Saturday 28 February 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 28th February 2015

South 1 Cup Semi Finals - First Leg:
Streatham Redskins 3 - Chelmsford Chieftains 4
Wightlink Raiders 3 - Invicta Dynamos 2

Sheffield Spartans 6 - Manchester Minotaurs 3
Solway Sharks 4 - Sutton Sting 2

Bradford Bulldogs 2 - Telford Tigers 9
Coventry Blaze 1 - Nottingham Lions 6
Widnes Wild 2 - Deeside Dragons 1
Blackburn Eagles 6 - Hull Jets 3

South 1:
Oxford City Stars 7 - Bracknell Hornets 4

South 2 East:
Haringey Racers 3 - Chelmsford Warriors 7
Slough Jets 7 - Peterborough Islanders SLOUGH JETS ARE CHAMPIONS

South 2 West:
Cardiff Devils 4 - Wightlink Tigers 2

Monday 23 February 2015

Laidler Weekend Round Up - 21st & 22nd February

Solihull Barons march on with their 100% record intact following their 12-2 victory over bottom team Bradford Bulldogs on Sunday night.      With second place Telford Tigers not playing at the weekend, third place Sheffield Senators pulled a little close to the top with their 4th win in a row – 2-13 away at Bradford on Saturday.  The Sens look pretty certain of getting one of the four play-off spots but quite what will happen if they get promoted – with Sheffield Spartans already playing in the Moralee Conference - remains to be seen.

Hull Jets beat fellow promotion hopefuls Widnes Wild 2-0 and Deeside Dragons beat Nottingham Lions 3-1.  Those results mean that just 2 points separate Widnes in 4th place, Hull in 5th and Deeside  in 6th   and with many teams still having 10 or more games to play, it is going to be a very exciting end to the Laidler Conference season! 

Moralee Weekend Round Up - 21st & 22nd February

With the title race already over, attention is now firmly fixed on the battle for the other 3 play off places in the Moralee Conference.

Sheffield Spartans’ 4-1 defeat at Solway Sharks was their 4th defeat in a row and the team that looked good for a top 4 finish a while back is now somewhat adrift 3 points behind the rest of the pack with just games left to play.  Two of those games are against bottom team Manchester Minotaurs, which might help them climb back into the mix and they could then have an iceSheffield showdown against Sutton Sting – currently in 4th place after a 3-0 shut out at Blackburn Hawks - on 28th March to decide who goes eventually goes through.

That Sharks win moved them up into 3rd place with a 5 point cushion over the Spartans and 3 points behind Billingham Stars who beat them 6-3 on Sunday night and won 0-8 away at Minotaurs 24 hours earlier.     

Blackburn Hawks – already confirmed as champions remain unbeaten following their 2-5 win away at Whitley Warriors on Sunday.  That result leaves Warriors 6 points adrift of the play off places – albeit with a game in hand over everybody else above them – but with 2 games each against both Billingham Stars and Solway Sharks still to come, it is hard to see Whitley doing any better than featuring in the end-of-season relegation play off.

Sunday 22 February 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 22nd February 2015

Whitley Warriors 2 - Blackburn Hawks 5
Billingham Stars 6 - Solway Sharks 3

Hull Jets 2 - Widnes Wild
Solihull Barons12  - Bradf 0ord Bulldogs 2
Deeside Dragons 3 - Nottingham Lions 1

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 7 - Streatham Redskins 2
Chelmsford Chieftains 5 - Milton Keynes Thunder 2
Solent Devils 4 - Oxford City Stars 5

South 2 East:
Lee Valley Lions 3 - Slough Jets 7

South 2 West:
Basingstoke Buffalo 6 - Cardiff Devils 5

Photo: Goal action from Deeside Dragons v Nottingham Lions. (Peter Sheffield -

Saturday 21 February 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 21st February 2015

Manchester Minotaurs 0 - Billingham Stars 8
Blackburn Hawks 3- Sutton Sting 0
Solway Sharks 4 - Sheffield Spartans 1

Bradford Bulldogs 2 - Sheffield Senators 13

South 1:
Wightlink Raiders 3 - London Raiders 6
Milton Keynes Thunder 2 - Solent Devils 4
Cardiff Devils 3 - Chelmsford Chieftains 3

South 2 East:
Lee Valley Lions 0 - Haringey Racers 1
Chelmsford Warriors 9 - Peterborough Islanders 1
Slough Jets 8 - Invicta Mustangs 2

South 2 West:
Swindon Wildcats 1 - Bristol Pitbulls 10

More to come - please check back!

Photo: Manchester Minotaurs v Billingham Stars by Steve Pollitt

Wightlink Raiders Legends Game - 4th March 2015

With the well documented planned  closure of Ryde Arena on the Isle of Wight, plans are going on behind  the scenes to try and save the Rink from closure. A rink rally is planned this Sunday 22nd February at 3pm. All sorts is going on to raise awareness to the Island's plight .

