Sunday 28 July 2019

Summer Classic Cup: Wyre Seagulls 1 - Flintshire Phantoms 4

Summer Classic Cup Western Conference Winners Flintshire Phantoms (photo by Paul Breeze)

Saturday, 27th July 2019 - Howies UK Summer Classic Cup

Wyre Seagulls 1   -   Flintshire Phantoms 4 (played at Widnes, Planet Ice)
Period Scores:  0 – 2, 1 – 0, 0 – 2.
Penalties in Minutes:  Seagulls 14 – Phantoms 8
MVPs:  Seagulls – Michael Gallery/Phantoms – Michael Rogers

Match Officials:  Scott Anstey/Kiron Furlong
Scorer:  Sofi Jenkins
Time Keeper: Lucy London
Penalty Boxes: Sam Calderbank
Announcer: Paul Breeze

The Planet Ice Rink at Widnes hosted a thrilling finale to the Western Conference Group Stage of the Summer Classic Cup on Saturday with a highly entertaining game between the Wyre Seagulls and the Flintshire Phantoms. 

The Wyre Seagulls usually play their home games in Blackburn but, as their home rink is currently closed for major refurbishment work, they have been training and playing their home matches in Widnes.   This game was of particular importance as it featured the top two teams in the Western Conference with a winner-take-all scenario to secure the top spot.

The Wyre Seagulls entered the game with a one point advantage over the Phantoms in the Group Table, which meant that a draw or overtime win would hand them the title, whereas the Phantoms would need a win in regular time to leap frog them into first place.

The game was very closely fought throughout with little to choose between the teams.  The opening phase was very tight, with opportunities at both ends and the break-through did not come until the 16th minute, when the Phantoms scored two quick-fire goals - through Sterling Steeves and Ondrej Liebelt – within 10 seconds of each other, a crucial lead that they carried with them into the first break.  

The second period was even closer, with the only goal coming in the 27th minute from the Seagulls’ Conor Duthie to halve the deficit and set up a knife-edge final period.  However, any hopes that the Seagulls had of forcing an early equaliser were thwarted when the Phantoms extended their lead in the 44th minute with a goal from George Perrett.  The visitors further extended their lead with a second goal from Steeves 5 minutes later, leaving the Seagulls with too much to do to try and catch up. 

The 1 – 4 win means that the Flintshire Phantoms finish top of the Summer Classic Cup Western Conference, one point ahead of the second place Seagulls.  Both teams have qualified for the Play Off stages of the competition, where they will come up against the top teams from the Eastern Conference and which culminates in a final in Sheffield on 11th August 2019.

MVPs for the Phantoms and Seagulls respectively were Michael Rogers and Michael Gallery, 
presented by Sam Calderbank. (Photos by Paul Breeze)

Full Line Ups & Player Statistics:

Wyre Seagulls – David May, Michael Gallery (NM 60 min. 2 PIM), John May, Dan Coxon (Captain), Chris Brumby (2 PIM), Ryan Homer (2 PIM), Daniel Skelton (2 PIM), Adam Fleet, Ben Cleary, Christian Wareing (0 + 1), Mark Jenkins (2 PIM), Conor Duthie (1 + 0), Scott Anthony-Jones (2 PIM)

Flintshire Phantoms – Jason James (0 + 1, 2 PIM), Steve Furber, Gareth Jones, Brian Chalmers, George Perrett (1 + 1), Jason McGee, Juan Aspero, Michael Rogers (NM, 60 min.), Oliver Meadows (2 PIM), David Meadows (2 PIM), Anthony Hughes, Stirling Steeves (2 + 0, 2 PIM), Kenneth Valyear, Ondrej Liebelt (1 + 0),

Saturday 20 July 2019

Widnes Wild Women Launch Sponsorship Initiative for 2019/20 WNIHL Season

The Widnes Wild womens’ ice hockey team have launched an ambitious new sponsorship initiative to help support their title challenge in Division 1 North of the Womens National Ice Hockey League for the 2019/20 season.

The team would ideally like to raise £7.000 overall to help with operating costs for the new season, which include league registrations, new away playing shirts, ice time costs, match official fees and other fees and equipment costs that arise.

The Wild women are keen to build relationships with local businesses and individuals and have different sponsorship packages to suit all pockets and budgets.

These packages include:

  • £600 to pay for new away shirts for all playing members in 2019/2020 (1 available)
  • £300 for Home Game Night Sponsor (10 available)
  • £50 for Individual Player Sponsor (several available)
Depending on the level of sponsorship taken up, sponsors will receive company advertising opportunities at home games and on team social media, public address announcements during home games and photo opportunities before and after the game.

Wild women sponsorship co-ordinator Kat Garner with Poet In Residence Lucy London who is
sponsoring the MVP awards once again this season. (Photo by Paul Breeze) 

One happy sponsor from last season has already renewed their support for the 2019/20 campaign! Poet In Residence Lucy London sponsored the MVP awards for last season’s home games in memory of World War 1 heroine Sarah Macnaughtan and she has chosen to commemorate Edith Smith – the first warranted Woman Police Constable in the country, and who is buried in Runcorn – for this year’s awards.

