Sunday, 30 November 2014

Sunday results At A Glance - 30th November

ECCN: Billingham Stars 3 - Blackburn Hawks 8

Laidler:
Solihull Barons 7 - Sheffield Senators 2
Widnes Wild 4 - Telford Tigers 8
Deeside Dragons 9 - Coventry Blaze 4
Nottingham Lions 17 - Bradford Bulldogs 3

South 1: Wightlink Raiders 4 - London Raiders 1
Oxford City Stars 4 - Streatham Redskins 8
Chelmsford Chieftains 4 - Bracknell Hornets 0
Solent Devils 4 - Milton Keynes Thunder 5

ECCS: Invicta Dynamos 4 - Swindon Wildcats EPL 8

South 2 West: Cardiff Devils3 - Basingstoke Buffalo 4
South 2 Cup A: Swindon Wildcats 1 - Peterborough Islanders 9

Photo: Simon Furnival scores for Deeside Dragons against Coventry Blaze - photo by Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk 

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

All of Saturday's NIHL results in an easy to read format - and all in one place!

Moralee:
Manchester Minotaurs 4 - Sheffield Spartans 10
Blackburn Hawks 8 - Sutton Sting 1
Solway Sharks 5 - Whitley Warriors 2

Laidler: Bradford Bulldogs 2 - Blackburn Eagles 7

South 1:
Streatham Redskins 9 - Cardiff Devils 3
London Raiders 1 - Invicta Dynamos 6
Bracknell Hornets 6 - Solent Devils 4

ECCS:
Guildford Flames 5 - Chelmsford Chieftains 1
Milton Keynes Lightning 6 - Wightlink Raiders 0

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

Photo: Blackburn Hawks 8 - Sutton Sting 1 by John Milton www.eventog.uk

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Order Now - The Perfect Christmas Present For Every NIHL Player and Fan!

Former Sunderland Chiefs, Durham City Wasps and Wightlink Raiders forward Paul Sanderson looks back on last season's NIHL campaign with son Corey.

Paul is, no doubt, reflecting on the fact that his 99 points in 33 games in 1993/1994 season isn't in there.

However, in 15 years time, his son's might be....

The 2014 edition of the NIHL yearbook has team by team and league by league stats and reports for all competitions in NIHL North and South Division 1 &2 for the 2013/14 season.

Order yours now -  just in time for Christmas!

Order links HERE

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 3 - Telford Tigers 2

For the second home game of the weekend Wild faced second placed Telford Tigers, whose only defeat came against table topping Solihull. For the Wild, young defenceman Tom Barry was unavailable but Sam Dunford returned to the team.

Wild got off to a great start putting pressure on the Telford defence. They shocked a sizeable crowd by taking a lead at 3.09. After netminder Denis Bell had blocked two shots Chris Preston fired home a rebound to put Widnes in front. Just four minutes later, Widnes were two ahead, Bobby Caunce feeding Filip Supa who fired  home at the left post. Telford were starting to show why they are up at the top of the league when Wild took penalties. Eventually after cycling the puck around the Widnes end, Brad Betteridge scored from distance on the powerplay from a pass from Karol Jets at 18.54. Immediately, Wild burst forward and only top saves from Bell kept the score at 2 - 1.
The second period opened with sustained attack from the visitors. Their forwards were passing more accurately and skating clear. After several scares and brave saves from Greg Ruxton, Telford found an equaliser with Wild on a powerplay an error controlling the puck saw a Telford breakaway. Top overseas star Karol Jets worked some magic in the right corner. He fed the puck back to James Smith who hammered a straight shot inside Ruxton's left hand post. The game continued end to end and Bell made vital saves as Wild put on pressure A third Wild goal came at 31.59 when Geoff Wigglesworth managed to force the puck over the line. Just before the break Supa broke clear for Widnes only to see his shot saved by Bell.

The third period opened with Filip Supa breaking clear only to see his shot saved by Bell. Almost immediately Sam Dunford hit a powerful shot to the top left corner which deflected off the netminders helmet. Wild continued to press and a well planned breakout was called for offside. Ben Brown was the next to skate clear and only desperate defence steered him wide of the goal Lee Pollitt skated clear only to see his long range shot well saved. Greg Ruxton repeatedly foiled Telford attacks with bravery and agility. Pavel Vales was again a rock with Matt Wainwright in a hardworking Wild defence. Telford found themselves shorthanded at 57.46 and soon after Widnes called a time out. Spectators were living on their nerves but Wild held on to record a famous victory.
Greg Ruxton took the MVP for Widnes after making many vital saves to secure victory. Bobby Caunce was back to his creative best, prompting the attack with shrewd, well timed passes. Tigers outstanding young netminder, Denis Bell also kept his team in contention with some great stops. Head Coach, Mark Gillingham was delighted with this victory over one of the frontrunners and spectators can look forward to more of the same when Telford return next week - face off 6.15. A great game is assured and hopefully a full house will be there to see it !
Two victories over the weekend confirms the growing confidence in the Widnes ranks, following the outstanding show in Solihull the previous Sunday.

Next Sunday's home game with Telford will see a charity ' Air the Bear' - when spectators can throw the gift of a teddy bear onto the ice, with all bears being donated to deserving local youngsters. Such charity collections are a big seasonal feature in North America.

There was a nice touch during Sunday evening’s Most Valuable Player presentation. Two nurses at Whiston Hospital, who dealt with a late night training injury to student defenceman, Kieran Strangeway, were invited to the game by Wild management and made the ice side presentations.

Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo: Filip Supa scores Wild's second goal. Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Moralee Match Report: Billingham Stars 3 - Sheffield Senators 0

Sheffield Spartans travelled up to Billingham to face the Stars in the NIHL Moralee Conference and despite a good performance came away empty handed, losing 3-0 in an entertaining game of hockey.

In a scoreless first period neither team managed to stamp their authority on the game but there were plenty of chances. Stubborn defending from both teams ensured the score remained 0-0 with Spartans looking comfortable on the puck and coping with anything Stars could throw at them.

Both teams were in determined mood for the second period and after it being end to end Spartans managed to get on top with some good spells of pressure but they couldn’t get past Flavell in Stars goal who was making some fine saves to thwart Spartans attacks. However, Billingham were still a threat and Spartans were grateful to Brandon Stones on a couple of occasions as he too was making the saves but it was Stars that broke the deadlock with controversial goal. Whilst on the powerplay Spartans lost possession as Stars broke out and scored a short-handed goal that appeared not to go in. Brandon Stones was adjudged to have gloved the puck from behind the line. The goal judge & the linesman agreed so the goal, scored by Cal Davies, stood. Opinion was divided as to whether it had crossed the line or not but the goal stood to see Stars 1-0 in front. Spartans continued to pressurise Stars but couldn’t make any headway to see them go into the final behind by the odd goal.

The final period was full of determination and passion in what was an excellent game of hockey but with the advantage of having a goal lead Stars seemed to have more belief as they pressed for a second. Spartans were pushing Billingham all the way but found themselves 2-0 down in the 54th

minute with a lovely goal from Michael Elder who fired in a cracker of a shot after being set up nicely by Cal Davies. Spartans continued to press for a goal which gave us a few exciting moments as the clock ticked down but it just wasn’t falling for them. Once again they were hit on the counter attack whilst on the powerplay when Andy Munroe nicked in to steel possession then skate down the wing to let one fly past Brandon Stones in the final minute of the game to make it 3-0 to Stars which was also the final score.
 
