Wednesday 10 July 2024

Match Report: Halton Huskies 10 – Bradford Cannibals 4 (Blood, Sweat & Beers Cup)

Howard Smith was in action for the Huskies (Photo by David Tattum / DJT Ice Hockey Photos)

Sunday 7th July – Blood, Sweat & Beers Cup: Halton Huskies 10 – Bradford Cannibals 4 

The Halton Huskies sealed their position at the top of the Blood, Sweat & Beers Cup group with a 10-4 win over Bradford Cannibals at Planet Ice Widnes on Sunday.

With last year’s winners - and their closest challengers - Blackburn Renegades losing out to Manchester Swarm on Saturday, and despite other games still to be played, it means that the Huskies cannot be overtaken and thus win the league part of this competition.

The game on Sunday was closer than the final scoreline suggests and the visiting Cannibals gave a good account of themselves throughout.

The Huskies took the lead on 3 minutes with a goal from Nathan Hewitt and doubled the advantage 66 seconds later with a strike from Jake Berry.

Bradford pulled a goal back but Matt Kohler rested the two goal cushion on 13 minutes.  The Cannibals fired in a goal with just 30 seconds left to go in the period to leave the score standing at 3-2 at the first interval.

The second period was similarly close, with plenty of chances for both sides. The only goal came in the 32nd minute when Dave Priestley fired in for the Huskies to bring the score to 4-2 at the second break.

Bradford scored again just 20 seconds into the third period to keep themselves  in contention but then the Huskies began to pull away with unanswered goals from David Hrubovsky, Priestley and Berry to lead 7-3.  

Another Cannibals goal on 56 minutes interrupted the flow briefly but further goals from Hrubovsky, Elliot Michaels and Matt Kohler rounded off the scoring for the Huskies, handing them a 10-4 victory.

After the game, Huskies Team Manager Ste Hay said:  “The Cannibals netminder was on loan from Swarm - they kept it close and made us work. We only started to get a chance to build a comfortable lead in the final period, which, considering the size of their travelling roster, was quite a feat."

Finishing top of the group means that the Huskies qualify directly for the final of the play offs, where they will face the winners of the 2nd v 3rd elimination match.

Blackburn, Manchester and Bradford are all in contention for the other play off places and they all still have games to play. The Huskies play their last game of the group stage away to Bradford on Saturday 10th August.  

Details of the play off fixtures will not be finalised until the other competing teams are known.