Monday 31 July 2023

Riverside Raiders In The Hunt For Cup Treble

The Riverside Raiders team have the chance to secure a unique treble in this year’s Summer Cup competition as they head off to the Play Offs this weekend, 5th & 6th August, in Sheffield.

The Raiders won the Summer Classic Western Conference title with a 100% record of 6 wins from their 6 group games, finishing 3 points ahead of Widnes rink mates and fierce rivals the Halton Huskies to pick up their first trophy since 2017.

Then, following the resolution of the Eastern Conference, the two groups were combined to create an 8 team “Development Division” and, although this doesn’t actually make sense as the two regional sets of teams never actually played against each other, the Raiders’ tally of 12 points was enough to put them top and be named champions of that competition as well. 

In the Play Off semi finals on the Saturday, the Raiders will take on Eastern Conference runners up Grimsby Falcons – 1.30pm face off – while the Halton Huskies will face Eastern Conference champions Sheffield Ice Tigers, 4.45pm start. The winners of the two semi-finals will then meet in the Development Division final on Sunday, facing off at 12 noon. 

It is a busy weekend in Sheffield as the same venue is also hosting the Play Offs for the Elite Division of the Summer Classic Cup.  Leeds Lightning take on Newcastle Predators in the first semi final at 9am on Saturday while the Deeside based Flintshire Phantoms play Don Valley Vikings at 11am.  The Elite Division final faces off at 2.15pm on Sunday. 

Wild Women Invite Players For 3v3 Tournament

The DMUK Widnes Wild women's team at the 2023 WNIHL Play Offs (Photo by Mike Lennon)

The DMUK Widnes Wild women’s team resume training next week in preparation for the new 2023/24 WNIHL season and, as ever, they are always keen to hear from any new or returning players who would like to join their ranks.

They plan to run a competitive league team as well as a development side, so there are opportunities for players of varying levels of skills and experience to get involved.

As a break from the usual “back to the grindstone” pre-season training regime, the Wild women have decided to devote their weekly sessions during August to running a 3v3 Draft Tournament, playing cross-ice short format games in a fun environment. 

The sessions will run during the Wild women’s regular training slot at Planet Ice Widnes - from 9.30 to 10.30pm on Tuesday evenings - starting from 8th August, and the cost is £40 for the 4 weeks. The minimum age for taking part is 14 and players need to be EIHA insured. Players from other clubs are welcome to join in and they don’t have to be specifically registered with the Widnes Club.

Team manager Karyn Cooper said of the draft tournament:

“We recognise that it can be a tough start back focusing on skating drills and thought that this would be a good way to get everyone excited for the new season and trial some new players out as well. We intend pooling players for the tournament, giving them numbers and then drafting the numbers.”

“We're looking for our usual basic level of skating for players (forwards, backwards, stopping) but are open to a wide variety of skill level as we're open to both league and development players.”

Any players interested in taking part in the 3v3 Draft Tournament – or who would like more information about the Wild women’s team in general – are asked to get in touch via email to:,  or via the Facebook page at

Tuesday 25 July 2023

Widnes Wild Announce Telford Challenge Matches

Wild v Telford match action from the 2019/20 season (Photo by Hannah Walker)

The Widnes Wild team have announced home and away pre-season challenge matches against the Telford Tigers 2 as part of their preparation for the new NIHL season.

The home game will take place on Sunday 3rd September at Planet Ice Widnes, 5.30pm face off, with the return match in Shropshire the following Saturday 9th September. 

Despite playing in the lower Laidler Division, the Tigers are still expected to offer strong opposition.  They were runners up in their league last season and trounced champions Hull Jets 1-6 in the play off final – held at Widnes – in their last competitive game.

Widnes always enjoyed a healthy rivalry with the Telford team when they were regular opponents in the Laidler Division and, of the 16 games between the two sides, the Wild have won 8, drawn 1 and lost 7. The last meeting was on the last home weekend before the Covid lockdown in March 2020 when the Wild beat the Tigers 7-2.

A full fixture list for the new Moralee Division season will be announced shortly, along with details of season tickets and single match day admission prices.

Wild Academy Under 16s Runners Up At Sheffield Tournament

The Widnes Under 16 team receive their runners up medals at Sheffield (Photo by MyTeamPhoto)

The Widnes Wild Academy Under 16 team put in a solid performance at the prestigious Sheffield Tournament, ending up as runners up overall, having topped the qualifying group.