Also a game is fast approaching. Which could well be the last time a team of former Wightlink Raiders greats take to the ice . The current Nihl South 1 side Wightlink Raiders will take on a team of former Wightlink Raiders legends from over the years. The game is set to take place Wednesday 4th March 7pm face off.  A raffle with many hockey related memorabilia amongst things is on offer. The night is sure to be a nostalgic one so get yourself down to Ryde Arena for a great night .

Players committed to playing as follows ... Net minders Gareth Phillips, Craig Wynn, Kev Martin , and Greg Blais . As well as the following forwards/defence ....Neil Leary, Joe Baird, Steve Gossett, Tony Blaize, Alex Murray, Martin Jeneway, Matt Brennen, Andrew Robinson, Jason Coles, Richie Hargreaves, Steve Osman, Mike Hargreaves, Steve Slater, Joe Rand, Alan Armour, Matt Wynn, Kieran Annis, Yousif Abu Saada, Steve Gannaway, Matt Paynter  and Andy Pickles.

Report by Chris Randall. 

Contact Chris HERE if you'd like to sponsor something for this once in a lifetime event.

Wednesday 18 February 2015

Seagulls v Grimsby Under 16s Match Postponed

The Blackpool Seagulls Under 16 game against Grimsby scheduled for this Sunday has been postponed following a dispute with the owners of their Fylde Coast Ice Arena base. Efforts to find an alternative venue have not been successful and the game will now have to be re-arranged for a later date.    

The Blackpool Seagulls Junior teams are now training at the Cleveleys Ice Arena which has just reopened after being taken over by a group of parents and volunteers who plan to run it as a Community Interest Company.  

The Seagulls’ next Under 16 home game is scheduled for 28th March against Sutton in Ashfield Under 16s and it hoped that the venue issue can resolved in time for that.

You can find out more about Blackpool Seagulls Junior Ice Hockey Club HERE
Photo by Marina Frankel

Planet Ice Isle of Wight Set To Close

Rink operators Planet Ice have announced that the Ryde Arena on the Isle Of Wight will close for business next month as it has been losing money for several years and they can no longer afford to keep it open. 

Planet Ice MD Mike Petrouis has said that if anybody else is prepared to step in and take over running the venue, he will sell them the lease and all fixtures and fittings for a nominal £5.

As things currently stand, the rink will close on 25th March, meaning that Wightlink Raiders home games against Chelmsford Chieftains on 21st March and Cardiff Devils on 22nd March will be their last.  They will have no home ice to use for the South 1 end of season play off matches nor for the final of the South 1 Cup should they reach it. 

South 2 team Wightlink Tigers actually have a league game against Bristol Pitbulls scheduled for 12th April so that too is in doubt and may be to be rearranged. 

The rink is also home to numerous ice skating and ice dance clubs as well as a junior and rec hockey teams.   

A petition has been set up to help save the rink and you can sign up for that HERE

Ice Hockey Review's NIHL South Editor CHRIS RANDALL (in photo right) lives on the Isle of Wight and has played hockey for 22 years at the Arena. As well as his 12 year son an 11 year old daughter who both began skating at 5 years of age,  it is a second home . "Badger" and his children as well as the whole IoW community would be devastated if it was to close it doors.
Chris had this to say: 

"The rink has been home to the very successful Wightlink Raiders NIHL Division 1 South ice hockey team. It is also the home base  for the very successful Isle of Wight Figure and Dance skating club, which has produced so many talented skaters like Archie Bicknell who is currently in the U.S with Disney on Ice .

He is just one of the host of skaters who have progressed with the help of the rink and its dedicated coaches. Namely Terri Smith who has helped the synchro teams as well the   many talented individuals win so many medals. Wight Sparkles, Wight Crystals and Wight Jewels all recently returned from Dumfries Scotland with Gold and Silver medals aplenty.

As well as the aforementioned ice  hockey  team Wightlink Raiders and Tigers , the junior Under 10/12/14/16 and Under 18 teams as well as the two Recreational teams would all be homeless .

Then the general public would lose out if the doors were to close. A petition is active and a Facebook group has been set up . Things are going on behind the scenes to try to rescue the facility  from closure . If you are interested in signing the petition then the people of the Isle of Wight would be very appreciative ...."

Photo of Chris Randall by Nicky Craft

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Blackburn Hawks Win Moralee Conference Title

Blackburn Hawks have won the first ever league title in their 25 year history following their 8-2 home win over Sheffield Spartans on Sunday and, while I’m sure they might have liked to have won the league years ago – and several times by now - it is quite fitting that this should be "THE" year as the Hawks are preparing a big end-of-season bash to celebrate their quarter century in hockey with a special gala game on 25th April featuring top players past and present.

