Round Up

April 4th & 5th, 2015

SIHA action starts with a congratulatory note for Lasers U12 D1 who qualified for the National Finals despite losing away to Nottingham in a closely matched game which looked like ending 2-2 until Nottingham scored on the final buzzer. Our other U12’s team, Swampfrogs enjoyed an excellent 9-4 win over top of the table Deeside Junior Dragons at Ice Sheffield. That win leaves the Swampfrogs just two points behind Deeside with a game in hand although second placed Whitley appear to be favourites with the same points as Deeside but with three games in hand.

Greyhounds, U16 D2 Champions refused to take their foot off the pedal to record a fine 4-0 victory over Deeside Junior Dragons to round their season off with their 100% win record intact; a fantastic achievement from a talented bunch of kids who deserve a lot of credit.

Sabres U14 D2 amazing season continued as the newly crowned champions maintained their 100% win record with a gutsy 5-0 win over Grimsby at Ice Sheffield on Saturday. This was followed by yet another win, this time on Sunday, 6-2 away to Nottingham which sees the Sabres notch up their 12th win from 12 games.

Senators were in action at Solihull for the NIHL Laidler Conference Play-Offs in Sunday’s semi-final against Telford Tigers. Missing some key players Senators were in the end, no match for Tigers losing 5-1 in a feisty match. Arran Bell had opened the scoring for Senators but goals from James Smith & Bradley Betteridge put Tigers 2-1 up at the end of the first. Tigers made it 3-1 with just 15 seconds of the period remaining through James Smith which saw tempers flare a few seconds later. Telford went onto to score two more with Bradley Betteridge grabbing his second of the game with Josh Hustwick getting the other to seal a 5-1 win.

It was a disappointing result for Senators but in the cold light of day it was all about winning promotion and that is exactly what Senators have achieved…and what a fantastic achievement too.

Talking of play-off hockey; good luck to Sheffield Spartans in their NIHL Moralee Conference semi-final game up in Dumfries on Saturday against the Blackburn Hawks. The winners of that game will face Billingham Stars or Solway Sharks in Sunday’s final. Here’s hoping that it will be Spartans!

 

March 28th & 29th, 2015

Spartans put in a superb team performance to comfortably beat Sutton Sting 7-1 in their final game of the regular season to clinch the final play-off spot in Dumfries over their opponents who needed a win to overhaul Spartans into 4th spot. Ollie Barron got Spartans off to a flyer with a goal after 7 seconds to settle the nerves but Sutton equalised through John Ross. It was a close game but some nice individual skill from Shaun Wild outsmarted the Sutton defence to fire Spartans back in front. Spartans gradually wore Sutton down in the second with two more goals, one apiece for Ollie & Will Barron to put Spartans firmly in the driving seat. The wind had clearly been knocked out of Sutton’s sails and when Jonathan Kirk fired in a brace to make it 6-1 it was basically game over. Sutton, who weren’t at their best, tried to fight their way back into the game but they were no match for a well drilled Spartans team who scored again through Nick Manning to put the game beyond the slightest doubt for a well-deserved win with a competent performance to secure 4th spot, three points ahead of Sutton in 5th.

Congratulations also go out to Sabres U14’s who were crowned Champions of D2 this weekend despite not having a game this weekend with results elsewhere determining that they couldn’t be topped. A fantastic achievement!

Also in action on Saturday were the Rapiers U16 D1 who thumped Kingston Hull 22-0 which sees them qualify for the National Finals and still in the hunt for top spot too.  Sticking with the U16’s, Greyhounds amazing season in D2 continued with a solid performance to grab a 3-0 road win in Nottingham.

In wasn’t such a good day on Sunday for our Junior teams in action with all of them suffering home defeats in what were crucial games. Both U12’s teams lost out with Lasers losing to title chasing rivals Bradford 8-2 in D1 whilst Swampfrogs were narrowly beaten by Coventry 4-3 in D2. Meanwhile Stormers U14’s suffered a heavy defeat at the hands of title rivals Bradford, just as the Lasers had done but the score in this was 13-4 to Bradford.

