LONDON, UK – Invicta Dynamos go nuclear, Streatham’s new rink hits a delay and Oxford have a player put behind bars. Just another week of NIHL South hockey as the season hits its fifth weekend of competition.
With just four weeks gone in the season and one iffy result away at London Raiders, Invicta Dynamos Coach Kevin Parrish decided that his already awesome forward power needed a boost.
Step forward all-time highest scorer and local hero Andy Smith, the prodigal son, the messiah, the man who turns the attacking options of the Dynamos from All-Star to nuclear, well you get the picture.
Consider the Dynamos top two lines could now include last year’s All-Stars Juraj Huska and Jakub Klima along with Callum Fowler, Danny Hammond and now Andy Smith it means that most defensive units in the NIHL will be hoping that food poisoning hits the Mo’s camp come game days to try and stifle their threat.
“Technically Andy never retired” said Parrish in a statement on the Dynamos official website.
“He had a lot going on over the summer with his wedding and other commitments and was not sure he was in a place to properly commit to the club in 2013/14”
“However circumstances have now allowed him to join up with the team and he is raring to go and get back out on that ice where he belongs. I have no doubt it won’t be long until we are again seeing the very best of Andy Smith”
Elsewhere in Kent, defenseman Ryan Giles was put on the spot over his involvement in the anonymous Twitter account ‘Real NIHL Rumours’ by Matt Merritt on the Freezing the Puck website.
The popular yet sometimes close to the bone social media account tweets messages from anonymous players about their team mates and others in the league.
Not always suitable for a family audience but usually quite amusing in a kind of ‘in joke’ and ‘truth revealing’ way, the account was long linked to Giles and former Dynamo Grant Baxter, with Romford’s David Oliver also once in the frame.
“The NIHL Rumours Twitter is fantastic, I love it” said Giles, with that angelic halo pinging above his head.
“It is not me, but I regularly get accused of it. Whoever it is – fair play and well done, you keep me amused”
“I won’t lie though; I do send some tweets in. I kinda hope we don’t find out who it is, or it won’t be as funny”
On the same website Solent & Gosport Devils Captain Kris Abbott revealed why his side had made a much more positive start to 2013/14 than they did the season before.
“I think it comes down to the players committing to improving; keeping fit, training hard, turning up with the positive attitude and playing as a team” said Abbott in the interview HERE
“There has been a lot more effort put into this year with off ice training, two slots on the ice, also some great players added to our roster that have made our team a lot stronger”
On Thursday, MK Thunder hosted an open house at the new temporary rink being built in the city.
“Your chance to come and have a look around our new home comes this Thursday” said the official Press Release.
“We will have an open evening at 7pm – 8pm, during which anyone interested in what the building looks like inside and eager to find out where things will go is welcome to come along. We will use the entrance at the car park end”
Sadly Pro Hockey News were unable to attend this event but the good news is that the group now have the keys to the building and all is looking good.
Streatham Hockey TV continued to churn out footage in South London with Scottish hardman Jamie McIlroy delivering an expletive laden factually incorrect interview following training.
Thankfully for all concerned the sound failed to pick up any of the Paisley man’s musings and the interview never made it to air, however Stewart Tait’s preview of the weekend did manage to make it off the cutting room floor and is available to view HERE
The biggest news out of South London this week was that the opening of the new ice rink in Streatham will be delayed until the 18th November.
This is not insignificant as the curtain raiser was meant to be against local rivals Invicta Dynamos on the 9th, but now the first home game for the Redskins will be against Bracknell Hornets on the 24th.
Regular readers of this column will know that we love an odd story or two so imagine our delight when we spotted pictures of Oxford City Stars defenseman Andy Cox posing in a prison cell in full kit.
The Oxford Mail newspaper ran a big story on the link up of the City Stars with Oxford Castle with the headline ‘Bad Boy Cox put in his place’. The tourist attraction will sponsor the penalty box at Oxpens Road.
“We are proud to form this partnership with the Oxford City Stars” said Michael Speight GM of Oxford Castle.
“Sponsoring the sin bin is perfect for us because as a visitor attraction based in a former prison, we’re used to locking up criminals, or in this case players, who break the rules”
Cox is the Stars all-time highest penalty taker with current Player Coach Darren Elliott not too far behind him. Neither are what you would consider to be enforcers but in a well-mannered club like Oxford he is the closest thing the team has to a ‘bad boy’.
“Sponsorships like this are great as they raise the profile of the club and add to the team morale with more and more fans coming to watch us” said Cox, who for those of you who have spent more than five minutes in his presence will know that he once got an assist in the Elite League for Edinburgh Capitals against Cardiff.
Oxford were not the only NIHL 2 side to get some media exposure as the lower league put their higher ranked friends to shame this week publicity wise, as Lee Valley Lions filmed a CBBC feature called the Dare Devil.
