Match Report: Phantoms vs Kestrels

The Planet Ice British Sledge Hockey  League is in full swing.  The first games started a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s the turn of Peterborough Phantoms vs arguably our biggest rivals in recent years, Kingston Kestrels. Kestrels lined up with a different and slightly smaller squad than last season, with them seeing the return Chris Wilson from previous seasons, and the addition of a new player in Dave Blakeston. On the other side, Phantoms boasted a large number of players, a number of them making their debuts not only for the club but in sledge hockey itself!

Despite the small number of players for Kestrels, what they do possess is a large amount of quality against our numbers. The starting line-up for Phantoms was Matt Coleman, Tyler Christopher and new boy/ex-Kestrels player, Ian Warner leading the attack.  In defence, Darren Brown and Jon Le Galloudec, and Rob Gaze between the pipes. Kestrels lined up with Ian Houliston in net, Matt Clarkson and Sam Fitzgerald in defence.  Matt Woollias, Chris Wilson, and Simon Berry supporting the front line.

The first period was a scrappy affair, with both teams trying to get control of the game. A lot of good hits going in, and Kestrels putting the Phantoms under a lot of pressure.  Kestrels made that pressure pay off with a well-taken shot from Matt Woollias to the top left hand corner of the net in the 6th minute of the 1st period, giving the Kestrels account 1-0 lead.

A time out was called by the Phantoms, to try and get some structure and to calm down.  It worked, they started to get our game together, and in the 12th minute of the 1st period, Tyler made a break with him getting just behind the goal. Despite having two Kestrels players smothering him, he managed to squeeze a pass through to Matt Coleman, who dispatched the puck under Houliston on the far post. Game on – 1-1!

2nd period saw the Phantoms starting to get to grips with the game. It’s not a surprise really, considering the Phantoms had a large bench, it was proving difficult to try and get everyone on the ice, and in some part this may have contributed to the difficulty in trying to maintain consistency during the game.  However, the new guys contributed with new boy, Kieran O’Meara setting up the second goal for Phantoms in the 26th minute with a great pass to Tyler Christopher who was sitting just in front of the net to chip it over the keeper. The score remained 2-1 to Phantoms until the 3rd period. Despite having a small bench, Kestrels never tired and kept pushing for an equaliser.  They got their reward in the 34th minute.  Matt Clarkson, known for his powerful shot, decided to let one rip from the blue line, going through a number of bodies and into the bottom right hand corner of the goal. 2 – 2 – and with not many minutes left on the clock, both teams went all out to try and get the winner.  It was anyone’s game right now, but thankfully for Phantoms, only a couple of minutes after Clarkson’s dam buster, Tyler setup Ian Warner, the ex-Kestrel, to score the winner for Phantoms on his debut.

Despite Kestrels pushing hard for an equaliser, Phantoms saw out the last minutes to finish the game as winners of their first home game of the Planet Ice League season. Planet Ice MVP was selected by the opposite teams, with Kestrels selecting Matt Coleman as the MVP for Phantoms, and Phantoms selected Matt Clarkson as the MVP for Kestrels. This was a tough game, and in truth the difference between one side not really having much of a bench and one who had loads didn’t show.  Kestrels pushed all the way from start to finish. For Phantoms it’s a great sign to see everyone get some ice time, and all contributing to the win, we look forward to the next game against Cardiff, in a couple of weeks time, where hopefully our new squad will get another chance to gel together

Huskies vs Phoenix Match Report

HuskiesPhoenix300415On Saturday 4th April, The Cardiff Huskies welcomed the Manchester Phoenix to the Cardiff Ice Arana for the opening game of the BSHA Planet Ice National Sledge Hockey League for both teams.

Cardiff are starting this year with a number of players new to league matches alongside many more experienced players. However the game was expected to be close and physical between two sides of fairly equal strength.

In an end to end start with strong skating, tight defence but few opportunities for shots on goal the Huskies looked stronger. However despite being the only team in the first 10 minutes to keep possession in attacking positions a mistake against the play and fast reactions from Phoenix 14 Anthony Booth opened the scoring as the forward gained control of the puck in the Huskies zone and wrapped around Gareth Rees’s net to open the scoring on the backhand at 11.41

The physical style of the Huskies continued to give the home team good possession after the restart, however a roughing call against Huskies Paul Furber three minutes later lead to Manchester’s first real opportunity to change the momentum of the game and while the power play that followed was dealt with well by The Huskies penalty kill, Phoenix had begun to make an impact. Despite going on the penalty kill themselves in the last few minutes after a disputed elbowing call on defenceman Graham Wilson, the away team came out of the period 1 – 0 up and looking the more effective team.