Senators certainly had a bad day at the office on Sunday, for more reasons than one when they were beaten 13-2 in Deeside by the Dragons. This was on the back of a 5-3 home win the previous night at Ice Sheffield. Sens had found themselves in front 3-0 at the end of the second but Coventry hit back to be the better team but not quite good enough to overhaul Sens who went onto win the game 5-3 and despite the fightback from Coventry, were the deserved winners on the balance of play for the full 60 minutes.

However on Sunday it was a different story in which Deeside were clearly pumped up for their final game in front of a decent sized crowd. Sens had found themselves 3-0 down at the end of the first in what was a physical encounter and although Deeside had been the better team, there had not been too much wrong with Sens performance, maybe just lacking a bit of zest in front of goal. However they were flat in the second period with a performance that did not mirror that of previous ones or indeed that of Deeside’s who put in a terrific effort to see them deservedly 7-0 in front. Things had got worse for Sens too who had lost the inspirational Josh Gent to a nasty injury, one that was overlooked by the referee who allowed play to continue for Dragons to score whilst Josh was still down and obviously in a lot of pain. Bobby Browne also picked up an injury to force him out of the game and with no back up netminder it was up to Charlie Thompson to step in and he could do very little about the 6 goals he let in. These are by no means excuses, Dragons were in top form and had dominated proceedings but Sens showed some Sheffield steel to hit back to outshoot their opponents but as was the case in the first, it wasn’t quite happening in front of goal with Sens only able to pop two in from a hatful of chances; Sergevs Jegorovs & Andy McEwan the scorers. Although a bad result, hopefully it was just a one off as Sens look forward to play-off hockey next weekend with a trip to Solihull to face Telford Tigers NIHL in the semi-finals on Sunday with a place up for grabs in the final against hosts Solihull Barrons or Widnes Wild.

 

March 21st & 22nd, 2015

Senators enjoyed a 4 point double header success over local rivals Nottingham Lions in what were two good games of hockey. Sens put in two competent and gritty performances to outsmart a hard working Nottingham team that couldn’t quite match Senators overall play & enthusiasm.

On Saturday at Ice Sheffield Senators won 3-1 in an end to end game that was quite close at times but overall Senators deserved their win which came from a solid defence & sound netminding. In a first period that lacked a bit of zip it was tied at 0-0 with Senators failing to capitalise on the chances they created whilst restricting Lions to just 5 shots. Senators snatched the lead early on in the second when Josh Gent scored a nice goal, showing great tenacity to put his chance away from Sergevs Jegorovs on 21.49. Sens enjoyed a good spell of pressure only to be pulled back with a well taken goal scored by Ben Wood on 26.44. This lifted Nottingham but Senators rode out the storm to enjoy a good spell themselves but Thomas Hovell in Lions goal was equal to anything Sens could fire at him with Bobby Browne in fine form too when called upon to make the saves to ensure it was still all square at the end of the second. The game was a lot more fast flowing in the final period with both teams creating some good chances but once again Senators defence were on their game and with Bobby Browne making the saves when he had to it gave Senators a platform from which to go on and win the game which is what they did. Some quick thinking and passing out of defence from Martyn Gray & Joe Colton put Charlie Thompson clear who showed great skill to fire one past Hovell who had no chance; goal timed 43.46. Sens made several more chances but it wasn’t until 54.31 when Nathan Britton played the puck back for Josh Gent to shoot one in for 3-1. Nottingham had been difficult to break down and they responded positively to enjoy arguably their best spell of the game but once again Senators were on their game to soak up the pressure and finish strongly to see the game out for a deserved win.

