Monday 30 March 2015

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 28th & 29th March

In the only game left to play in the Moralee Conference, Sheffield Spartans clinched fourth place and the final play off berth with a 1-7 win in the iceSheffield derby against Sutton Sting. The Sting actually outshot the Spartans 37-33 and were only trailing 1-2 after one period but conceded 4 second period goals without reply and were unable to pull themselves back into the game. 

Reece Cairney Witter continued his record of picking up major penalties in big games by taking all bar 2 of Suttons 18 PIMs  in one incident towards the end of the second period.

Sheffield Spartans will now face league champions Blackburn Hawks in the 1st play off semi final at Dumfries on 11th April.  That game will face off at 1pm and be followed at 5pm by the second semi final between Billingham Stars and Solway Sharks.

Photo:  Sheffield Spartans celebrate qualifying for the Moralee Conference Play Offs.

Sunday Results At A Glance - 29th March

All of Sunday's NIHL results in one place:

Bradford Bulldogs 3 - Widnes Wild 10
Deeside Dragons 13 - Sheffield Senators 2
Nottingham Lions 2 - Solihull Barons 5 (Barons finish season with 100% record)

South 1 Cup Final - 2nd Leg
Invicta Dynamos 5 - Chelmsford Chieftains 3 (Invicta win 9-7 on aggregate)

South 1:
Solent Devils 5 - Milton Keynes Thunder 4

South 2 Cup Final:
Basingstoke Buffalo 2 - Slough Jets 7

Photos: Top - Invicta Dynamos celebrate their 2 legged South 1 Cup win over Chelmsford Chieftains (photo by Dave Trevallion)

Bottom - Slough Jets with the South 2 cup (photo by Flyfifer Photography

Saturday 28 March 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 28th March

Moralee: Sutton Sting 1 - Sheffield Spartans 7 (Spartans finish 4 and qualify for the play offs)

Sheffield Senators 5 - Coventry Blaze 3
Blackburn Eagles 3 - Deeside Dragons 4

South 1 Cup Final - First Leg
Chelmsford Chieftains 4 - Invicta Dynamos 4

South 1: London Raiders 3 - Cardiff Devils 3

South 2 Cup Semi Finals (at Oxford)
Basingstoke Buffalo 4 - Peterborough Islanders 2
Slough Jets 4 - Chelmsford Warriors 3 (Overtime)

Slough meet Basingstoke in tomorrow's final

Photo: Basingstoke Buffalo score against Peterborough Islanders in the South 2 Semi Final.  Photo by Flyfifer Photography.  More info on the S2 Cup weekend HERE

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 21st & 22nd March

Champions Solihull Barons saw off runners up Telford Tigers with back to back wins home and away. They came back from 2-0 down on Saturday night to win 6-9 and then followed up with an easier 11-2 home win in which they outshot the Tigers 72 to 36.  With South 2 champions Slough Jets losing away at Peterborough Islanders on Saturday, Solihull have the only 100% record left in the NIHL.  They have won all 31 games to date but have to travel away to Nottingham Lions in their final game in order to go through the whole season unbeaten.

Tigers have now finished their regular season schedule but 3rd place Sheffield Senators could catch them on points if they win their last two games of the season.  However, they would still remain in 3rd place overall because placings are decided on results between the two teams. Sens had another 4-point weekend with home and away wins over Nottingham Lions and they face two more teams below them - Coventry Blaze  and Deeside Dragons – next weekend.

4th place Widnes Wild also had a 4 point weekend with wins away at Coventry Blaze and Hull Jets. Hull beat bottom team Bradford Bulldogs the night before 10-2 and finish on 29 points from 28 games, having played a massive 8 games for double points this season.

So there are still lots of issues still to be decided for the season and don’t forget you will be able to follow all the play-off competitions here on and read about all the action from the 2014/15 season in the 2015 Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook which will be available to buy from October.    

Ice Hockey Review is the only publication on the planet that has league by league and team by stats for all NIHL South 1 & 2 teams and features all league, cup and playoff competitions.  