The Widnes youngsters won 4 of their 5 group games – beating Solent 4-0, Nottingham 5-0, Manchester 6-0 and Milton Keynes 3-1, with the only point dropped coming in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield.

Their unbeaten record saw them finish top of the table – 2 points clear of second place Milton Keynes, with by far the best goals for and against tally of 19-2 – as compared with MK’s 10-8.  

The top two teams then met in the final. The game actually finished 0-0 and had to be decided by a nerve tingling penalty shootout, which the Buckinghamshire side edged 1-0, meaning that Widnes had to make do with second place overall.

Tuesday 18 July 2023

Match Report: Mayhem 0 - Sheffield SteelStings 4 (British Para Ice Hockey League)

Mayhem MVP Felicity Gregory (#7) in action against Sheffield in Sunday's match (Photo by @haganovaphoto)

Sunday 16th July – British Para Ice Hockey League
Mayhem 0 – Sheffield SteelStings 4

The Mayhem sledge team put in a spirited performance in their final home game of the regular BPIHL season but lost out 0-4 to the Sheffield SteelStings at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The Widnes based side have been without a number of key players this season and it has always been looked upon as a period of transition, with an eye on rebuilding for next year.

Despite the eventual scoreline, this was actually a very entertaining game to watch with lots of end to end action. The Mayhem matched their visitors in terms of puck possession for long periods but were just not able to make their chances count in front of goal.

The first period played out goal-less, leaving the Mayhem fans with some hope of seeing their team pick up their first win of the season.

However, Sheffield’s numerical advantage began to pay off in the second period and they finally opened  the scoring in the 17th minute.

It took another 8 minutes until the next breakthrough and, once again, it  fell to Sheffield who doubled their advantage and took a 0-2 lead into the second period break.  

Darren Pomfret once again put in a superb performance in the Mayhem net and did well to keep the SteelStings attack at bay but two quickfire goals for Sheffield in the third period within 34 seconds of each other finally put the game beyond the home side’s reach.

The result meant that Sheffield were confirmed in the remaining spot in the end of season Play offs – much to the delight of their sizeable and very vocal travelling support – while the transitional Mayhem will finish bottom of the 5-team league table irrespective of what happens in their one remaining game. 

They now have a long wait until 20th August to play their final game of the regular season away to the other Sheffield based team, the Steelkings.

Widnes Wild Academy End Of Season Awards

Widnes Wild Academy junior award winners with coaches and team staff (Photo by Wild Academy)

The Widnes Wild Junior Academy held their end of season awards night and the following accolades were bestowed for the 2022/23 season:  

Under 18s
Top Points - Cody Ogden
Most Improved - Leo Hyman
Manager’s Player - Will Calcutt
Unsung Hero - Sam Hockey
Coaches’ Player - Cody Ogden
Players’ Player - Jake Meehan

Under 16s
Top Points - Jared Knowles
Most Improved - Sophia Green
Manager’s Player - Aidan Lamb
Unsung Hero - Porter Harrop
Coaches’ Player - Luke Alston
Players’ Player - Porter Harrop

Under 14s
Top Points - Caleb Eddleston
Most Improved - Austin Busby
Manager’s Player - Ben Roberts
Unsung Hero - Ben Roberts
Coaches’ Player - Ant Norman
Players’ Player - Ant Norman

Under 12s
Top Points - Caleb Eddleston
Most Improved - Leighton Williams
Manager’s Player - Ethan Liversage
Unsung Hero - Kian Liversage
Coaches’ Player - Caleb Eddleston
Players’ Player - Ethan Liversage

Under 10s
Most Improved - Henry Pearson
Manager’s Player - Elias Boardman
Coaches’ Player - Kian Liversage
Players’ Player - Poppy Ward

The full club special awards – presented in memory of sadly departed individuals who had a special influence at the Wild club were:

Vernon Neil Hardworker Award (U10s/U12s) - Poppy Ward
Jon Little Recognition Award (U14s, U16s & U18s) - Sam Daintith
Paul O’Prey Award (Full Club) - Jake Meehan.

The various Wild junior teams have enjoyed their most successful season to date, with the Under 12 team winning their league title for the first time and both the Under 14s and Under 16s finishing second in their respective divisions. A number of Wild players were selected for the prestigious end of season Showcase weekend tournament and 5 Widnes youngsters also gained international honours. 