On Sunday it was a short trip down the M1 to Nottingham for the return fixture and once again, it was a good game of hockey but a little bit feistier than the previous night with both teams clearly up for the game. Senators started strongly to dominate proceedings and were two up through Josh Gent on 2.22 and Tom Humphries on 7.51. Nottingham did hit back and eventually popped one in on the powerplay through Ivo Dimitrijevs. It terms of chances it was pretty even but on the balance of play and possession Senators were the better team. In terms of overall play it was more balanced in the second period but Senators always had the upper hand. Paul Lofthouse set up Tom Humphries in the first minute to make it 3-1 but Lions pulled one back on 28.17, Kieran Raynor the scorer. Joel Aheran made the most of his chance to make it 4-2 after some nice play from Charlie Thompson & Sergevs Jegorovs on 28.17. It was a good contest with both teams basically cancelling one another out from which it became a bit niggly as Lions were struggling to find a way back into the game. An inspirational talk from Andy Ellis did the trick in the period break to see a well drilled Senators team competently finish of their rivals with controlled hockey. A lovely short-handed goal from Nathan Britton made it 5-2 on 48.57 gave Senators the edge against a battling Nottingham team that pulled another back on the powerplay timed 51.21, Ben Wood the scorer to make it 5-3. Lions continued to push forward whilst leaving themselves open for counter attacks and both teams had solid chances to add to their score but it’s fair to say that Senators looked in control to once again see the game out for another win in another good game of hockey which was concluded with a bench clearance in which amazingly not one penalty was awarded. Senators win 5-3 to secure a 4 point weekend over Lions.

To the juniors and Rapiers U16 D1 notched an impressive 9-0 away win over Kingston Hull but were made to work hard for their win in the early stages of the game but stepped it up to run out clear winners in the end. Samurai U10’s were in action at Ice Sheffield with cross ice challenge games against Nottingham, Solihull & Coventry.

On Sunday Sabres U14 D2 edged ever closer to their league title whilst ensuring their 100% win record remains intact with a 6-3 away win at Blackburn. Sabres were 1-0 up through Harry Currell at the end of the first with goals in the second for Leon Shaw, Ben O’Brien & Luke Watson to make it 4-0 after two. Josh Cope made it 5-0 before Blackburn pulled two goals back but it was too little too late as Sabres added another in the final minute through Ben O’Brien.

Scorpions U18 D2 narrowly lost out 5-4 at home to Nottingham in what was a pretty decent game with some noticeable performances on the Sheffield team.

One again, all in all it’s been another successful weekend for SIHA’s teams with more action coming up this weekend with the conclusion of the senior regular season as well as some important junior fixtures too…keep an eye out for the upcoming preview with all the relevant details.

 

March 14th & 15th, 2015

Sheffield Spartans & Blackburn Hawks shared the spoils in a great game of ice hockey at Ice Sheffield on Saturday in NIHL North One. Spartans were the better team in the opening period and should have realistically been in front but had to be content with a 2-2 period with Ollie Barron twice putting Spartans in front only for Hawks to equalise through Adam Brittle & Chris Arnone. The second period was a little scrappy, mainly due to some awful and inconsistent refereeing on both teams but it was still end to end & as exciting as the first period. Hawks had some good spells of pressure with Brandon Stones making several good saves to keep Spartans in the game. But whereas Hawks had more chances, Spartans had the better ones and on the balance of play deserved their 4-2 lead at the end thanks to good goals scored by Shaun Wild & Nick Manning. Hawks stepped it up a gear to score early on in the third through Chris Butler. Spartans still created chances and were more than in the game but a good spell of possession and pressure on Spartans goal from Hawks reaped rewards with a determined effort to drive the puck home after Brandon Stones had made a fine save but unable to do anything about Aaron Davies popping in the rebound as there was a Hawks player lying on top of him with the goal allowed to stand. Spartans reacted positively to hit back at Hawks who always looked dangerous on the counter attack but it looked more likely a draw as the clock ticked down; however there was to be a cruel twist in the tale with just 16 seconds left of the game. Some lovely build up play had Hawks on the back foot and when Will Barron forced the puck home and the goal signalled it looked like Spartans may have inflicted Hawks first defeat of the season. The reaction of the Hawks players spoke volumes as Spartans celebrated but it was not to be has the referee then decided to wash it out for a man in the crease, doing so without consultation to harshly rob Spartans of a hard fought and valuable win. It was a poor call, it was the wrong call, one of many but obviously it had more of an impact than some of his other decisions. The last 16 seconds passed without further incident to see the final score tied at 4-4. The result & Sutton’s loss in Billingham sees Spartans move up to 4th play-off spot, one point above Sutton who they play in their last game on the 28th.