A good performance from Spartans but they will be disappointed to have conceded two short-handed goals as well as not making the most of some of the 53 shots they put on Billingham’s goal. However there were many positives to take forward to next week’s game against Manchester Minotaurs. On the night it wasn’t our turn but credit to Billingham, they deserved their win…just! Man of the Match Awards went to Scott Morris for Spartans and James Flavell for Stars
Final Score: Billingham Stars 3 Spartans 0

Report by Phil Holden
Photo by Dean Reeve - www.deanreevephotography.co.uk

Laidler Match Report - Widnes Wild 3 - Nottingham Lions 1

Wild returned to home ice for another double header weekend. Saturday visitors, Nottingham Lions, gained a one goal victory when the teams met earlier at the National Ice Centre. Both teams were understrength, with Wild missing Callum Ruddick, Tom Ratcliffe, Sam Dunford, Nicole Jackson and the injured Kieron Strangeway. Recent signing from Manchester, Joe Greaves, made his debut for Widnes.

The first period saw both teams involved in an end to end game. Widnes took the lead at 5.25 when presssure in the Nottingham end saw Chris Preston and Geoof Wigglesworth feed the puck to Ken Armstrong for a tap in at the right post. Despite plenty of possession, the final pass was just missing for Widnes. Strong forechecking from the Lions forwards made it difficult for Widnes to break out. Nottingham equalised at 13.06, when a breakout down the right saw Connor Glossop take a pass and beat Greg Ruxton in a one on one. In the last two minutes of the period Filip Supa and Shaun Dipnall both went close to restoring the Wild lead.

In an evenly contested start to the second period errors in defence nearly cost both teams dearly, Ruxton and Hovell both making key close range saves. Overseas star Ivo Dimitrijevs was causing lots of problems for the Wild defence. In a Wild breakaway, the home side regained the lead when a fierce shot was blocked by Hovell but the puck bounced out to Filip Supa, who fired home to give Wild the 2- 1 lead. A spell of dominance saw some constructive attacking from Wild. In the 37th minute Ben Brown broke clear for Wild but his final shot was well saved. In the last two minutes of the period, several key saves from Ruxton kept Wilds slender lead.
With just a goal separating the teams, spectators were treated to an enthralling ,end to end, third period contest. Ruxton kept the Nottingham forwards at bay but in three attacks, first Supa with an attempted tip in, Brown and Pollitt with a shot that rattled the post all came close for Wild. After a great Caunce breakaway and shot in the 54th minute Nottingham broke to the other end and Greg Ruxton made a stunning glove save to keep Wild in the lead. After a Lions time out, Nottingham drew their netminder Hovell and within seconds, the Wild trio of Caunce, Supa and Dipnall had engineered an opening on the right for Shaun Dipnall to tap into an empty net at 59.17 to put Wild 3 - 1 ahead.

This was a hard won victory, with Pollitt, Caunce, Supa, Brown and Dipnall all working hard to ensure a Widnes victory. Greg Ruxton took the MVP for Widnes - repeatedly foiling the Lions forwards. A hardworking young Lions made it difficult to bring the puck out of defence and again a number of good chances were spurned.

Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo: Widnes netminder Grex Ruxton receives the MVP award. Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Laidler Match Report: Telford Tigers 5 - Sheffield Senators 0

Despite a solid team performance Sheffield Senators went down 5-0 to Telford Tigers in the NIHL Laidler Conference last night. The first period was very much like last week’s encounter in that there was little to choose between the teams but it was Telford who went into the period break in front by the odd goal. It looked likely that the second period would start all square but Telford broke out from their defensive zone to score on 19.14 through James Smith. It was harsh on Senators in fairness who had more than matched their opponents in every department.

Senators started the period strongly and put Telford under some sustained pressure but it wasn’t falling for them and they can consider themselves very unfortunate not to have scored. Maybe on another day the goals would have flowed but credit to Tigers for a stubborn display in defending their lead which was increased when they countered on the powerplay to score against the run of play. Karol Jets was on hand to finish of a good move 32.01. It’s arguable that Sens maybe should have dealt with the situation a little better but Tigers took their chance when it came. This lifted Telford who went on to enjoy what turned out to be their best spell of the game in which they played some nice hockey and looked comfortable on the puck. They were making life difficult for a hard working Senators team who were up against it going into the final period after Tigers added another couple of goals to make it 4-0 at the end of the second. It could have been worse had it not been for a miraculous save from Sens netminder Mark Hartley however two excellent goals; the first from Bradley Betteridge on 33.35 with James Smith adding his second on 37.56.

Credit to Senators, they didn’t give up and once again outshot their opponents but they were thwarted once again by Dennis Bell in Telford’s goal who was pushed all the way for his shutout. As Senators pressed forward for a goal whilst on a powerplay Telford once again broke out and with no defensive cover Mark Hartley was given no chance as Karol Jets & James Smith exchanged passes with Karol Jets finally shooting to score to make it 5-0 timed 52.52. Despite both teams best efforts there was no further scoring to leave an unlucky Senators with no reward for what their hard work deserved. They lost to a good team though in Telford Tigers who made the most of their chances when they came and are clearly destined for promotion. They are a well organised, well drilled and talented team that will be hard to beat.

Final Score: Telford Tigers 5 Sheffield Senators 0

Report by Phil Holden
Photo courtesy of www.tigershockeyuk.com

South 2 Weekend Round Up - Courtesy of Bristol Pitbulls

Draws in ice hockey aren't particularly common, so the Bristol Pitbulls in particular were not pleased to see two on Saturday.

It's been no secret that coach Richie Hargreaves has been unhappy with his team's performances so far this season. Despite opening the scoring against the Swindon Wildcats Ice Hockey Team inside two minutes, this game quickly went no better than their previous five winles...s games and the team found themselves 4-1 down at half-distance.

But, Bristol found the resolve to tie the game at 5-apiece by the end of the second and took a 6-5 lead into the dying seconds of the game only to see Swindon's captain, Loris Taylor, tie it all up with 42 seconds left to play. It's a result that finally ends Bristol's losing streak. But, one suspects it's a result that neither team find particularly satisfying.

The other draw had a more immediate impact for Bristol. Chelmsford Warriors Ice Hockey Team's 5-5 cup tie at home to the Peterborough Islanders finally ended the long odds hope that Bristol had of qualifying for the Cup Finals Weekend.

Chelmsford led the game 1-0, 2-1, 4-2 and 5-4, but each time, Islanders forced themselves back to level terms. Adrian Woodyard's 2+1 made him the top scorer of the game. For Peterborough, Nathan Pollard ended his recent pointless streak by scoring his team's first goal.

Elsewhere, Slough Jets Live carried on with their relentless steamrollering over their opposition with a 9-1 win over the Lee Valley Lions.

Unlike last week, this was essentially a full strength Jets squad. Zoran Kozic returned to the squad with 4+3, as did Alan Green with 2+4. Danny Milton took over in the net again, recording a 17-shot shut-out over the first two periods before letting his younger brother assume the duties for the third period. Joe Berry finished the night's scoring by beating Joshua Milton with two minutes left in the game.

On Sunday, the Basingstoke Buffalo went one step closer to qualifying for the Cup Finals Weekend with a 10-4 win at the Wightlink Tigers. Buffalo now only need a draw in their game against the Haringey Racers in February to finish the job off.

Tigers actually led the game early in the second period, but Basingstoke simply blew them away with an outstanding second-half performance. A hat-trick by Matt Lawday and a six-point performance by Dan Lackey doing most of the damage.
 
