LONDON, UK – Goalies depart, goalies arrive and the exciting young prospects of NIHL South get a free trip to bonny Scotland.
The most pleasing aspect of NIHL news this week was the GB under 18 call ups for a host of players who get good ice time in the NIHL South. The fact that it is week 18 of the season when the GB under 18’s team is announced is by sheer coincidence.
Milton Keynes Thunder pair Denis Bell and Alex Whyte, Cardiff’s Callum Buglass, Wightlink’s Simon Hobbis and Bracknell trio Harvey Stead, Ivan Antonov and Sam Duggan all got the call to represent their country.
Congratulations to all of those concerned along with the rest of the GB team, who get to play in the World Championships in March.
The only downside for them is that despite the fact they could have played in Holland, Croatia or even Korea, the guys have to keep their passports at home and enjoy an exotic tournament in Dumfries, Scotland.
It could be have been worse however, as two alternatives included Romania and Lithuania. Both beautiful countries but not the best place to be in the winter months unless you enjoy bone chilling weather.. obviously the borders of Scotland are tropical in comparison.
One man who won’t be going to Dumfries, or indeed any UK ice rink in the near future is Chelmsford goalie Ryan Bainborough who announced that he is quitting the team due to personal reasons.
“Ryan for reasons only really known by him has found himself falling out of love with the game and as a coach I have always said to the guys that life is too short to commit to something such as hockey if you are not truly happy with what you are doing” said Chieftains Coach Gary Clarke.
“Personally I am sad to see Ryan go, he is a coach’s dream when you are looking for a netminder, technically he is one of the best I have seen but also his commitment over the last season and a half has been outstanding”
“He approaches every game in the right manner, plays with a great deal of passion and was always the last to leave the ice during the week in training”
“Ryan played a massive part in the success we had last season and there are certain memories which keep flashing back such as the game we played in Romford where he faced over 50 shots to get his first shutout”
“But most of all, the car journeys to and from games and training where he expressed how much he wanted to win, that he has never been in the net whilst winning in a final and I’m pleased that Ryan got to achieve that last year a memory I hope he holds for years to come”
No one can blame Bainborough for the choice he has made. The NIHL South season is a long one and as a goalie rotating duties as a pair, it can be even harder to stay motivated. Bainborough and Clements gave a great interview to PHN last season about sharing duties and hockey which can be viewed HERE
A packed MK Ice saw a midweek friendly take place between the MK Lightning and the NIHL South MK Thunder plus special guests. The EPL side skated off with an 8-3 win, but the real winners were the volunteers and MK Ice group that saw their new rink full of spectators.
No sooner had Chelmsford lost a goalie, then they found one in the shape of recently released London Raiders stopper Euan King.
“I know Euan’s passion for the game and desire to win and I’m hoping he can bring those qualities into our dressing room this year which can only help our campaign” said Coach Clarke on the official website.
“I’m confident that I as a coach and we as a team can give Euan what he seeks out of this season and I’m also confident that Euan will give us what we need in return. I am also confident that you the fans will be pleased to welcome Euan back to the Riverside in a Chieftains shirt once more”
It really was a week of goalie news as Streatham revealed that Will Sanderson would be out injured for at least two more weeks, and then London Raiders snapped up former stopper Michael Gray to ease their goaltending crisis.
Sanderson fans did get some good news however when it was revealed that Powerplay Magazine would be printing an A3 glossy poster of the man himself at the weekend.
Recently released London defenseman Jason Buckman was also snapped up by EPL side Peterborough Phantoms and made his first appearance at Guildford on Saturday.
On the Isle of Wight, the rain/wind battered locals had only Wightlink Raiders TV to keep them from the depths of depression as back-up goalie Dan Weller Evans and Coach Jeremy Cornish appeared during the week.
“I was told during the week that I would be playing because Matty was carrying and injury” said Weller-Evans, regarding his two starts in net last week.
“We had a lot of fans at Gosport and I was a bit nervous the previous evening against London as I haven’t started since last year, but I was fine on Sunday and grew into the game”
“I have no idea if I’ll be starting this weekend but I will find out this Thursday”
Cornish was also pleased with his team’s efforts over last weekend.
“We want to make sure we are in contention for every trophy so we are pleased with the wins” said Cornish.
“Gosport worked hard and they were up for it, but we managed to get a lot of hockey played and it was good to come away with the points in a close game”
“It was good to see Lloris Taylor join the team and he hits well, he skates well and he adds a lot to the line-up”
In other news, Streatham Redskins new sponsor donated a bulk stock of shower gel to the team that will ensure they are the freshest players in the league, however this was combatted by the news that Eddie Temple would be missing from the line-up as his two way contract with Slough Jets of the EPL begins.
