Saturday 30 January 2016

NIHL North Play Off Dates Announced - Update 1st February

The play offs for both the Moralee and Laidler conferences will held at iceSheffield over the weekend of 9th & 10th April in one mega- weekend of ice hockey.  The four semi finals will be played on the Saturday and the two finals on the Sunday. Weekend tickets covering all SIX games will cost £30 for adults and £15 for under 16s.

Ticketing arrangements have now changed from what was originally announced last week. Tickets are NOT available to purchase direct from IceSheffield at this time.

Instead: each individual club in NIHL NORTH has been given an initial allocation of 100 tickets each for the weekend.  These are being sold from TODAY via YOUR club so you need to check on your own club’s website and social media outlets to see how this is being handled.

Any unsold allocations that are returned by clubs will then be put on sale on 1st March, apparently.  We hope to be able to post more information about that once it is available. 

Poster courtesy of Bryan Shuttleworth (Blackburn Hawks)

Chelmsford Chieftains Win South East Cup

Chelmsford Chieftains picked up the first piece of silverware of the 2015/16 season after they beat Invicta Dynamos 9-1 on Thursday evening to secure the South East Cup.

The cup is being played for between 4 teams - Chelmsford, Invicta, Streatham Redskins and London Raiders with each team playing the others once home and once away.  Not all the games have been completed yet but the Chieftains have already won the group with 5 wins from games and, as such, can’t be caught.

In Thursday’s - rather one sided - game the Chieftains were already 4-0 up at the end of the first period and outshot the Dynamos overall 56 to 20. Top scorer for the home side was Juraj Huska with 3+1 and the Invicta consolation was scored by Arran Strawson on 29.36 on a delayed penalty call.

Another interesting aspect of the game was that netminding brothers Ewan and Damien King were at opposing ends of the ice, playing for Chelmsford and Invicta respectively.    

You can find out more about the South East Cup here:

Photo: Chelmsford Chieftains captain Julian Smith holding the South East Cup with Letitia Chapple. (Photo by Steve Sutherland, Ice Cold Photography  - )

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Match Report: Haringey Racers 3 - Swindon Wildcats 5

Racers missed this chance to book their place in the Cup semi-finals and will now need to get a result away in Swindon next weekend. The Wildcats played well at times – and rode their luck at others – to take a 5-3 victory back to Wiltshire.

In the middle of the first period, Haringey hit some penalty trouble, giving the Wildcats a lengthy 5-on-3 power-play. Adam Finlinson converted high in the far-side top corner with the two-man advantage before adding a second on the nearside moments later when 5-on-4. Racers got on the board when Perry Richardson found Josh Ealey-Newman in front of goal with the talented youngster spinning to score past Graeme Bird. The Wildcats got lucky shortly after when two separate Drew Campbell efforts pinged off the post and crossbar with Bird beaten.  

Haringey lost Luke Tull on a spearing Match Penalty near the end of the period and early in the second, on the extended power-play, Swindon notched up a third when Ian Shepherd saved Jordan Kelsall’s initial shot but could not stop the puck squirming into the goal. Finlinson completed his hat-trick firing high into the top corner to give the visitors a 4-1 lead at the end of the second period.

Racers fought back in the third session. Matt Brown fired home after Dan Clayton’s pass put him through on goal and Campbell made it 4-3 after Dan Peters found him from behind the net. This led to a period of sustained pressure from Haringey but the Swindon goal led a charmed life all game. In addition to shots hitting the pipework, netminder Bird fumbled many shots which either trickled the wrong side of the post or stopped on the line. He looked shaky throughout and surely won’t be so lucky in the return game. A late goal from Nathan Chilcott made the game safe for Swindon.  

Racers scoring: Josh Ealey-Newman 1+0, Matt Brown 1+0, Drew Campbell 1+0, Perry Richardson 0+1, Dan Clayton 0+1, Dan Peters 0+1

Wildcats scoring: Adam Finlinson 3+0, Jordan Kelsall 1+1, Nathan Chilcott 1+0, Ben Nethersell 0+3, Kyle Smith 0+1, Daniel Sullivan 0+1
Shots on Goal: 28 on Ian Shepherd and 12 on Niks Trapans (Racers); 42 on Graeme Bird (Wildcats)
Man of the Match: Matt Brown (Racers); Jackson Price (Wildcats)
Report by Tim Stuart

Match Report: Bradford Bulldogs 5 - Widnes Wild 8

Widnes Wild continued their great form when they travelled to Bradford on Saturday evening. They welcomed young defenseman Joe Gilbert (in photo - by to their line up whilst Kieron Strangeway, Calum Ruddick, Ben Brown, Pavel Vales & Danny Bullock were all unavailable for selection.