Report by Graham Goodman - Bristol Pitbulls Media Officer
See more Pitbulls news HERE

Photo: Slough Jets v Lee Valley Lions - photo by Darren Cullen 

Monday, 24 November 2014

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 22nd & 23rd November

Chelmsford Chieftains beat Bracknell Bees 4-1 to notch up their first win against an EPL side in the English Challenge Cup South.  The defending champions were actually outshot 24-46  but made the most of their chances and finished things off nicely with an empty net goal in the final minute.

The night before, they has lost 4-1 away at EPL side Basingstoke Bison , being outshot 42-17 and actually leading for 8 minutes in the first period, having scored the first goal of the game at on 8.47.

Chieftains remain top of the table as second placed Streatham Redskins didn't have a league game but did win 7-3 away at London Raiders in the South 1 Cup.

Bracknell Hornets moved up into 3rd place after an up and down weekend that saw them lose 6-1 away at Wightlink Raiders on Saturday and then beat Cardiff Devils at home 8-4 on Sunday.  Milton Keynes Thunder kept up their good start to the season with a 4-1 win over bottom club Oxford City Stars and move into 5th above Wightlink Raiders. 

Invicta Dynamos also had an ECCS weekend, losing 7-1 away at Bracknell Bees EPL on Saturday and then at home 1-9 to Guildford Flames EPL on Sunday.

Wightlink also lost in the ECCS - 9-1 away at Basingstoke Bison EPL.

Photo: Bracknell Hornets v Cardiff Devils by Kevin Slyfield Photography



Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 22nd & 23rd November

Solihull Barons made it "lucky 13" in a row at the top of the table with a 10-2 demolition of Deeside Dragons on Sunday night and they now stand 6 points at the top of the Laidler Conference.

Second placed Sheffield Senators picked up a morale-boosting last gasp win over Nottingham Lions to make up for their 5-0 shut out away at Telford Tigers on Saturday.

Widnes Wild would have to be the team of the weekend as they picked up a four point haul - beating last season's Play Off finalists Nottingham Lions 3-1 on Saturday and then seeing off Telford Tigers 3-2 on Sunday.  They outshot the Tigers 50-33 in what was only Telford's second defeat of the season.

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, Blackburn Eagles beat bottom team Bradford Bulldogs 10-4 in game that saw a bench clearance at the start of the third period.

Photo: Widnes Wild 3 - Telford Tigers 2 by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk

Moralee Coference Weekend Round Up - 22nd & 23rd November

Blackburn Hawks maintained their lead at the top of the Moralee Conference with a 5-1 win over Solway Sharks on Sunday evening.  The sharks had lost 12-1 at home to Telford Tigers EPL side on Saturday night to round off a miserable weekend for the Scottish team.

Whitley Warriors briefly occupied second place overnight following their 4 -0 win away at Sutton Sting on Saturday but were leapfrogged by Billingham Stars who retook the position following their 3-0 shut out of Sheffield Spartans.

That was Stars' James Flavell's second shut-out in two games following the 2-0 shut out of Sutton Sting a fortnight before.

Whitley's 4-0 win away at Sutton was their first clean sheet of the season and was the second game in a row that Sutton failed to find the net.

Photo: Blackburn Hawks 5 - Solway Sharks 1 by John Milton - www.eventog.uk



Sunday, 23 November 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance

All of Sunday's NIHL results in one place.

Moralee:
Blackburn Hawks 5 - Solway Sharks 1
Billingham Stars 3 - Sheffield Spartans 0

Laidler:
Sheffield Senators 4 - Nottingham Lions 3
Solihull Barons 10 - Deeside Dragons 2
Widnes Wild 3 - Telford Tigers 2

South 1:
Bracknell Hornets 8 - Cardiff Devils 4
Milton Keynes Thunder  4 - Oxford City Stars 1

ECCS: Chelmsford Chieftains 4 - Bracknell Bees EPL 1  (SOG: 24-46)
Basingstoke Bison EPL 9 - Wightlink Raiders 1

South 1 Cup Grp B: London Raiders 3 - Streatham Redskins 7

South 2 Cup B: Wightlink Tigers  4 - Basingstoke Buffalo 10

Photo: Billingham Stars netminder James Flavell receives the MVP for his shutout v Sheffield Spartans - photo by Dean Reeve ( www.deanreevephotography.co.uk)

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

All Saturday's NIHL results in one place and easy to read:

Moralee: Sutton Sting 0 - Whitley Warriors 4 - Warriors move up into 2nd place.

ECCN:  Solway Sharks 1 - Telford Tigers EPL 12

Laidler:  Telford Tigers 5 - Sheffield Senators 0
Widnes Wild 3 - Nottingham Lions 1
Blackburn Eagles 10 - Bradford Bulldogs 4

South 1:
Wightlink Raiders 6 - Bracknell Hornets 1
Cardiff Devils 5 - London Raiders 1

ECCS:
Bracknell Bees EPL 7 - Invicta Dynamos 1
Basingstoke Bison EPL 4 - Chelmsford Chieftains 1

South 2 East: Slough Jets 9 - Lee Valley Lions 1
South 2 West:  Swindon Wildcats - Bristol Pitbulls

South 2 Cup A: Chelmsford Warriors 5 - Peterborough Islanders 5

Photo: Widnes Wild 3 - Nottingham Lions 1 - by Geoff White www.gw-images.co.uk 

Friday, 21 November 2014

Don't Miss Out - Last Posting Dates For Christmas 2014!

If you are ordering a copy of the 2014 Ice Hockey Review to give to your favourite NIHL fan or player as a Christmas present, please make sure you place your order in plenty of time for it to arrive in time.

The last posting date for you to Airmail a Christmas present to Canada is 9th December and, for the USA, 12th December. The last posting date for UK 1st class mail is Saturday 20th December and you would need to order your copy from us 3 or 4 days beforehand to make sure you catch that date.

A full list of last posting dates for Christmas 2014 is shown here:

International Airmail
Wednesday 3rd December: Asia, Far East (including Japan), New Zealand
Thursday 4th December: Australia
Friday 5th December: Africa, Caribbean, Central & South America, Middle East
Monday 8th December: Cyprus, Eastern Europe, Greece
Tuesday 9th December: Canada, Poland
Friday 12th December: USA
Saturday 13th December: Western Europe (excluding Greece, Poland)

HM Forces Mail (BFPO)
Friday 28th November: Operational BFPOs
Friday 12th December: Static BFPOs

UK Inland Services
Thursday 18th December: 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For®
Saturday 20th December: 1st Class and Royal Mail Signed For®

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Sheffield Winter Classic - Update

The respective Team Managers, Lynn Faber of Spartans and Barbara Walker of Senators this week took time out to share their hopes and expectations for our inaugural Sheffield Winter Game  and what it means for Sheffield Ice Hockey…

Expectations, hopes and dreams, the future…This game is not just a game to all involved; it’s something special, something to build on and grow with…Sheffield have always had strong connections with their teams, it’s one of the things I love about the hockey and connection we have. Right from the days of Queens Road; everyone knew everyone and the family feel has been tangible.

The game on the 27th December is bringing some of that together, with a game of hockey, that will be, no doubt about it a tough affair with both teams wanting to hold the trophy for the first time. The buzz of excitement around the game, sharing on Facebook, the chatter around the rink, the ideas and agenda all coming together now in the final stages of organisation is extremely exciting to be part of. Everyone involved up to now has done above and beyond already what was discussed at our first meeting. Our target crowd of 500 supporters may have seemed like a pipe dream to some in the early days, now we feel it’s almost an understatement.

Of course I will be looking for a Spartans win but I have known the players from both teams for far too many years to remember, they are all great lads, who have over the years played for a team I’ve had an association with, and that’s something special in itself. Bringing all this together is just fantastic. I personally can’t wait for the game, I am excited, anxious, nervous, but as with everything, if you’re not, you shouldn’t be doing it.