For information about these sponsorships and the other packages that are available, interested parties are asked to contact sponsorship co-ordinator Kat Garner on 07522109220 or via email HERE

Earle Road Elks and Manchester Swarm Raise Over £1000 for Pulmonary Hypertension Charity

Earle Road Elks team photo by Mark Ferris (All Sports Photography)

The organisers of a recent fund raising ice hockey match played at Planet Ice Widnes in aid of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK have announced that the game has raised £1,025 for the charity.

The game was played between the Widnes-based Earle Road Elks team and the Manchester Swarm and was organised by Elks captain David Winstanley whose mother died from the condition.

The final score was 12-7 to the Elks with goals coming from Luke Williams (2+1), Joseph Barker, Liam Braines (both 2+0), Stephan Bark (1+1), Nathan Berry, Bobby Samari, Thomas Jenkins, Kurt Haggerty & Dave Winstanley (all 1+0).

You can still support David's fundraising effort by following the Just Giving link

Monday 15 July 2019

Summer Classic Cup: Riverside Raiders 8 - Blackburn Buccaneers 3

Sunday 14th July 2019 - Howies UK Ice Hockey Summer Classic Cup
Riverside Raiders 8 - Blackburn Buccaneers 3
Period Scores;  1-0,
Penalties In Minutes:  Raiders - Buccaneers

Match Officials:  Josh Humphreys & Will Fielden,

The Riverside Raiders team rounded off their Summer Classic Cup campaign with an entertaining 8-3 win over the Blackburn Buccaneers at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.
The previous meeting between the two teams had ended in a 3-3 draw with a penalty shoot out

deciding the winner in Blackburn’s favour and this game looked likely to be just as close.

The Raiders took an early lead with a goal from Jack Walker just 84 seconds into the game and, with the rest of the period playing out goal-less, went into the first break holding on to that slight advantage.

Two more goals for Walker - on 25 and 28 minutes - edged the Raiders into a reasonable lead but the Buccaneers still looked dangerous going forward and they managed to pull a goal back through a Michael Walsh penalty shot in the 34th minute.

A powerplay goal from the Raiders’ Matthew Lennox on 38 minutes re-instated the 3-goal lead and the home side took a 4-1 advantage into the second break.

It was the Buccaneers who scored first in the third period with another goal from Captain Michael Walsh but two quick-fire strikes within 30 seconds of each other – from Mike Filek and Lennox again – effective finished off the game as a contest.

Bobby Samari scored for the Raiders on 52 minutes and the Buccaneers Glenn Rattray (who normally plays in goal!) fired in the visitors’ last strike on 56 minutes.

The scoring for the evening was rounded off by Jordan Birtwistle a minute later and the Raiders were able to celebrate their first home win in this summer’s competition.

The MVP awards, presented by Howard Smith, went to Buccaneers captain Michael Walsh and Raiders netminder Rob Melvin who put in another outstanding performance in goal

Monday 8 July 2019

Summer Classic Cup: Riverside Raiders 2 - Wyre Seagulls 10

Sunday 7th July 2019 – Summer Classic Cup
Riverside Raiders 2 – Wyre Seagulls 10
Period Scores: 0-3, 1-3, 1-4
Penalties In Minutes: Raiders 37 – Seagulls 37

Match Officials: Neil Herring & Ray Ormes
Scorer: Lucy London
Timekeeper: Howard Smith & Shannon Holt

The Riverside Raiders were beaten 2-10 by the Wyre Seagulls in a bruising yet highly entertaining Summer Classic Cup game at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

The Seagulls arrived with the only 100% record left in the competition and, with a liberal smattering of former league players on their bench, were always going to be a tough team to beat.

However, as it turned out, the opening phase of the game was very even - with chances for both teams - and it took until the 8th minute for the Seagulls to take lead through a Matthew Duncan strike.

Two more goals gave the visitors a 0-3 lead at the first period break and they edged further ahead with a hat trick goal for Duncan and a fourth overall with just 2 minutes gone of the second period.

The Raiders finally opened their account on 25 minutes with a powerplay goal from Matthew Lennox and this served to lift them as a team and they surged forward in an attempt to further close the gap.

Unfortunately, this left them vulnerable at the back and the Seagulls scored two more goals to finish the period with a 1-6 lead. A fourth goal from the Seagulls’ Duncan in the 46th minute effectively ended the game as a contest and the visitors went on to score three more goals to edge their tally into double figures.

The game ended on a slightly more "lively" note than might otherwise have been expected as there was a bit of a skirmish - involving several players from both sides - with just three minutes left to play and which took considerably longer than that for the match officials to work out the resulting penalties.

Two players were banished to the dressing rooms for fighting and 4 further Raiders players and two Wyre players packed into their respective penalty boxes.

The Seagulls then managed to pick up two more penalties in the last minute of the game and the home side had the last laugh in terms of goals after Dave Priestley scored a powerplay goal with 27 seconds left on the clock.