The game started at a quick pace with both sides sharing good scoring opportunities, but it would be Scott Mckenzie that opened the scoring for the Wild, utilising good build up team play which would see the player coach find space and fire an unstoppable slap shot past former Wild netminder Nicole Jackson. This opener was then added to with a goals from Geoff Wigglesworth and two from Wild Captain Shaun Dippnall within the opening 10 minutes of the game. Bradford managed to claw a goal back but Mckenzie replied almost straight away to end the period 5-1 to the Wild.

The Wild chose to change their net minder to start the 2nd period with the experienced Greg Ruxton being replaced by Wild prospect Josh Benstead.  An early goal from Geoff Wigglesworth followed by McKenzie’s hat-trick goal made it 7-1. However, a cricket score was not on the cards as the Bulldogs showed the tenacity alluded to by their name and would not give up. They came back with two quick goals to bring the game to within 4 goals at 7-3 before Widnes Wild defenceman Lee Kemp found himself on the scoresheet with a strike just before the buzzer sounded to end the second period 8-3 in the Wild’s favour.

Nicole Jackson in the Bradford net faced a massive 29 shots in the third period without conceding any more goals to the Wild and her incredible performance inspired her team to score two unanswered and deserved goals to bring the score line back to a credible 8-5 in favour of the Widnes Wild. Joe Gilbert would collect the man of the match award for the Wild after a sterling display on his debut.

Whilst an entertaining game but not one necessarily for the season highlights reel the Wild returned to Halton with another two points banked and maintaining their second spot in the league.

Widnes Wild return to action this Sunday to face the Blackburn Eagles, tickets can be purchased through box office at Silver Blades Widnes 0151 420 7930. Alternatively email; for further information.

To catch up with all the highlights from the season so far, click on the link below;

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend of 23rd & 24th January 2016

Altrincham Aces score away at Nottingham Lions
Photo by Urban Scot Photography
Second place Widnes Wild closed up slightly on leaders Deeside Dragons – who didn’t play at the weekend with a 5-8 win away at Bradford Bulldogs. Widnes were 1-5 up by the first break and never really looked like losing this game, in which they outshot their hosts

New Widnes signing - Telford under 18 player Joe Gilbert - picked up an assist on his first outing for the Wild and was named MVP for his new team.

It was a weekend of two halves for former league leaders Nottingham Lions. They beat bottom team Coventry Blaze 2-4 in Saturday night in a lively game that saw 162 PIM being handed out (Blaze 85 – Lions 77).   Blaze were actually 2-0 up at one point and all Lions 4 goals came in the last period.  The 4th came in the very last minute as Coventry pulled their netminder in the hope of snatching a GTG.

On Sunday night, the Lions were beaten in their own den 1-2 by ever the improving Altrincham Aces. In a strangely lopsided game, all three goals came in the first period and what would turn out to be the winner was actually scored by Mikey Gilbert at 4.26.

The Lions remain in 3rd place – three points behind Widnes Wild but having played a game more. Blackburn Eagles are in 4th and are 6 points clear of Aces in the battle for the final play-off position.  Both team have ten games left to play and will meet each other once more home and away before the end of the season. 


Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend of 23rd & 24th January 2016

Match action from Solway Sharks v Whitley Warriors
Photo by Duncan Speirs
A 4-point weekend for second place Whitley Warriors saw them gain ground on leaders Blackburn Hawks.  The Warriors won 1-2 away at Solway Sharks on Saturday night and then beat Sheffield Senators 3-1 in the North East on Sunday.  

The Hawks had made a good start to weekend by hammering Billingham Stars 10-0 in front of a bumper 950 home crowd. They outshot the visitors 55 to 24 and the goals and assists were shared among 14 different players.

It was a different story on Sunday night away at Solihull Barons who inflicted an 8-4 defeat on the league leaders. The Barons led throughout and, at one point, were 7-2 ahead.  Widnes Wild’s player coach and former EPL forward Scott McKenzie guested for the Barons and top scored with 1+3.

The Barons also won 1-2 away at Sheffield Spartans on Saturday to notch their own second 4 point weekend of the season.

Scott McKenzie guested for Solihull Barons
and scored 1+3 against Blackburn Hawks
(Photo by Keith & Jenny Davies)
Those results mean that the Barons are now clear in 3rd place – 4 points ahead of Telford Tigers who didn’t play at the weekend.

At the top of the table, the Hawks lead by 5 points but second place Whitley have one game in hand.