With a lack of any bruise of the week, no dogs in hockey kit or even the briefest campaign, namely robe of the week, we have to fill the column inches with a contribution from a helpful Wightlink fan from last weekend, and potentially start a new feature.. NIHL Super Hero of the week.
Streatham’s lack of Temple was made even more of an issue as star forwards Callum Best and Joe Johnston pulled out of the squad on the eve of their trip to Cardiff.
The short-benched Londoners were leading 3-2 at one stage before veteran Devils blue liner Jason Stone rolled back the years with an unstoppable one time slapshot into the top corner of the net to tie things up at 3-3.
Sean Scarbrough scored two goals for Streatham with Steven Fisher getting the other. Cardiff’s other goals came courtesy of Owen Griffiths and Stephen Deacon.
MK Thunder’s extra match practice during the week was to no avail as Invicta demolished them 11-4 in a penalty filled encounter at MK Ice.
Callum Fowler grabbed a hat trick for the Mo’s, Andy Smith and Danny Hammond got a brace each and there were also goals for Shaun Wild, Arran Strawson, Marek Nahlik and Juraj Huska.
MK goals came from Simon Howard, Alex Whyte, Maksims Petruks and Tom Mboya.
Bracknell Hornets made light work of Solent & Gosport Devils with a 5-2 win at the Hive.
Peter Jasik scored two for the hosts with Matt Ovenden, Tom Fisher and Carl Thompson all on target as well. Devils goals both came from Alex Murray.
A short benched London Raiders handed a debut to Micheal Gray in net but he couldn’t stop Wightlink notching up their seventh straight win in all competitions with a 9-6 win.
The island hockey fans were treated to a goal fest at the Cube with Jeremy Cornish riling the visiting fans even more than usual with a hat trick, with Wightlink’s other goals coming from Alex Barker with two and Yousif Abu Saada, Matthew Vizzari, Corey Watkins and Steven Osman all with one.
London’s goals came from a Danny Marshall hat trick and lone efforts from Frankie Harvey, Jakub Klima and AJ Smith.
The biggest match up of the evening took place in Chelmsford as the Chieftains hosted Invicta Dynamos in a vital league game between second and third.
It was the Chieftains who moved above the Mo’s by the end of the game with a 3-1 win.
The result makes the Dynamos title challenge all the more difficult as Chelmsford have two games in hand and a one point advantage thanks to goals from Matt Turner, Darren Brown and Luke Brittle. Invicta’s goal came from Ryan Giles.
Streatham and Cardiff faced off their second game against each other in 48 hours in London.
Streatham welcomed back Joe Johnston for this game and the Redskins took two points thanks to a 6-2 win over the Welsh side.
Jamie McIlroy, Joe Allen, Sean Scarbrough, Michal Oravec, Dominic Hopkins and Liam Rasmussen were all on target for Streatham, with Rasmussen in particular overjoyed after scoring his first of the season. Cardiff goals came from Josh Haslam and Stevie Balmer.
The result means that Streatham move up to fourth in the table, and are now eight games unbeaten.
On another note, the man of the match awards were handed out by a visiting ITV weatherman who nearly regretted the decision when Cardiff’s Jordan Powell blew a kiss at him in the presentation.
Solent & Gosport Devils edged out a shortbenched MK Thunder side on the South Coast with a 4-3 win. The Thunder sadly only travelled with eight players, which given the number of bodies on the bench both on Saturday and midweek against the Lightning is a real shame for those who did bother to travel.
Devils goals came from Shaun Rudkin, Kevin Tanner, Alex Murray and Mitchell Murray. Thunder battled superbly throughout and their goals came from Jamie Randall, Alex Whyte and Bradley Moore.
The result now means that MK are now nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.
After the game, Solent & Gosport pair Kris Abbott and Kev Tanner both announced they would be quitting the club, however this has yet to be confirmed.
Saturday 11th January 2014
Cardiff NIHL Devils 3-3 Streatham Redskins
Wightlink Raiders 9-6 London Raiders
Bracknell Hornets 5-2 Solent & Gosport Devils
MK Thunder 4-11 Invicta Dynamos
Sunday 12th January 2014
Streatham Redskins 6-2 Cardiff NIHL Devils
Solent & Gosport Devils 4-3 MK Thunder
Chelmsford Chieftains 3-1 Invicta Dynamos
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