All posts by Hazel Rayson

Full-time Mum. Part-time blogger for Chasing The Puck, NoVa Caps, British Ice Hockey and contributor for Coventry Blaze magazine OnFire. Inspired writer and aspiring journalist. Ice Hockey is my passion and the Skydome is my home.

Behind The Mask #8 | Brython Preece: Coventry Blaze

Brython Preece. Known to his teammates as Preecey or Giraffe and to some fans as Dave…  the Welsh goalie is 19 and embarking on his first professional season with the Blaze, backing up Canadian Kevin Nastiuk.

Photo: Scott Wiggins

I’ve never met another Brython so I just had to ask about the pronunciation of his name. The y is more like the i in Britain. His middle name, in case you were curious, is the very easy to pronounce Mark. His brother James also plays hockey and used to play on a two way deal with the Blaze from the Telford Tigers, he got the middle name Tomas, which isn’t pronounced like Thomas. Just to make things interesting!

Following his brothers footsteps took him to the family run Ontario Hockey Camp. He liked the way the academy was run but says it was very much a case of being thrown in at the deep end. From being away from Mum and Dad for the first time to simply traveling and maneuvering an airport on his own, he says it was the first time he had to be responsible for himself. While out there, he not only spent time on the ice training but came away with a whopping 8 A-levels, studying PE, the single sciences as well as a few others. English was his favourite and he has enjoyed reading some of the English classics. Getting up in the morning for classes and keeping his bedroom tidy were two of the hardest things he had to learn to do as he claims to be one of the messiest people, but the school was run in such a way that if you didn’t go to classes, you didn’t get to go on the ice so lay ins weren’t an option.

Surveying the ice; Coventry’s Brython Preece

When talking to Brython about playing goalie, he had fond memories of the early days of playing in the Cardiff Academy. He always wanted to be a goalie and his parents still have his first pair of tiny pads. He says he wasn’t always the tall kid and that when he was younger he was actually quite small and so he’s deceptively quicker than his height might suggest as his growth spurt never really changed the way he played. He still plays like the small kid, even now he’s 6ft 5! When asked about the way fans have come to perceive goalies as being ‘weird’ he laughed. 

“I don’t get why they think we’re weird or crazy.. We wear full face masks, more padding and don’t fight. We’re the sensible ones.” 

I asked about how his relationship had developed with Nastiuk and whether the older goalie had given him any advice. “Not so much advice, I mean not in the beginning anyway. It was more support from a guy who had been where I am now 10 or so years ago. He knows what I’m dealing with and can be there for me in a way most of the other players can’t.”

He thinks it’s extremely important for a young talent to have the direction of a goalie coach. He explains that the job of a goalie specific coach isn’t quite the same as a coach for the rest of the team and not only encompasses the mechanics of actually playing the game but also covers development on a more personal level as well. “The work is there but it isn’t such a pressure or a strict relationship and it’s far more relaxed. Which really helps.” Brython goes on to discuss the mental side of being a goalie. “If you’re playing your absolute best and someone scores on you, it makes you angry and annoyed but if you know you’re not playing your best, you can laugh it off and think, well you got one, but you won’t get any more.”

Brython Preece and Kevin Nastiuk. Photo: Scott Wiggins

When the time came to set foot onto the ice in his first professional game, I asked him about his thoughts when he was on the bench. “Everyone said I looked really confident afterwards. I just treated it like any other game. I got into it and acted like there was no pressure… If I worried about it or got too much pressure on myself then in goal, you notice it. If there’s no pressure on myself then I can only do what I can do.”

Despite being 6ft 5, Preece shows he can be lightning fast on ice. Getting tall didn’t change his style.

Brython is so far enjoying his first season within a professional team and was surprised with how well he has kept up. Talking to him, I can tell he has a stellar work ethic and a will to  succeed. He is an asset to the Blaze and a player we can all depend on to always do his best. It was such a pleasure to sit down with Brython and I look forward to seeing him on the ice more during the season.

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This article was first published in the November 2017 edition of the Coventry Blaze’s match night program OnFire and has been reproduced here with permission from the editor Stu Coles now the program is out of print. 

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With a little help from Robert Farmer | Carmen-Annaliese’s Story

Carmen-Annaliese,  a 9 year old Nottingham Panthers fan, will be getting her hair cut on Tuesday 28/11 with a little help from Panthers left-winger Robert Farmer. Farmer will be on hand with his scissors to cut Carmen’s plaits off before a hairdresser on hand will style the youngsters shorter hair.

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Carmen will be donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust to make a wig for a child who has lost their own hair through illness or treatment for diseases like cancer. Each of these wigs cost between £350-£500 to make but are provided free of charge by the charity.