In the other Moralee games of the weekend, Sutton Sting picked up back to back wins over iceSheffield rivals Sheffield Spartans, winning the “home” game 7-3 and the away game 2-7 and Solway Sharks won 4-7 away at Billingham on Sunday.

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Deeside Dragons back to Council Ownership after Red Hockey Rift

In a development that has striking similarities to the manner in which the Red Hockey backed Manchester Phoenix EPL team had their ice facilities at Altrincham ice rink removed last summer, it has been announced that Flintshire County Council have cancelled their arrangement with Red Hockey over the operation of the Deeside Dragons NIHL team and have re-taken control of the club.   

Ian Bancroft, Chief Officer Organisational Change at Flintshire County Council said, "Flintshire County Council as of Thursday, 14 January was hoping to resume operational responsibility for Deeside Dragons Ice Hockey team, who are based at Deeside Leisure Centre. Since the Summer the Council has been in negotiations with Red Hockey Ltd to develop the ice arena and the team. These negotiations have broken down with both parties seeking an exit strategy to conclude relations.

"At all times Flintshire County Council has tried to reach agreement in a positive manner with Red Hockey Ltd. However despite best efforts this could not be achieved given Red Hockey's inability to conclude financial and contractual arrangements with us. The Council made clear it's position to Red Hockey early last Thursday after seeking unsuccessfully a number of reassurances through normal communication channels about Red Hockey's willingness to complete contracts.

 "The Council is committed to ensuring protection of the interests of the team and ice hockey in Deeside. Insecurity and indecision about future arrangements would not have helped this to be achieved. As a result, the Council will be supporting the team to move forward with the intention of ensuring its continued involvement in the league this year and the future operation of the team. While we are disappointed the relationship with Red Hockey Ltd has not progressed as planned, we will work with Deeside Dragons and the ice hockey league to find the best way forward for the team."

Red Hockey said: “Red Hockey can confirm that they were advised on Saturday, January 16th, that Flintshire County Council had ended negotiations concerning the transfer of ownership of Deeside Dragons and taken back control of the club with immediate effect.

“Red Hockey are extremely disappointed with the manner in which FCC have chosen to conduct themselves, having ignored all normal channels of communication and announced their decision to Red Hockey’s staff immediately before Saturday’s game.

“We are particularly disappointed for the Dragons staff and fans, with the team being on the verge of a championship win, FCC have acted in a way that can only cause disruption at a key point in the season and cast doubt over the future of a number of vital coaching and team members.

“Whilst Red Hockey have made offers to resolve these issues amicably, the recent behaviour of FCC has denied the club and the area the opportunity of substantial further investment, building on the current season of success, and suggests that they are intent on a course of conduct which can only be destructive to the interests of the club and the fans. We wish to thank the staff and fans at Deeside Dragons and wish them the very best for the future.”

As you will be aware, we here at Ice Hockey Review are very keen supporter of NIHL hockey and hope that all goes well with the Dragons at this important time in their season. We will follow developments on this story and post more news once it becomes available.

Report: Peterborough Islanders 7 - Slough Jets 1

Islanders' James Pentecost
(photo by Richard Davies / Chud Photography)
The Islanders made it 10 wins in a row with a victory over the Slough Jets on Saturday.  Slough had been struggling with form coming into the game and were unsurprisingly considered heavy underdogs.

From the drop of the first puck this seemed evident as the Isles controlled the pace of the game. The Jets kept up strong pressure on the puck throughout the period, but picked up a holding penalty early on and allowed the Isles power play a chance to line up. It took just 11 seconds for Nathan Pollard to capitalise on the opportunity and return the Jets to five skaters. This made little difference as, 36 seconds later, Pollard netted his second of the night.

The rest of the period continued with an onslaught of Islanders pressure. Pentecost found Johnston out of position and slotted the puck into the corner for the Isles third goal and his third point of the night. Shaun Yardley and Conor Pollard also picked up two assists a piece for their efforts.

The Islanders started the second period 3-0 up and found themselves once again struggling to keep the same pace up. In contrast to the first period, the game slowed down and complacency set in. The Isles registered just 12 shots - less than half their first period tally. Fortunately, Dale Jowett was able raise sprits when he chalked up his first goal of the year, courtesy of an assist from Connor Stokes, a favour Jowett was able to return in the third period.

The Isles had a chance to make it 5-0 just 5 minutes later, but had the goal waved off by referee Will Hewitt who blew the whistle quickly after he lost site of the puck. Unfortunately for the Islanders, the puck was still uncovered just an inch off the line. They swept it in, but just a split second too late.

