Aces Win the Battle But Not the War


(Somerset win 92-88 on aggregate)

Belle Vue came agonisingly close to overturning a 14-point deficit against the Somerset Rebels, as the Aces won 50-40 on the night at the National Speedway Stadium, but despite the victory, the Rebels took the tie by four points to advance through to their first Premiership Knockout Cup Final.

Following their disappointing loss down at the Oak Tree Arena last week in the first leg, their grip on their knockout cup was loose and hanging by a thread. The Aces opened the meeting up with a 4-2 advantage from Steve Worrall and Max Fricke to which Worrall recorded the second race win in back to back meetings against the Rebels and on both occasions beat the World Champion in Jason Doyle.

Somerset then answered right back a 5-1 from Jake Allen and Aaron Summers, as the reserves opened up a 16-point lead for the Westcountry side in the tie. Stevie Worrall made it two wins in a row when powered to victory alongside Rohan Tungate to register a 5-1 advantage and make it a 12-point lead, before Aaron Summers did well to block the run of Grand Prix rider Craig Cook in Heat four, as Cook was unable to find a way past the Aussie rider in the race.

The visitors then took two advantages in a row, as Jason Doyle and Nico Covatti rode to a 5-1 before Jack Holder and Jake Allen took a 4-2 to extend their lead in the overall tie by 18-points and move the Aces behind the 8-ball, as the Rebels led on the night 28-26.

Heat 10 saw Max Fricke and Dmitri Berge riding to a 5-1 to up the Aces up 31-29 on the night and trail by 12 overall, with slim hopes still of staying alive in the cup. Another heat victory for the home side saw Cook and Berge reducing the deficit to ten points before the interval came around, as they recorded a 4-2 advantage.

Following the interval, it saw a great race between Berge and Bradley Wilson-Dean in Heat 12 that saw both riders passing each other and see the Aces man looking to have done enough to take the race victory, but instead, it saw Wilson-Dean sneaking around on the final bend to pip him on the line for a 4-2 to the visitors.

A couple of weeks ago when the sides met on television – it saw it going viral online and have had many saying it was the race of the season, but this race may have surpassed it, with no less than ten passes in the race and saw Fricke getting past Doyle on the final bend to take the race win and also have Cook following behind with a last-gasp move up the inside to snatch second place for Belle Vue and pick up a huge 5-1.

With maximum points being picked up in Heat 13, it meant that the home side needed two five-ones to win the tie. Unfortunately, despite a battling effort from the home side with Tungate and Berge holding 5-1 for a couple of laps, it saw Berge unable to hold off a fast Richard Lawson and had the Scottish rider splitting the Aces riders and sealing a finals berth for Somerset in the KO Cup Final.

Belle Vue finished the meeting with a 4-2 race advantage, as Cook and Holder had a good tussle out in front with the Aces man just having enough to beat his opponent. With Belle Vue missing out on defending their cup, they now turn their attention to the first leg of their Playoff Semi Final at home to King’s Lynn on Monday night, with the Aces hope to take a lead down to Norfolk the following week


Belle Vue Aces = 50 (88)
1. Max Fricke — 1, 2, 3, 3, 1 = 10
2. Dan Bewley — R/R (SW – 3 , JBA – R, RT – 3, DiB – 2′ = 8+1)
3. Steve Worrall — 3, 3, 0, 1′, 0 = 7+1
4. Rohan Tungate — 2′, 1, 3, 2, 3 = 11+1
5. Craig Cook — 2, 3, 3, 2′, 3 = 13+1
6. Dimitri Berge — 1, 1′, 0, 2′, 1, 2, 2′ = 9+3
7. Jonas B Andersen (G) — 0, T/(DiB – 1′), R, 0, (DiB – 2) = 0

Somerset Rebels = 40 (92)
1. Jason Doyle — 2, 3, 2, 1 = 8
2. Nico Covatti — 0, 2′, 0, (AS – 0) = 2+1
3. Bradley Wilson-Dean — 1, 1′, 0, 3 = 5+1
4. Richard Lawson — 0, 2, 1, 2, 0 = 5
5. Jack Holder — 0, 3, 3, 0, 2 = 8
6. Jake Allen — 3, 1, 0, 1 = 4
7. Aaron Summers — 2′, 3, 2, 0, 0 = 7+1


Pitt Nets Twice to Haunt Former Side

Manchester Storm 2 – 4 Glasgow Clan

Scott Pitt netted twice against his former team in the Glasgow Clan’s 4-2 victory over the Manchester Storm at Altrincham on Sunday night as the home was made to pay for not making the most of their possession in the game.