The Wild Academy are always keen to recruit new players across all age groups from Under 10 to Under 18 and are holding training sessions throughout the summer months at the Planet Ice rink in preparation for the new season.

Separate “Learn To Play” sessions are also available for anybody new who would like to take up the sport. For more information, contact Academy Head Coach

Thursday 13 July 2023

Last Mayhem Home Game This Sunday

The Mayhem in action against Peterborough in a recent BPIHL home game at Widnes (Photo by @haganovaphoto)

The Mayhem sledge team play their last home fixture of the 2023 British Para Ice Hockey League season this Sunday 16th July when they entertain the Sheffield SteelStings at Planet Ice Widnes, 6.10pm face off.

There is a lot riding on this game as the Mayhem need to win in order to have any chance of qualifying for the end of season play offs.

Following Sunday’s match, the Mayhem have a long wait until 20th August to play their final game of the regular season away to the other Sheffield based team, the Steelkings.

You can follow the fortunes of the Mayhem sledge team on their Facebook page HERE.

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Coach Lappin On Wild Women's Season

Wild women's team coach Adam Lappin (Photo by Wil Evans)

Following the end of the 2022/23 season WNIHL season, DMUK Widnes Wild women’s team head coach Adam Lappin has commented on the team’s achievements:

“The season went very well with some great development and growth from everyone.  We were aiming for a top 3 finish and we hit form at the right time to achieve this.” 

“The playoffs were a good experience for all, as there were not many in the team who had been exposed to that environment. We had a good plan, but we wanted all players to play their game and use it as a stepping stone for the new season, and to use the playoff weekend as a learning experience. Overall, I can not fault the ladies for their team spirit and overall team ethos.”

Talking about the Bristol Friendship Tournament, Lappin said: 

“It was a good end to the season with no pressure. The ladies were able to go and enjoy a good weekend of hockey in prep for a nice summer off. Bring on pre-season!”


The 2023 Play Off Semi Final was the team’s 101st match since forming as the Wild Women for the start of the 2015/16 season. In that time they have won 34 games, lost 56 and drawn 11 – scoring 389 goals and conceding 562.

The Wild Women won the Division 1 North league title in the 2019/20 season and were runners up in the Women’s Premier League in 2015/16 and Division 2 North this - 2022/23 - season

Three More Widnes England Internationals

Rhys Edwards as an England player
(photo by EIHA)
Three more Widnes Wild players earned England international call ups when they were invited to take part in a weekend junior tournament in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Rhys Edwards was one of the leading players in the Wild senior NIHL team last season but, as he was only 16 at the start of the campaign, he has also been eligible to be selected for junior representative teams. He was joined on the trip by Wild NIHL player Kohen Taylor and Gabriel Lingard, who iced once for Widnes as a back up netminder last season. 

A group of England Under 16 and Under 17 players made the trip to take part in the 3-day tournament that saw them play against national teams from Ireland and Scotland, a Czech select side and also a local  Slovak junior team from the host Homoikovo rink.

Wild Academy Head Coach and Widnes NIHL player Mike Gilbert also accompanied the England team as a member of the coaching staff.

Edwards, Taylor and Lingard join an ever growing list of Widnes Wild players who have been have been given England call ups, following in the footsteps of  Sophia Green who played for England girls in Bratislava earlier in the year, Jared Knowles - who played in a Scotland v England tournament -   and Matty Barlow who played for England U23s against Denmark last season.

Halton Huskies at Ricky Barker Memorial Cup Tournament.

Halton Huskies 2023 Team Photo by @haganovaphoto

The Halton Huskies team went to Hull and back at the weekend to take part in the annual Ricky Barker Memorial Cup tournament.  The event is staged every year by the Hull Knights club in memory of the devoted off-ice official who died in 2017, aged just 53.

The Huskies stepped up a level to play in the Elite competition this year and they came up against much stronger teams in the Hull Knights (hosts), Blackburn Renegades, Sheffield Ice Tigers, Newcastle Coyotes and eventual tournament winners Leeds Lightning – losing all 5 of their group games.

Halton team manager Stephen Hay said of the weekend:  “We did play in the Elite division in the tournament, whereas we've been in the Dev league. I think that shows where we are as a club, in a middle space between the two. It's helped us identify what we need to improve on and how hard we've got to work if we want to move up a level. As always it was a great weekend and a well-run tournament.”