Samantha Richardson, Carmen’s mother got in contact with me and asked if I would share her daughters story. Together, not only is young Carmen donating her almost knee length hair, but she wants to raise some money to go towards the costs involved in making the wigs. “Carmen says if she can make just one poorly child smile, she will be happy.” Samantha told me, when I spoke to her a little more in depth about the process. “Cancer is such a cruel disease and effects far too many children. My family and I are season ticket holders to the Nottingham Panthers and I got in contact with them to see if they’d help us out, which they did.”

In order to gather together her fundraising money, Samantha has started a Just Giving page for Carmen which can be found here: Carmen’s Fundraising Page

If you’d be able to help this little girl to raise her target, even £1 would be gratefully received, click through to her page and leave her a message. She’s an inspirational young lady!

Why not share Carmen’s story on your social media and help her to gather even more support?

 

 

Them Over There | Manchester Storm & Braehead Clan (#OnFire repost)

Of the four seasons of hockey, preseason, regular season, post season and offseason, offseason is the one that all hockey fans dread in equal measure regardless of their teams success in the months previous. It always brings a lot of chance to the rosters we know and love. That is without question. This edition of Them Over There focusses on two of our [Coventry Blaze] competitive opponents in September, the Manchester Storm and Braehead Clan.

Continue reading Them Over There | Manchester Storm & Braehead Clan (#OnFire repost)

There’s a guy in Canada who’s mentions are being messed up by Steelers Hockey fans 

All fans of Mathieu Roy, or generally any Steelers fans. Through a minor blunder by one or many fans, Sheffield Steelers are being discussed by this guy on twitter!

And apparently you don’t want this Mathieu Roy on your team… 


If you’re looking to tag Sheffield Steelers Mathieu Roy in your tweets, try the handle @roysythecat however I’ve been informed that he might not be using it anymore. 

BLOG | Young Fans: The future of British Ice Hockey

If someone was to ask me which Elite League team I supported; I don’t think I could answer them. I love hockey. I support hockey in this country. In my time as a hockey fan in the UK, I suppose you could say I’ve supported most of the teams who play here. I try and raise my daughter the same way. She is the next generation of paying fan and I believe it’s important to give those children an open and positive attitude towards the game from the very first day.

Continue reading BLOG | Young Fans: The future of British Ice Hockey

TEASER SHARE | Toni Aleo’s Two Man Advantage

He’s going to get his man…

Two-Man Advantage by Toni Aleo is releasing soon on November 14th!

Amazon → http://amzn.to/2xJqz1b

Nook → http://bit.ly/2hMdL46

iBooks → http://apple.co/2ytnJBw

Kobo → http://bit.ly/2ypjQeM



ADD to your TBR → http://bit.ly/2fbwpW5
FOLLOW Toni on Bookbub → http://bit.ly/2yGqqR6

Wells Lemiere knew the moment he saw Matty Haverbrooke, he had to have him. Matty was quiet, he was talented, he was beautiful, and Wells couldn’t stay away.

As the youngest and most talented son of the NHL Commissioner, Matty had found the burden of family expectations almost too heavy to carry on even his broad shoulders. He had no intention of getting involved in a relationship with Wells. But the heart he’d given up for dead had other ideas.

Their affair was intense and overwhelming, but when Matty couldn’t bring himself to come out and admit he wanted a public future with the man he loved, Wells had no choice but to honor his vow to live openly…and leave Matty behind.

But then he learns Wells is marrying another, and Matty knows he can’t let that happen. Can he throw down his gloves and embrace his future with both hands? Or will he pull the door to his closet shut once more?

Behind The Mask #7 | Jordon Marr: Fife Flyers

And we’re back! With the first Behind the Mask of the 2017-2018 season and with the Fife Flyers new netminder Jordan Marr. Jordan was so lovely to talk to and at times (with my husbands’ interjections with questions of his own) we got quite off the topic of hockey, which makes this exactly what it says on the tin- a behind the mask interview. We get to know the Jordan that not everyone gets to see – and thanks to mum Tracy, there will be some never before seen photos of both Jordan and little brother Renny!

Continue reading Behind The Mask #7 | Jordon Marr: Fife Flyers

RELEASE DAY BLITZ | Toni Aleo’s In The Crease Book Review

Jenson Monroe is everything you could ask for in a man and in a sports romance hero. He’s kind, caring, compassionate, loving… not to mention, he’s absolutely gorgeous with a model physique and abs even Adam Vay would be jealous of. He’s the best in his profession and his position and it would seem he has no flaws. Oh, and he’s the goalie for Toni Aleo’s fictional Nashville Assassins.

Continue reading RELEASE DAY BLITZ | Toni Aleo’s In The Crease Book Review