LONDON, UK – The NIHL got some positive rink news this week, but elsewhere there was another player departure in Kent and Vanilla Ice was snubbed in Streatham.
After the calm of week nine, the NIHL had far more news to report on, with two new rinks ready to open their doors and another seemingly on the way.
Streatham Redskins management got an exclusive tour of the new rink along with representatives from the women’s team the Storm and recreational sides Nightwolves and Chiefs. Pro Hockey News attended the 45 minute walk and talk from rink manager Emily Simmons and it is fair to say we were blown away by the facilities.
The rink has the potential to boost Streatham hockey back towards those often mentioned glory days, but more importantly it gives the junior club every chance to attract and retain players that can learn the beautiful game without having to head off to Guildford, Bracknell and other such venues like happened in the past.
Streatham’s new paradise opens for training on the 18th November however the official opening takes place on the 10th December with Olympian and Dancing on Ice gold medallist Beth Tweddle cutting the ribbon.
Whilst the presence of Tweddle is a coup for the opening ceremony, Pro Hockey News would have preferred rapper Vanilla Ice to do the honours, as he once had a cup of coffee in SW16 back in 2011 as we reported at the time.
Milton Keynes ice rink finally signed off the requirements for opening with everyone’s worst enemy, namely Health & Safety bods.
The same people, who if you believe the tabloids, force firemen to stand helplessly each winter whilst chocolate Labradors die under frozen duck ponds, and why hockey coaches have to spoil their sick flows by wearing helmets during training.
MK Ice hosted hockey training by the MK Storm Wreck on the weekend and is due to open officially for public skating on Monday 18th November.
Just when hockey fans and players in the South East thought week ten just couldn’t get any better, local paper the Yellow Advertiser ran a good news story on the prospects of Romford’s new rink.
“The planning proposals have been supported at all levels and we want to start work as soon as we can” Councillor Michael White of Havering Council.
“Work on a multi-million-pound project of this scale will always be complex and lengthy, with a lot of work going on behind the scenes”
“Getting the detail of the building right and the best people in place to do the work does take time, and we can’t take these decisions lightly”
“We’ve said from the start the facility will secure skating and ice hockey in Romford for generations to come. So we ask that you bear with us, it won’t be long before we and Morrisons are on-site”
After last week’s appeal for fans and players to send in pictures of their friends in dressing gowns, the mailbox was literally bursting at the seams. Much like an amateur fisherman hoping to catch a carp and then snaring a hammerhead shark, Pro Hockey News caught a classic image of unexpected proportions.
Bracknell Hornets’ and GB Junior international Ryan Webb may have been on cloud nine after scoring an impressive hat trick last week; however in this round-up he has most definitely been stung by an undercover ‘friend’.
The private hospitals of Harley Street in London have seen many celebrities and world icons use their services, however this week they saw the frame of Chelmsford Chieftains power forward Michael Ranby go under the knife.
The former Streatham and Lee Valley man had a successful operation to correct a long term hernia injury that has seen him ruled out of action so far this season, and everyone at Pro Hockey News and no doubt Chelmsford wish him all the best in his recovery.
Ranby is not the first UK hockey player to venture down Harley Street for medical services, as a former EPL player who shall remain unnamed used to get colonic irrigations done by the same hospital that cleansed Princess Diana’s colon back in the day.
In Kent rumours began to filter through that Invicta’s Czech import Jakub Klima had been served notice ahead of the weekend fixtures against London and Wightlink.
Klima had failed to break onto the top line for the Dynamos since his switch from Streatham and his points output was lower than fellow import Juraj Huska.
Whether that was because he was not lining up alongside Callum Fowler and Andy Smith each week like Huska, or because he just didn’t fit in with the team’s style of play is up for debate, however Invicta published their side of the story at the end of the weekend’s action.
Invicta slipped up against London Raiders earlier in the season but this time they made no mistake with a convincing 6-1 win at Lee Valley Ice Centre.