Having been the stronger team at the end of the first period, the Phoenix kept up the momentum with a great start and were 2 up in the 17th minute after good interplay between Booth, the scorer of the first goal and top centre Karl Nicholson who flicked the puck into the Cardiff net from close in.

A period of 4 on 4 hockey was key to the next passage of play. Cardiff’s Scotty Turner and Manchester’s Anthony Booth both serving penalties for separate incidents within a short time. Cardiff continued to put good pressure on their opponents with some tough hits, although the greater amount of space clearly benefitted the fast Manchester forwards,

With the score remaining 2 -0 going into the 3rd period a change of net minder in the Cardiff goal seemed to signal a more direct attacking style in the final 15 minutes. A more open style initially seemed to play into the away teams hands, a breakaway goal again from prominent forward Booth on 36.26 taking them into a 3 – 0 lead. However there was no question that Cardiff had begun to put more puck on net in the last 10 minutes and the opposing net minder Stephen Midgehall who was in great form began to get much better shots coming his way.

Unfortunately for the home side the dominance they finally managed to reassert towards the end of the game would not be enough, but in an exciting last few minutes the game firstly seemed to have been completely taken away from Cardiff after Karl Nicholson struck again, before Cardiff staged a very late come back.

The final twist in the game came with little over a minute left to play, when Phoenix seemed to suddenly lose concentration and the fired up home team, who had found new energy in the late stages managed to break the deadlock. At 43.46 Lloyd Woodyatt showed great forward pressure taking the puck of the defence around the back of the net and following on for the wrap around to finally give his side the goal they were looking for.

Then just seconds later after the centre ice face off, Manchester again failed to clear the puck from deep within their defensive zone and Woodyatt again charged down of goal and working well with Scott Turner, saw the home team score a remarkable second goal.

It was a great last push by the Huskies, however it was not enough and with no further score Manchester Phoenix came out winners with a 4 – 2 score line.

This was a good well matched game of Hockey from which both teams will have positives to take away going further into the league season and the rematch away in Manchester will be keenly awaited by both sides.

SledgeHockeyGB Reveal 2015 Playing Shirts

The British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) is delighted to reveal the SledgeHockeyGB playing jersey for the 2015 World Championships (Pool B), to be held in Ostersund from the 16th to 22th March 2015.

These shirts have been provided to SledgeHockeyGB by the Great Britain Supporters Club (GBSC) and Jersey 53.

GBShirt2015

Elite Programme Director John Neville said:

“Sledge Hockey in Great Britain has a lot of support and one of our biggest long term supporters is the Great Britain Supports Club. They not only fundraise on behalf of SledgeHockeyGB but actively encourage their members to support Sledge Hockey at all levels. As a result of their involvement we can truly say that SledgeHockeyGB are one of the best supported British Paralympic teams”.

BSHA Chair, Matt Lloyd added;

“Whenever there is a Sledge Hockey game featuring British players you can almost guarantee there will be a proud Great Britain Supporters Club member in the crowd and the GB team always see it as an honour to wear shirts or off-ice clothing with the GBSC logo on it. On behalf of everyone involved with Sledge Hockey I would like to thank the GBSC for their ongoing support.”

The SledgeHockeyGB playing jerseys are being supplied for the first time by Jersey 53 as a result of a fantastic new partnership. The GB team can be seen wearing Jersey 53 Mission Pro cut jerseys, one of many unique cuts available from Jersey 53 range.

Jersey 53’s Ali Cree commented,

“Jersey 53 are thrilled to be supporting the GB Sledge Hockey Team in their upcoming World Championship Campaign. We look forward to following the championships closely and will be cheering on the squad. We hope to build connections with British Sledge Hockey Association and its members to help accommodate their custom requirements for all members. We are totally inspired by these athletes fight over adversity to reach their goals and aspirations to represent Britain.”

Wish the team good luck! Tweet your good luck messages to @sledgehockey on Twitter using the hashtag #SledgeHockeyGB.

GB Squad Selected for World Championships

GB LogoThe British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) has announced today the 11 players who will represent the Great Britain Sledge Hockey team for the 2015 World Championships (Pool B), to be held in Ostersund from the 16th to 22th March, aiming to secure promotion to Pool A.