Photo: The Laidler Conference's two top scorers James Smith of Telford and Joe Henry of Solihull battle it out at Telford - photo by Keith & Jenny Davies  

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 21st & 22nd March

Billingham Stars clinched the runners up spot in the Moralee Conference with a 3-4 win away at local rivals Whitley Warriors in their last game of the season.

The resulting 2 points saw them leapfrog Solway Sharks and left the defending champions in 3rd place – their worst ever NIHL North 1 finish.

The final placings mean that Stars and Sharks will meet in the play off semi-final at Dumfries on 11th April.  Champions Blackburn Hawks must wait until next weekend to see who they will face in the other semi-final as the 4th play-off spot has yet to be decided.

The very last game of the regular Moralee season takes place at iceSheffield on Saturday between Sheffield Spartans and Sutton Sting.  Spartans currently occupy 4th place and a draw would be enough to keep them in the coveted spot but, if Sutton win, they will take 4th place and play at Dumfries instead.
So there are still lots of issues still to be decided for the season and don’t forget you will be able to follow all the play-off competitions here on and read about all the action from the 2014/15 season in the 2015 Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook which will be available to buy from October.    

Ice Hockey Review is the only publication on the planet that has league by league and team by stats for all NIHL South 1 & 2 teams and features all league, cup and playoff competitions.  

Sunday 22 March 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 22nd March

Whitley Warriors 3 - Billingham Stars 4

Hull Jets 4 - Widnes Wild 6
Soilhull Barons 11 - Telford Tigers 2
Nottingham Lions 3 - Sheffield Senators 5

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 2 - Streatham Redskins 7
Wightlink Raiders 9 - Cardiff Devils 0
Chelmsford Chieftains 2 - Oxford City Stars 2
Milton Keynes Thunder 6 - London Raiders 2
Solent Devils 4 - Bracknell Hornets 2

South 2 West:
Swindon Wildcats 2 - Wightlink Tigers 6

Saturday 21 March 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 21st March

Telford Tigers 6 - Solihull Barons 9
Coventry Blaze 1 - Widnes Wild 6
Hull Jets - Bradford Bulldogs
Sheffield Senators 3 - Nottingham Lions 1

South 1:
London Raiders 5 - Solent Devils 4
Bracknell Hornets 3 - Streatham Redskins 5
Wightlink Raiders 2 - Chelmsford Chieftains 2
Cardiff Devils 7 - Oxford City Stars 5

South 2 East:
Peterborough Islanders 9 - Slough Jets 3 (Slough Jets first defeat of the season in any competition)
Haringey Racers 0 - Lee Valley Lions 10

South 2 West:
Bristol Pitbulls 4 - Basingstoke Buffalo 0

More to come - please check back!

Photo: Peterborough Islanders 9 - Slough Jets 3 by Richard Davies -

Friday 20 March 2015

Jared Owen To Leave Blackburn Hawks

Blackburn Hawks have announced that head coach Jared Owen is to leave the club at the end of the season.  The move is down to his work commitments and so that he can spend more time with his family.  Owen has been player coach at Hawks for 5 seasons and brought them their first ever league title this season. 

He will step down after the Hawks' 25th Anniversary game on 25th April. An announcement about his successor will be made after the Moralee Conference play offs at Dumfries.

More info from

Photo: Blackburn Hawks Player Coach Jared Owen by John Milton

Wednesday 18 March 2015

NIHL North Laidler Conference Play Off Weekend Details Announced

The Laidler Conference Play Offs will be held over Easter Weekend at Solihull Ice Rink.
Semi final 1  will be played on Saturday 4th April between  Solihull Barons and Widnes Wild and Semi Final 2 will be on Sunday 5th April between  Telford Tigers and Sheffield Senators.

The two semi final winners will meet in the final on Easter Monday. All matches face off at 6.30pm.
Ticket Prices are as follows:
Single Match:   Adults £10-00 Child/Concessions £5.00 Family £25.00
Special Week End Offer:  Adults £25.00 Child/Concessions £12.50 Family £60.00...

Weekend tickets are only available until 31st March.  