Prior to the Spartans game, Rapiers U16 D1 faced a potentially tricky game against Coventry Blaze who made life difficult for the Sheffield team at times. The first chance fell to Coventry on a breakaway but they couldn’t put their chance away in the 2nd minute. Lasers went onto dominate but they didn’t pick the most of their possession or chances against an inform netminder and a stubborn defence that do deserve praise. However the netminder as eventually beaten when a brave save from a one on one breakaway saw possession fall to Sam Rodgers who calmly put his chance away to put Rapiers in front. As the clock ticked down some lovely individual skill from Sam Rodger saw him flick his shot high to leave the netminder no chance and put Rapiers in front 2-0 at the period break. Coventry started the period brightly and after both teams had good chances to score with Evan Coles making an excellent save in Sheffield’s goal, it was Blaze who did score through Daniel Mulcanny who was strong on the puck after he created space to put his chance away nicely. This lifted Coventry who was now on top of things and whilst on the powerplay they turned possession over to fire in a shot to make it 2-2 through Edgars Landsbergs. Rapiers hit back though but couldn’t find a way past Coventry’s rear-guard to be all square after two but after a scrappy start to the 3rd, Rapiers went on to gradually dominate proceedings to run out 6-2 winners. Finlay Ulrick scored first and after some sustained pressure Aaron Lyon forced a good save from the Coventry goalie but was on hand for the second bite of the cheery to make it 4-2.  Finlay Ulrick picked up a perfectly timed & weighted pass to leave the netminder no chance and the win was rounded of by Jake Howis in the dying seconds of the game. It was tough to start with but Rapiers class told in the end in what was another good game of junior hockey.

 

The academy’s other senior team were also in action against their Blackburn rivals but against the Eagles in NIHL North Two. Blackburn is always a difficult place to get a result and things became a bit naughty and physical but a solid workmanlike team performance with a special mention for the unwell Josh Gent who insisted on playing to turn in an admirable performance with 5 goals & an assist. Josh aka Charles VII grabbed his hat-trick in the first period with Mikey Mawer, Nathan Britton, Callum Rawson & Paul Lofthouse getting on the score sheet with a solitary goal from Eagles through Jordan Ashington to see the score at 7-1 in Senators favour. The second period was a little tougher but Josh Gent & Nathan Britton put Sens further in front at 9-1 but another Jordan Ashington goal in the last minute pulled one back for Eagles. Harry Bolton & James Riddoch gave Eagles a little hope into the third but Josh Gent popped his 5th one in to make it 10-4 before it all turned a bit unsavoury in the 52nd minute with numerous penalties handed out to both teams. However the dust did settle somewhat with no real further incident for Senators to notch up another win in what has been an amazing season.

Steelhawks U18 D1 were also on the road to face Billingham and came away with an impressive 14-4 win. A Joe Colton hat-trick, a brace from Oli Simms plus one from Cole Shudra put Steelhawks in a strong position at 6-1 at the end of the first. Sheffield’s dominance continued into the second, despite a couple of Billingham goals, as Cole Shudra grabbed his hat-trick with two more goals with one apiece for Aaron Lyon, Connor Parker & Thomas James Brooke-Smith. With an 11-3 lead Steelhawks were always in command and ensured their victory by conceding just one more whilst Kyle Watson and another couple from Cole Shudra rounded off a good performance.

Scorpions U18 D2 were also in action but came unstuck against a very good & undefeated Manchester team who climbed to the top of the league after their 12-2 win at Ice Sheffield whilst Swampfrogs recorded a solid 11-3 away win against Grimsby.

On Sunday Sabres U14 D2 maintained their 100% win record but didn’t get things their own way against a talented and hardworking Deeside Junior Dragons in an entertaining game. Leon Shaw put Sabres 1-0 up at the end of the first in a period in which they were the better team. Deeside looked like a different opposition in the second but found themselves 2-0 down after Ben O’Brien had scored a well taken goal, however Deeside’s efforts were rewarded when they pulled one back to make it 2-1 at the end of the second. Sabres gained the upper hand when Leon Shaw scored a lovely delayed penalty goal to make it 3-1 but Deeside didn’t give up and took advantage when a lapse of concentration in defence was punished by the impressive Charlie Spidgeon who made no mistake to haul Dragons back into the game. It was hard to predict which way it would go but Sabres dug deep and worked hard to ensure that it was they who secured the points with Leon Shaw unlucky not to score again when he flicked one onto the piping. A gritty performance from Sabres in an enjoyable game for the spectator but not necessarily for the Coach!

