play In South 1 Next Season

South 2 league and cup winners Oxford City Stars have announced that they intend to step up to NIHL South Division 1 next season following their second title win in a row.

The format of the NIHL competition will not be known until after the meeting with all the clubs in May but the Stars are already making plans for next season.

You can find out more on the club's official website at:

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Match Report: Solihull 5 - Widnes 3

Laidler Conference Play Off Semi Final - By Dick Gillingham
Glorious in defeat sums up a mighty Widnes Wild play off performance. After several severe maulings by the Barons, Wild produced the performance of the season, urged on by their big travelling support. Widnes were short of big defencemen Troy Evans and Tony Melbourne. Former Great Britain defenceman Phil Lee got a surprise recall for the Barons. Widnes took to the ice in their now familiar black away strip.
The game opened at a furious pace with Solihull moving the puck around quickly. Greg Ruxton in the Widnes goal had to be at his agile best to prevent an early score. Wild were also playing with great confidence. Filip Supa beat the defence along the boards and as he took the puck behind the net, he seemed to take a hit from behind, falling and incurring a nasty hand injury. The injury affected his contribution but he bravely battled on ,closely marked by the Barons defence. Out of the blue, the puck found Josh Bruce free on the right and he fired into the right corner to put the Barons ahead in the 12th minute. A period of Solihull dominance saw Ruxton pull of a series of marvellous close range shots when screened by attackers. Solihull went further ahead when Wild  found themselves shorthanded. Sharp pasiing saw the puck moved out to giant defenceman Perry Doyle, who crashed a low shot past Ruxton.
The second period saw the visitors stepping up the action. First Ken Armstrong and then Bobby Caunce broke clear only to see shots saved. The increased pressure from Wild, saw Barons serving a series of penalties with Supa and Dipnall both tripped as they attacked. Josh Bruce received a serious arm injury after a late challenge on Ruxton
Widnes finally got on the scoreboard at 29.15, a Bobby Caunce shot being tipped out of the air by Ben Brown. The goal lifted the team and fans , with an incessant chant of Widnes ! Widnes ! ringing out round the rink. A controversial disallowed Widnes goal, brought anger from spectators - the puck clearly having crossed the line. It only delayed the inevitable and leading scorer Bobby Caunce was sent clear, cooly beating the Solihull net minder to put the sides level at 32.40. Both netminders produced excellent saves with Supa and Preston prominent for Wild.
It didn't take Solihull long to regain the lead, Edward Eaton firing home from close range at 41.53. Immediately Bobby Caunce broke clear but his final pass was wasted in front of the Solihull goal. Tempers were flaring up and Dan Bracegirdle and Joe Henry had an altercation in the 50th minute Aled Roberts, having a fine game in an unaccustomed defensive role, put Lee Pollitt away and the young forward beat three defenders brilliantly to finish cleverly for a Wild equaliser at 51.34.
There followed minutes of high tension with both sides keen to avoid a crucial mistake. Tired legs were creeping in and the deadlock was broken when the Barons Ryan Selwood fired a high shot past the misighted Greg Ruxton at 53.42.
With Widnes on the powerplay and committed to all out attack for an equaliser, star American Michael Rodger burst away from his own end to beat Ruxton with an unstoppable shot to the netminders left in the 58th minute. Despite continuous pressure Widnes couldnt score again, with the best performance of the season ending in a painful defeat.
This play off semi final defeat sent out a clear message that Widnes have certainly arrived and will be a serious threat next season. To have reached a play off position in the first season has been a great achievement from a young team moulded by Head Coach Mark Gillingham and his coaching team. With crowds amongst the best in the league and a highly professional media and merchandising team under team manager Mick Caunce and Chairman Matt Lloyd, fans are already looking forward to the new season.
Fans can keep up to date with close season activities via the website, local press and social media. An exciting 4 on 4 closed season evening tournament is planned for May and June and pre season warm up games are planned. Season tickets are still on sale, with details available from the Silver Blades Rink.