Various sponsorship and advertising packages are also available. 

To order tickets or discuss sponsorships options, contact John Butler by email at   or  telephone on 0121 770 8000 (business hours only)

Follow all the Laidler Play Off news on the dedicated Facebook page HERE

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up 14th & 15th March

Solihull Barons sealed the Laidler Conference title with an emphatic 4-16 win away at local rivals Coventry Blaze on Saturday night and then consolidated their position with a 4-7 double point win away at Hull Jets.

The Barons have won all 28 league games they have played to date but have back to back home and away games against second place Telford Tigers  next weekend before finishing off their league campaign with a tough away fixture on 29th March.  The Tigers had a four point weekend themselves - with home wins over Hull Jets (8-0) and Bradford Bulldogs (15-1) - and look fairly safe in second place but they could still be mathematically caught by Sheffield Senators who are 6 points behind but have 4 games left to play.

Deeside Dragons also had a four point weekend - winning 7-4 away at Bradford Bulldogs and then 8-2 at home to Coventry Blaze - but are out of the running for the playoffs. They currently sit in 5th place but could still be overtaken by Nottingham Lions who are two points behind and have a game in hand.

Details of the Laidler Play Off weekend at Solihull have been announced.

Semi final 1  will be played on Saturday 4th April between  Solihull Barons and Widnes Wild and Semi Final 2 will be on Sunday 5th April between  Telford Tigers and Sheffield Senators.

The two semi final winners will meet in the final on Easter Monday. All matches face off at 6.30pm.

Special price Weekend tickets are available and you can find out more HERE

Photo: Solihull Barons celebrate winning the Laidler Conference title at Coventry on Saturday night. Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies. 

Monday 16 March 2015

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up 14th & 15th March

Blackburn Hawks finished the league season unbeaten with a 12-1 home win over bottom team Manchester Minotaurs on Sunday night but they very nearly lost that coveted "invincibles" tag 24 hours earlier away in  Sheffield.

The Spartans are one of only two teams to take league points off Blackburn this season (the other being Sutton Sting) and they were leading 4-2 going into the 3 period.    The Hawks managed to pull it back to 4-4 but then it looked as if Sheffield had snatched a last gasp winner with just 16 seconds to go - but the goal was disallowed by referee Hamilton for a man in the crease. 

Hawks finish massive 15 points ahead of second place Solway Sharks - who could still be overtaken by 3rd place Billingham Stars who have their last game of the regular season away at Whitley Warriors next Sunday. 

Sharks finished off their own league campaign with a 2-3 win away at Whitley. The Warriors had beaten Minotaurs 1-8 away on Saturday but are resigned to a second bottom finish. They will now face a two legged Promotion / Relegation play off with Widnes Wild on 11th & 12th April.

Photo:  All 4 Brittle brothers on the ice together in Sheffield Spartans v Blackburn Hawks - by John Milton

Sunday Results At A Glance - 15th March

Whitley Warriors 2 - Solway Sharks 3
Blackburn Hawks 12 - Manchester Minotaurs 1
Billingham Stars 7 - Sutton Sting 3

Hull Jets 4 - Solihull Barons 7 (Double Point Game)
Telford Tigers 15 - Bradford Bulldogs 1
Deeside Dragons 8 - Coventry Blaze 2
Nottingham Lions 7 - Blackburn Eagles 3 (Double Point Game)

Solihull Barons are champions

South 1:
London Raiders 1 - Wightlink Raiders 5
Chelmsford Chieftains 1 - Bracknell Hornets 2
Streatham Redskins 7 - Invicta Dynamos 4
Milton Keynes Thunder 5- Cardiff Devils 0

Chelmsford Chieftains are champions

South 2 West:
Wightlink Tigers 1 - Basingstoke Buffalo 4

Saturday 14 March 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 14th March

Sheffield Spartans 4 - Blackburn Hawks 4
Manchester Minotaurs 1 - Whitley Warriors 8

Bradford Bulldogs 4 - Deeside Dragons 7
Coventry Blaze 3 - Solihull Barons 16
Telford Tigers 8 - Hull Jets 0 (Double Point Game)
Blackburn Eagles - Sheffield Senators

Widnes Wild confirmed in 4th place.