The feature appeared to involve a lady in a goalie kit, a net full of balloons and some traffic cones on the ice so god knows what was going on, however all will be revealed in February apparently.
London Raiders looked forward to a weekend away from hockey as the fixture list awarded them a nice break to coincide perfectly with the wedding of Lithuanian forward Andrius Kaminskas.
“It can be difficult with consistency when we have one-game weekends or whole weeks off, but I think all teams are in a similar situation and have the odd days off” said Raiders Captain Jason Buckman in an interview with London 24 website.
“It’s something we just deal with; it might turn out to be the perfect preparation with four difficult games coming up in the next few weeks”
Streatham made the short trip to Bracknell Hornets boasting a full strength team for the first time this season.
Peter Jasik put the Hornets ahead after only 37 seconds but any hopes of a goal filled encounter were not fulfilled as the game eventually ended 3-2 to Bracknell.
Jasik may have scored the goal but he departed the game midway through due to injury, and the Hornets other goals both came from Danny Hughes with one an empty netter.
For Streatham Evander Grinnell and Jack Tarczycki got the goals as the Londoners generally struggled to find a way past the excellent David Wride in the Hornets goal.
This was not a game that will go down in the list of NIHL classics and perhaps neither will Chelmsford’s 7-0 thumping of Cardiff at the Riverside.
Daniel Volrab hit a brace for the Chieftains with Luke Brittle, James Ayling, Ross Brears, Alex Green and Danny Wright all getting a goal each. Chelmsford goalie Ryan Bainborough enjoyed a quiet 16 shot night but will be pleased with his shut out none the less.
In Ryde it was local derby time as Solent & Gosport Devils pair Alex Murray and Steve Gosset returned to face their old club Wightlink Raiders.
The plucky Devils gave the Raiders a run for their money with the scores tied at 2-2 at the end of the second before the Raiders clicked into gear and took a 5-3 win.
Murray scored on his return to the island and his brother Mitchell hit two, however a brace from Alex Barker and goals from Matthew Vizzari, Steven Osman and Nick Compton were enough to send the home fans back to their island abodes happy.
There was also a slight scuffle to add to the report as Devils Peter Chrenko and Raiders Richard Facey came together and exchanged pleasantries.
Two key results in NIHL 2 happened with title hopefuls Haringey losing 4-1 at home to Oxford and most pleasingly for the neutrals, Lee Valley Lions followed up last weekend’s point in Cardiff by sealing their first win in over a year as they beat Wightlink Tigers in East London.
Congratulations to all at Lee Valley, especially Gary Dodds who must have been the proudest Coach in the UK this weekend.
Invicta fans were already in expectant mood ahead of their game against Chelmsford Chieftains thanks to a tweet from aforementioned blue liner Ryan Giles, who made sure he wasn’t logged into the Real NIHL Rumours account when he posted:
“All the @InvictaDynamos fans will be happy to know there were sound technicians fixing and fitting new speakers last night at the rink”
Perhaps it was the thought of clear announcements or perhaps the expectations of Dr Beats style sounds, but whatever the reason the crowd was so big for this game that face off had to be delayed to let the queue in (or alternatively the ticket office ran out of change).
The home fans were not left too disappointed as the Mo’s came from behind to snatch an equaliser with five minutes to go as Callum Fowler tied things up at 3-3.
Invicta’s other goals came from Juraj Huska and who else but Andy Smith on his return. Chelmsford scorers were Daniel Volrab, Luke Brittle and Gary Clarke.
In Gosport the Devils made up for the disappointment of the night before by beating Milton Keynes Thunder 5-1 to make it two wins already this season.
Kev Tanner, Will Francis, Kent Johnson, Jamie Fitzpatrick and Kent Johnson were all on target for the South Coast club, with Jamie Randall getting the consolation for the Thunder.
In Brixton the Streatham Redskins and Wightlink Raiders played out an entertaining cup game with the visitors coming from behind to win 7-5 on the night.
Steven Osman and Damon Larter both scored two each for the Raiders with the other goals coming from Richard Nembhard, Corey Watkins and Alex Barker.
For Streatham the goals were scored by Joe Allen, Casimir Madren-Britton, Sean Scarbrough, Callum Best and Steven Fisher.
Both sides were hit by injury problems as Raiders import Matt Vizzari planted himself into the boards trying to hit Stewart Tait in the first period and didn’t return, and then Streatham’s Joe Allen lost an edge near the boards and did similar and came off without returning midway through the third.
Saturday 5th October 2013
Bracknell Hornets 3-2 Streatham Redskins
Chelmsford Chieftains 7-0 Cardiff NIHL Devils
Wightlink Raiders 5-3 Solent & Gosport Devils
Sunday 6th October 2013
Invicta Dynamos 3-3 Chelmsford Chieftains
Solent & Gosport Devils 5-1 Milton Keynes Thunder
Streatham Redskins 5-7 Wightlink Raiders (Cup)
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