The Dynamos opened the scoring through guess who… yes Jakub Klima, and there was a brace from Nicky Lewis along with lone goals from Arran Strawson, Dan Fudger and Juraj Huska.
London’s only goal came from Tom Davis, who were still without Lithuanian Andrius Kaminskas.
Invicta announced the departure of Klima immediately after the game.
In Cardiff, Streatham Redskins grabbed their first win on Welsh ice since 2010 as they shocked the NIHL Devils 6-3 in a gritty performance.
Cardiff old boys Steven Fisher and Sean Scarbrough returned to haunt their old club with their best individual performances of the season. Fisher scored two goals, whilst Scarbrough scored one and picked up man of the match for the Londoners.
Streatham’s other goals came from Joe Johnston, Callum Best and Eddie Temple.
Cardiff’s goals came from Jordan Powell, Trent Hope and the energetic Adam Wood.
Wood tangled with Redskins forward Evander Grinnell midway through the second period and both had to be separated by the officials, one of which namely James Ions, had taken a puck to the head earlier in the period, in what could have been a nasty incident were it not for the protection from his helmet.
Referee Dave Goodwin was also cleaned out by Ricky Deacon in the third period in an accidental collision to top off a physical encounter for the stripeys.
On the island, Wightlink Raiders despatched Bracknell Hornets with a 7-2 win thanks to a brace from Corey Watkins and one goal each from Damon Larter, Alex Barker, Dan Pye, Matthew Vizzari and Kieran Annis.
Ivan Antonov and Danny Hughes were on target for the Hornets.
Invicta rounded off a pleasant weekend as they beat Wightlink Raiders 6-4 in a cup match in Kent.
Minus Jakub Klima, the Mo’s survived a valiant fightback by the visitors thanks to a hat trick by Juraj Huska and goals from Danny Hammond, Callum Fowler and Dan Fudger.
Wightlink goals came from Craig Tribe with two goals and one each from Corey Watkins and Alex Barker.
London Raiders had an immediate chance to bounce back from the defeat on Saturday as they hosted fierce rivals Chelmsford Chieftains at Lee Valley.
Unfortunately for the boys in blue and gold, their nearest and not so dearest skated off with a 5-2 win thanks to a hat trick from Daniel Volrab and goals from Gary Clarke and Ross Brears.
London scorers were Billy Phillips and Dwayne Newman.
This game had already seen three goals and a flurry of fists only thirteen minutes in, as London saw JJ McGrath sent for an early shower along with former team mate Julian Smith thanks to ‘third man in’ calls from referee Blaine Evans.
London’s Billy Phillips and Chelmsford’s Tom Castle had dropped the gloves, along with JJ Pitchley and Grant Bartlett to give the crowd something else to shout about.
Late on Sunday evening Invicta moved to clarify the Klima situation with an official statement via Kent Sports News.
“I had a chat with Jakub on Thursday and said that his productivity needed to be a little bit better having scored just two league goals” said Coach Parrish.
“In reply he said that he wasn’t happy with the systems we’re playing here and that he wasn’t used to them”
“Nevertheless when you’re an import in this league you’ve got to be a stand-out performer – you’re getting paid to do a job and that job wasn’t getting done”
“I wanted to work for it with Klima but he obviously wasn’t willing to do that and so dropped the boys in it this weekend and decided to break his contract and leave yesterday. I asked him to play today but he was a 100% that it was a no and so that’s it, we move on”
The weekend results leave Chelmsford level at the top alongside Invicta with both teams proving the pundits correct at this stage in the season. Klima however is rumoured to be linking up with London Raiders next week.
Saturday 16th November 2013
Cardiff NIHL Devils 3-6 Streatham Redskins
London Raiders 1-6 Invicta Dynamos
Wightlink Raiders 7-2 Bracknell Hornets
Sunday 17th November 2013
London Raiders 2-5 Chelmsford Chieftains
Invicta Dynamos 6-4 Wightlink Raiders (Cup)
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