Cobras Finish Runners Up at Sheffield RecFest

The Connah’s Quay Cobras took part in the prestigious annual Sheffield Recfest tournament at the weekend, finishing in a very creditable second place overall.

This tournament is an impressive feat of planning  and logistics and featured 15 different teams taking part in 60 short-format games over the two days.

In the initial group games on the Saturday, the Cobras beat Basingstoke Hyenas 3-1, Cleveland Comets 5-0, Streatham Night Wolves 4-1 and lost 1-2 to Coventry Snipers. This saw them finish the day in second place in their group with 6 points – two behind Coventry, who had a 100% record. 

For the Sunday games, all of the teams were put into new groups reflecting their relative finishing positions on the Saturday and the Cobras were put in the top group along with Coventry, Milton Keynes Hurricanes, Grimsby Stormers and Tri-Base Lightning, who are a team that play at Cambridge and originated as a group of US servicemen from nearby airbases (hence the name...) but now include local players as well.     

The Cobras went on to beat Milton Keynes 3-0, Tri-Base 2-1, drew 1-1 with Grimsby and lost 3-0 to eventual champions Coventry Snipers.

Finishing second overall in a 15 team tournament that included many long-established and experienced teams is a great achievement for the Cobras team, have only been playing together since the start of this year.

They were the second highest scoring team over the weekend – bettered only by Solihull who played the second day in a lower group – were the only team to beat Milton Keynes Hurricanes in a game all weekend, and were only beaten themselves by the eventual champions Coventry. 

The Connah’s Quay netminder Paul Jones also received the award for best goalkeeper of the tournament.

Cobras’ coaches Scott and Emma Dutton said afterwards:

"We are incredibly proud of the team and everyone involved over the weekend, to finish second after only three games together is a massive achievement. We've had an amazing time as a team both on and off the ice and are looking forward to our next challenge."

The Cobras team for the tournament was:  Emma Dutton, Scott Dutton, Louie Bailey, Louis Ellwood, Mackenzie Wilkes, Luke Wainwright, Libor Krempasky, Sam Krempasky, Martin Rybka, Radovan Spavelko, Daniel Potter, Jason james, Peter Gazda, Stewart Cutting  & Paul Jones (NM).

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Match Report: Shropshire Huskies 2 - Connah's Quay Cobras 8

The Connah's Quay Cobras team celebrate their first ever win - away at Shropshire Huskies on 1st July.

Saturday 1st July – Challenge Match: Shropshire Huskies 2 - Connah’s Quay Cobras 8

The Connah’s Quay Cobras team picked up their first ever win with a 2-8 victory away to Shropshire Huskies in Telford on Saturday.

The Deeside-based outfit have only been training together since the start of the year and this was their third game in total, having previously lost at home to Riverside Raiders and Trafford Thunder.

This was a very entertaining game to watch with lots of end to end hockey – and both teams enjoying a similar amount of puck possession and shots on goal - but the Cobras were able to make more of their chances when they had them. 

The Connah’s Quay side took the lead with a goal from Louis Ellwood on 3 minutes and the same player doubled the advantage 11 minutes later.  The score remained 0-2 to the Cobras at the first break  and, despite the Huskies having a much better second period, the goals continued to go the way of the visitors. Andrew Cooke made the score 0-3 on 32 minutes and then a goal from Kenny Williams just 70 seconds brought it to 0-4. 

A goal from Slavomir Sykora just 90 seconds into the third period edged the Cobras further ahead and the Huskies finally scored a goal of their own with 10 minutes left in the game. The 5-goal cushion was restored just 80 seconds later with a goal from Martin Rybka but then a second goal for the Huskies with 5 minutes left on the clock sparked a rather tense finale.

The home side withdrew their netminder in favour of an extra attacking player in the hope of mounting a late rally but this move was punished with a well-taken strike from his own blue line by Rybka resulting in an Empty Net Goal. The scoring was rounded off with a second goal of the game for Sykora with 59 seconds left on the clock to record a 2-8 victory.

The Most Valuable Player award (MVP) for the Cobras went to netminder Paul Jones who turned away 28 of the 30 shots that he faced.

The Connah’s Quay Cobras are in action again this weekend as they travel to Sheffield to take part in the annual Recfest tournament.  