For the future, I hope it’s a huge success and becomes an annual event at Ice Sheffield over the Christmas period. Let’s become something other teams and leagues talk about….Lynn Faber
As the Senators Team Manager I am very excited about the Winter Classic, it will be a great game of hockey played with true Sheffield passion; a passion that runs through right through from the juniors up to our two senior teams.

At the start of the season this fixture was on neither team’s calendar, but ever since it was agreed to play each other it is slowly building expectations of being a very competitive game.

Looking at the two teams on paper the Spartans should be the favourites, but the Senators team I manage and know so well are having an exceptional season and if they continue playing with their true grit determination and passion attitude anything can happen. We are a hustle quick and never quit team, but we are a family and this brings the best out of each other, we play with heart and as a team.

There is no limit to what can be accomplished and only the day will tell this, but I am sure the fire will be burning in our boys bellies and we will go out there for the win, but at the end of the day so long as everyone goes out there, plays their best and enjoys the game then that’s all we can ask for. It promises to be a great game and one to enjoy for any ice hockey fan, regardless of which team they support.
 
Report by Phil Holden
Photo by Liam Brookfield
 
Follow all the news in the countdown to the first ever Sheffield Winter Classic HERE

Laidler Match Report: Solihull Barons 9 - Widnes Wild 5

Wild travelled to Solihull, greatly understrength to face the unbeaten league leaders. Injuries, work committments and unavailability left Widnes with selection difficulties. Following a hard physical contest in Sheffield, Wild were left with just eleven skaters and two netminders, including the returning Nicole Jackson.
 
Widnes applied early pressure with Brown, Hughes, Dipnall and Dunford all testing Hewitt. The pin point accurate passing of the Barons found Josh Bruce free to open the scoring in the 7th minute. Despite some sharp attacking play from the Widnes forwards, Barons went further ahead with goals in the 17th and 19th minutes from Eaton and             .
 
The second period opened with Widnes silencing the big home crowd. Goals from Sam Dunford and then a long range rocket from Ben Brown inside the first three minutes, brought the travelling support to their feet. Despite a further Solihull goal, Wild created an opening for Matt Wainwright to blast home a high shot from the point in the 34th minute to put Widnes just a goal behind.. Wild continued to attack but a Barons breakout resulted in their fifth goal from Connor Hubbock at 34.54.
 
Three Barons goals in the 4th minute of the third period took the game away from Wild but roared on by the visiting supporters, they continued to press. After a 9th Solihull goal, Widnes fought back hard. Lee Pollitt finished smartly in the 48th minute and a 5th goal at 57.48 from Sam Dunford wrapped up the scoring. This was a superb performance from an understrength Wild  - only the second team to score five goals against the Barons. The four goal margin was also the smallest margin of victory for the Barons this season. Full credit to the players who  iced and put up such a magnificent show.

Report by Dick Gillingham
 
 

Laidler Match Reports: Sheffield Senators v Widnes Wild & Sheffield Senators v Telford Tigers

It was a case of mixed fortunes this weekend for Sheffield Senators as they beat Widnes Wild on Saturday and lost to Telford Tigers on Sunday in their home double header at Ice Sheffield.

They were up against it early in the first period against Widnes Wild who deserved their 1-0 lead courtesy of Bobby Caunce’s goal timed at 2.03. As the period progressed Senators got more into the game but struggled to overcome a strong Widnes team, who were playing some good hockey, to trail by the odd goal going into the period break.

Wild got the second period off to a great start when Filip Supa scored on 20.44, finishing off some nice play with assists to Lee Pollitt & Shaun Dipnall. However Widnes were unable to build on their advantage as Senators went on to be the more dominant team and although Widnes did create chances they were outworked by a determined Senators team that deservedly went into the third on level terms at 2-2. It could have been a lead had it not been for some good defensive play including some solid netminding from Wild’s Ruxton but it was a happier Senators team leaving the ice after 40 minutes. Sergevs Jegorovs set up Mikey Mawer to tuck one in from close range on 30.32 with Joel Aheran taking his chance well to equalise timed 33.15, assisted Callum Rawson & Cam King.

The third period was a little closer with both teams enjoying good spells of pressure but Senators always looked the more likely to score which proved to be the case when a superb goal from Josh Gent timed 48.28 put Sens in front with an assist for Cam King. Senators continued to push forward and were rewarded with another good goal from Josh Gent who was having a great game, goal timed 53.05; assisted Tom Humphries & Sergevs Jegorovs to make it 4-2 to Sens. Widnes’s response was swift when on 53.55 Lee Pollitt scored a nice goal, assisted Filip Supa & Shaun Dipnall. This set up a tense finish with both teams exchanging chances but not quite able to make them count as the clock ticked down too see Senators claim what was a hard fought but deserved victory over a hardworking and very good Widnes Wild. Senators Man of the Match went to Josh Gent in what was another terrific game of hockey between these two teams…Final Score: Senators 4 Widnes Wild 3

Confidence was high on Sunday as second placed Senators squared up to third placed Telford Tigers with Sens looking to revenge their previous disappointing loss earlier in the season.

It was an interesting first period with neither team allowing the other to gain the upper hand but both had their moments to score but solid netminding from both goalies ensured the game was goalless. That was until Tigers’ Russell Plant was called for hooking to leave Senators on the powerplay, however, Telford gained possession from the face off to set up & score a lovely short-handed goal through Ben Washburn, assisted James Smith on 17.01. The score at this point was a little harsh on Senators as there had been very little between the two teams in the first period.

A poor showing from Senators basically gifted the game to Telford who were more than happy to make most of the opportunities laid at their door through sloppy defending, needless penalties and too many basic errors in what was a very uncharacteristic Senators showing for which they only have themselves to blame. Joe Ashton scored on 21.59 which was followed by two Karol Jets goals to make it 4-0 to Telford. The first of Jets two goals was a powerplay goal timed 22.23 followed by his second on 29.58, a short-handed goal with James Smith getting assists on both goals. Senators tried to get themselves back into the game but it just wasn’t happening and Telford, who were now basically just doing the basics right controlled the game. Senators’ frustration boiled over somewhat when Paul Lofthouse was thrown out of the game for cross-checking to the head which gave Tigers a 5 minute powerplay in which they added another to make it 5-0. Joe Ashton was the scorer on 38.01 with assists on the goal from Matthew Price & Ben Washburn.

The reaction from Senators in the third was noteworthy as they salvaged a lot of pride with a much more competent and gutsy performance which resulted them being the better team in the period but they couldn’t break down Tigers defence with some excellent saves from Denis Bell in Telford’s goal who was made to work hard for his shutout. Telford still threatened but weren’t getting things their own way as much but did manage to score again, a very good goal too through Matthew Price who made no mistake to make it 6-0 on 55.19. Senators continued to battle away but it was to no avail as they went down to what were a better team on the day for which there can be no argument. It’s hard to believe that the shot count was 28-25 in Telford’s favour but you have to show for the full 60 minutes if you are to take anything from a game against any team, let alone one as good as Telford…Final Score: Senators 0 Telford Tigers 6.

Senators Man of the Match Award went to Martyn Gray who like his teammates will be looking to put things right next week when Senators travel to Telford on Saturday which is followed by a home game on Sunday vs Nottingham Lions; face off 4.30pm

Report by Phil Holden

Photo top:  Goal action from Senators v Widnes Wild. Photo by Geoff White - www.gw-images.co.uk
Photo bottom: Telford Tigers netminder Denis Bell. Photo by Peter Sheffield www.psd-images.co.uk

South1 Match Report Wightlink Raiders 5 - Solent Devils 6

The Devils take both points from an epic local derby with a goal 22 seconds from the end.
 