Photo by Geoff White -

Monday 21 April 2014

Laidler Conference Play Off Final - Barons Do The Double

Solihull Barons 3 - Nottingham Lions 2 
Barons win on penalty shots 

Period Scores:  0-1, 2-1, 0-0, OT 0-0, PS 1-0
Shots On Goal: Barons 84 - Lions 30
Penalties In Minutes: Barons 4 - Lions 2

Goals:  0-1 Hazeldine, 1-1 Hubbock (24.35),  1-2 Kasprzak (28.17),  2-2 Slater (34.21), 3-2 Bruce (65.00) PS

You can read a full report on the Nottingham Lions website here:

Chelmsford Chieftains Take South 1 Grand Slam

Report courtesy of  Chelmsford Chieftains Facebook Page:

Chelmsford Chieftains beat Wightlink Raiders 3-0 on the night, 6-3 on aggregate to lift the NIHL Play-off trophy in front of a packed Riverside crowd last night.

More than 1000 hockey fans were present as the team completed a dream Quadruple season, a clean sweep of all four pieces of available silverware.

After a scoreless 1st period Michael Ranby scored 2 minutes into the 2nd period t...o lift what was a tense atmosphere and further goals from Ross Brears and Matt Turner sealed the deal.
They paraded the play-off trophy along with the League Championship, League Cup and South East Trophy after the final buzzer. The retiring player/coach Gary Clarke left the ice under a tunnel of hockey sticks, a guard of honour prepared by his appreciative squad of talented players.

Celebrations lasted long into the night as both players and fans celebrated the most successful season in the club's 26 year history.

A full report to follow soon on

Photo by Ian Snoding -

Sunday 20 April 2014

South 1 Play Off Final 2nd Leg - Chelmsford v Wightlink

Chelmsford Chieftains 3 - Wightlink Raiders 3 (first leg 3-3-)

Period Scores: 0-0, 2-0, 1-0

Shots On Goal: Chieftain 43 - Raiders 43
Penalties In Minutes: Chieftains 8 - Raiders 10

Chieftains Scoring: Michael Ranby, Ross Brears, Michael Turner all 1+0 Alex Green, Gary Clark, Luke Brittle, James Ayling, Daniel Volrab all 0+1

Chelmsford Chieftains win 6-3 on aggregate

Laidler Conference Play Offs - 2nd Semi Final

Coventry Blaze 1 - Nottingham Lions 2

Period Scores: 0-0. 1-0, 0-1, OT 0-1

Shots On Goal: Blaze 41 - Lions 37
Penalties In Minutes: Blaze 24 - Lions 39

Scoring:  1-0 Brindle, 1-1 Illsley, 1-2 Kasprzak  Overtime Winner!

For a full match report, look here:

Saturday 19 April 2014

South 1 Play Off Final - 1st Leg: Wightlink Raiders v Chelmsford Chieftains


Wightlink Raiders  3 - Chelmsford Chieftains 3

Period Scores: 1-3, 1-0, 1-0
Shots on Goal: Raiders 42 - Chieftains 56
Penalties in Minutes: Raiders 22 - Chieftains 14

Raiders Scoring: Alex Barker 2+0, Matthew Vizzari 1+1, Craig Tribe 0+2, Damon Larter, Daniel Pye Corey Watkins all 0+1

Chieftains Scoring: Luke Brittle 1+1, John Connolly & Matthew Turner both 1+0, Daniel Volrab, Michael Ranby, Tibor Schneider & Gary Clarke all 0+1

Laidler Conference Play Off Semi Final 1

Solihull Barons 5 - Widnes Wild 3

Period Scores:  2-0, 0-2, 3-1
Shots On Goal: Barons 67 - Wild 29
Penalties In Minutes: Barons 34 - Wild 6

Barons Scoring: Michael Rodger 1+1, Ryan Selwood 1+1, Edward Eaton, Josh Bruce, Perry Doyle all 1+0, Joe Henry, Richard Slater, Kieran Papps & Connor Hubbock all 0+1

Wild Scoring: Bobby Caunce 1+1, Ben Brown & Lee Pollitt both 1+0, Aled Roberts & Thomas Jackson both 0+1

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Warriors Re-Sign Top Trio For Next Season

Just days after the Moralee Conference Play Offs, Whitley Warriors are already planning for next season with the re-signing of three key players.