Since missing out on qualifying for the last winter Paralympics in Sochi in 2014, the BSHA has continued with a robust development programme and expanded its national league structure supported by committed stakeholders.

Over the past four years the GB team has risen consistently up the world rankings culminating in winning a bronze medal at the last IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (Pool B) held in Japan in 2013.

In order to gain promotion to Pool A Sledge Hockey GB must finish second and will be competing against hosts, Sweden as well as South Korea, Poland, Austria and Slovakia.

The selected athletes are;

 

  • Darren Brown
  • Tyler Christopher
  • Jon Le Galloudec
  • Bryan Hackworth
  • Ian Warner
  • Karl Nicholson
  • Matt Woollias
  • Matt Clarkson
  • Rob Gaze
  • Scott Turner
  • Paul Furber

There is no shortage of international experience in the squad selected which contains 9 members of the GB team which won the Bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships plus two athletes who have competed in at least one Paralympic Games.

Elite Programme Director John Neville said:

“I’m delighted that due to our development programme we are able to send such a talented and experienced group of players to represent our nation at the World Championships.  The progress that the squad has achieved over the past few years is really impressive and they now have a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their progress in Sweden”.

“Under Andrew Linton’s leadership, the squad have developed a very fast, skilful and exciting brand of sledge hockey, which has thrilled crowds and earned plaudits around the world over the last few years. We will continue to give Andrew and his squad our full support to ensure they have every opportunity to perform to their full potential and go onto compete on the greatest sporting stage of all at the Paralympics in 2018.

BSHA Chair, Matt Lloyd added;

“It has been fantastic to see the support Sledge Hockey GB have received and it is important to recognise key stakeholders such as the British Paralympic Association, Disability Sport Wales, English Federation of Disability Sport, UK Sport, Planet Ice, MDSC, Sharegift and of course the Great Britain Supporters Club.”

“We should also recognise that the growth of Sledge Hockey in England wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the County Sports Partnerships aided by Sport England, volunteers, fans, coaches and the players who haven’t been fortunate enough to be selected.”

Head Coach Andrew Linton commented,

“This worlds we are looking to pick up where we left off in Japan, competing for a medal, we feel we had a disappointing Paralympic qualification tournament and want to make amends for that.

The guys, as always, have been working hard on the ice, and are looking forward to competing again. There are no easy games in international sport and Sweden and Korea will be the biggest challenge but every team we play will be wanting the same thing as us which is to win.”

Wish the team good luck! Tweet your good luck messages to @sledgehockey on Twitter using the hashtag #SledgeHockeyGB; #Ostersund2015: or visit the BSHA website at www.sledgehockey.co.uk

Planet Ice 2015 Season Fixtures

All the dates for the 2015 season have now been confirmed with the rinks and the teams!  So get the dates booked into your diaries and start making plans to cheer your favourite team on!

Please note that unlike last season, we have had to double up some games, so if you were planning to watch every game, you might need to make sure your transporter is working!

Home teams are listed first.  And while every effort is made to keep the dates/times of these games as below, they may be subject to change.  Should this happen, we will update here, Twitter and Facebook with as much notice as possible.

 

Date Time Home Team Away Team
April 25th 17:00 Kingston Sheffield
April 25th 18:30 Cardiff Manchester
May 2nd 16:15 Peterborough Kingston
May 23rd 16:00 Cardiff Peterborough
May 30th 16:30 Manchester Cardiff
May 30th 21:30 Sheffield Peterborough
June 6th 16:00 Cardiff Kingston
June 13th 12:00 Kingston Manchester
June 20th 16:30 Manchester Sheffield
June 27th 16:15 Peterborough Cardiff
June 27th 21:30 Sheffield Manchester
July 4th 16:00 Cardiff Sheffield
July 11th 12:00 Kingston Cardiff
July 18th 16:30 Manchester Peterborough
July 25th 16:15 Peterborough Manchester
July 25th 21:30 Sheffield Cardiff
August 8th 12:00 Kingston Peterborough
August 15th 16:30 Manchester Kingston
August 22nd 16:15 Peterborough Sheffield
August 29th 22:15 Sheffield Kingston

Playoffs will be held on September 5th at Planet Ice Milton Keynes, with the top 4 teams competing.  More details will be added closer to the time!

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