Sunday 23 August 2015

NRHC: Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 19 - Manchester Rhinos 3

Riverside Raiders 19 - Manchester Rhinos 3

Period Scores:  5-1, 6-2, 8-0

On a night when the Widnes Wild NIHL team got shut out 9-0 away at Blackburn and the friendly between Whitley Warriors and Kirkcaldy Kestrels got abandoned midway through the game, I would have to say that we were probably picked the best game to go to.  Ok a 19-3 scoreline tells its own story but I can honestly say that the performances on the ice were a lot closer than the numbers suggest.

The visiting Rhinos battled throughout – even once it was obvious that the game was beyond them -and only in the latter stages did it get a bit niggly and the penalties started to mount up. Referee Mr Hamilton was officiating the game on his own and did a very good job in keeping everything under control. He didn’t out up with any nonsense from the players and we had several misconduct penalties for arguing about decisions or hitting the boards in annoyance. In fact, I have never seen quite a referee’s hands go to his hips quite so often in a game and if more referees did this, a lot of the niggling that build up in games at all levels would probably disappear overnight.

We even had the tense drama of a penalty shot – which the Rhinos’ player missed. These happen so infrequently that I couldn’t possible tell you when I last saw a penalty shot awarded during a match. I could tell you when the first one I ever saw was – so rare as they are – but that can wait for another occasion.

I can’t go into specifics because I don’t have the gamesheet and they didn’t have a match announcer so I can’t be sure of who scored what but this was a very solid all round performance from the Riverside Raiders who are in their first season of competition.

From my own point of view, this was actually the very first item that I had actually seen a “Manchester” team play ice hockey, believe it or not. I have seen Altrincham Aces and Trafford Metros numerous times over the years but - for one reason or other - never got round to seeing Manchester Storm, Phoenix or Minotaurs.    Also, just off the top of my head, this is probably the highest scoring game that I have been at since watching Peterborough Pirates beat Grimsby Buffalos in the halcyon days of the British League in 1984. 

There is more recreational ice hockey at Silver Blades Widnes next Sunday when Widnes Wildcats take on group leaders Grimsby Ice Bears in their last group game in the Northern Rec Hockey Cup in a 7.30pm face off. 

The day before the Wildcats are in action at iceSheffield in the Summer Cup play offs. They play Whitley in the second semi-final at 11am and the final is at 6pm.  Admission is free for what should be good day of hockey.     

Monday 17 August 2015

Deeside Dragons Sign Slovakian Import

The Dragons will be looking to “raise the bar” next season, after the capture of prolific forward Adrian Palak from Romanian side Dunarea Galati.
Palak, 25, collected a remarkable 75 points in just 25 games last year – including 38 goals - as he led his side to the Romanian league title.
Dragons boss Lol Paul has been tracking Palak for much of the summer, as he builds a squad capable of challenging for the Laidler Conference title and the Deeside chief is delighted to have finally got his man
He said: “Bringing Adrian on board has taken much of the off-season, but last week we got together and agreed a contract for him.
“He is a great player and last year really came into his own in Romania. I think he’ll be a great player in this league and raise the bar for us.
“Alongside Filip Supa, Adrian is another guy who will provide a statement of intent for The Dragons. We want to give the fans a great season.”
Although still relatively young, Palak will be handed a senior role at Chester Road, in a dressing room that is already “full of leaders”.
He spent much of his early career with HK Dukla Trencin in the Slovakian under-20s league, before moving to France and then back to Slovakia.
Paul believes his team-building strategy will pay dividends during a lengthy NIHL campaign.
He added: “Adrian is only 25, but he’s played in several good leagues during a short career. Wherever he’s played, his stats have usually been over a point per game.
“Like many of our other players, he will be able to pass on that experience to the rest of the team. As I have said before, I want a dressing room full of leaders.”

Latest News From Haringey Racers

The London Haringey Racers have today announced that the Charity they will be sponsoring for this season is 'The Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust' (SMAT). This charity is close to the hearts of Racers owners Dave and Verity Richards, as their baby Ruby died of this disease in April
this year.

This information comes from the SMAT itself and explains a bit about the disease : -

“What is Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)?
Children born with the inherited condition called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) lack a gene which sends messages from their brain to muscles around the spine that control moving and breathing. There are 4 types of SMA that vary greatly in severity. In its most severe (and common) form, SMA is the leading genetic killer of children under 2. Improvements in care mean that people with milder forms of the condition are living much longer but many are never able to walk and the progressive nature of the condition means that their muscles become progressively weaker over time, leading to greater risk of severe respiratory problems. Although SMA is still classified as rare, there are around 2,500 people in the UK with the condition and 1 in 40 of us is a carrier (1.5 million people). There is currently no treatment or cure for SMA.”

