Steel Curtain: Strongman joins Steelkings as Elves win first ever Winter Blast

‘Team Elf’ defeated ‘Team Santa’ 2-1 in the Sheffield Steelkings’ first ever Winter Blast game with a late goal from Jake Oakley securing the victory.

The Sheffield Steelkings won a National Lottery Award in September thanks to public support and decided to stage the exhibition match as a thank you to the public. The teams were made up of players from the Steelkings club.

The Steelkings were also joined by a very special guest on the evening; Sheffield strongman, Phil ‘Titanium’ Roberts who was on hand for the ceremonial puck drop before the game started and to award the Player of the Game awards at the end as well.

Team Elf dominated the first period but couldn’t find their way past Bryan Hackworth in the Team Santa’s goal and the first period ended scoreless.

The tough and physical contest saw both sides battling hard, much to the crowds’ excitement.

The game remained tied for over half of the second period too and saw Team Santa pushing harder to try and take back some control of the game.Andrew Jackson and Rachel Rawson Battle

Goalie changes half way through the game saw Warren Hewett replace Hackworth in the Santa goal and sledge hockey newbie, Tom Wilton replace Gary Whiteley in the Elf goal.

Shortly after the goalie changes the game really started to heat up. The hits became bigger and the game opened up as both teams showed an obvious desire to win.

A long clearance by defenceman John Oakley caught Hewett by surprise and he allowed the puck to bounce out off of his pads into the path of a surging Barry Grayson who slotted it into the back of the net to give Team Elf the lead.

The score would remain 1-0 going into the third period. Following a team talk in the period break Team Santa came out strong and continued to push back in an attempt to tie the game.

Their pressure was rewarded when Wayne Plummer released a surging Matthew Franklin down the left wing and he fired a high shot straight past Tom Wilton in the Elf goal.Team Elf v Team Santa

The game was now tied and would see the crowd getting closer to the edge of their seats.

The score would stay tied at 1-1 until just a couple of minutes from the end. With under two minutes left on the clock Jake Oakley raced through the Santa team to pounce on a loose puck. His shot went hard and high on the Santa goal but was spectacularly saved by Hewett to make up for his earlier blunder. With a flash of the glove he scooped the puck into the corner for the game to remain tied. Unfortunately for Team Santa, Rachel Paget was following the play down the left wing and played the puck back across to Oakley who released another hard, high shot for the game winning goal.

Team Santa pushed on for an equaliser, but despite a last minute power play opportunity were unable to score and Team Elf claimed the win.

Sheffield Steelkings with Phil Roberts

Belfast Beat: The Quadruple Quest

There’s a bit of a buzz around Belfast at the moment, you can feel in the waters of the Lagan which flows nearby. Adam Keefe has assembled a roster which is challenging for four trophies, the elusive quadruple which no Elite League has ever achieved. It’s a tough ask for it to happen but there is some quiet confidence emanating from the Northern Irish capital that the Giants class of 2019 could actually make it happen.

Continue reading Belfast Beat: The Quadruple Quest

The Salford Lions Inline Hockey Team

Growing up I was fascinated by Ice Hockey, it was something that struck a chord in me and a sport I immediately fell in love with.

Like a lot of kids in 80s England however, I found myself without actual Ice to play on. As the years went by however a new craze emerged, inline hockey.

I was recently lucky enough to talk with the Salford Lions inline hockey team.

Why don’t you tell me a little about the club, where you’re based, how long you’ve been a team, when you play and what league do you play in

We have 2 bases. The senior team trains out of Atherton Roller rink on a Thursday night. Our other base is at Ardwick sports hall which is where our Junior team trains on a Saturday Morning.

Is the game as hard hitting as conventional hockey? Is there fighting and hard checking?

Inline hockey is by a rule a none contact sport but there is often contact due to the speed of the sport and the odd fight breaks out in games to, Unlike ice hockey where a player will get 5 minute for fighting in inline you are given game and maybe more depending on the type of fight.

