An Unlikely Acquaintance

Through sports you can meet some amazing and inspirational figures, both on and off the ice (or field). This is true in Ice Hockey, where a communal atmosphere allows even rival fans to put their differences aside. During my work experience with the Champions Hockey League I had the pleasure of meeting one of these figures. Upon arriving in Växjö, Sweden, for the CHL final, … Continue reading An Unlikely Acquaintance

Sunday stat-check

Scoring Leaders Despite sitting 10th in the league, Coventry currently have the top goal-scorer in Marc-Olivier Vallerand who’s put the puck into the back of the net 24 times. Tied on most points is Mike Hammond of the Manchester Storm and Sebastien Sylvestre of the Belfast Giants on 56. Three out of the top five assisting players wear a Guildford shirt, with John Dunbar leading with 41. … Continue reading Sunday stat-check

Sit down and behave yourself

When crowd numbers rise in any sport, the chance of venues encountering problems inevitably does with it. In Ice Arena Wales alone this season we’ve already experienced someone throwing the contents of their drink into the penalty box as well as a man dressed up as a furry animal diving onto the ice after the game had finished. Subsequently the man who wasted a perfectly … Continue reading Sit down and behave yourself

“Where do DOPS go from here?”

After another intense weekend of hockey in the elite league, criticism towards the Department of Player Safety (DOPS) has escalated to a dangerous level with one player claiming that “safety is now in the hands of the players.” The catalyst behind the criticism follows the board’s ruling on Sheffield Steelers forward Colton Fretter, who was given a one match ban for charging against Belfast player … Continue reading “Where do DOPS go from here?”

Cardiff born Nathan Walker becomes the first Australian to play AND score in the NHL.

The 23-year-old NHL rookie made his debut for the Washington Capitals on Sunday, scoring in the second period as his team went on to beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1. Walkers family watched on from the crowd as he made a historic debut, becoming the first Australian to play in the NHL and topping this off by also becoming the first to score. It was a … Continue reading Cardiff born Nathan Walker becomes the first Australian to play AND score in the NHL.

Nice to see you, to see you ice…

After a year since its release in 2016, the hockey documentary ‘Ice Guardians’ is available on Netflix (regions may vary). Fighting veterans Brian McGrattan and Kevin Westgarth, who both endured one season spells in the Elite League, feature in the film which explores the controversial role of enforcers within the sport.

Described in the film as a dying breed, enforcers are quick to be scapegoated when it comes to injuries sustained within the sport. The documentary revealed that fighting in the NHL was only responsible for 5% of injuries that players suffered from with body checks being a more serious issue. Without enforcers, the film suggests that players are more susceptible to cheap physicality from opponents which can go unanswered if officials don’t spot it. They are also given the credit of helping some of the sport’s greatest players achieve their true potential. So why is the role being sacrificed?   Continue reading “Nice to see you, to see you ice…”

The Gardiner Conference

The Braehead Clan will be looking to clinch their fourth consecutive Conference title this season under new coach John Tripp in what is now an all Scottish affair. This is because the Manchester Storm have moved to the Patton conference, also taking Braehead coach Ryan Finnerty with them. This leaves four teams: Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife and Braehead (profiles below).   So can anyone stop Braehead? Last … Continue reading The Gardiner Conference