There is also a certain poignancy to events as the title was secured a matter of days after the sad death of Hawks GM Alan Amos – a man who worked tirelessly for the club over many years and to whom this success will undoubtedly be dedicated.

The win over Spartans coincided with nearest challengers Billingham Stars losing away at Sutton Sting which made mathematically sure of Hawk’s being crowned champions but in, all honesty, the title was already decided long ago.  From the very outset the Hawks proved themselves to be a better organised, more resilient and more of a “team” than their rivals. They have gone 18 league games to date without a single defeat - and that has included historic victories away at defending champions Solway Sharks, fellow title contenders Billingham Stars and ever-competitive Whitley Warriors – all very difficult places to bring a win away from.   

Just a quick look at the scoring tables tells its own story – Luke and Adam Brittle lead the way and 4 of the top 5 are Blackburn players with Jared Owen and Chris Arnone just behind Solway Sharks’ former EPL player Richard Bentham. Netminder Stuart Ashton has by far the best goals against average in the Moralee Conference at just 1.82 and fellow goalie Daniel Brittle also make the top 10 despite missing a lot of games through injury.

So, Hawks have secured the league title with 6 games left to play.  The target now must surely be to win those final six games and try and see out the rest of the season unbeaten.  This Saturday they face resurgent Sutton Sting who are currently in second place and look likely to reach the Moralee play offs for the first time. One of only two teams to have taken a league point off Blackburn this season, they will not be a push over  and there is still plenty of hockey to be played in the last quarter of the 2013/15 Moralee Conference season.  

Photo by John Milton -


Monday 16 February 2015

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 14th & 15th February

Bradford Bulldogs picked up only their second win of the season  with a 4-1 home win against Coventry Blaze on Saturday. Interestingly enough, their only other win to date also came against Coventry and they then lost 10-4 away to the same opposition on Sunday.

Telford Tigers had the best of the weekend points-wise with  a 4 point haul courtesy of back to back home wins – both 5-2 - over Nottingham Lions on Saturday and Widnes Wild on Sunday. Tigers look secure in second place in the table as they have a 7 point cushion over 3rd place Sheffield Senators and two games in hand but they themselves are 7 points adrift of league leaders Solihull Barons who picked up their 24th consecutive win of the season on Sunday night with a 1-4 win away at Nottingham Lions.     

Deeside Dragons moved up into 6th place above Nottingham after their 8-2 win over Blackburn Eagles and cannot be counted out of the running for the play off places with 10 games still to play in the season.
Photo: Deeside Dragons' import Tomas Mitrik in action against Blackburn Eagles. Photo by Peter Sheffield - 

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 14th & 15th February

Blackburn Hawks secured the Moralee Conference title, with 6 games still to play, after their 8-2 home win over Sheffield Spartans put them beyond the reach of the other - albeit distant – challengers.  Sutton Sting’s 6-1 win over Billingham Stars ended the north east team’s own title hopes for the season and also lifted the iceSheffield side into 2nd place – their highest position of the season thus far.     

Sting and 3rd place Stars both have 21 points, although Billingham have a game in hand.  Solway Sharks – down in 4th place - also have a game in hand over Sutton and are just one point behind with 20 following their 9-1 win over bottom team Manchester Minotaurs.

The Manchester team have yet to pick up a single point this season and, with 6 games left to play, are already assured of finishing bottom as they cannot catch any of the teams above them.
Photo:  Sutton Sting v Billingham Stars - by Ben Clayton, courtesy of

Sunday 15 February 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 15th February 2015

Blackburn Hawks 6 - Sheffield Spartans 2   HAWKS ARE CHAMPIONS
Sutton Sting 6 - Billingham Stars 1

Telford Tigers 5 - Widnes Wild 2
Deeside Dragons 8 - Blackburn Eagles 2
Nottingham Lions 1 - Solihull Barons 4
Coventry Blaze 10 - Bradford Bulldogs 4

South 1:
Chelmsford Chieftains 6 - Streatham Redskins 2
Milton Keynes Thunder 2 - Invicta Dynamos 3
Solent Devils 3 - Wightlink Raiders 7

South 2 East:
Invicta Mustangs 2 - Peterborough Islanders 3

South 2 West:
Wightlink Tigers 2 - Cardiff Devils 7

More to come - please check back!