South 1:
Bracknell Hornets 4 - Oxford City Stars 4
Cardiff Devils 1 - Chelmsford Chieftains 5

South 2 East:
Haringey Racers 2 - Slough Jets 3
Chelmsford Warriors 5 - Invicta Mustangs 1

South 2 West:
Basingstoke Buffalo 9 - Wightlink Tigers 2
Bristol Pitbulls 5 - Swindon Wildcats 2

More to come - please check back!

Friday 13 March 2015

Tony Hand To Retire At End Of Season

The unique British ice hockey talent that is Tony Hand will hang up his skates at the end of the current season after a senior career of almost 35 years to concentrate on coaching at EPL side Manchester Phoenix. 

Tony made his senior debut for Murrayfield Racers in 1981 at the age of 14 and went on to become the finest player this country has ever produced.
He was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers' in 12th round (252nd and last overall) of 1986 NHL entry draft – the first British player to do so – and iced alongside Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.
He rejected a contract to play junior over in the States and their loss was Britain's gain.
Returning to the UK, his legacy and ability to be there at the right time and provide a killer pass was homed.
He won the Heineken League Premier title with Murrayfield Racers that year and then went on to represent Great Britain Under-21's in Pool C of the World Championships in Denmark - winning a bronze medal.
Goals and assists flowed and Hand stayed with Murrayfield and then Edinburgh until 1995-6 season when he moved to Sheffield.
There, he was part of the Steelers side that won the playoffs in 1997-8 before he iced two seasons with Ayr Scottish Eagles (1999-2001).
In 2001, Hand's coaching career began at Dundee and he returned to Edinburgh to coach the Capitals (03-04, 05-06) which sandwiched a year in Belfast.
In 2004, Hand received an MBE for services to ice hockey and two years later was named as head coach of the Manchester Phoenix - and there he won the EPL League title twice and the EPL Play-Off crown.
He was also head coach of GB Men’s team from 2011-2013 bringing full circle a career for the National Team that saw him play in Pool A in 1994.
Tony Hand said:  I'm leaving the playing side of the sport with no regrets and with some great memories,” Hand said. “I have enjoyed my career, given everything I have had and now I'm happy to move on to another chapter.
This year has been tough for me but in any case you have to give new blood a chance and you can't do that with all us old boys hanging around! It will be sad to step off the ice, but I have to realistic and it will be exciting to not only concentrate on coaching but help the Phoenix' business too.
More than 30 years as a pro is way too long but it has been very enjoyable. I have met so many nice people and have so many friends in hockey. I gave everything for every team I played for.
Now I have to look forward to these last few weeks and getting ready for the play-offs and the run in. Then I will focus on next season and continuing Phoenix' success alongside Neil Morris.”
Photo: John Milton's spookily premonitary image of Hand running the bench in Manchester Phoenix's ECCN cup game at Blackburn Hawks earlier in the season -

Vote for Your Favourite NIHL Moralee Player!

This year for the first time the fans can vote for their favourite NIHL North player as part of the Pro Hockey News Moralee Conference Player Awards.  The awards will be presented at the Moralee Play Off Weekend at Dumfries in April and will also be featured in depth in the 2015 edition of the Ice Hockey Review NIHL yearbook.

The other awards are voted for by the Moralee clubs and include Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year. 

The Awards are organised by Pro Hockey news UK Editor Chris Mackenzie who is also Co-Author and NIHL North Editor for Ice Hockey Review yearbook. This is the 3rd year that they have been presented.   

To vote for your favourite NIHL North Moralee player, follow the link HERE

Voting closes this Sunday - 15th March.     

