LONDON, UK – Streatham stun the big boys and Wightlink surge ahead at the top of the league. Elsewhere there are red trucks, crying kids and a miracle cure.
Sometimes you just can’t trust anyone, and not even the good people of Essex. Despite being named in the BBC’s top ten desirable places to live during the week, the peaceful town of Chelmsford was tainted by accusations of fraud.
Fake notes appear to be doing the rounds at the Riverside Ice Rink, scotching long held suspicions that only Northerners and Scottish people try and pass off colour photocopies of money as genuine.
“It is with regret that we have to make the decision that we cannot no longer except £50 Notes” said a statement on the Chieftains website, in a massacre of the English language that only Pro Hockey News and the Grauniad could equal.
“As we have recently be passed more than one we have received more than one £20 just this week which is a big hit for our team, please bear with us as we are going to have to implement a checking procedure which in turn might slow down the entrance”
“But we really do need to stop this we have had more than £200 of fake notes this season already, we have to address this, sorry for any inconvenience this might cause”
The last time Pro Hockey News saw a fake note in action was on a London to Edinburgh train, when a dubious twenty was used to pay for four cans of Stella and a sandwich. We cannot confirm or deny whether the goods were consumed by the purchaser, but we can say there wasn’t much change.
It takes a heart of stone not to start pumping when the Coca Cola Lorry comes to town, and Portsmouth was no exception this week. That beautiful red machine has brought joy to people across the UK this festive season and who better to get involved in a photo shoot with it than the Solent & Gosport Devils and Mr Christmas himself… Adam Rich.
The Christmas spirit was evident up in Milton Keynes too, as the well-publicised ‘woeful’ MK Winter Wonderland , left a number of local kids in tears thanks to a complaints that Santa’s Grotto at the event was staffed by young, thin men who looked like they were wearing “outfits from Poundland”, to quote the BBC report.
Who better to step into avert the crisis than MK Thunder Manager and Chairman of MK Ice Dave Fairhurst, whose organisation released the following statement.
“Dave Fairhurst, Chairman of MKICE, is sad to hear of the demise of Winter Wonderland”
“He recognises the effect that this will have on many families, especially the children, who were looking forward to a magical time on ice”
“MKICE are a ‘not for profit’ ice rink in the heart of Milton Keynes and have no connection whatsoever with Winter Wonderland. However, in the spirit of community and Christmas, MKICE are offering to honour any bookings made at Winter Wonderland”
“We have already been contacted by Milton Keynes Girl Guides Association and we are happy that we have been able to meet their Christmas requirements to get them on ice later this week”
It is a fantastic gesture by MK but the statement did not mention whether Dave would be dressing up as Santa with Player Coach Jamie Randall and defenseman Sam Cheema as elves, and Thunder Sports Therapist Nefra Germain starring as Mrs Claus.
London Raiders fans were possibly surprised to see former import Andrius ‘Bomber’ Kaminskas sign for Slough Jets this week, after leaving the Raiders and retiring due to a career ending injury as far back as.. er November.
Bomber gets his last shot at the EPL, whilst London are probably better off with replacement jakub Klima for the goals the Czech brings to the table. A win-win situation really, although it does beg the question which doctor Bomber has been visiting in the last few weeks.
Wightlink Raiders coach Jeremy Cornish reflected on a three point weekend for his team, that kept them in the title running.
“I was looking forward to last weekend and seeing a couple new rinks in the league” said Cornish in his weekly column.
“On Saturday we made our way to Streatham and their new rink is fantastic, I wish we could get more rinks like that popping up around the UK”
“The result was one I wasn’t overly impressed with, we drew 4-4 and I feel it was a point lost rather than a point gained. We had the lead on three different occasions and as far as I’m concerned made some silly mistakes each time to let them back in it”
“On Sunday we travelled to Milton Keynes and that rink is a whole other story. I think it’s great the effort they have put in to get an ice pad, but I’m not certain it’s fit for senior hockey”
“We came away with a 3-1 win and the young lad they had playing goal for them was awesome. He faced 79 shots and really made some great saves. They worked hard as they always do and they may surprise a few teams if they get used to that ice surface”
The Streatham programme published an open letter from tough guy Jamie McIlroy to Santa in a seasonal feature. Unfortunately Santa denied the former Paisley man any gifts in the published reply due to his appalling plus minus record, in the last game against Chelmsford.