Saturday 14 February 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 14th February 2015

Solway Sharks 9 - Manchester Minotaurs 1

Bradford Bulldogs 4 - Coventry Blaze 1
Telford Tigers 5 - Nottingham Lions 2

South 1:
Oxford City Stars 3 - Invicta Dynamos 6
London Raiders 3 - Bracknell Hornets 4
Streatham Redskins 7 - Solent Devils 3
Wightlink Raiders 4 - Chelmsford Chieftains 0
Cardiff Devils 1 - Milton Keynes Thunder 5

South 2 Cup Group A:
Peterborough Islanders 4 - Bristol Pitbulls 4

South 2 Cup Group B:
Slough Jets 9 - Basingstoke Buffalo 0

Photo: Peterborough Islanders v Bristol Pitbulls - by Richard Davies -

Tuesday 10 February 2015

South 2 Cup Final Weekend Arrangements Announced

Arrangements have been announced for the semi-finals and final of the South 2 Cup competition which will be played over the weekend of 28th and 29th March at Oxford Ice Rink.

The weekend is being organised and hosted by the Bristol Pitbulls team - despite the fact that they haven't qualified for the semi-finals themselves - so all credit to them for doing their bit to support S2 ice hockey.

Saturday 28th March - Semi Finals
5pm: Peterborough Islanders v Basingstoke Buffalo
8pm: Slough Jets v Chelmsford Warriors

Sunday 29th March - Final
6pm: Winner of SF1 v Winner of SF2

Weekend ticket packages are available in advance or on the door.

Advertising and sponsorship packages are also available. 

Find more information here: HERE

Fylde Coast Ice Arena - News Update

Hockey fans will probably be keen to know how things are going at the new Blackpool-based Fylde Coast Ice Arena following its opening back in August last year (see our initial report HERE). 

In this photo - taken at the Blackpool Seagulls Under 16 game against Blackburn at the weekend - viewed from the end where the Zamboni machine comes on and off the ice - you can get a very good view of the public / spectator area and of the wall that is currently in the way of the place becoming a fully fledged NIHL hockey venue.

As things stand, the public area only extends to just over halfway down the total length of the ice surface and the wall on the far left of the photo prevents extending the spectator area any further at present.  Our sources tell us that once the FCIA has been open for a specific length of time, they will be able to apply for planning permission to remove the offending wall and then extend the spectators balcony the full length of the ice pad.

There will eventually be a bar area at the far end of the balcony from which you will be able to see over both this main rink and the other "Studio Rink" ice pad which is to the far left of the view that you can see here behind where the skate hire and changing rooms are.  The main rink spectator seating will, presumably, extend from the bar area at the far end down along the full length of the main ice pad and will  allow enough room for sufficient paying spectators to be able to support an NIHL team.

The Fylde Coast Ice Arena is still very much a work in progress but everybody who uses the rink - particularly the ice hockey players that we have spoken to - are very pleased with all the facilities and the fact that the Fylde Coast now has a full size ice pad for the time ever and the consensus is that it is worth the wait to get the rest of the building up and running in the not too distant future.

You can find out more about the Blackpool Junior Seagulls ice hockey club  HERE

And find out what's going on at the Fylde Coast Ice Arena and keep up with future developments  HERE

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 5 - Hull Jets 3

For the Sunday night home game against Hull Jets, Wild welcomed back Tom Ratcliffe and Daniel Bullock made his home debut. Sheffield based netminder Josh Benstead and George Crawshaw were also added to the roster. Like Wild, the Jets are also keen to take an end of season play off place.

Both netminders were called into early action in an end to end start. At 3.27 Wild took an early lead, Lee Pollitt and Callum Ruddick combining to set Shaun Dipnall free to fire high past Jack Dalby into top left corner of the net. Inside a minute, Filip Supa brought a great save from Dalby just inside the post. Despite Widnes pressure Hull counter attacked and Ben Spurgeon beat Greg Ruxton with a long range equaliser at 7.38. Inside two minutes, Wild were back in the lead - Kieron Strangeway and Ben Brown breaking out and feeding Sam Dunford who fired home between Dalby's pads. Wild continued to press and only a series of fine saves by Jack Dalby prevented further scores. Hull were a constant threat on the breakaway with Kieron Beach constantly troubling the home defence.

The second period was less than two minutes old, when the home side extended their lead - Matt Wainwright and Ben Brown sending Filip Supa clear to shoot low past Dalby at 21.19.

The goal spurred the Jets into frantic action with Greg Ruxton making a series of fine saves. A tripping minor saw Wild defending resolutely but riding their luck. Ruxton made a number of great blocks and Pavel Vales was working overtime, repeatedly repelling Hull attacks. The pressure eventually told with the period drawing to a close. A looping angled shot from the left by Ben Sturgeon appeared to deflect and drop over Greg Ruxton to bring the score to 3- 2. As with the game at Nottingham the double header weekend resulted in tired legs amongst the home ranks.