Adam Reynolds (pictured), DJ Good and Jamie Tinsley have all agreed to play for the side again next season.

You can read more about this story here

Photo of Adam Reynolds by John Milton -

Sunday 13 April 2014

South 2 - Oxford Are Champions

Oxford City Stars won the league title for the second year in a row after their 3-9 win away at Basingstoke Buffalo saw them overtake league leaders Slough Jets in the last game of the season.

Stars top the table with 33 points from their 22 games while Slough finish just 1 point behind.

Bristol Pitbulls finish in 3rd place on 30 points after a 4 point weekend that saw wins over Swindon Wildcats and Cardiff Devils.

Just 5 points separate the top 5 teams with Swindon Wildcats on in 4th with 29 points and Haringey Racers in fifth with 28.

Photo: Bristol Pitbulls v Swindon Wildcats by

South 1 Play Off Semi-Finals

It will be a case of 1st v 2nd in the Play Off Final as the South 1's top two teams both won through to next weekend's final.

League champions Chelmsford Chieftains beat Streatham Redskins 12-2 over two legs (2-5 away and 7-0 at home) while runners up Wightlink Raiders beat Invicta Dynamos 7-5 (4-3 at home, 2-3 away).

Those two teams will meet home and away in a two legged final next weekend.

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

Moralee Play Off Final - Solway Sharks Take Treble

Solway Sharks secured the NIHL North treble by adding the Play Off title to the league title and Northern Cup that they had already won.

It was a lively final with 139 penalty minutes being dished out (56 in the first period).

The goals were scored by Juraj Senko (39.12) minute) and Struan Tonnar (57.13) and the Moralee Conference's top team came out on top once again.

After the cup presentation, Sharks captain Mark Gallagher (in photo) did a solo lap of honour after it was announced that he would be retiring from competitive hockey.

Final Score: Solway Sharks 2 Blackburn Hawks 0
Period Scores: 0-0, 1-0, 1-0
Sharks Scoring: Senko 1, Tonnar 1

Photo: Treble winning captain Mark Gallagher announces his retirement. Photo by David Morrison -

Moralee Conference - Pro Hockey News Player Of The Season Awards

Player of the Year - Adam Brittle (Blackburn Hawks),
Young Player of the Year - Jonathan Kirk (Sheffield Spartans)
Coach of the Year - Martin Grubb (Solway Sharks)

Moralee Conference All Star Team 1st Line
Netminder - Danny Brittle (Blackburn)
Defence - Juraj Senko (Solway), A.Munroe (Billingham)
Forwards - Adam Brittle (Blackburn), Lukas Zeman (Manchester) Adam Reynolds (Whitley)

For more details about the awards, have a look at the Pro Hockey News website:

Photo: Martin Grubb (right) receiving his award from EIHA Vice President Charles Dacres (left) and Pro Hockey News Editor Chris Mackenzie (centre). Photo by John Milton -

Saturday 12 April 2014

Moralee Conference Play Off Semi Finals

Semi Final 1
Solway Sharks 6 - Whitley Warriors 3
Period Scores: 4-1, 2-1, 0-1

Match photos and more stats to follow

Semi Final 2
Blackburn Hawks 2 - Billingham Stars 2
Hawks win on Penalty Shots

Period Scores: 0-2, 2-0, 0-0
5 mins Overtime: 0-0
Penalty Shots- 2-0

SOG: Hawks 37 - Stars 20

Photo: Sharks v Warriors by John Milton -

Thursday 10 April 2014

NIHL Radio - Online Radio Coverage Of Moralee Conference Play Offs

All 3 games of the Moralee Playoff Weekend will be broadcast through HawksF5 Radio, Stars Radio and Warriors Radio! Coverage starts five minutes before Face-Off:

SF1:  Solway Sharks v Whitley Warriors, 1pm Saturday

SF2: Blackburn Hawks v Billingham Stars, 4:30pm Saturday

Final: 2pm Sunday

The commentary teams representing each station have agreed to cover each other's games to enable them to watch their own teams. Therefore Oz Phillips (HawksF5) and Anthony Lowe (Stars) will be covering the first Semi-Final and Chris MacKenzie (Warriors) will be covering the second semi-final.
The Final has yet to be decided.

To listen:
 Go to and click "RADIO"
Go to and click "NIHL Radio"
Go to and select "Stars Media" where you will find the radio section.

The radio stations will work through any device that you wish to use (computers, phones, tablets...) without the need to download any apps or play with any settings.
To allow people to check that they can connect and listen,  music and interviews will be broadcast on Friday evening.

Monday 7 April 2014

Moralee Conference Season Awards Shortlist Announced

The shortlists have been announced for the three NIHL Moralee Conference awards for the season, as organised by Pro Hockey News.

In the Coach Of The Year section, the shortlisted candidates are Martin Grubb (Solway Sharks), Jared Owen (Blackburn Hawks) and Simon Leach (Whitley Warriors).

The Player Of The Year nominees are Juraj Senko (Solway), Adam Brittle (Blackburn) and Lukas Zeman (Manchester Minotaurs).

A new category for this year is the Young PLayer Of The Year award and the shortlisted three are Jack Davies (Billingham Stars), Jonathan Kirk (Sheffield Spartans) and Connor Henderson (Solway Sharks). 

The results will be announced on Saturday evening at the Moralee Conference Play Off weekend at Dumfries. 

More information can be found on the Pro Hockey News website

Sunday 6 April 2014

South 1 Play Off Quarter Finals

League champions Chelmsford Chieftains booked their place in the semi-finals  with a 12-1 aggregate victory over Solent & Gosport Vikings.  They won 0-2 away on the south coast on Saturday and then 10-1 at home on Sunday.

Invicta Dynamos beat Cardiff Devils 2-6 away and 10-3 at home to win 16-5 on aggregate.

Wightlink Raiders beat Bracknell Hornets 10-2 on aggregate (7-1 at home, 1-3 away).

Streatham Redskins were awarded a place in the semi final after opponents London Raiders were unable to ice a team for the second leg of their quarter final due to suspensions after the first leg was abandoned.

The semi final will take place next weekend with Chelmsford playing Streatham and Wightlink taking on Invicta over two legs.

Photo: Invicta's Callum Fowler in action v Cardiff Devils - by David Trevallion

South 2 Title Race Approaches Climax

Oxford City Stars beat Slough Jets 4-3 to go back to the top of the South 2 table to lead the Jets by 1 point.

Both teams have 1 game left to play - Slough are at home to Haringey Racers next Saturday and Oxford travel to Basingstoke on Sunday.  Should both teams finish on the same number of points, Slough would take the title by virtue of their 5-3 win over Oxford back in November.

Bristol Pitbulls beat Peterborough Islander 8-2 to maintain their challenge for a potential 3rd place finish.

Photo: Pitbulls v Peterborough courtesy of

Solway Sharks Win Northern Cup

Solway Sharks won the NIHL North Cup for the third time in a row after beating Sutton Sting  7-4 over two legs.  They won the first leg at home 4-2 and then won the second leg away at iceSheffield 3-2 to retain the trophy.

Match details to follow. 