This confusion caused some Islanders heads to go and they lost all shape. The Jets Rob Johnston found himself free in front of an empty net as the puck bobbled free and he took the chance to ruin what would have otherwise been a clean sheet for Dan Lane.

With the second period tied at 1-1 the Islanders had a point to prove in the third. They upped their game once more and added three more goals to the scoreline. Stokes finished off Jowett’s set up, Cleves and N.Pollard linked up to find Yardley back door on the power play and Bavin combined with line mates Stokes and Jowett to close off the the scoring for the evening.

The 7-1 victory keeps the streak alive for the Islanders, but they will have to work on maintaining consistency throughout to challenge for the league title. Rivals Chelmsford also won at the weekend, but seem a bit off their game after very narrowly pulling off a come from behind victory over the London Racers. If the Islanders keep their foot on the pedal it should be a very exciting end to the season when the two face off twice in March.

The Islanders face Invicta away next weekend, but invite them back to Peterborough on January 30th

Report: Widnes Wild 10 - Coventry Blaze 3

Photo by Geoff White -
The Widnes Wild continued their fantastic home form on a cold Sunday evening at Silver Blades Ice Rink Widnes, beating the Coventry Blaze 10-3 to claim yet another 2 league points. The Wild now comfortably hold 2nd place in the league standings three points ahead of 3rd placed team Nottingham Lions.

The Wild started the game well, with some early chances on goal but it would be the Blaze that would get an early lead against the run of play. A quick counter attacking goal alongside a shot from the blue line squeezing through Wild netminder Greg Ruxton giving the visitors a 2-0 lead. A shell-shocked Wild would get one back before the break though, George Crawshaw making a rink wide pass to December’s Supporters Player of the Month Michal Fico who would fire a hard low shot past the Blaze netminder and ending the period 2-1 to the Blaze.

Wild came out quickly in the 2nd period and would be back on level terms almost straight away, Chris Preston would be the unlikely hero, driving wide with the puck and firing high to tie the game at 2-2. Player Coach Scott Mckenzie scored 2 goals in quick succession with Geoff Wigglesworth adding salt in the wounds of the Blaze players to make it 5-2 at the end of the 2nd session.

Early goals in the 3rd period from Captain Shaun Dippnall & Kieron Strangeway made it 7-2 to the Wild. Coventry would get a consolation goal to make it 7-3 but further strikes from Scott Mckenzie, his hat-trick on the evening, Dave Swanston & Shaun Dippnall would finish the scoring at 10-3. A very happy Coach Mckenzie had this to say about his team’s performance;

‘People would say we started slow but I don’t think we did. We had a lot of early chances and outshot them 18-9 in the first period so to be 2-1 down was a bit unfair really. As the game went on we started to take our chances but also control the game for long periods too. We lost Calum Ruddick fairly early on so had to move Sheldon Cassidy back to defence, he stood in well and contributed with 5 assists. That is what impresses me about this team, everyone comes together to achieve the overall goal, their commitment has been nothing short of outstanding all year.’

The Widnes Wild are back in action this Saturday as they travel to Bradford Bulldogs in their only fixture of the weekend. Seats are still available on the coach, to book a seat contact Scott Mckenzie by email at;

The next home game for the Widnes Wild is on the 31st of January against Blackburn Eagles. Tickets can be bought through box office at Silver Blades Ice Rink Widnes. For more information call 0151 420 7930.

Sunday’s win over Coventry Blaze can be found following the link below;

Report: Deeside Dragons' 4 Point Weekend

Photo: Adrian Palak scoring for Deeside Dragons against
Altrincham Aces (photo by Peter Sheffield
The Deeside Dragons took a step closer towards winning the league this weekend with another four point weekend to put even more distance between them and the chasing pack.

Head coach Lol Paul was delighted with his teams performance in both games “I could not have asked for more from all the guys they were clinical and did what I asked of them”

Saturday night’s game at home against Altrincham Aces was all one way traffic with the Chester road men taking charge from the first whistle out shooting the opposition by 60 shots to 23.

Simon Furnival opened the scoring with two goals early on in the period to set the tone for the night then five unanswered goal in the second period from Supa, Lovell, Jones ,Parsons and Dixon put the game to bed for Deeside. A final goal from Palak to make it 8-0 was the icing on the cake.

Paul was pleased with both his defensive and attacking units “we did the business at both ends of the rink with George Cox in net shutting out the opposition and the forwards putting 8 goals past their netminder it was the perfect game for us on the night “

final score Dragons 8 Aces 0

Sunday night saw the Dragons take a trip to south Yorkshire to face Hull Jets in the second game within 24 hours, and with the Robert brothers not icing due to family commitments this was not going to be an easy game for the league leaders after last night emphatic win.