The final period opened in sensational fashion, with a Widnes shot appearing to strike both posts before the puck was cleared. Two minutes later Dalby stretched to make a briliant pad save at the right post. A searching pass up the ice saw Kieron Beach in space on the left and he hit a low shot past an impeded Greg Ruxton at 43.12 for an unlikely equaliser. The goal shocked Widnes into aggressive action with Vales and Bracegirdle both having shots well saved. Tom Jackson found himself in space and he fired through several players pst Dalby to regain the lead for Wild at 46.17. Shaun Dipnall and Filip Supa had worked well together to create the scoring opportunity. Widnes scored a fifth and deciding goal at 50.34 when after several panic clearances, Lee Pollitt took possession and shot home from close range. Dipnall and Supa were again instrumental in opning up some space. Shortbenched Jets were tiring and Supa and Bullock both saw powerful shots saved by Dalby who faced an incredible 29 shots in an all action final period.

This was a vital win against close rivals and Wild travel to Telford next Sunday trying to upset the odds to secure more vital points in their pursuit of a play off place. Daniel Bullock took the MVP for Wild - his physical presence bringing vital  possession in the away end.

Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo by Geoff White -

Laidler Match Report: Blackburn Eagles 2 - Widnes Wild 2

The pressures of a play off place was again a focus for players and fans, when Widnes Wild visited Blackburn Arena for the North West derby against the Blackburn Eagles. As with last weeks thriller at Nottingham, the visitors were down to a core of thirteen skaters with Greg Ruxton the sole netminder. The home side had eighteen outplayers and the experienced Phil Crosby in goal.

The match opened at a furious pace with Blackburn's big physical presence disrupting the smooth flow of the Widnes attack. It was the visitors who opened the scoring at 5.18 with Filip Supa and Lee Pollitt combining well on the right and allowing Shaun Dipnall to score from close in. Minor penalties against the home side gave the visitors numerical advantage, but the final pass or inaccurate shooting prevented them extending their lead. In the 10th minute extended Eagles pressure saw Greg Ruxton make a couple of excellent low saves. The pressure paid off and a defensive error on the right saw Wild disposessed and Jordan Ashington skating across the face of goal and beating Greg Ruxton with a reverse shot for the equaliser at 11.32. Wild stepped up a gear with Crosby making good saves from Brown and Supa. In a soradic Eagles attack Aaron Jordan hit a fierce shot from the left which crashed off the bar to safety. The period ended in controversy with Widnes finding the net on the buzzer, as the period ended. The 'goal' was ruled out, referee Andrew Miller ruling that the puck had entered the net after tbe buzzer had sounded.

The second period saw both netminders in early action with Supa and Vales prominent for the visitors. The home side stepped up the action, outshooting the visitors by two to one. Captain Matt Wainwright skated elusively through the Eagles defence at 36.40 but his shot was well saved. Two minutes later a Shaun Dipnall effort was well blocked by Crosby. As the period closed, some frustration was setting in for Widnes with solo efforts replacing a passing game as the team pressed for the lead.
The third period opened in sensational style - a speculative cross from the right taking a bizarre deflection off Greg Ruxton to give the home side the lead at 40.39. This spurred the Widnes fans, making up the majority of the crowd , into action and their ongoing support seemed to lift the team. A great break out from Filip Supa down the right, led to Tom Jackson firing in a powerful shot from inside the blue line.An apparent high elbow to the head led to further Wild frustration and Bez Hughes sitting a misconduct penalty at 43.10. Despite constant pressure from the visitors, Crosby made a series of vital stops. In an attempt to take something from the game, Wild called a time out at 52.19.
Desperate defence from the Eagles and minor penalties for charging and tripping saw Wild pressing and the equaliser came at 56.18 - a powerplay goal. Matt Wainwright and Shaun Dipnall combined for Filip Supa to find the net through a crowd of players around the net. Both sides seemed keen to retain a point but with just over half a minute remaining, sensationally, a penalty shot was awarded. With Crosby beaten, a defenceman prevented the puck crossing the line. After some confusion and a delay, Filip Supa, stepped up and as he veered to Phil Crosby's right the puck stopped in snow by the crease allowing the netminder to make a block.
Honours even then and it will be weeks before we can decide whether this was a point gained or a point lost ! Kieran Strangeway took the MVP for Wild and the team left the ice to rousing encouragement from the travelling support. The final period saw Wild outshoot the home side by 36 -14.

Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo by Steve Pollitt

Under 16 Match Report: Blackpool Seagulls 3 Blackburn Hawks 1

The away fixture back in November produced a narrow 2-3 victory of the Seagulls and this first competitive Lancashire derby at the new Fylde Coast Ice Arena was a similarly close-fought and nervy encounter.

After a goal-less first period, the tie was effectively settled with 3 goals in just over 4 minutes midway through the second period with strikes from Nathan Frankel (assist Lewis Bennett), Charles Ratcliffe (James Harvey-Dougherty) and Jacob Lutwyche (Charles Ratcliffe).