Photo: The 2014 awards presentation - left to right Charles Dacres, EIHA Vice President, Lynn Faber - Sheffield Spartans GM, Adam Brittle of Blackburn Hawks (Player Of The Year), Martin Grubb of Solway Sharks (Coach of the Year), Chris Mackenzie - awards organiser.  Photo by David Morrison -

Tuesday 10 March 2015

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

Widnes Wild enjoyed a 4 point weekend with home wins over Coventry Blaze (6-2) and Bradford Bulldogs (10-0) which keeps them on track for a fourth place finish and coveted promotion playoff against the second bottom team in the Moralee Conference.

League leaders Solihull Barons stretched their 100% record for the season thus far to 27 games with a 7-5 win over Deeside Dragons  

Second place Telford Tigers were without a game at the weekend and have 4 games left – one of which is a double pointer at home to Hull Jets – to try and make up the 10 point gap with the Barons.  However, their last two games are home and away against the Barons who they have failed to beat this season so far. 

Third place Sheffield Senators won 1-8 away in Hull and are assured of a third place finish – and the third automatic promotion place

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, Blackburn Eagles inflicted Bradford’s second defeat of the weekend with a last minute goal sealing a close fought 5-6 encounter.

The Eagles – having their best season results- wise for many a year are currently second bottom in  the table but are now just 1 point behind 8th place Coventry Blaze with 3 games left to play.

Photo; Widnes Wild GB women's international netminder Nicole Jackson received the MVP award for her shut out against Bradford Bulldogs. Photo by Geoff White -   

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 7th & 8th March

Blackburn Hawks picked up their second shut-out in a row with a 0-3 win away at Sutton Sting with a result that must surely cast doubts over the iceSheffield-based team’s abilities to reach the end of season play offs . It was the second time in two meetings that the Hawks had blanked the Sting and marks a huge change in fortunes as Sutton are one of only two teams to have taken a point off Blackburn this season in a 2-2 draw back in September – the other team to do so being Sheffield Spartans.

Solway Sharks and Billingham Stars both confirmed their own play-off berths, with Sharks beating Whitley Warriors 5-3 at home on Saturday and then winning 5-13 away at Manchester Minotaurs on Sunday. Billingham Stars capped a bad weekend all round for the Warriors by beating them 6-2 in the North East derby – a result which almost certainly condemns Warriors to the relegation playoff.

Sheffield Spartans beat Manchester Minotaurs on their own patch 3-5   and could still overtake Sutton for the final play off place. Both teams have two games left to play with Spartans at home to Blackburn and Sting away at Billingham before the pair meet at iceSheffield in the last game of the regular season.

Photo: action from Sutton Sting v Blackburn Hawks by John Milton -

Sunday 8 March 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 8th March

Sutton Sting 0 - Blackburn Hawks 3 (2nd consecutive shut out and 6th of the Morale campaign)
Manchester Minotaurs 5 - Solway Sharks 13
Billingham Stars 6 - Whitley Warriors 2

Hull Jets - Sheffield Senators
Solihull Barons 7 - Deeside Dragons 5
Widnes Wild 10 - Bradford Bulldogs 0 (Nicole Jackson shut out)

South 1:
Invicta Dynamos 6 - London Raiders 2 (Dynamos secure 2nd place...)
Milton Keynes Thunder - Chelmsford Chieftains
Streatham Redskins - Oxford City Stars
Solent Devils - Wightlink Raiders

South 2 East:
Lee Valley Lions - Chelmsford Warriors

South 2 West:
Cardiff Devils - Bristol Pitbulls

More to come - please check back!

Saturday 7 March 2015

Saturday Results At A Glance - 7th March

Manchester Minotaurs 3 - Sheffield Spartans 5
Solway Sharks 5 - Whitley Warriors 3

Widnes Wild 6 - Coventry Blaze 2
Bradford Bulldogs 5 - Blackburn Eagles 6

South 1:
Wightlink Raiders 6 - Invicta Dynamos 3
Oxford City Stars  3 - Chelmsford Chieftains 11

South 2 East:
Peterborough Islanders 6 - Chelmsford Warriors 4
Invicta Mustangs 4 - Haringey Racers 0 (First win after 19 attempts)
Slough Jets 6 - Lee Valley Lions 3

South 2 West:
Swindon Wildcats 3 - Basingstoke Buffalo 4

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Moralee Play Off Weekend Tickets Now On Sale

The Moralee Conference Play Offs will take place at Dumfries Ice Bowl on 11th and 12th April 2015 and weekend tickets are now on sale at £20.95 each.