Does inline hockey play any different? Are the periods the same length etc?

Yes inline hockey is played different to Ice hockey as rather than having 5 vs 5 inline is 4vs 4, Depending on the league there is no offside rule or if there is an offside rule it tends to be the halfway line rather than the blue line like in Ice hockey.

Games can also be shorter depending on the league and age group you play in. Our senior team plays in 2 x 20 minute periods and our juniors have 2x 15 minute periods.

Who are some of your favourite players, who would you have loved to play against/play with?

For me I have always been an Ice Hockey fan rather than follow Inline hockey but over the last few years I have had help from 2 former Team GB player Karl Niamatali and Phil Hamer as they helped with some of our training sessions in the past.

How did you get into playing hockey? Was it something you fell in love with at an early age or did you just turn up and have a go?

I started to play hockey when I was about 12 as I had moved to a different part of Manchester and my new group of friends had started playing it on the street so I put on somekeeper gear as I played in this position in football and I was hooked.

What’s the greatest moment in club history?

For me the greatest moment has to be when our Junior team played its 1st game and also won in the North West League last year as this has been my goal for the last few years to build and grow the club and sport at a junior level.

Who has been at the club the longest?

I have been at the club the longest in the current format but we have one of the original Salford lions players Jay Perry who came to play for us last season. Jay was one of theoriginal players who played for the team when it started out as a University team team.

Do you think the sport is growing in the UK, i remember a huge boost in the 1990s?

I do think Inline/Ice Hockey is starting to grow again in the UK but it is still a lot smaller and less funded than it was in the 90. Over the last few years we have been trying to grow the sport at Junior and Senior and we have extra leagues that have been started in Manchester, Market Drayton and Wales but there are also some on the original leagues around in Rotherham and Sheffield.

Does anyone have any strange pregame rituals? Any superstitions they believe?

Not that I am aware of but my Junior team have gotten into seeing who can create the best design on there stick tape for a game day!

Now this is the most important part of the interview, the part where the biggest hockey players shake in their boots, this is where I ask the burning question that is on everybody’s lips… Who is your favourite Spice Girl?

Hmmm that’s a tricky one as but think ide have to go with baby spice.

Do you have a merchandise store?

We do have a store on our website where we have our Jersey’s, Pants, Socks, Jumpers, Keyrings and window stickers for sale.

Thank you very much for this, I’d love to come and watch you all play one day and even grab a jersey if they’re available!

If you would like a jersey we would be happy to put an put an order in for you!

Absolutely, sign me up!

The Salford Lions have all kinds of social media and if you would like to get in touch to know more about the club their details are down below.

Twitter – @lions_IHT

Facebook – LionsIHT

YouTube – Lions IHT

Senior Instagram -salfordlionsseniors Jnr Instragram- salfordlionsjuniors

Thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us today, I wish you all the best!

Taken to the road-game clinic

Despite the best efforts of blueliner Dallas Ehrhardt, the Manchester Storm were outclassed and outplayed by a hungry Cardiff Devils side. Three unanswered goals in the final period would ensure the defending champions took the two points, but not without a few flashpoints…most notably Jake Morissette receiving a game misconduct and Linden Springer ‘introducing’ himself to Josh Batch. Continue reading Taken to the road-game clinic

Washington Re-Capitals: Week Eleven

The road to hit ten home and ten away wins was a hard one for the Capitals, but thirty-two games in, they’ve taken both milestones, thanks to an impressive three win week against Detroit, Carolina, and Buffalo.

With the week before the National Hockey League’s holiday break looming before them, it remains to be seen how many more wins they can add to their impressive total of twenty, which has them in the top six league wide, behind only Tampa Bay (25), Nashville (22), Winnipeg (21), Toronto (21), and Calgary (21).

