LONDON, UK – Everyone knows 13 is an unlucky number, but in week 13 it appeared in a game that highlighted one team’s dominance and the task facing everybody else (or did it). Elsewhere we bring you alternatives to acid baths, love on the ice and bruises that will make your eyes water.
With all the talk of the NIHL title being a two horse race, Wightlink Raiders Coach Jeremy Cornish is pleased his side are floating dangerously under the radar at present.
“I like the improvements our team has made over the last couple weeks and the Chelmsford home win last week, and the Invicta win this past Saturday has really shown we have made improvements to our game” said Cornish in his Coaches Corner segment of the Raiders website.
“If we want to stay in contention for the league, this run-up to Christmas is going to play a vital part. Everyone has Invicta and Chelmsford down to win the league, and that’s fine by us, we will just continue to get better and hopefully pick up as many points as possible along the way”
“This week in training we will be working on our defensive game, against a skilled team like Chelmsford it was evident at times that we lacked a bit of awareness in our own end”
“We have a very committed group this year and combining that work in training and a video session on Thursday I think we can solidify that part of our game in time for this weekend”
Interestingly enough, those of you who stalk the internet for NIHL coverage may have come across a video that shows the full length clash between the Raiders and Streatham a couple of weeks ago. It makes grim viewing for any Streatham fan and player, but for sheer comedy value is worth listening with sound just to hear the rambling commentary in the background.
Select quotes of ‘Use your body Jeremy, be the tree’ and ‘this is beyond depressing’ at a very early stage in the game give a flavour of the unique turns of phrase used.
If you have two hours to kill and don’t have anything better to do than throw yourself into a bath of acid, then check it out HERE
New London Raiders import Jakub Klima became the latest interviewee on popular NIHL site Freezing the Puck. The loveable Czech’s last big interview was with Pro Hockey News, in which he revealed that Phil Manny was the most boring person on the Redskins roster in 2012/13 HERE
This time the tone was a little more serious as Klima revealed his reasons for leaving Invicta Dynamos last month and also why he came across to the UK in the first place.
“The reason why I left is simple” said Klima.
“I couldn’t get used to it for Invicta’s ‘system’ and also I did not get too much ice time so I had this idea long time in my head. When Dwayne Newman called me, and then Danny Marshall asked if I would like to play for them then I said straight away yes”
“This is my third season in the UK. The reason why I came here was challenge to change my life and I did it”
“I drive my life as I want, learnt English especially in Chelmsford two years ago when I lived with an English family and they helped me so much”
“My English was zero when I came over and I also found a girlfriend here and we are almost two years together”
Invicta delivered on their promise of a new recruit as teenage defenseman Chris Cook arrived on a two way deal with the Guildford Flames.
The 19 year old had found his ice time limited with the EPL side, so with Invicta desperate for defencemen since the departures of Adam McNicoll and Tyrone Miller, it seems a perfect fit.
“Chris remains under contract with us, and we have the option to bring him back in when required” said Flames Head Coach Paul Dixon.
“But at the moment we feel, and he agrees, that he is not getting nearly enough quality game ice time. That is not a good situation for him or the Flames organisation in terms of moving his development forward”
“He will continue to train with us, but we simply need to get him more playing time than we can offer at this moment. Chris is very enthusiastic and is eager to move his game to the next level”
“This will allow him a much better immediate opportunity to get some games in, build some strength and confidence while continuing to seek his opportunity to be more regular figure in the Flames line-up”
Streatham reflected on one of their heaviest home defeats in years, as the dust settled on the 10-1 demolition of the Redskins unbeaten home run by Chelmsford Chieftains. It was not a result anyone of a Redskins persuasion took any positives from, least of all Captain Joe Johnston.
“I felt totally embarrassed and ashamed to be part of that and I can only apologise on behalf of the team for not just the results but the performances” said Johnston regarding a weekend that saw Streatham lose in Invicta the following day.
“In fairness, Sunday was better, but Saturday was a real shambles”
“We are obviously having some issues at the new rink and its showing. There were always going to be teething problems but the adjustment to the new ice pad may take longer than I thought”
“There’s nothing we can do about it, we have a wonderful new facility and it’s up to us to work harder and settle in”
Johnston’s column in the programme was also complimented by a new Streatham Redskins Top Trumps feature that raised a few debates.
The mystery behind the cancellation of the game between MK Thunder and Chelmsford Chieftains a fortnight ago was revealed during the week.
Rumours that the Zamboni couldn’t get through the door, that former blue liner Paul ‘Mr Booze3’ Gore had damaged the place after a heavy session in the nearby Lloyds bar, or that Sam Cheema had finally got hold of a slapshot and put a hole through the new boards all turned out to be untrue.
In fact it was the lack of netting around the rink that had meant that no senior hockey could take place that weekend. The problem is now resolved, and rumours that the fishermen at the nearby Alders Farm Fishing Lake were seething after large batches of netting went missing last week are also thankfully as accurate as the others noted above.