1st Leg - 5th April 2014
Solway Sharks 4 - Sutton Sting 2
Period Scores:  1-1, 1-0, 2-1

2nd Leg - 6th April 2014
Sutton Sting 2 - Solway Sharks 3
Period Scores 1-1, 1-2, 0-0

Photo: Sharks' cup celebrations at iceSheffield by David Morrison -

Saturday 5 April 2014

Saturday Games Round Up

In the Laidler Conference, Widnes Wild dramatically snatched the final play off spot with  4-7 win away at Hull Jets. Their 3rd win in their last 4 games sees the NIHL North's newest team finish in 5th place in the table just one point ahead of Hull and Sheffield Senators.

The Wild will now face champions Solihull Barons in the first play off semi final at Solihull ice rink on Good Friday.

In the final of the Northern Cup, Solway Sharks have a 4-2 overnight lead after the home leg against Sutton Sting.  The second leg is tomorrow evening at iceSheffield.


In the South 1 Play Off Quarter Finals, Wightlink Raiders beat Bracknell Hornets 7-1 in the first leg while Streatham Redskins game at home to London Raiders was abandoned  after two periods after Raiders players attacked Streatham fans on the way off the ice!  The Raiders were leading 1-2 at the time.

Chelmsford Chieftains won 0-2 away at Solent & Gosport Vikings and Invicta Dynamos won 2-6 away at Cardiff Devils.

The return legs of each tie are scheduled for tomorrow evening.

The second leg of the Streatham v London match has been cancelled as the Raiders are not able to ice a team due to suspensions. Streatham Redskins have been awarded the place in the semi final.

In South 2, Bristol Pitbulls beat Peterborough Islanders 8-2 to move level on points with London Haringey Racers.

Photo: Hull v Widnes by Colin Foster / Action Shots

Help Blackburn Hawks Support Cancer Research UK

Blackburn Hawks have been raising money for Cancer Research UK as their selected charity for the 2013/14 season.  They have set a target of £1000 and would appreciate your help in trying to reach it before the end of the play offs next weekend.
Their most recent fund raising event was a fancy dress photo shoot and you can see the result in this great photo by John Milton.

If you'd like to help the Blackburn Hawks support Cancer Research UK, you can donate here:

Friday 4 April 2014

Exciting Weekend Ahead - 5th & 6th April

Whitley Warriors will make the short journey down to Teesside this Saturday to take on local rivals the Billingham Stars in a challenge match up before the play offs get underway the following weekend up in Dumfries, Scotland

Read more about this story on the  Whitley Warriors Website

In the Moralee Conference, Solway Sharks meet Sutton Sting in the two legged final of the NIHL Northern  Cup.  The first leg takes place in Dumfries on Saturday night and the second leg at iceSheffield on Sunday.

In the Laidler Conference, there is just one re-arranged game left to play.  Hull Jets entertain Widnes Wild in a game that will decide which of the two teams will take part in the end of season play offs at Solihull over the Easter weekend.  Wild are currently in 7th place with 21 points but a win would lift them above both Sheffield Senators and Hull who are both on 22 points. A draw would see the Jets maintain their 5th place in the table and secure them the final play off berth.

In NIHL South Division 1, the quarter finals of the play offs are played over two legs on Saturday and Sunday evening while in South 2, Oxford City Stars take on Slough Jets in a match that could decided the destination of the title.  

We'll bring you all the results and reports as we get them over the weekend - so please check back!.

Photo: Chelmsford Chieftains and Cardiff Devils are both involved in the South 1 Play Offs.  Photo by One Shot Images -

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Whitley Warriors Duo in GB Under 18 Action

Young Warriors Callum Read and Ben Richards have spent the last week up in Dumfries, Scotland playing for GB under 18’s in the World Championships for their age group. Britain finished 5th in the 6 team group with a total of 4 points from the 5 games each side played narrowly avoiding relegation into the pool below.