Palak opened the scoring for Deeside with a shorthand goal whilst Parsons was in the sinbin for a cross checking penalty. Despite having another 16 shots on goal the Dragon could not increase their lead and the first period end 1-0 to the Dragons.

The North Wales team came out fast and furious in the second period with two goals in the opening minutes from Furnival and Chappell to force Hull to call a time out and slow the game down but it was not till 8 minutes later that the home team manged to peg the Dragons back with a goal from Harry Bridges.

Minutes later it was that man again Adrian Palak assisted by Paul Davis to make it 4-1 to the visitors with a shot to the top corner that left the goalie stranded, Hull managed to pull another goal back and the end of the period from Kieran Beach to half the deficit and give the home team a fighting chance going into the last period.

The final period started much the same as the send with the Dragons getting on the score sheet early with Furnival second goal of the night which knocked the wind out of Hulls sails and, three more unanswered goals from Dixon Chappell and Williams put the points in the bag for the Dragons.

Final score Hull 3 Dragons 8

There is no game next week so the Dragons have a break till the 30th January when Nottingham Lions visit the Den - face off is 7pm

Laidler Conference Round Up - 16th & 17th Jan 2016

Deeside Dragons once again demonstrated their title winning credentials with a 4 point weekend . They shut out local rivals Altrincham Aces 8-0 on Saturday night and then won 3-8 away at Hull Jets in a game where the hosts only managed 17 shots on goal all game.

The Dragons are now 13 points ahead of second place Widnes Wild but have played 4 games more. 
The Dragons have just 6 games left to play in the current campaign and could possibly secure the title with a win in the game away at Widnes on 14th February, depending on results elsewhere.

The Wild had to come from 2 goals down to beat bottom team Coventry Blaze on Sunday night.  They ended up, however, comfortable 10-3 winners with player coach Scott McKenzie hitting 3+2.   

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, Blackburn Eagles beat Bradford Bulldogs 9-2. James Riddoch top scored with 3+2 and import Tomas Mitrik chipped in with 1+4. The Eagles are enjoying their best ever season and are comfortable in 4th place in the table, 8 points ahead of 5th placed Altrincham. 

Photo: Goal action from Blackburn Eagles v Bradford Bulldogs - photo by Steve Pollitt

Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend of 16th & 17th Jan 2016

Solway Sharks picked up a morale boosting first win of the season over league leaders Blackburn Hawks on Saturday night with a 5-3 home victory.   

In what was described by Dumfries fans as their best performance of the season, the Sharks outshot the Hawks and kept their visitors goalless for the last 30 minutes of the game. The Sharks have had an up and down season so far with two games being cancelled due to bad weather / travelling conditions so they will be looking to build on this performance for a more successful second half to the season. 

Second place Whitley Warriors thumped third place Telford Tigers 9-1, with captain Shaun Kippin scoring a hat trick. They outshot the Tigers throughout and were already 8-0 ahead before the visitors hit their consolation strike on 50 minutes.

The Warriors are now 7 points ahead of the Tigers with a game in hand so the title race looks to be pretty much now between the top two. However the Hawks have a 7 point cushion at the top but have played one game more than Whitley.

It was a bad weekend all round for Telford who also lost 7-5 away at Sheffield Spartans on Saturday night.  They remain locked on the same number of points – 22 – as 4th place Solihull Barons who didn’t play at the weekend and now have a game in hand.

Billingham Stars had a mixed weekend losing 5-2 away at second bottom Sutton Sting and then winning 5-3 at home to bottom team Sheffield Senators who remain without a single point from their 19 games to date.   

Friday 15 January 2016

Widnes Wild Women's Team Home Fixtures Coming Up!

The Widnes Wild women’s ice hockey team are competing in the EIHA Women’s Premier League for the first time, having won promotion last season, and would appreciate your support at their forthcoming home games at the Silver Blades Rink in Widnes (WA8 0GY).

They have already played 3 WPL games away this season so far winning two of them – beating Slough Phantoms 3-4 and Streatham Storm 1-3 and then narrowly losing to league leaders Swindon Topcats 1-0.

The Widnes womens’ home games are as follows:
Sunday 21st February v Milton Keynes Falcons – 5.30pm
Sunday 28th February v Slough Phantoms – 5.30pm
Saturday 5th March v Streatham Storm – 4.30pm
Saturday 26th March v   Swindon Topcats - 4.30pm
Sunday 10th April v Chelmsford Cobras – 7.30pm
Sunday 8th May v Whitley Squaws – 5.30pm
Sunday 15th May v Nottingham Vipers – 5.30pm

Admission is free to all games.