Netminder Harrison Walker looked to set to pick up a shut-out but those hopes were dashed with a Blackburn consolation goal from Haven Vincett (assist Oscar Wilding)  just 25 seconds from the final buzzer. MVPs were Harrison Walker (Seagulls) and Evan Corner (Hawks).

Photo above - there was a minute's applause before the game in honour of Blackburn Hawks GM who died just over a week ago.

Blackpool Junior Seagulls are second in the EIHA Under 16 North Division 2 table  with 6 wins from their 8 games to date. The next home game is on Sunday 22nd February against 5th place Grimsby - 4.45pm face off.  Entry is free but please note, there is currently nowhere to sit to watch the game... 

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 7th & 8th February

Widnes Wild picked up 3 points from 4 in a weekend that saw them stake their claim for the 4th and final play off place.  With a 12 point gap between Sheffield Senators in 3rd and Wild in 4th, it seems as if Solihull, Telford and Sens will occupy the top 3 places come the end of the season but Hull Jets have games in hand over all the teams above them.

Wild drew 2-2 away at Blackburn Eagles on Saturday and then dispatched Hull 5-3 at home on Sunday.

Deeside Dragons came away from Telford with an 8-8 draw with second place Tigers courtesy of a last minute equaliser by Chris Jones.  New signing Tomas Mitrik picked up his first Dragons goals with 3+0 and James Parsons top scored with 3+3. 

In the other game of the weekend, leaders Solihull Barons beat Nottingham Lions 7-2 to notch up their 23rd consecutive win of the season.  They are now 9 points clear at the top of the Laidler Conference with a game in hand over Telford Tigers. 

Photo: match action from Solihull Barons v Nottingham Lions - by Keith & Jenny Davies

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up 7th &8th February

A four point weekend for Sutton Sting saw the iceSheffield tenants propelled into the play off positions as they moved above defending champions Solway Sharks in to 3rd place.

Away wins at Sheffield Spartans on Saturday (1-3) and Whitley Warriors on Sunday (1-6) place the Sting well and truly in the mix, having spent much of the season in the bottom half of the table.

Blackburn Hawks took a step nearer to their first ever league title with an 8-4 win over Solway which also means that the Sharks are now mathematically unable to retain their title of the past two seasons. 

In the other Moralee game of the weekend, Billingham Stars kept their own slim title hopes alive with a 3-1 home win over Spartans. 

There is now an interesting battle emerging to avoid the relegation play off place that comes with finishing second from bottom. Having suffered their worst weekend of a hitherto reasonably successful season, Spartans are now locked in a duel with Whitley Warriors. Both team have 15 points and are 3 points adrift of the mid-table pack. If things go as planned, the second bottom team will play off home and away against the team that finishes 4th in the Laidler Conference - currently Widnes Wild - to see who will play in the Moralee Conference next season.

Photo: Goalmouth action from Billingham Stars v Sheffield Spartans - photo by Linda Crabtree


Sunday 8 February 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 8th February

Whitley Warriors  1 - Sutton Sting 6
Blackburn Hawks 8 - Solway Sharks 4
Billingham Stars 3 - Sheffield Spartans 1

Solihull Barons 7 - Nottingham Lions 2
Widnes Wild 5 - Hull Jets 3

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 0 - Chelmsford Chieftains 9
Milton Keynes Thunder 8 - Oxford City Stars 5
Streatham Redskins  2- London Raiders 4
Solent Devils 6  - Cardiff Devils 3

South 2 East:
Haringey Racers  2- Slough Jets 4
Chelmsford Warriors  7 - Lee Valley Lions 1

South 2 West:
Bristol Pitbulls  6- Wightlink Tigers 3
Basingstoke Buffalo - Swindon Wildcats

More to come - please check back!

Saturday 7 February 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 7th February

Moralee: Sheffield Spartans 1 - Sutton Sting 3

Telford Tigers 8 - Deeside Dragons 8
Blackburn Eagles 2 - Widnes Wild 2

South 1:
Bracknell Hornets 2 - Chelmsford Chieftains 4
Wightlink Raiders 2 - Streatham Redskins 3
Cardiff Devils 2 - Invicta Dynamos 6

South 2 East:
Peterborough Islanders 0 - Haringey Racers 4
Chelmsford Warriors 2 - Slough Jets 3

Photo: Peterborough Islanders' Connor Hunter takes a shot against Haringey netminder Niks Trapans.  The 17 year old Latvian born player - a Lee Valley Junior - stopped all 28 shots that came at him.  Photo by Richard Davies - 