With a fourth line that’s had an incredible December, the addition of T.J. Oshie to the electric combination of Ovechkin and Backstrom on the top line, and Siegenthaler and Bowey combining for a third pair experience no one could have expected, could the Capitals go 3-0 two weeks in a row?

Continue reading Washington Re-Capitals: Week Eleven

The Kings Week in Review – 16/12/18

The seasons in the abyss continues to roll by following the end of the homestand and a four game road trip. And while some things look promising, others don’t as we reflect on the week gone by.

The Week That Was

6/12 – NJD – 6-3 L

The last of the two games of the homestand started against the similarly struggling Devils, and though despite the two teams struggling throughout the season the Devils the teams would trade goals through midway of the second period making a 2-2 game with goals from Leipsic and Kempe. But this wouldn’t last as the Devils would strike twice more in the period with Clifford giving the Kings one goal to get back entering the third, and would be for nothing as the Devils would chalk up another two in the third period.

8/12 – VGK – 5-1 W

In what would turn out to be the only win of the week for the Kings in this recap, the Knights despite getting on board first within five shots on Jonathan Quick would face five unanswered goals from Scherbak in his debut making a 1-1 game entering the second period. The Kings would not let up for the rest of the game following goals from Luff, Carter, Forbort and Thompson to give the win.

10/12 – @ DET – 3-1 L

The road trip started against Detroit and didn’t end well for the Kings if at all. Despite throwing 42 shots and the lone goal from Anze Kopitar, the Red Wings and Jimmy Howard would backstop them while goals from Cholowski, Nielsen and Larkin in the first two periods would seal the game while Kopitar would score in the third period.

11/12 – @ BUF – 4-3 OTL

The next night sent the Kings to Buffalo where things would seem to fare better for the team through the first half of the game, where the team would take a 3-1 lead off goals from Muzzin, Luff and Kempe to go into the third period. But would wind up blowing not only the lead but the game in OT as Eichel would connect on the PP, followed by Larsson less than five minutes after with Jeff Skinner capping off the OT win for the Sabres.

13/12 – @ CBJ – 4-1 L

Onto the third stop of the road trip in Columbus, the Kings would get off to another early start with a goal from Dustin Brown and would be within one entering the third period trailing by a 2-1 scoreline following goals from Sedlak and Panarin, but late in the period within 20 seconds the Jackets would score twice from Panarin on the PP and Anderson barely afterward.

15/12 – @ PIT – 4-3 OTL

Capping off the road trip against the Penguins, the Kings fell behind early following goals from Cullen (SHG) and Rust but would slowly claw back to tie up in the third period following goals from Muzzin, Luff and Iafallo before ultimately falling in OT from a Phil Kessel goal.

The Week That Will Be

The Kings have two games this week, one at home against the Winnipeg Jets (Tuesday) and away at San Jose (Saturday).

Standings and Stat Leaders

Record: 11-20-3 (Last in Division, Conference, League)

Goals: Brown (9)
Assists: Doughty (16)
Points: Kopitar (21)
Plus-Minus: Muzzin (+6)

GAA: Campbell (2.33)
Sv%: Petersen (92.7%)
Wins: Campbell (5)
Shutouts: Campbell, Petersen (1)

PP: 14.3% (28th in NHL)
PK: 74% (29th in NHL)

Other Notes

During the week, Daniel Brickley has been recalled from the AHL and will be with the team until further note with Alec Martinez on the IR.

Gabe Vilardi will be sent to the Team Canada camp ahead of the WJC later this month.

Breaking News: Steelers Re-Sign John Armstrong

The rumour is true, John Armstrong is returning to Sheffield.

This news was announced after the Steelers had slipped to an 0-2 reverse on home ice to Danny Stewart’s Coventry Blaze. Steelers will be hoping that the Canadian centre’s return to Sheffield proves the catalyst for their season. Continue reading Breaking News: Steelers Re-Sign John Armstrong

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