You can follow the Widnes Wild Women’s Ice Hockey team on Twitter at:

Monday 11 January 2016

Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend of 9th & 10th January 2016

Widnes netminder Greg Ruxton remains cool during an end of period fracas
in the local derby game against Altrincham Aces  
Deeside Dragons surely took another two steps towards securing their first league title in over 20 years with a 4 point weekend. On Saturday night they beat Blackburn Eagles 10-3 at home and then won 2-8 away at hitherto title challengers Nottingham Lions on Sunday. Those results mean that they are now 11 points clear of 2nd place Widnes Wild, albeit having played 3 games more.

The Wild had a busy weekend, making their first ever visit to Billingham on Saturday night to play the Stars in the NIHL Cup.  The result 7-3 defeat was no disgrace against a team from a higher division and provided a good work out ready for the local derby on Sunday.  Wild played host to local rivals Altrincham Aces on Sunday night and came out 9-1 winners, although the game was very well contested throughout and wasn’t truly reflected by the eventual scoreline.      Geoff Wigglesworth scored 4+2 against his old team and the single Aces goal was scored by handy looking Lithuanian forward Deivid Cetvertak. 

In the other Laidler game of the weekend, bottom team Coventry Blaze picked up a rare win – beating Hull Jets 2-1.  It was the Blaze’s first win since beating Bradford back at the start of October and moved them to within a point of the Bulldogs who they have to play twice more this season.

Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend of 9th & 10th January 2016

A bit of action from the Blackburn v Whitley game
(Photo by Steve Pollitt)  
Blackburn Hawks extended their lead at the top of the Moralee Conference table with a 4-point weekend that saw them hammer Sheffield Spartans away by 15 goals to 2 and then narrowly beat second place Whitley Warriors 4-3 at home. 

Despite being heavily outshot throughout the game, the Warriors were actually leading 1-3 at the end of the first period and the Hawk’s GWG only in the 57th minute courtesy of Canadian import RJ Berra. Hawks are now 9 points ahead of the Warriors – who have one game in hand.

Billingham Stars potentially moved themselves to within spitting distance of a play off place with a 4-6 win away at Solihull Barons on Sunday evening.  Three goals from Swedish import Dennis Bostrom helped gain the points that now move the Stars to within 3 points of the 4th place Barons with two games in hand. 
Telford Tigers who are in 3rd place on the same points as the Barons were beaten 4-2 away at Sutton Sting which means that just 3 points separate the 4 teams in the chasing pack behind the top two.

IN the other Moralee game of the weekend, Solway Sharks beat Sheffield Senators 14-0 in Dumfries on Saturday night. 

Tuesday 5 January 2016

South 1 Round Up - Weekend of 2nd & 3rd January 2016

Photo by Steve Sutherland - Ice Cold Photography
Runaway league leaders Chelmsford Chieftains dropped a rare point on Sunday with a 3-3 draw at home to Oxford City Stars.  The Stars actually have the best record of all teams in S1 against the defending champions this season so far as they have been the only team yet to beat the Chieftains – 6-4 in Oxford back in October.  Their record against other, however, teams has been fairly average and they currently sit in 5th place.

Despite this setback, Chelmsford are 8 points clear of 2nd place Invicta Dynamos at the top of the S1 table, albeit having played one game more.  Wightlink Raiders are in 3rd place and the picked up a useful 2-4 win away at London Raiders at the weekend.  They have had to reshuffle their playing schedule and are playing all their away games at present while the Ryde Arena is being repaired.

The other S1 game of the weekend saw 4th place Streatham Redskins draw 5-5 with Bracknell Hornets.

South 2 East Report: Haringey Racers 13 - Invicta Mustangs 3

Four goals each for Josh Ealey-Newman and Josh Abbott, a goal on debut for Chris Norris, a first senior goal for Solomon Smith and a first Racers goal for Jack Ball. It all came together to make a very comfortable win for a lively Haringey team against a lacklustre Invicta Mustangs.

Norris opened his Racers’ account after just 8 minutes, stuffing the puck home after good spadework from Ben Osborne. A simple second goal came late in the first period; Abbott won the puck off the draw and Ealey-Newman steered it into the bottom corner as quick as a flash.

A brief rally from the Mustangs saw Aaron Ferris halve the deficit early in the second, but Haringey soon ran away with the game. Ealey-Newman was put clean through by Drew Campbell and outfoxed netminder Jussi Lynch Grut to score. In the middle of the period, Abbott drifted in from the left to fire into the top corner making 4-1 to the Racers. Dan Clayton, sent on his way by Abbott, won his one-on-one duel with Lynch Grut to make it five late in the period and there was still time for Ealey-Newman to complete his hat-trick, set up by Lee Mercer stepping out of the penalty box undetected.