The stated figures range from minus 4 to minus 9, so Pro Hockey News will give him the benefit of the doubt and stick with the latter.
NIHL 2 side Bristol Pitbulls stole the headlines above any other team in the UK as their special Christmas jerseys were featured on a TSN broadcast over in Canada, during the intermission of Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks.
Pitbulls supremo Richie Hargreaves has been commended in this column many times for his excellent promotional ventures and large range of branded merchandise, but this stunt is up there with the best he has come up with. Well done Bristol.
The last time Streatham hosted Chelmsford the visitors demolished them 10-1 in a game that even the most hardened Redskins fan would struggle to draw any positives from.
This time was a different story as the in-form Redskins gained sweet revenge with an unexpected 6-3 win. Chelmsford badly missed defensive lynchpins Tibor Schneider and Julian Smith, however Streatham made them pay with some effective attacking hockey.
Joe Johnston and Steven Fisher scored two for Streatham, with Sean Scarbrough and Michal Oravec also on target. For Chelmsford Darren Brown, Ross Brears and Luke Brittle got the goals.
The hero of the night however was Streatham goalie Will Sanderson who was in sparkling form between the pipes.
Wightlink Raiders made unusually short work of London Raiders in Lee Valley with a 5-1 win. Cornish has endured a love hate (well we think there is some love there) with the London fans, so the Canadian enjoyed his return to the rink where he used to ice for London Racers in the Elite League.
The impressive Alex Barker once again led the line for the Raiders with two goals to add to efforts from Cornish, Craig Tribe and Corey Watkins. London’s goal came from Jakub Klima, who were missing Dwayne Newman at the back.
The final game of the day saw Milton Keynes get so close to their first home win of the season as they went down to the Solent & Gosport Devils 4-2.
The Devils haven’t won on the road all season so they will be delighted to pick up two valuable points over their relegation rivals.
Solent scorers were Mitchell Murray with a brace and one each for Kris Abbott and Alex Murray. For Milton Keynes it was Douglas Young and Maksims Petruks on target.
Solent & Gosport couldn’t continue their form, as Wightlink beat them 8-1 at Gosport Ice Rink in a one sided affair.
The island side moved four points clear at the top of the table thanks to a Steven Osman hat trick and goals for Dan Pye, Simon Hobbis, Alex Barker and Matt Colclough if the game sheet is to be believed. Unfortunately for Mr Colclough it was a misprint.
Kris Abbott got a late consolation for the Devils.
There was a big scuffle in the first period as Steve Gossett and Kev Tanner locked horns with Ben Lock and then Jeremy Cornish, and the Wightlink coach got an early shower for his troubles.
Streatham completed an unlikely four point weekend with a shock 4-2 win over Invicta Dynamos. The Redskins stunned a bumper home crowd in Kent thanks to two goals from former forward Callum Best and lone goals from Michal Oravec and Joe Allen.
Dynamos goals came from Marek Nahlik and Danny Hammond.
Streatham haven’t won in Kent since around 2007 if our statistics are correct, so it was a great evening for the band of travelling supporters, some of whom have witnessed some abject Streatham displays in Gillingham since then.
The league table now looks healthy for Wightlink, who have Streatham’s heroics to thank for the gap they now enjoy over Chelmsford and Invicta, whilst at the bottom, Milton Keynes look ever more destined for last place.
Saturday 21st December 2013
Streatham Redskins 6-3 Chelmsford Chieftains
London Raiders 1-5 Wightlink Raiders
MK Thunder 2-4 Solent & Gosport Devils
Sunday 22nd December 2013
Solent & Gosport Devils 1-8 Wightlink Raiders
Invicta Dynamos 2-4 Streatham Redskins
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