Greyhounds U16 D2 enjoyed a 9-0 success over Blackburn to maintain their 100% win record which has seen them crowned as league winners. Blackburn pushed Greyhounds all the way in the first period but two decent goals; one for Gabriel Grzibovskis & one for Jack Brain put Greyhounds in control. It was soon 3-0 when a Blackburn player went to block a shot with his skate from Nathan Price only to help the puck on its way into the net. The second period was a lot closer although a good spell from Greyhounds brought a couple of good saves from the Blackburn netminder but he couldn’t do anything to prevent Luke Allen firing in after a lovely pass from Jack Brain had created the opening to see Greyhounds in front at 4-0. A Gabriel Grzibovskis hat-trick made it four for him as well as 7-0 for Greyhounds. Nathan Prince scored a lovely short-handed goal to make it 8-0 with Thomas Cope making it 9-0 to put away his own rebound after a very good initial shot had been well saved by Blackburn’s goalie. Another impressive performance for Greyhounds who’s season just gets better & better.

The same can be said for Lasers U12 D1 who enjoyed an impressive 13-0 away win against Kingston Hull to keep them in the hunt for glory in what turned out to be a very good day for junior hockey in Sheffield.

 

March 7th & 8th, 2015

Spartans left it late on Saturday night in NIHL North One to claim a valuable victory over Manchester Minotaurs in their pursuit of a play-off spot. In an open & end to end first period there was very little to choose between the two teams but Spartans went into the first break 1-0 up after Ollie Barron had scored. It was harsh on Minotaurs but they hit back to take the lead through Tom Gilbert & Max Drakeley and you couldn’t argue that it was deserved. Spartans called a time out and swapped netminders with Andy Bagshaw taking over from Brandon Stones.  This had the desired effect with a positive response from Spartans who were soon level with an unstoppable shot from Jonathan Kirk.  Spartans enjoyed some good possession and chances, most notably from Ollie Barron and Stuart Brittle who were both unfortunate not to score. Into the third and a fumbled save from a speculative shot from Jared Dickinson put Minotaurs in front to look the more likely winners as the final period progressed but out of nothing Ollie Barron scored a nice goal after being set up by Stuart Brittle on 56.43. Things were soon to get worse for Manchester when Elliott Knell & Ollie Barron combined to set up Stuart Brittle to score an amazing goal as he fired the puck between the post and netminder Fox to put Spartans 4-3 in front timed 57.29. Spartans regained possession from the face-off to see Andy Turner make a lovely pass to Shaun Wild who exploited the space he had made for himself to show great skill to fire in an unstoppable shot for another good goal, this one timed 57.53. Minotaurs frustrations boiled over with roughing penalties against both teams along with Minotaurs netminder Fox being thrown out for 3rd man in. With no back up netminder there was a delay whilst Mikey Gilbert dressed to go in goal for the last couple of minutes with the delay taking the sting out of the game to eventually finish with a Spartans win.

In NIHL Two Senators travelled to Humberside on Sunday to face Hull who can be tricky customers on home ice but a confident & competent 60 minutes from the Sens saw them ease to an 8-1 victory. Credit to Hull though, they ensured Sens had to be on their game which they were and in the end were simply too good for Hull. Sergevs Jegorovs & Paul Lofthouse goals put Senators 2-0 up after the first and their patience was further rewarded when Nathan Britton & Tom Humphries made it 4-0 at the end of the second. Tom Humphries netted again to make it 5-0 before Hull pulled one back through Jordan Fisher. Sens found another gear from that point and their class showed with goals from Arran Bell, Josh Gent & Sergevs Jegorovs to ensure victory. Jamie Lewis was awarded Man of the Match for Senators, one of many notable performances from a sound team effort.

It was a good day on Sunday all round for our SIHA teams as Steelhawks U18 D1 enjoyed a 3-2 road win in Whitley Bay whilst Scorpions U18 D2 enjoyed success away to Blackburn with a credible 8-1 win.