Into the third, and goals from Campbell and Abbott opened up an 8-1 lead before Smith slammed the puck home for his maiden goal. With the Mustangs a little guilty of rolling over, Racers were able to add further goals from Ball and Ealey-Newman with Abbott adding his third and fourth, dotted around consolation efforts from Ferris and Jake Stedman from Invicta.

Racers travel to Lee Valley on Sunday evening (5.30pm) for what should be a keenly contested derby match.

Racers scoring: Josh Abbott 4+3, Josh Ealey-Newman 4+1, Drew Campbell 1+3, Dan Clayton 1+1, Solomon Smith 1+1, Chris Norris 1+0, Jack Ball 1+0, Lee Mercer 0+5, Ben Osborne 0+3, Luke Tull 0+1

Mustangs scoring: Aaron Ferris 2+0, Jake Stedman 1+0, Anthony Baskerville 0+2, Jake Luton 0+1

Shots on Goal: 28 on Ian Shepherd (Racers). 32 on Jussi Lynch Grut and 17 on John Abbott (Mustangs)

Racers Man of the Match: Josh Ealey-Newman
Mustangs Man of the Match: Aaron Ferris

Report by Tim Stuart.

Laidler Report: Nottingham Lions 3 - Widnes Wild 2

Kieran Strangeway in action for Widnes Wild
Photo by Geoff White - www,
The Widnes Wild travelled to Nottingham on Sunday night for their first game of 2016 to face a hard working & gritty Nottingham Lions.

The game started at a frantic pace with Nottingham taking an early minor penalty. With the Wild being on the powerplay and having the man advantage, player coach Scott Mckenzie found Michal Fico wide open in front of the net to blast home and give the visitors a one goal lead early in the game. That was as good as it would get for the Wild however, as the Lions battled for every puck and scored 2 goals in quick succession to give the delighted home team a 2-1 lead going into the period break.

The second period ebbed and flowed with both teams having chances but struggling to break through. A tussle infront of the Nottingham goal ended with a 4 minute powerplay for the Wild but again, the Widnes men could not find a way past the ever impressive Alan Levers in net for the Lions. No goals scored leaving the game poised at 2-1.

A penalty strewn 3rd period saw both teams have chances but eventually it would be the home side to score, a scrappy but well deserved goal to give the Lions a 3-1 lead with little time remaining. As Widnes Wild fans have seen all season, the Wild continued to fight and battle with their never say die attitude, a powerplay goal from Scott Mckenzie giving the Wild hope. A superb pass from Kieron Strangeway opening up room for the player coach who managed to find the top corner.

The Wild would pull their keeper Greg Ruxton to gain a man advantage but it was to no avail as the home team would hold on to win the game deservedly 3-2. A disappointed coach Mckenzie had this to say about the game;

‘That is probably the worst 1st period we have ever played. We didn’t do anything that we set out to do, were second to loose pucks and played scared for the most part. I have said it to the guys over and over, no one is going to give us the two points each night, we have to earn them and tonight we just didn’t. It is frustrating because I know how good we can be but we will regroup, get back to work this week ready for another big weekend ahead of us next week.’

The Widnes Wild have two games this weekend. On Saturday they travel up to Billingham to play their first cup game of the season against Billingham Stars. Sunday sees the return of local rivals Altrincham Aces at Silver Blades Ice Rink Widnes, face off is at the usual time of 17:30, Adults £6 & Children £3. Tickets still available from box office, Call box office now on 0151 420 7930 to get your tickets.

Laidler Reports - 4 Point Weekend For Dragons

Filip Supa scores for Deeside at Altrincham
Photo by Peter Sheffield -
Dragons v Coventry Saturday night 9-1

Dragons coach Lol Paul believes his side have taken a further step towards building a ‘fortress Deeside’, following Saturday night's 9-1 win over Coventry Blaze. Victory at Chester Road was the Dragons’ second win over Coventry in as many home games, giving them a nine-point lead at the top of the Laidler Conference.

Paul is keen to continue developing that intimidating atmosphere over coming weeks. He said: “I wanted to test the guys against Coventry, especially after the Christmas break. They all responded really well, including James Parsons and Stevie Fellows, who came back from injury.
What I want to do is keep building a fortress at Deeside, like they had at places like Whitley in the 1980s and 90s. Nobody wanted to go there and play the Warriors. We are doing that at the moment, but I want it to continue, so teams feel like they’ve been beaten before the puck is dropped. We’ve got a big team, which seems to give us the mental edge.”