You can find out more about the Connah’s Quay Cobras by following their Facebook page HERE

Monday 3 July 2023

British Para Ice Hockey League: Mayhem v Sheffield Weekend Report

Overworked Mayhem sledge netminder Darren Pomfrett – photo by @haganovaphoto

Saturday 1st July 2023 – British Para Ice Hockey League: Mayhem 0 – Sheffield Steelkings 16

Sunday 2nd July 2023 – British Para Ice Hockey League: Sheffield SteelStings 6 – Mayhem 0 

The Mayhem sledge team endured a goal-less weekend with back to back defeats at the hand of Sheffield based opposition.

The home game on Saturday against the Steelkings was a bit one-sided as the Mayhem were low on numbers and missing several key players, while the Sheffield team had a fully staffed roster to rotate.

The visitors took the lead on 3 minutes, doubled the advantage 2 minutes later and were 0-3 up by the mid way point of the first period.

The Mayhem had their chances as well – but they were outshot 16 to 3 in the first 15 minute period and, by the time the first break came around, the score stood at 0-6 to the Steelkings.

The onslaught continued in the second period with the Mayhem being outshot 19 to 1 and conceding 6 more goals in the process. Lack of numbers meant that the home side got more tired as the game went on, whereas the visitors were able to keep their players fresh with regular line changes.

The third period played out in similar vein with a 14 to 1 shot count and 4 more goals for the visitors, meaning that the Steelkings and their vocal band of travelling fans were able to head back across the Pennines with a comprehensive 0-16 victory. 

Mayhem netminder Darren Pomfrett received the MVP award after his hard work in goal, which saw him face an eye watering 48 shots - of which he saved 32.

A similarly depleted Mayhem team made the reverse journey on Sunday to take on Sheffield’s second team, the SteelStings, in the Steel City.

They fared slightly better on this occasion, only losing 6-0 to, again, numerically superior opposition.

The weekend results leave the Mayhem rock bottom of the league table with 6 losses from their 6 games to date and in danger of missing out on the end of season play offs.

They are next in action on Sunday 16th July when they take on the SteelStings at Planet Ice Widnes.   

Match Report: Halton Huskies 2 - Riverside Raiders 4 (Summer Classic Cup)

Huskies v Raiders goal-mouth action – Stephen Harvey (Raiders #32) and Ethan Trickett (Huskies #91) vying for position watched by Raiders netminder Ian Thirkettle – photo by @haganovaphoto

Saturday 1st July 2023 – Summer Classic Cup: Halton Huskies 2 – Riverside Raiders 4

The Halton Huskies lost out in the battle to finish top of the Western Conference group table in the Summer Classic Cup competition after a 2-4 defeat at the hands of the Riverside Raiders at Planet Ice Widnes on Saturday.

Despite the Huskies and Raiders teams both being based at the Widnes rink – rather like the San Ciro stadium being the shared home of both AC Milan and Inter - this was technically a “home game” for the Huskies, as the previous meeting between the two teams back in May had been the Raiders’ home fixture.

This was a highly entertaining game to watch and was played in very good spirit – despite the winner takes all aspect with both teams vying to finish in top spot

The Huskies took the lead in the 4th minute with a goal from Anthony Hough but the Raiders equalised 8 minutes later with a powerplay goal from Adam Jenkins to punish a roughing call.

Despite the Huskies outshooting the Raiders by 13 to 7 over the course of the period, the score remained 1-1 at the first break and indeed continued to do so until 13 minutes into the second period. At that point, Kai Gennoe fired the Raiders into the lead and the score stood at 1-2 after two periods of play.

A powerplay goal for Rory Sillery 7 minutes into the third period put the Raiders 1-3 ahead  and then another powerplay strike just 40 seconds later – from Louis Grogan - edged the away side even further ahead.

The Huskies didn’t give up, however, and had their own chances - with a total shot tally of 38 to 36 in their favour over the course of the game – but Ian Thirkettle put in a superb performance in the Raiders’ net to keep them at bay. Halton’s efforts were eventually rewarded with a second goal on 53 minutes  from Ethan Trickett but it wasn’t enough to spark a late rally and the match finished 2-4 to the Raiders.

The result means that the Riverside Raiders finish top of the table with 6 wins and 12 points from their 6 group games, with the Huskies coming second with 4 wins and an overtime loss, 3 points behind.

Both teams have qualified for the play off stage of the competition where they will meet the top two teams in the Eastern Conference over the weekend of 5th/6th August at iceSheffield.