Monday 2 February 2015

Laidler Match Report: Nottingham Lions 3 - Widnes Wild 6

For Sunday night's away game at the National Ice Centre, Wild were without injured Sam Dunford and Joe Greaves. Dan Bracegirdle was ill and Chris Preston along with Bobby Caunce were still unavailable. Nicole Jackson took her place as netminder with Josh Benstead as back up. New signing, Daniel Bullock, made his debut and Pavel Vales took his place in the line up. A good number of Widnes supporters had made the journey to the East Midlands.
In a closely fought first period Wild played a highly effective passing game mainly in the Nottingham end. Wild opened the scoring at 12.02 when a shot was blocked by Hovell and  Daniel Bullock followed up to force the puck over the line. Lee Pollitt, Filip Supa and Pavel Vales were all troubling the defence, with the Slovakian in an unaccustomed forward role. Debutant Daniel Bullock fired in several fierce shots and his physical presence was causing problems. At 18.40 a breakaway from Nottingham saw an angled shot saved high by Nicole Jackson and Kasprzak followed up and hit the puck out of the air for the equaliser. In the final minute a Bullock shot was just kept out by
Hovell, as it looked destined for the top corner.
Within two minutes of the restart, a Lee Pollitt check from behind, led to the forward fighting with Ben Wood with Pollitt taking a 2+10. At 24.42 another controverial incident by the Widnes goal saw Tom Jackson tussling with Lion, Reece Glossop. As officials moved in to separate the pair, the home forward continued to resist the officials attention. Jackson took a 2+2 call and Glossop was sent from the game. At 27.51, with Wild on the powerplay, the puck was worked to Callum Ruddick. The big defenceman crashed home a powerful shot to give Widnes a 2- 1 lead. After Supa, Vales and Brown continued to trouble the Lions defence, Nicole Jackson made two great stops from close range shots. She was helpless at 36.05, when Luke Thomas fired  in an angled shot from the right, which appeared to be deflected past the netminder to give the Lions an equaliser.
Shortbenched Wild were tiring as the 2nd period drew to a close.
The third period was less than four minutes old, when the Lions defence failed to clear the puck close to the net and the highly influential Lee Pollitt put Wild 3-2 ahead , from just outside the crease.
Widnes went further ahead at 47.54 when Supa and Dipnall combined well on the right. The bearded Dipnall found an unopposed Lee Pollitt on the left and he hammered a powerful angled shot between Hovells pads to give Wild a 4-2 lead.
After Nicole Jackson made a remarkable glove save , she was helpless when an unmarked Ben Wood took a cross ice pass, to score from close in at 54.27. With the game on a knife edge, Widnes broke up the right and Lee Pollitt's low shot was tipped in by Pavel Vales, directly in front of the netminder.
The decisive goal came at a vital time - 54.54. Sadly some of the ill feeling, evident throughout the game, boiled over and Ken Armstrong took 2+2  for holding followed by a roughing call. Lee Pollitt was left prone on the ice and veteran Stuart Parker was sent to the dressing room. After further unsavoury incidents in centre ice -with confusion reigning, the game resumed and Shaun Dipnall had ample time to fire home from in front of the net to give Wild a decisive 6 -3 lead at 59.44. With the clock ticking down. Lions captain Luke Thomas, was controversially sent to the dressing room, bringing an end to a game full of incident and at times, some excellent hockey
For a Wild team, missing five key players, it brought to an end a remarkable weekend - bringing four vital league points. Every player played a vital part as they focussed on a well devised game plan. Nicole Jackson took the MVP, foiling the Nottingham attack repeatedly with bravery and remarkable glove saves.
Wild travel to Blackburn on Saturday ( 17.40 face off) and then host in form Hull Jets ( 18.15 face off) on Sunday, with important league points at stake . One of the biggest crowds of the season is expected for the vital clash.
Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo by Geoff White