A great weekend for the academy with all our teams in action securing wins. It’s a busy weekend ahead with numerous teams in action at Ice Sheffield so keep an eye out for the forthcoming preview that will be posted sometime soon.

 

Feb 28th & 1st March, 2015

The starting point for this week’s SIHA round up has to be with Sheffield Senators who confirmed their promotion to NIHL North One with an emphatic 21-0 victory over Bradford Bulldogs at Ice Sheffield on Sunday. The outcome was never in doubt as Bradford were simply no match for Senators on the day in a one sided game. Tom Humphries grabbed five, Nathan Britton hit four with hat-tricks for Sergevs Jegorovs & Callum Rawson. Josh Gent scored twice with one apiece for Joel Aheran, Alex Jones & Tom “Lovejoy” Robjohns with arguably the best goal of the game scored by Cam King who showed a great deal of skill to put away his effort after picking up on a perfectly weighted and timed pass from Stevie Jegorovs. There will have been one r two sore heads come Monday morning, for which I can vouch for myself, as Sens celebrated a fantastic achievement.

Our other senior team, Sheffield Spartans pushed themselves back into serious play-off contention with a solid performance to win 6-3 which sees them now two points behind Sutton Sting with just 3 games left. It was far from the perfect performance but it was more than good enough to beat a spirited Manchester Minotaurs and in fairness should have been by a far greater margin but it was more about the win than anything else at this stage of the season. Cole Shudra had put Spartans in front only for Minotaurs to equalise with one second left of the period. Spartans dominated the second to be 5-2 in front with goals from Stuart Brittle, Shaun Wild, Stevie Weeks & Ollie Barron. A brief rally from Minotaurs saw them pull one back befoe a late Stuart Brittle goal sealed a deserved 6-3 victory.

Prior to the Spartans game Swampfrogs U12 D2 played out an entertaining game against Blackburn whom they got the better of to win 6-4. Swampfrogs enjoyed the better of things early on and deserved to take the lead with a debut goal for Alex Evans. Blackburn hit back but were fortunate to equalise when the puck deflected off a skate to leave the Sheffield netminder stranded. There was nothing lucky about Blackburn’s second goal after Jake Holding finished off some lovely play to put them in front but Swampfrogs pulled level after Archie Grayson’s shot had been well saved but Tyler Fletcher was on hand to pick up the rebound to equalise.

Swampfrogs enjoyed a productive second period to keep Blackburn out and put themselves in control at 5-2 up going into the final period. Sam Parkin finished nicely to make it 3-2 with a lovely individual goal from Ethan Jones, flicking his shot high into the roof of the net to make it 4-2. Some great build up play set up a chance for Liam Watson who made no mistake to make it 5-2.

Credit to Blackburn they fought to get back into the game with two decent goals although the second being a 5 on 3 powerplay goal but it was still a well worked goal. It wasn’t enough however to get past Swampfrogs who added to their tally with another superb goal, this time put away by Michael Danecko to make it 6-4 to Swampfrogs in what was a good game of hockey.

Elsewhere on Saturday Scorpions U18 D2 enjoyed a 6-2 home win over Solihull Barons whilst Greyhounds U16 D2 maintained their 100% win record with a fine away victory in Deeside.

Special mention for Samurai U10 and their cross ice challenge games, with two teams facing Whitley Bay/Bradford as well as a talented Billingham team in some great games which were clearly enjoyed by all who took part or watched.

On Sunday Steelhawks U18 D1 were staring defeat in the face at Ice Sheffield against Bradford being 5-1 down, a mixture of good finishing and questionable defending the main factors but they showed great spirit and determination to pull it back to 5-5 and were sniffing two points when Bradford countered to nick it in the final minute to secure a 6-5 win in another good game of junior hockey.

Sabres U14 D2 travelled to Humberside for a potentially tricky match against Kingston but the table topping Sabres were in fine form to record a 9-1 win in a game that was at times closer than the score may suggest.

Greyhounds U16 D2 are in midweek action down at Ice Sheffield on Thursday as they look to maintain their 100 % win record against Nottingham at 7.20pm. Hopefully there will be a report from the game as well as the usual preview of the weekend’s action some time Friday…#allsheffield