Find out more by going to

Racers owner returns to the ice

London Haringey Racers have today announced that owner Dave Richards has signed to return as a player this season following nearly a year out of the game.

Dave says that he is looking forward to his return on the 3rd October especially given the cause that we are raising money for, and is immensely proud to be playing in memory of his little girl. He is also looking forward to be playing other games in the season when the time arises and is back over from Spain.

"Training so far has been hard work but rewarding and its been great to be back in the room with the boys, some old faces and some new. With 2 seasons now under our belt, we have a great coaching team in place and a great roster of players and this could well be our year".

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Davies Back For Deeside Dragons

Deeside Dragons' Paul Davies
Photo by Peter Sheffield -
Deeside Dragons coach Lol Paul will have further striking options next season, after Paul Davies agreed terms on a second season with the Flintshire outfit
The former Bristol Pitbulls forward was a revelation for Deeside last time out, bagging 43 points in just 30 Laidler Conference games.
Overall, Davies boasts a record of well over a point per game at NIHL 2 level, and performed admirably for Telford during a single season in NIHL 1. It is that record which persuaded Paul to extend Davies’s stay at Chester Road, as he looks to fulfil pre-season expectations of a fresh title challenge.
He said: “Paul came in last season and did incredibly well. He was one of the club’s top scorers and I expect him to repeat that next season.
“He has some great experience at this level with Bristol, and at the higher NIHL 1 standard with Telford. That is one of the reasons why I decided to keep him.
“He still at a good age and has an awful lot of potential. We are building a squad for the future here at Deeside, and I see Paul being a big part of that.”
Paul, who is still tracking a high-profile import signing for The Dragons, expects his latest capture to blossom into key player next season.
He added: “I am confident that Paul Davies’s potential will come to the fore in the next twelve months. We have already got a superb squad and he will compliment that.
“He has already proved how well he can integrate into the team and work with the guys we have here.
“When we have our full quota of imports in place, this will be a team that can compete for titles and give the supporters a great year of ice hockey.”
The Dragons will take on Telford Tigers NIHL in a pre-season friendly ahead of the new Laidler Conference campaign.
The two teams will meet in Shropshire on August 29th, before the return encounter at Deeside Ice Rink on September 5th.

Friday 7 August 2015

Deeside Dragons Announce Fixtures & Season Ticket Offers

Deeside Dragons have announced their NIHL North Laidler Conference fixtures for the 2015/16 season.  In a change from previous years, they will be playing their home games on Saturday evenings with a 7.10pm face off. This is due to the fact that Manchester Phoenix will be playing their home EPL games at Deeside Ice Rink on Sunday evenings.

A season-long pass, which covers all home league games, will cost £65 for adults – the equivalent of just over £4.60 per match.

Children under 16 and OAPs will pay £32 for season tickets – a price that works out at around £2.20 per game at Deeside Ice Rink.

Family season tickets, which cover two adults and two children, are set to cost just £145 – the equivalent of just over £10 per family.

Season ticket holders will also receive a hefty 25% discount on replica Dragons shirts.

Single match tickets will cost just £6 for adults, £3 for under-16s and OAPs, and £14 for families

Monday 3 August 2015

Match Report: Widnes Wildcats 3 - Sheffield Ice Tigers 17

Following their long away trip to Hull and back on Saturday night from whence they came back with a 6-9 victory, there must have been few tired legs in the Wildcats camp - and that unfortunately showed in the early stages of the this "big cats" encounter with Sheffield Ice Tigers.

We actually missed the first 10 minutes and were surprised to find the visitors winning 0-5 upon our arrival. That became 0-10 by the end of the first period and everybody seemed a little shell shocked to say the least.

The second period started in much the same vein with the Tigers scoring 3 more goals before the Wildcats finally broke their duck with a strike on 29th minutes and it ended 1-15 after two periods.

There must have been a very good team talk in the Wildcats' dressing room during the second break as they came out on fire for the third period. They fought for every puck and didn't give up until the final buzzer. The period score was 2-2 - a draw but if it had been a boxing round I'd definitely have given to the Wildcats for their guts and determination.

So, in all a very entertaining game - if a little one sided at times - but you can't really complain at game that has 20 goals in it and lots of end to end action.

The Wildcats are at home next on Sunday 16th August when they take on Manchester Rhinos in a 7.30pm face off. 

You can find out more about the Widnes Wildcats on their website