Read more on this story on the Whitley Warriors Website

More on GB teams can be found here:

Photo: GB Under 18s score v Lithuania -  by Ice Hockey Media -

Laidler Conference: Widnes Wild 7 - Coventry Blaze 2

The final home game of the season saw Widnes defeat third placed Coventry to keep alive their play off hopes. A sizeable crowd saw Wild take a first minute lead . After a couple of snap Coventry shots, Shaun Dipnall broke away down the right before feeding Filip Supa (in photo left) who crashed a shot past the helpless Connor Ranby. Within minutes further Wild attacks saw them rattle the crossbar twice. In an end to end game, Coventry fought back to equalise, a low shot from the right beating Greg Ruxton in the 11th minute. Within minutes Wild were reduced to 3 skaters after Calum Ruddick appeared to have his stick held in the Widnes end. A well focused defensive effort from the home side kept the score level and as both sides returned to full strength Widnes went ahead. After sustained pressure, a half hit defensive clearance found Ben Brown in front of goal. His shot beat Ranby to give Wild a 2-1 lead at the first interval.
The vital third goal came in the 28th minute when Bobby Caunce took a Filip Supa pass on the left and fired home. A period of sustained Coventry pressure followed and only the bravery and agility of Greg Ruxton prevented a Coventry score. A second Coventry goal did come in the 29th minute, in somewhat controversial circumstances. After sustained pressure on the Widnes net, Rhys Gillatt eventually forced the puck home at the left hand post with a Coventry attacker appearing to be in the crease. Coventry immediately changed their netminder, Chris Gill replacing Ranby. Greg Ruxton made several further vital saves as the second period came to a close.

With the teams closely matched, the next goal was always going to be vital and both sides battled to score. A blistering shot from the left from Chris Preston was kept out by Gill. Widnes went two goals clear in the 52nd minute when big Aled Roberts, standing in in defence fired a high shot from the left. A wicked deflection off a Coventry defenceman saw the puck fly past Gill. After a brilliant stretching leg save from Gill, Bobby Caunce gave Widnes an unassailable 5-2 lead . His low shot from the left went under Gill and into the bottom corner. Again , Filip Supa was the provider.
Then came the goal of the night in the 57th minute, with Filip Supa hitting a remarkable high shot from the boards on the left and the power taking the pucking high over Gill's shoulder. Amidst scenes of elation the game boiled over and Blaze's Dale Buckland and the Wild's Chris Preston went toe to toe. The altercation brought the crowd to its feet and chants of 'Widnes, Widnes' rang out from the stands.
Filip Supa added a seventh goal and as the game drew to a close, further fighting broke out as a high stick saw MVP Dan Bracegirdle have teeeth loosened and a cut to the mouth.

Wild Head Coach Mark Gillingham was again pleased with his side's efforts. 'It's obviously a fantastic way for us to finish at home, and it means that we've managed wins over every team apart from Solihull this year, which is a huge positive to take forward. We now have to look ahead to our trip to Hull on Saturday.  It's a game that acts as a play-off decider, so both teams know what's expected of them and it promises to be a great game. We just need to carry our form from tonight over to give ourselves a good chance of reaching Finals weekend.'
This highly impressive victory keeps Wild in play-off contention. A victory in the final re-arranged game in Hull next Saturday will see Wild taking on the formidable Solihull Barons in the play-off weekend. Wild have taken victories from every team in the league apart from the champions, Solihull.

The game in Hull takes place at the Hull Ice Arena. It is easily accessed via the M62 and its extension, Clive Sullivan Way, to within two hundred yards of the rink. The game faces off at 17.00.

Sunday's game saw an interval display from the Widnes Wild Under 10 team. They hope to be accepted into the Northern League set up for next season. Any youngsters wishing to start playing the game are welcome to train. Full details are available from the Silverblades Ice Rink.

Orders are now being taken for season tickets for 2014-15, offering early discounted prices and reserved seats behind the player benches. Order forms are available from the rink.

The Wild also held a 'Meet the Players' event at Tesco Widnes on Saturday. Wild fans both young and old were able to meet their favourite Wild players, test their hockey skills and enter a number of competitions. The event raised £165 for When You Wish Upon A Star.
Dick Gillingham
Photos by Geoff White -