This week we welcome a joint winner of ‘Bruise of the Week’ as Streatham winger Steven Fisher takes half the plaudits thanks to a yellow and blue calf muscle.
How he got the pictured bruise is not known but PHN can categorically state that Team Sports Therapist Tanya Romans had nothing at all to do with it. Just when it looked like Fisher would get all the glory along comes Invicta Dynamos legend Grant Baxter with a separated shoulder – Get well soon Grant from all at PHN..
After beating the Essex side 6-1 in recent weeks, Invicta Dynamos were probably not expecting to be on the receiving end of a 13-3 humping by Chelmsford in the Cup match at the Riverside, but that is exactly what happened.
The shell shocked Mo’s were 5-1 down after the first period and never recovered, as Chieftains Player Coach Gary Clarke fired home four goals and Matt Turner smashed a hat trick as their side ran riot.
Other scorers for Chelmsford were Grant Bartlett with two goals and one a piece for John Connolly, Ross Brears, Daniel Volrab and James Ayling. Invicta’s goals came from Marek Nahlik, Nicky Lewis and Juraj Huska.
This result may have been in the cup but showed a real statement of intent by the Chieftains over their title rivals.
Milton Keynes Thunder failed to mark the opening of their new rink with a win over London Raiders, as the visitors skated off with a 4-1 win at MK Ice.
Raiders Player Coach Danny Marshall had the honour of scoring the first ever goal at the new facility with an effort on the six minute mark, and there were also two goals from Jakub Klima and a lone effort from AJ Smith.
Poor Euan King in the Raiders goal saw his 47 shot shut out snatched away from him with less than two minutes to go when Alex Whyte scored for the Thunder, and Romford pair Tom Davis and Grant Taylor ended the match without smiles as they received a ten minute abuse of Blaine Evans penalty and a match penalty for boarding respectively.
On the island, Bracknell Hornets ran the Wightlink Raiders close with the home side edging out a 6-4 win.
Alex Barker and Steven Osman top scored for Wightlink with two goals each and their other scorers were Ben Lock and Matt Vizzari. Bracknell’s goals came courtesy of Ryan Webb with a brace and goals from Ryan Handisides and Nick Minhinnick.
Chelmsford players probably spent Sunday morning listening to classic Starship power ballad ‘Nothing is gonna stop us now’ but by the evening the mood had changed and they were clutching for the Best of Morrisey thanks to an unlikely defeat at home to London Raiders.
The boys in blue and gold caused an upset with a 5-3 win at the Riverside to really set the cat amongst the pigeons in the league title race.
A lethal powerplay unit sealed the points for the Raiders as four goals came from the extra skater, with Frankie Harvey scoring three of them. London’s other scorers were Billy Phillips and who else, but Jakub Klima against his old team.
Chelmsford’s goals came from Darren Brown with a brace and Luke Brittle with the other. The Chieftains also had Julian Smith ejected for butt ending on a night that referee Roman Szucs didn’t get much rest.
Invicta took full advantage of Chelmsford’s slip up as they beat Wightlink Raiders 7-3 at Silverblades.
Anthony Leone continued his good scoring form this season with two goals to add to efforts from Callum Fowler, Marek Nahlik, Danny Hammond, Juraj Huska and Danny Hammond. For Wightlink it was Matthew Vizzari with the brace and a goal for Jeremy Cornish.
It was a good result for the Mo’s who now move above the Raiders in the table. One of the happiest in the Mo’s camp was defenseman Ryan Giles who notched his 100th point for the Mo’s which is always impressive for a blue liner.
Streatham banished the bad memories of the weekend before as they posted a big win over Milton Keynes in South London. The shortbenched Thunder battled throughout but were undone by some neat plays by Streatham’s first line who gave the home fans something to cheer.
Callum Best top scored with four goals and both Steven Fisher and Michal Oravec hit two each. The other goals for the Redskins came from Joe Johnston, Joe Allen and Dominic Hopkins. Milton Keynes loan goal came from Jamie Randall.
Streatham hero Best dedicated his goal tally to Coach Warren Rost, who prior to the game had warned everyone (and in particular Best) not to copy moves from ‘Streaks and Dekes’ videos. If anyone is thinking of buying the Streatham supremo a Christmas gift, an upgrade on his VHS player would be most welcome.
Saturday 7th December 2013
Wightlink Raiders 6-4 Bracknell Hornets
Milton Keynes Thunder 1-4 London Raiders
Chelmsford Chieftains 13-3 Invicta Dynamos (Cup)
Sunday 8th December 2013
Streatham Redskins 11-1 Milton Keynes Thunder
Invicta Dynamos 7-3 Wightlink Raiders
Chelmsford Chieftains 3-5 London Raiders
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