Deeside found themselves 1-0 up after just seven minutes on Saturday night, thanks to a goal from captain Marc Lovell. But they had to wait until the second period for further success, with strikes from Adrian Palak (2), Filip Supa, Paul Davies and Simon Furnival. The visitors snatched a consolation goal on 38 minutes, before Alex Parry (2) and Furnival sealed victory after the break.

Aces v  Dragons Sunday night  1-8
Deeside Dragons cemented their status as Laidler Conference title challengers with an 8-1 drubbing of Altrincham Aces on Sunday night. Victory at the Ice Dome was Deeside’s ninth success in eight games, and gives them a commanding lead at the top of the standings.

The Chester Road men never looked back after taking the lead in the fourth minute, once again restricting their opponents to just a single goal.

Dragons head coach Lol Paul breathed a sign of relief, after watching his side overcome a vastly improved Aces outfit. He said: “It is relieving when your team puts that many goals past a team like Altrincham. The lads came out flying tonight and dominated from the start. I’m really pleased with the whole team performance, and it wasn’t just the goals. Our breakouts were excellent, as were our transitions. Someone said to me at the game that we’ve really developed as a team, and that was great to hear. The guys are certainly flourishing.”

That opening Deeside goal came from Simon Furnival, before a further strike from Paul Davies ahead of the first period break. Filip Supa added a third at the start of the second session, while Matthew Wainwright found himself on the scoresheet just minutes later.

The hosts scored a consolation goal with four minutes of the period remaining, although James Parsons hit back almost straight away. Adrian Palak and Supa (2) completed the scoring in the final session, giving the Dragons their second victory of the weekend.

Paul added: “Our defence were great, even with guys like Bryn Roberts and Steve Fellows missing. Matthew Wainwright fully deserved his man of the match award. I threw Jake Orr in at the deep end and he responded really well. The whole team worked their socks off, which was probably the most impressive thing tonight. We have got two massive games next weekend, against Blackburn and Nottingham. We’ll go into training hard this week and not take our foot off the gas.”

Laidler Conference Round Up - Weekend of 2nd & 3rd January 2016

Deeside Dragons stretched their lead at the top of the table with a 4 point weekend that saw them score 17 goals and only concede 2. They beat bottom team Coventry Blaze 9-1 at home on Saturday night and then won 1-8 away at Altrincham Aces on Sunday.

Hitherto second place Widnes Wild lost 3-2 away at Nottingham Lions and that result sees the Lions leapfrog the Wild up into second. However, they are now a massive 8 points behind the leaders with just one game in hand.

Bradford Bulldogs picked up their second win of the season at home to Blackburn Eagles on Saturday with a narrow 4-3 victory.  In a game that was very evenly matched throughout (SOG 56-57), the winning goal was scored by Bulldogs’ captain Dean Boothroyd in the 51st minute. The Bulldogs then lost by the same single goal margin away at Hull Jets on Sunday, crashing 3-2 on the East coast.

Hull’s victory is their 3rd unbeaten game in a row after a terrible run of 9 consecutive defeats and keeps them comfortably above the Bulldogs in 6th place but 3 points behind Altrincham Aces who are in 5th.

Photo: Bradford’s Matt Barlow celebrates the Bulldogs’ 2nd goal against Blackburn Eagles.  Photo by Rob Hutchinson

Moralee Conference Round Up - Weekend of 2nd & 3rd January 2016

Blackburn Hawks extended their lead at the top of the table to 5 points after a comprehensive 13-1 demolition of Sutton Sting on Sunday evening.  Sutton actually scored first but were already well and truly out of the game by the end of the first period by which time they were trailing 3-1 and had been outshot 26 to 5.

Finnish import Kim Miettinen top-scored with 3+2 in a game that saw a massive 9 goals conceded in the third period.

The Hawks now have 32 points from their 18 games to date. Whitley Warriors remain second with 27 points, having played the same number of games.

Solihull Barons remain in third place courtesy of a 3-4 win away at Sutton Sting on Saturday.  They missed the chance to close up on Whitley after they lost 5-3 away at Billingham Stars on Sunday.   

The other Moralee game of the weekend saw 4th place Telford Tigers in a 3-3 draw at home to Sheffield Spartans. The visitors battered the home goal throughout the game (final SOG tally 20-59) but still found themselves 3-2 down going into the last 10 minutes.  An equaliser from captain Ollie Barron in the 55th minute ensured that the Spartans went home with one point – if not the two they might have hoped for.  
Photo: Goalie v Goalie action from Sutton Sting v Solihull Barons - photo by Keith & Jenny Davies.