After coming close in the previous encounter on the island, when the Devils came away with a draw they went one better on Saturday with a 5-6 victory over the Wightlink Raiders.  This was a fast and action packed match that saw the Devils secure their win over their neighbours. The lead changed several times, but neither team ever held more than a one goal advantage.

Although match reports tend to focus on goal scorers special mention must go to the four young defencemen, probably the youngest defence in the league, who laid their bodies on the line time and time again to protect the keep the Raiders out. The defence was marshalled by Alex Cole (aged 23) with Shaun Rudkins (21), Ben Lock (20) and Chris Beal (19) all giving 100%.
 
Devils made the perfect start to the match as Ralfs Circencis opened the scoring in the first minute, after inch-perfect passes between Drew Campbell and George Norcliffe. The Raiders tried to unsettle Chico Cole in net,  but Mitch Murray stepped in to protect his netmider. Both teams had chances, but it was the Devils who extended their lead in the 14th minute as Alex Murray took full advantage of the extra man whilst on the powerplay, assists going to Mitch Murray and Andrew Magee. A late goal by the hosts, with just 90 seconds on the clock didn’t dampen the Devils spirits as they took a one goal lead into the first break.
 
The tide looked to be turning against the Devils in the second period as the Raiders equalised in the first minute and then took the lead just three minutes later. Devils continued to press, and were level again just a minute later as Drew Campbell buried the puck into the back of the net. The checks were flying in, with both teams not giving an inch, but in general the referee was allowing the match to flow. Raiders re-took the lead in the 31st minute, but the Murray/Murray/Magee line hit back in the 38th minute as Alex Murray scored his second of the night. A late goal from the Raiders, with 22 seconds on the clock saw Raiders take a 5-4 lead into the second break.
 
The third period was more of the same end-to-end hockey, with both teams desperate for the win. Devils drew level in the 5th minute of the period as Drew Campbell scored his second of the night, with an assist going to Ben Lock. The match looked to be heading for a draw, but the Devils had other ideas. From a face-off in the Raiders’ end Man of the Match Alex Murray scored the winning goal with just 22 seconds on the clock, sending the small band of travelling supporters wild. 
       
Match Stats
Devils scoring: Alex Murray (3+0), Drew Campbell (2+2), Ralfs Circenis (1+0), George Norcliffe, Mitch Murray & Andrew Magee (0+2), Ben Lock (0+1)
Shots on Devils: Christian Cole 50 shots (5 goals)
Shots on Wightlink: 43 shots (6 goals)
Period scores: 1-2/4-2/0-2
Penalty minutes: Wightlink: 36, Devils: 30
 
Report by Simon Beal

Photo of Alex Murray by Dave Chapman - www.dcphoto.co.uk

Moralee Match Report - Sheffield Spartans 5 - Manchester Minotaurs 2

Sheffield Spartans outfought and outworked a spirited Manchester Minotaurs to claim a valuable two points at Ice Sheffield this weekend. Spartans at times made hard work of it at times but ran out deserved winners with a determined performance to see them back to winning ways after two recent defeats.

It was such determination that saw Spartans open the scoring through Stuart Brittle on 3.36 after some great work from Will Barron but despite having the better of the early exchanges Spartans were guilty of making things too easy at times for Minotaurs who exploited Spartans shortfalls to take the lead themselves. Max Drakeley on 10.09 and Brian Worrall on 14.51 put Minotaurs in front and they deserve credit for soaking up the pressure they were under to hit back at their opponents.


That goal seemed to kick start Spartans back into action to finish the period strongly who, on the balance of play, scored a deserved equaliser with Elliott Knell scoring with an unstoppable shot high into the top right hand corner of Fox’s net.

Spartans were clearly disappointed and frustrated when they left the ice at the end of the first; however right from the start of the second they took it out on Minotaurs to dominate the period . Ollie Barron nipped in to tuck one away on 23.33 after some nice build up play involving Stuart Brittle & Jonathan Kirk to make it 3-2. Spartans were making hard work of it at times but it’s fair to say that Manchester’s dogged defending including some brave saves from netminder Fox were a contributory factor but they couldn’t do anything to stop an inform Stuart Brittle grabbing his second, assisted by Elliott Knell, goal timed 34.30. Spartans continued to force the issue but couldn’t add to their tally but they were well worth their 4-2 lead at the end of the second.

The final period was a little scrappy at times, both teams failing to capitalise on the chances they were creating but it was Spartans who bossed proceedings at this stage of the game despite Manchester’s best efforts with Spartans looking comfortable and unlikely to throw it away. Minotaurs had their moments but the final touch or pass was missing which enabled Spartans to control large parts of the play. One final effort from Minotaurs saw them pull their netminder but they didn’t seriously threaten and whilst holding the advantage numerically Jonathan Kirk picked up possession to find Charlie Thompson on 59.15 to score an empty net goal to make what was the final score 5-2 to Spartans.

It wasn’t pretty at times but Spartans played well for large chunks of the game with a determined and gritty performance to deservedly win against a hard working Manchester Minotaurs, who were in the end, no match for Spartans on the day. There were some good performances from Spartans on the day in what was an enjoyable game, most notably Stuart Brittle who was awarded Spartans Man of the Match.

Final Score: Spartans 5 Manchester Minotaurs 2   

Report by Phil Holden

Photo of Stuart Brittle by Dean Woolley www.deanwoolley.weebly.com

South 2 Weekend Round Up - Courtesy Of Bristol Pibulls

This week's NIHL2S update starts with an incomplete game...

Saturday's game between the Chelmsford Warriors Ice Hockey Team and Swindon Wildcats Ice Hockey Team was abandoned after 52:25 played with Warriors 5-3 up when Swindon's Oliver Stone was sent into the boards by Brandon Ayliffe. Described by one of his teammates as being "out cold before he hit the ice", Stone lay on the ice shielded by h...is teammates for a considerable period of time waiting for an ambulance to arrive. By the time that Stone had been taken off the ice, there was no ice time left to complete the game.

Everyone at Bristol wishes Stone a speedy recovery.

With Ayliffe receiving a Match penalty on the play, it's fair to say that the game was most certainly not over. However, it is now up to the LMC to decide what will happen in what is a key game in the race to qualify for the Cup Finals Weekend.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Slough Jets Live travelled with a much weakened bench to take on the Invicta Mustangs but still came away with an 8-3 win. Key forwards Zoran Kozic, Lewis Tribble and Alan Green didn't travel with squad. Danny Milton also stayed at home allowing back-up Simon Johnston the start. Danny's 16-year old brother, Joshua, provided the back-up duties in his first ever senior game. Taking over for the third period to record a five shot shut-out isn't a bad way to start a senior career, either.

Conor Redmond figured strongly once again with 4+1 to lead his team's scoring. 17-year old Jussi Lynch-Grut made a strong debut for Invicta with 70 saves.

In the weekend preview, we suggested that Sunday's game between Basingstoke Buffalo and Cardiff Enl Devils was likely to be the game of the weekend. And Buffalo's 2-1 win didn't disappoint.

The deadlock wasn't broken until the 35th minute by Buffalo's Matt Lawday, but the lead lasted only two minutes before Ellis Price put the Welshmen back on equal terms. And then it went nuts. At the buzzer for the end of the second period, the usually angelic Buffalo were given 58 minutes and Cardiff 63 minutes in penalties as it all kicked off. Basingstoke's Sampford was ejected for leaving the player's bench and netminder Lawday was thrown out for third man in. For Cardiff, Harri Taylor was thrown out for leaving the player's bench and was assessed a further major for roughing.

