Monday 2 April 2018

Ice Hockey Summer Classic: Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 8 - Steel City Hawks (Sheffield) 2

Raiders' Jordan Birtwistle scored
two goals against the Hawks
(Photo by Chris Johnstone)
Sunday 1st April 2018 – Ice Hockey Summer Classic Cup
Riverside Raiders (Widnes) 8 – Steel City Hawks (Sheffield) 2
Period Scores: 5-0, 2-1, 1-1
Penalties In Minutes: Raiders 10 – Hawks 4

Match Officials: Campbell / Williams

The Widnes – based Riverside Raiders team got their Summer Cup campaign off to a winning start with an 8-2 victory over the Sheffield-based Steel City Hawks at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The Raiders came second in the league competition last year and won the play off final and are hoping to do the double this time around.

The Widnes-based team were the stronger early on and took the lead after just 2 minutes with a great strike from Eemeli Vuorihovi. The visitors fought back and had several good chances themselves but were continually thwarted by Mike Rogers in the Raiders’ goal.

Two goals just 15 seconds apart from the Raiders just after the 10 minute mark gave the Widnes team what would turn out to be a winning margin as first Adam Murphy and then Vuorihovi again found the back of the Hawks net.

A brace from Jordan Birtwistle finished off the scoring for the period and gave the Raiders an impressive 5-0 lead heading into the first break.  

The Raiders maintained the pressure on the Hawks’ goal in the second period and were 7-0 up – courtesy of goals by Rasti Geroc and Luke Williams – before the visitors finally opened their own account with a powerplay goal from Matthew Smith in the 39th minute.

The Hawks pulled a second goal back just two minutes from the restart through Joshua Connolly but the Raiders’ 6-goal margin was restored just 37 seconds later with a goal from Adam Jenkins.

The remaining 17 minutes were played out goal-less but with both sides pushing right up to the final buzzer - and Michael Howells performing well in the Raiders' goal, having come on for the third period. 

There was a very impressive 100+ crowd watching the game and the sizeable Widnes contingent will have gone home happy with the resulting 8-2 scoreline.

A bucket collection was made at the game in aid of two mental health charities MIND and CALM, in support of a charity match that was being played at Blackburn Arena on the same day in memory of Wyre Seagulls and Blackburn Falcons rec player Rob Craig who died last year.

The Raiders’ next Summer Cup game is away to the Wyre Seagulls in Blackburn on 21st April and they are next at home on Sunday 6th May when they entertain the Flintshire Phantoms at Planet Ice Widnes. 

Report by Paul Breeze

Team Line Ups and Player Stats

Riverside Raiders: Adam Jenkins (1 + 0, 2PIM), Adam Murphy (1 + 0), Anthony Hughes (0 + 2), Ben Donkin (4PIM), Callum Fraine (0 + 1), Eemeli Vuorihovi (2 + 1), Elizabeth Wright (0 + 2, 2PIM), Jack Walker, Jordan Birtwistle (2 + 0, 2PIM), Laurence le Vay (0 + 1), Luke Williams (1 + 0), Michael Filek, Michael Teinert, Michael Howells (NM, 20 mins - 1 goal), Michael Rogers (NM, 40 mins - 1 goal), Rasti Geroc (1 + 1), Stephen Harvey.

Steel City Hawks: Aaron O’Melia, Joshua Connolly (1 + 0, 2PIM), Luke Ryalls (0 + 1), Marc Maddy, Matthew Smith (1 + 0), Michael Winfield, Robbie Foulds, Alexander Manning, Andrew Cruise, Benjamin Cowell, Charles Dowell, Donovan Rowland, Joe Scaife, Joel Willers (0 + 1, 2 PIM), Josef Tomlinson, Joseph Foster (NM, 60 mins).