The ticket allows the bearer access to both semi finals which will be held on the Saturday and then final on the Sunday. 

Blackburn Hawks have definitely qualified and look certain to be joined by Billingham Stars who are currently second and Solway Sharks who are just one point behind in 3rd.  The fourth play off spot looks to be closely contested between Sutton Sting - who are currently 4th and Sheffield Spartans.  Both of those teams have 3 games left to play and meet in the last game of the season in a potential deciding encounter at iceSheffield on 28th March.

Whoever plays in the two semi finals, a play off weekend is always a great occasion to be enjoyed by all.

To purchase tickets follow the link HERE

Photo:  Blackburn Hawks v Billingham Stars dramatic penalty shoot out in the 2014 semi final at Dumfries.  Photo by John Milton -

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Laidler Conference Weekend Round Up - 28th Feb / 1st March

Widnes Wild strengthened their hold on 4th place with a four point weekend from a 2-1 win over local rivals Deeside Dragons on Saturday night and a 9-2 victory over Blackburn Eagles on Sunday.

Sheffield Senators hammered bottom team Bradford Bulldogs 21-0 and look certain to finish in 3rd place - and an automatic promotion spot - as they have a 12 point cushion over Widnes, who only have 5 games left to play. 

Hull Jets, Deeside Dragons and Nottingham Lions all have games in hand over Wild and could mathematically still catch them, although a superb run of form would be needed in each case.

From that chasing pack, Nottingham had the best results of the weekend win 3 points from a 1-6 win away at Coventry and a 2-2 draw at home to 2nd place Telford Tigers. Deeside Dragons lost both of their weekend matches - away at Widnes 2-1 and at home to league leaders Solihull Barons 5-6 while Hull Jets lost 6-3 away at Blackburn in what was the Eagles' first win since November.

Photo: Match action from Deeside Dragons v Solihull Barons - by Peter Sheffield /

Moralee Conference Weekend Round Up - 28th Feb / 1st March

Sheffield Spartans pulled to within two points of 4th place Sutton Sting after their 6-3 home win over bottom team Manchester Minotaurs on Saturday night.

The Sting lost 4-2 away at Solway Sharks the same evening, meaning the Sharks now look safe in 3rd place with a 3 point cushion and three games left to play. 

The big news on Sunday evening came at Blackburn as the Hawks were presented with the Moralee Conference trophy after their penultimate home game of the season.

The presentation came after a fascinating 2-0 win over 2nd place Billingham Stars which remained at an agonisingly close 1-0 scoreline until the very last minute of the game. The Stars pulled their netminder to try and press for a late equaliser  and Hawks' Jordan Bannon made sure of the win with an Empty Net Goal at 59.12.

Photo: Jordan Bannon with the Moralee Conference trophy - photo by John Milton

Sunday 1 March 2015

Sunday Results At A Glance - 1st March 2015

South 1 Cup Semi Finals - 2nd Leg

Invicta Dynamos 7 - Wightlink Raiders 3 (Invicta go through 9-6 on aggregate)

Chelmsford Chieftains 5 - Streatham Redskins 4 ( 8 -8 on aggregate)
 0-0 in overtime and Chelmsford Chieftains win on Penalty Shots

Blackburn Hawks 2 - Billingham Stars 0 (Dan Brittle 23 shot shut out)

Sheffield Senators 21 - Bradford Bulldogs 0
Widnes Wild 9 - Blackburn Eagles 2
Deeside Dragons 5 - Solihull Barons 6
Nottingham, Lions 2 - Telford Tigers 2

South 1: Milton Keynes Thunder 2 - Cardiff Devils 4

South 2 West: Basingstoke Buffalo 11 - Wightlink Tigers 1

Photo: Sheffield Senators celebrate promotion from NIHL North Laidler Conference - photo by Gavin Rawson