Chris Edwards took over for Basingstoke in the third and recorded a six shot shut-out while his team mate Ben Edwards scored the winning goal.

It was a tight encounter on the island, too, as Haringey Racers beat the Wightlink Tigers 4-3. Twice the home side led, only to see Racers pull it back. But two quick fire goals from Haringey early in the third gave them a lead for the first time in the game, and it was one they'd never lose despite Jamie Lee making it a one-goal game with just two minutes left.

As a result of the defeat, Tigers, last year's semi-finalists, can't now qualify for the Cup Finals Weekend.

Bristol, last season's runners up in the Cup, technically are not out of the competition, yet. However, a 4-2 defeat at home to Chelmsford has left them needing an improbable set of results to still qualify.

Two quick-fire powerplay goals at the start of the second period broke Bristol's spirit and they offered little in the way of resistance for the next 35 minutes. When they did wake up with a two-goal deficit and five minutes left to play, their come-back was immediately cut short by a roughing penalty for Olly Shone.

Bristol now need to beat Peterborough Islanders, hope that Peterborough beat everyone else and Chelmsford get exactly three points from their Swindon games but end up with a poorer overall goal difference. We'd suggest that your local bookies are probably offering quite long odds if you fancy a flutter.

Peterborough themselves were in league action, hosting the Invicta Mustangs who were on the second leg of a very tough double header weekend. With a minimum strength bench travelling up from Kent, it's little surprise that they left on the wrong end of a 10-2 scoreline. Top scoring Nathan Pollard didn't play for Peterborough, but his brother Conor filled the gap nicely with 2+2. A further 41 saves from Grut to brought his total up to 111 for the weekend.
 
Report by Graham Goodman - Bristol Pitbulls Media Officer

Photo: Bristol Pitbulls v Chelmsford Warriors by Flyfifer Photography  www.flyfifer.co.uk
 

Monday, 17 November 2014

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 15th & 16th November

Chelmsford Chieftains consolidated their position at the top of the league table with two wins over the weekend - a narrow 6-4 win away at much strengthened London Raiders on Saturday and then a 2-0 shut out of Wightlink Raiders at home on Sunday, in which both goals came in the last 10 minutes.

Wightlink - last season's league runner up - had a thoroughly bad weekend as they lost the Solent derby 5-6 to near neighbours Solent Devils 5-6 the night before.

Chieftains lead the South 1 table two points clear of second placed Streatham Redskins - who won 1-7 away at Solent on Sunday - and with a game in hand.

Invicta Dynamos move up into third place after a 4-point weekend that saw them win 3-9 away at Cardiff devils on Saturday and then 2-1 at home to MK Thunder on Sunday.

Thunder remain in 5th place despite a winless weekend that also saw them lost 2-1 away at bottom club Oxford City Stars on Saturday.

Photo: Invicta Dynamos' Adam McNicoll in action against Milton Keynes Thunder - by David Trevallion

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 15th & 16th November

Solihull Barons extended their 100% record to 12 games with a 9-5 win over Widnes Wild on Sunday night and, at this rate, it is difficult to see anybody else challenging them for the Laidler Conference title this season.  They have 30 points from their 12 games so far (courtesy of a few double pointers...) and currently sit 6 points clear of second placed Sheffield Senators who have played 4 more games.

The Senators had an up and down weekend, beating Widnes 4-3 on Saturday before being shut out at home on Sunday 0-6 by Telford Tigers in game that saw Tigers' GB under 18 netminder Denis Bell notch up his second shut out of the season. 

The night before, Telford beat Coventry Blaze 5-1 in a Midlands derby and, once the teams have all played a similar number of matches - and the double points games stop skewing the points on the league table  it is likely that the Tigers will be the leading the chasing pack for the title. Those two wins make it 5 in a row and their 9th out of 10 league game this season - the only defeat so far coming at the hands of the Barons at the start of October.

In the other Laidler games of the weekend, Deeside Dragons consolidated their position in 4th place with a 7-5 win over Blackburn Eagles in a thrilling encounter that was neck and neck for much of the game  and Chris Jones' 4+0 being the main difference between the sides and Nottingham Lions beat Hull Jets 7-1 to move them up into 5th place.

Photo: Deeside Dragons' Chris Jones  by Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk







Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 15th & 16th November

A very quiet weekend saw only 1 league game played - Sheffield Spartans beat Manchester Minotaurs  5-2 on Saturday.

In the ECCN, Solway Sharks lost 10-2 away at Manchester Phoenix EPL on Saturday night. There were outshot 52-18 in a game that only saw 2 minutes in penalties. It was 2-2 at one point early on in the first period but that was as good as it got for the Sharks as 4 goals in each of the 2nd and 3rd periods showed the huge difference in playing terms between the EPL and NIHL.

On Sunday, Billingham Stars were beaten at home 1-10 by Sheffield Steeldogs EPL. The shots on goal were a lot closer at 44 to 51 and, at the end of the first period, the score was just 1-2 to the visitors. However 7 unanswered goals in the second period sealed it for the :Dogs  and Stars remain firmly at the bottom of the group table with just 1 win from their 8 games.

Photo: Sheffield Steeldogs score against Billingham Stars.  Photo by Linda Crabtree courtesy of www.billinghamstars.co.uk

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance

All of Sunday's NIHL results in one place...

ECCN: Billingham Stars 1 - Sheffield Steeldogs 10

Laidler:
Sheffield Senators 0 - Telford Tigers 6
Solihull Barons 9 - Widnes Wild 5
Deeside Dragons 7 - Blackburn Eagles 5
Nottingham Lions 7 - Hull Jets 1

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 2- Milton Keynes Thunder 1
Chelmsford Chieftains 2 - Wightlink Raiders 0
Solent Devils 1 - Streatham Redskins 7

South 2 East: Peterborough Islanders 10 - Invicta Mustangs 2
South 2 West: Basingstoke Buffalo  2 - Cardiff Devils 1
South 2 Cup A: Bristol Pitbulls 2 -  Chemsford Warriors 4
South 2 Cup B: Wightlink Tigers 3 - Haringey Racers 4

Photo: Deeside Dragons 7 - Blackburn Eagles 5 by Peter Sheffield - www.psd-images.co.uk 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Saturday Results At A Glance

All of Saturday's NIHL results at a glance and in one place:

Moralee: Sheffield Spartans 5 - Manchester Minotaurs 2

ECCN: Manchester Phoenix EPL 10 - Solway Sharks 2

Laidler:
Telford Tigers 5 - Coventry Blaze 1
Sheffield Senators  4 - Widnes Wild 3

South 1:
London Raiders 4 - Chelmsford Chieftains 6
Wightlink Raiders 5 - Solent Devils 6
Cardiff Devils 3 - Invicta Dynamos 9
Oxford City Stars 2 - Milton Keynes Thunder 1

South 2 East: Invicta Mustangs 2- Slough Jets 8

South 2 Cup A: Chelmsford Warriors 5 - Swindon Wildcats 3

Match photos to be added - please check back!

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Ice Hockey Review Book Now Available At Widnes Wild Home Games

The new Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook is now available for sale at Widnes Wild home games and Wild Ones fans Chairman Mike Hughes will also have copies available at Wild's two away games this weekend - at Sheffield Senators on Saturday and Solihull Barons on Sunday.