While they may have lost the game, the Raiders gained a song as Poet In Residence Lucy London – who helps out as scorer for the matches – has written a song to cheer the team out onto the ice. The song has been set to music and recorded by Liverpool based Canadian musician Jason Moon and Lucy presented a CD copy of the "Riverside Raiders" song to the team’s Game Co-ordinator Howard Hughes after the match.

The Most Valuable Player awards went to Matthew Duncan for the Wyre Seagulls and Ben Donkin for the Raiders and were presented by young player Caleb Eddleston - who will be playing for the Wild Academy Under 9 team next season - and match volunteer Shannon Holt.


The Riverside Raiders play their last Western Conference game of this year’s Summer Classic Cup this Sunday 14th July when they entertain the Blackburn Buccaneers at Planet Ice Widnes.

The two teams drew 3-3 in their previous meeting with the Buccaneers taking the overtime win after a dramatic penalty shoot-out and Sunday’s game will be highly significant as it will help decide which of the two teams will qualify for the play offs. The game faces off at 4.30pm and admission is free.

The Most Valuable Player awards went to Matthew Duncan for the Wyre Seagulls and Ben Donkin for the Raiders and were presented by young player Caleb Eddleston - who will be playing for the Wild Academy Under 9 team next season - and match volunteer Shannon Holt  (Photos by Paul Breeze) . 

Full Team Line-Ups & Player Statistics:

RIVERSIDE RAIDERS: Alex Hannah, Michael Filek, Rob Melvin (NM, 58.45), James Kelly (0+1), Matthew Lennox (1+0), Howard Hughes (2PIM), Luke Williams (2PIM), Ben Donkin (4PIM) , Jeff Chapman-Watson, Jack Walker (0+1), Bobak Samari (2PIM), Daniel Trust (25PIM), Nicholas Jackson, David Priestley (1+0, 2PIM), Mike Teinert

WYRE SEAGULLS: Nicholas Hageman (2PIM), Mark Kay, Jonathan Brumby (1+0, 2PIM), Daniel Coxon, Chris Brumby (0+1), Matthew Duncan (4+3), Kieron Hardman (1+2), Matthew Milhench (NM 60mins), Matthew Hook (2+2, 2PIM), Daniel Skelton, Adam Fleet (2+1), Ben Cleary (0+1), Wesley Evans, Craig Pennington (0+1, 2PIM), Chris Wareing, Mark Jenkins, Conor Duthie (2PIM), Jordan Bradshaw (25PIM)

Tuesday 2 July 2019

BOOK REVIEW: “Poems about Cambridge Eskimos & Ice Hockey in the UK” by Bill Harris

If you are an ice hockey fan with a sense of humour and you also like poetry, you will, like me, absolutely love this book.

I have enjoyed reading poems as long as I can remember, having been encouraged by my parents and at primary school. Encouraged to write at secondary school, by my teens I was writing verse myself and sending my efforts off to local newspaper and magazines.

Appreciation of ice hockey came later. I suspect that, little like the fox in Saint-Exupéry "Little Prince", ice hockey has been gradually taming me for the past 20 odd years.

My husband, Paul, is a sports writer who has written several books about ice hockey, writes up match reports for websites and local newspapers and does the announcements for home matches of the YKK sponsored Widnes Wild Ice Hockey Team. He also provides the music and annoucements for the Widnes Widnes Women’s Ice Hockey Team and the Riverside Raiders Recreational Ice Hockey Team home matches. I try to help out by taking notes of the incidents during matches and in 2016 I began to keep the score sheet for the Raiders home matches.

I began to write silly verse to encourage the teams and then Paul put forward the suggestion that I could perhaps become the Resident Poet at the rink. So I have a Facebook Page where I share my crazy verse.

When Paul gave me a copy of Bill’s book, I was pleased to note that I was not alone in writing crazy ice hockey verse. Bill has a very different approach to mine – apart from the obvious – he is not only originally from Canada (where ice hockey was born) but he also plays and is coach of a team. Because of that, his poems reflect the changing room banter and the Preface to this edition of the book, and to the previous edition "Smokey and The ‘Smos" (of which this is an updated and revised version), which is also included, contain timely warnings as to the content of the poems and the spirit in which they were written. "I should warn readers that the language in this volume reflects the language of the locker-room. Please be prepared for profanity".

And Bill does not disappoint – 114 pages of wonderful ice hockey-related poems follow - wall to wall fun. I hope Bill will not mind if I share one with you. (I have chosen this with great care as, in these PC days, alas, you never know who is watching…)

"Eskimo roots" (page 43)

When we were wee squirts in lumberjack shirts
In the cold Canadian snow,
We never thought about Cambridge a lot
Though we were future Eskimos.
Then we played our parts and we played with our hearts
For we came from the lands of snow,
From our tiny tot roots we grew into the boots
Of Oxford-bashing Eskimos.

And that is just one example of a host of fantastic poems.

As it happens, I am also a life-long Cambridge supporter, beginning with the Boat Race when I was four years old, so that added to my enjoyment of the book. The law of averages suggests that, as there are two or us, there will be more – the hunt is on!


Lucy London, 1st July 2019


Product details

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Independently published (10 May 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 109382909
ISBN-13: 978-1093829075
Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 0.7 x 19.8 cm

Mail order from Amazon HERE