Tuesday 9 December 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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