So, that means that you can get your copy of the Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook with full team by team and division by division stats and summaries of the 2013/14 season in NIHL North and South 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 Warriors & Tigers and Solent Devils games via Chris Randall

You can also get copies via mail order by following the links above. 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

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 4 - Deeside Dragons 2

Wild met big local rivals Deeside Dragons on Saturday evening . A big crowd welcomed the teams.Wild were without Shaun Dipnall, Ken Armstrong, Nicole Jackson and Callum Ruddick. Sheffield Steeldogs Academy youngsters Josh Benstead and Tom Barry came into the team.
 
The game got off to an uneventful start, both teams taking minor penalties. In the eigth minute Widnes took a deserved lead, Chris Preston allowing Bez Jones to fire low past Matt Compton after the netminder had blocked the first shot. Deeside equalised in a sporadic raid, a break down the right by Lovell led to Parsons shooting past Ruxton. The Wild lead was restored at 17.15, Tom Ratcliffe finding the bottom left corner.
 
The 2nd period opened in sensational style - Widnes going 3 - 1 ahead at 21.57. Chris Preston was the goalscorer assisted by Ratcliffe and Hughes. Wild had worked the puck well around the back of the net. Two minutes later a thunderous shot from the point by Wild's Tom Jackson was well saved by Compton.
 
Some sustained attack from the Dragons led to a succession of fine saves from Greg Ruxton.
The game started to see some aggressive play and Wilds Matt Wainwright was penalised for a high hit on Dragons James Parsons at 30.55. Within a minute Dragons Michael Jones took a major 2 + 10 penalty for a check from behind. After Greg Ruxton controversially flung his net off the mounts it was followed by a slash on the netminder from Simon Furnivall. A fight ensued in centre ice and Furnivall and Wilds Kieron Strangeway went to the penalty box. In the 36th minute James Parsons broke clear for the Dragons but Greg Ruxton kept his shot out.
 
The third period opened with both sides serving penalties but there was a renewed vigour in the Dragons performance.. There was more aggression and directness in their play. It came as no surprise when youngster Ross Kennedy fired in a shot from the left and it beat Greg Ruxton at 47.40 to put the Dragons just a goal behind. Immediately tempers boiled over and Dan Bracegirdle received 2+2+2 and Chris Jones for Dragons 2+2. Bracegirdle was adjudged to have prompted the incident with a cross check. Whilst shorthanded a Widnes breakaway saw a low shot flash past the left hand post..
 
When Dragons took a minor penalty Wild were able to find space and Lee Pollitt crashed home a fourth goal at 56.09. His rising shot flashed high into the net, prompting huge crowd celebrations. Sustained Widnes pressure saw a great bit of skill from Bobby Caunce. He managed to back stick the puck towards the top corner but Compton made a fine reaction save.A high sticking incident at 56.48 saw Deeside's Marc Lovell strike out but Bez Hughes was sent to the box for high sticking the Dragons forward. The penalty saw the home side trying to play out the game a man short - the growing confidence of the homesters seeing them safely through to the hooter. 
 
This was a real crowdpleasing result - earning bragging rights in the local derby. Sheffield youngster Tom Barry deservedly took the MVP for Wild. The match - watched by the biggest crowd of the season, saw the Wild extend their unbeaten run to four games.
 
They face a really tough challenge at the weekend, travelling to in form Sheffield Senators on Saturday ( 19.30) and then to table topping Solihull Barons( 18.00) on Sunday.
 
Report by Dick Gillingham

Laidler Match Report: Coventry Blaze 2 - Solihull Barons 10

The Taylors Butchers NIHL Coventry Blaze slumped to their fifth straight loss and winless for 31 days, in that time they have scored just 16 goals but have conceded 43. This time it was local rivals and runaway league leaders Solihull Barons and a 10-2 loss.

Solihull took just over one minute to score their first goal, Tomas Janaks initial shot being blocked by netminder Chris Gill but Thomas Soar as on hand to put the rebound past the helpless keeper. The Barons second comes two minutes later as Connor Hubbuck feeds Richard Slater from behind his own blue line, Slater firing it past Gill from close range. Dale White, Gareth O’Flaherty and Philip Pollok all test Solihull netminder Josh Nicholls but last season’s top stopper is on form again this season and saves all the efforts calmly. Despite the effort put in by the Blaze, Solihull are an unstoppable force in this period and Richard Crowe gets the third. He picks up the puck in his own defensive territory and skates between three defenders, pulling moves that shouldn’t be allowed with children watching and then flicks it in. Perry Doyle comes close to scoring as he sneaks in on the right hand side behind the Blaze defence but his shot goes just over.

The Barons make up for it a minute later as Joe Henrys shot narrowly misses from a very tight angle but Ryan Selwood is there to show Henry how it’s done. Louis Brindle muscles past two Solihull defenders against the boards and feeds it to Jay McFadyen whose one-timer is saved in dramatic style by Nicholls. Henry gets a goal with a minute remaining as his long range effort clips the glove of Gill and drops into the net to finish off the period on a 5-0 score line.

Five minutes in Crowes shot is parried by Gill but the Barons know how to tidy up, Eaton is on hand to tap in the loose puck. Henry gets another assist two minutes later, passing to Soar who has his back to the net. He turns and shoots, giving Solihull seven unanswered goals. Corey Goodison steps in to the netminder position as Gill makes one save but can’t get up quick enough for the rebound, Goodison throws his body in front of the puck to keep the puck out. Phil Knight with a pinpoint pass from the right hand side defensive blue line to the left hand side offensive blue line finds David Rogers who puts it away for goal number eight. Gill and the Blaze defence step up their game for the final few minutes of the second period to see the period out.

A netminder change in the period break sees Graham Laverick try his luck against the dominant Barons and he manages to make a good save a few minutes in, slowing the puck down with a leg save and then throwing his body onto the loose puck. With tempers flaring in this A45 derby Barker and Whitehouse drop the gloves, Barker eventually getting his opponent to the ground. Doyle receives a match penalty for checking to the head of Pollok who would need helping off the ice. With the big man out of action Coventry step up and start playing, the team making the most of their 5on3 powerplay. The team take shots from everywhere and eventually Sam Hammerton puts it away for their first goal. Selwood wastes no time in getting the lead back as he fires one past a stationary Laverick with seven minutes remaining. With Selwood in the box, Nicholls loses his stick and the Blaze pounce on the chance with James Pease finding White who spots the gap and fires it home.

Dale Buckland is never one to back down from a fight so when his first argument goes nowhere he’s more than happy for Simon Harrison to step in. They seem fairly evenly match as both players are throwing punches before Harrison hugs Buckland, getting the referees to step in and end the fight. To finish off the game, Soar gets his hat trick and Henry gets his fourth assist of the night leaving the Blaze to contemplate a 10-2 loss until next weekend’s trip to Telford.

Report by Marcus Gambrill

Photo: Coventry Blaze's Philip Mulcahy by Stuart Bell

Moralee Conference Match Report - Solway Sharks 4 - Sheffield Spartans 1

Spartans travelled up to Dumfries on Saturday for their NIHL Moralee clash with the Solway Sharks but frustratingly went down 4-1 in an enjoyable game of hockey.

In an even opening spell there was nothing to choose between the two teams who were both playing with purpose but it was Sharks that took the lead on 5.20 through Richard Bentham who had picked a pass up from his netminder Gary Russell to then shoot his team into the lead. Spartans had plenty of possession, arguably the greater share of it but they didn’t make the most of it with the final pass either missing or not quite there; whereas Solway always looked the more dangerous when they went on the attack and may have added more than the one they did had it not been for Brandon Stones in Spartans goal. He couldn’t prevent Sharks second though after some lovely build up play was finished off superbly at close range from Joshua Hay; goal timed 15.10 with Struan Tonnar & Richard Bentham getting the assists to see Sharks 2-0 up which was the score going into the period break.