Laidler Match Report: Widnes Wild 4 - Nottingham Lions 3

With both Widnes and Nottingham in contention for play off spots, the double header weekend between the Wild and the Lions took on greater significance. For the Saturday night home game, Greg Ruxton took his place in goal and with Pavel Vales unavailable, young Sheffield based trainee Tom Barry was selected along with George Crawshaw. Josh Benstead backed up in goal. Bobby Caunce was on honeymoon and Chris Preston and Daniel Bullock were unavailable.
The game got off to a lively start with Wild pressing for an early goal.After just 50 seconds an incident near the Widnes goal saw both sides taking roughing penalties.Fierce shots from Supa and Greaves were both well saved by Gilfoyle. An incident in front of the benches saw Tom Ratcliffe and connor Glossop fighting. Both took 2+2 for roughing.At 10.42 Widnes took the lead when Filip Supa fired high into the top left corner. In a closely fought game both netminders were in regular action. At 19.25 a slow line change saw Lions Adam Andrews with an unopposed shot from centre ice which beat Greg Ruxton for the equaliser.
With the second period barely underway and Wild on the powerplay, Tom Barry and Bez Hughes combined to allow Joe Greaves to beat the netminder and put the home side 2-1 ahead at 21.57
Minutes later, the scorer was carried from the ice with what looked like a serious leg injury. After Filip Supa saw shots saved, Wild, after taking minor penalties, came under pressure. Shots were flying in and twice Nottingham shot wide from close in. Within minutes they had rattled the crossbar.
At 33.40, with Wild attacking, a sharp turn by Sam Dunford in the corner, saw him caught accidentally by a high stick. Blood poured from a mouth injury, leading to a long delay while the ice was cleaned. The player responsible was ejected from the game. Despite having a lengthy powerplay, Wild were struggling to control possession and shots on goal were few. As the Lions broke away into the Widnes end, a loose puck was cleverly passed up the ice by netminder Ruxton, allowing Shaun Dipnall to fire a cross ice pass to Filip Supa who beat Gilfoyle to put the home side 3-1 ahead at 38.16.
Nottingham changed their netminder for the final period and within minutes Tom Hovell had been called into action, saving from Pollitt and Supa - one low glove save to the left preventing a certain goal. Hovell then twice made remarkable stretch saves with his legs as Wild looked to clinch victory.
The goal of the game finally came for Widnes at 52.53. A flowing move down the right saw Shaun Dipnall finding Ben Brown with a peach of a pass. The speedy forward skating away from the goal, managed to lift the puck into the roof of the net using great skill and composure.A delighted home crowd rose after witnessing a goal to grace any game.
With just three minutes remaining, an occasional Nottingham attack, saw the puck come loose close in for Kieron Raynor to take a short pass from Ben Wood to force the puck into the net at 57.01. Worse was to come and hesitancy in defence allowed the dangerous Stuart Parker to fire home at 58.13. Widnes called a time out and managed to see the game out to take two vital league points. Ben Brown took the well deserved MVP for Wild.
The general concensus was that this was the game of the season to date. Hopefully a big crowd will fill the rink on Sunday night when the in form Hull Jets are the visitors.
Report by Dick Gillingham
Photo by Geoff White -

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 31st Jan / 1st Feb

League leaders Solihull Barons made in 22 wins in a row with yet another 4 point weekend.  They scored 33 goals and conceded just 3 in wins away at Bradford Bulldogs ( 2-19) and then at home to  Coventry (14-1).
The only other games of the weekend saw Widnes Wild beat Nottingham Lions home (4-3) and away (3-6) to climb up into 4th place in the table. 

The Barons are 8 points clear at the top of the table with games in hand over all the chasing clubs. The big question now would have to be whether any team is capable of taking a single point off them as they now look certain to take the Laidler title.    

Photo: goal action from Widnes Wild's home win against Nottingham Lions.
Photo by Geoff White -

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 31st Jan / 1st Feb

League leaders Blackburn Hawks took a step closer to their first ever league title with a 4 point weekend that saw their fellow Moralee conference contenders drop important points.

The Hawks won 9-4 at home to Whitley Warriors on Saturday night in a game that also saw a minute’s silence in honour of Hawks GM Alan Amos who died during the week and then won 3-5 away at Billingham Stars.

The Stars were on a roll having already won 2-5 away at Solway Sharks to hoist themselves into 2nd place in the table and were actually leading the Hawks 3-1 after two periods.  The Hawks dragged themselves back into the game but Billingham never gave up and actually played the last two minutes with no netminder as they threw an extra attacker into the mix.

Defending champions Solway Sharks rounded off a disappointing  “nul point” weekend losing 6-1 away at Sheffield Spartans, who at this rate, look good for a play off place.

In the other Moralee game of the weekend, second bottom Sutton Sting beat bottom club Manchester Minotaurs to keep in touch with the mid-table pack.

The mathematicians have been out in force and as things stand, Blackburn Hawks only need to win 3 of their remaining 8 games to secure the Moralee Conference title. Depending on the results of the other chasing teams – they play Solway on Sunday – it all could quite easily be decided before the end of February.

Photo: Blackburn Hawks goal against Billingham Stars - photo by John Milton

Sunday 1 February 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 1st February

Sheffield Spartans  6– Solway Sharks 1
Billingham Stars  3 – Blackburn Hawks 5

Solihull Barons 14 – Coventry Blaze 1
Nottingham Lions 3 – Widnes Wild 5

South 1:
Oxford City Stars6  – Cardiff Devils 6
Chelmsford Chieftains3  – Streatham Redskins 6
Milton Keynes Thunder 3 – Wightlink Raiders 3
Solent Devils 3 – Invicta Dynamos 7

South 2 West:
Wightlink Tigers 1 – Bristol Pitbulls 11

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

Photo: action from the Swindon Wildcats v Chelmsford Warriors South 2 Cup game -photo by Carol Light / Richjoda Photography