Spartans played with a lot more zest in the second period but couldn’t break down a well drilled Solway team that in fairness controlled large parts of the period despite Spartans efforts to get back into the game. They started the period well but Sharks put themselves in a very good position when they broke out to score on 22.37, a good goal too scored by Richard Bentham assisted Craig Mitchell. Spartans looked more threatening this period and had some good chances to get back into the game but it wasn’t quite falling for them and they were making Sharks work a little harder this period who themselves had some good chances to increase their lead in what was an end to end game. Just when there was reason for optimism Spartans conceded a disappointing goal whilst on the penalty kill timed 34.26, scored by Frazer Goldie, assisted Craig Mitchell & Jens Engelen. Spartans afforded Sharks too much time and space to score what was an unchallenged and relatively easy goal; one that the whole team will want back. It came at a good time for Sharks after a good spell from Spartans who didn’t give up and didn’t quite get the rub of the green when a couple of chances went begging late on in the period, either just going wide or being dealt by with Sharks netminder Gary Russell who was in solid form. At the same time you couldn’t argue that Sharks didn’t deserve to be in front.

Spartans were arguably the better team in the final period and looked a lot more comfortable on the puck but they were up against a determined Sharks team that weren’t going to lead their lead slip away. Consensus amongst some of the home fans was that Sharks took their foot of the pedal but this was harsh on a hard working Spartans team who were creating some good chances but could only manage to put one of them away. Some good intense play was finished off superbly with a great shot from Ben Jones to score his first senior goal for Spartans on 44.33, assisted Nick Manning & Scott Morris. Spartans had the best chance to add to their score late om in the game when it seemed like they were about to score when Gary Russell pulled off an incredibly ridiculous save to make sure Sharks ran out 4-1 winners.

Dumfries is not an easy place to get a result, Sharks home record speaks for itself but there are no complaints from Spartans in regards that Solway deserved their win with a competent performance but we have reason to be optimistic for the weeks ahead with a decent performance from Spartans that on another day may have yielded more but there without doubt many positives to take from the game as well as areas to work on. So the best team won on the night in an enjoyable game of hockey with the Man of the Match Awards going to Richard Bentham for Sharks and Jonathan Kirk for Spartans.

Sheffield Spartans are at home this coming Saturday, 15th  
November facing off at 4.30pm against Manchester Minotaurs in what are always intriguing fixures.

Report by Phil Holden

Photo by David Morrison www.david-morrison-photography.co.uk/solway-sharks 


South 2 Weekend Round Up - 8th & 9th November

In South 2 East, league leaders Slough Jets shut out 2nd place Peterborough Islander 5-0 to maintain their lead at the top of the table and extend the only 100% record in the whole of NIHL North and South. Islanders closed the gap back to just 1 point with a 3-1 win over Chelmsford Warriors on Sunday but they have played two games more than the Jets.

Also in 2 East, second bottom team Lee Valley Lions beat bottom team Invicta Mustangs 5-3 to notch up their 2nd win of the season and move up to the same points as 4th placed Warriors.

In the South 2 Cup, Group A Bristol Pitbulls lost 3-5 at home to Swindon Wildcats, having initially led 2-0.

For their 3 home matches in November, Bristol Pitbulls are wearing special MO- BRO Hockey Jerseys to support the Movember Prostate Cancer  charity.

Also, on Sunday 30th November they  will be swapping their skates for football Boots as they take on the Redland Rambles FC in a 11 side Charity Football Match with all proceeds from the event going to the Movember appeal.

To find out more, or make a donation, click here: http://uk.movember.com/team/1637441

Photo: Bristol Pitbulls netminder John Dibble in action wearing the special Movember design shirt. Photo by Flyfifer Photography - www.flyfifer.co.uk

South 1 Weekend Round Up - 8th & 9th November

Chelmsford Chieftains remain top of the table after their 3-2 home win over Solent Devils but Streatham Redskins stay level on points in second place after their 5-6 away at Wightlink Raiders.

London Raiders faced two difficult away games - made even harder by a behind the scenes player dispute at the club leaving them very short-benched.  They lost 5-0 away at Cardiff Devils on Saturday, despite outshooting their hosts, and then succumbed 8-1 to Bracknell Hornets on Sunday who now move into 3rd place above MK Thunder.

Thunder had themselves beaten Solent Devils 5-2 on Saturday night.

The team of the weekend in South 1 would have to be Invicta Dynamos.  On Saturday night they beat Oxford City Stars 3-8 away in the league and then on Sunday  they beat Bracknell Bees EPL team in the ECCS.

Andrew Smith top scored with 3+1 as the Dynamos were outshot 32-48 by their EPL counterparts but still went on to become the first NIHL team to beat an EPL outfit in this competition.

Photo: Invicta Dynamos celebrate victory over Bracknell Bees EPL team - by David Trevallion

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up 8th & 9th November

Solihull Barons won 2-10 away at Coventry Blaze in the Midlands derby on Saturday to extend their lead at the top of the conference to 5 points as neither 2nd place Sheffield Senators nor 3rd place Telford Tigers had a game at the weekend.

Deeside Dragons are in 4th place after a mixed weekend that saw them lose 4-2 away at Widnes on Saturday and then beat Nottingham Lions 3-1 on Sunday.

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, Blackburn Eagles lost 3-5 at home to Hull Jets who now move above them in the table into 6th place.

Photo: Blackburn Eagles 3 - Hull Jets 5 by Ella Thornton - Hawks Photography (https://www.facebook.com/ellahawkphotography/info)

Monday, 10 November 2014

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 8th & 9th November

Billingham Stars and Sutton Sting played back to back league matches home and away over the weekend with honours even - Sting winning 8-1 at iceSheffield on Saturday and Stars winning 2-0 at home on Sunday. 

Whitley Warriors are now in 3rd place in the table after a 1-5 win away at Manchester Minotaurs and Solway Sharks also moved up a place to 5th with a 4-1 home win over Sheffield Spartans.

On Sunday night, Whitley hosted Solway in the second leg of  the St Andrews Cup competition, having lost 4-2 away at the Sharks in the first leg a few weeks ago.  Sharks won the match 1-0 with a goal in the 10th minute PPG from Craig Mitchell and thus secure the trophy 5-1 overall.

Photo: Billingham Stars 2 - Sutton Sting 0, by Dean Reeve - www.deanreevephotography.co.uk



Sunday, 9 November 2014

Sunday Results At A Glance - 9th November

All Sunday's NIHL Results at a glance and in one place.

Moralee: Billingham Stars 2 - Sutton Sting 0

St Andrews Cup: Whitley Warriors 0 - Solway Sharks 1

Laidler: Blackburn Eagles 3 - Hull Jets 5
Deeside Dragons 3 - Nottingham Lions 1

South 1:
Wightlink Raiders 5 - Streatham Redskins 6
Bracknell Hornets 8 - London Raiders 1
Chelmsford Chieftains 3 - Solent Devils 2

ECCS: Invicta Dynamos 6 - Bracknell Bees EPL 4

South 2 East:  Peterborough Islanders 3 - Chelmsford Warriors 1
South 2 Cup A: Bristol Pitbulls 3 - Swindon Wildcats 5

Photo: Peterborough Islanders' Rob Ferrara in action against Chelmsford Warriors - by Richard Davies www.chudphotography.smugmug.com