Glasgow started the brighter of the two sides and put the home side under some early pressure, but Manchester’s goaltender in Matt Ginn made some good stops to keep his the puck out of the net. As the first period went on, it saw the home side having the lion share of possession and saw their shots on the Clan goal not particularly troubling the visitors and saw the Scottish side able to repel the hosts’ chances.

Manchester played much in a similar fashion to the way they did last weekend against Nottingham, as the Storm at times overplayed things and saw the home side shooting from poor positions and at times rushed their shots and came off the stick tamely.

Their faltering power play in recent games showed no signs of improvement, as the Clan did a good job of clogging up the lanes and having the hosts seemingly relying on hurried and poor attempts with the extra man, whilst also leading to them coughing up the puck needlessly too.

In comparison to their visitors in the Clan, they scored on their power play attempt as Travis Ehrhardt, brother of Dallas, saw the defenseman skating uncontested and shooting before hitting the blue line and had his shot go through the defences of Matt Ginn in the Storm goal and end up in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead towards the end of the period.

As the second period got underway, it started with Linden Springer trying to give his team a spark going against Glasgow’s tough guy in Josh Gratton, and saw a great tilt between the two combatants and raised the energy and noise levels in the stands from the home fans.

Sadly though, that wall of noise would soon get deafly silent by the Clan thirty-two seconds later, as a bit of confusion at the back saw the Storm not tracking the trailing Scott Pitt at the back door and when Vaclav Stupka tried to bank a shot in off Ginn at the near post the puck came out straight to Pitt and he buried it into a half-empty net.

Manchester was ineffective with their shooting and saw the away side on top and in full control. However, At 26.47, it saw the hosts getting on the board through a Marcus Basara rebound that saw the Storm back in the game. Dane Byers then levelled things up in at 2-2 at 30.22, after Luke Moffatt played a pass to his captain as Zach Fitzgerald lost his man and the former Kolner Haie forward put it home and see a new game.

That tying goal saw the home side putting massive pressure on the away side and had the Clan back on their heels, with Joel Rumpel needing to make a couple of important saves to withstand a storm from the host (no pun intended).

With the scores tied at the start of the third period came around, it saw a more tightly contested game and had neither side giving any advantage to their opponent. Manchester had chances to score the go-ahead goal, but they failed to make it count and you felt that if the same happened at the other end that the visitors wouldn’t need a second invitation.

As the game ticked under the final ten minutes of play that is exactly what happened. Glasgow broke up ice and saw Scott Pitt yet again completely unmarked on the back post to tap home following a good pass across the face of goal from Craig Peacock and sent the travel fans wild as he restored the lead for the Scottish side.

In the final two minutes, the home side pulled the netminder and saw Brendan Connolly sealing the win for the Clan as he shot it into the empty net at the far end for 4-2, and condemn the home side to a third straight league loss and second home defeat in a row.

Battling Colts Can’t stop Powerful Fen Tigers


(Mildenhall win on Aggregate 68-111)

The curtain came down on the 2018 season for the Belle Vue Colts on Friday night, as they finished on a low note being edged out 47-43 in the second leg of their National League Knockout Cup tie to the runaway leaders in the National League in the Mildenhall Fen Tigers, as for the second time this season the Suffolk side left Manchester with another win this year.

With the Colts facing insurmountable 39-point deficit to make up from the first leg down in West Row, it saw the Fen Tigers opening up the second leg in much of the same way they did in the first leg with a 5-1 through Drew Kemp and Danny Phillips as Ben Woodhull pushed them to the end but couldn’t get by.

Paul Bowen pulled off a brilliant pass in the reserves race to beat Matt Marson as the man dubbed the ‘Pieman’ at the N.S.S, saw the Belle Vue man refusing to come off the outside line and on lap 3 saw him generating the speed and flew by Marson down the back straight to take the win, while Kean Dicken held third from Sam Bebee for a 4-2 to the Colts.

Drew Kemp and Colts Jack Smith raced each other four times in the meeting and saw Kemp taking the first of their four duels in the meeting. In Heat 6 it saw both Mildenhall reserves suffering from bike problems, as firstly, Marson had his bike ceasing up as soon as the bike got out on the track and was excluded under the two minutes rule. Bebee then came in to replace his fellow reserve and saw his bike packing up on the gate just as tapes flew up and luckily for the visitors they had Kemp riding to an easy win.

In Heat 7, it saw the Colts picking up a 5-1 with Smith and Bowen combining to take maximum points. Bowen, then came out in the following race and saw him leading the race until Danny Phillips passed him on turn two of lap 2 and then saw the Colts man trying to blast his way around the outside of Phillips but saw him hitting the deck and gift a 4-2 to the Fen Tigers.

Kemp and Smith battled out front again in Heat 9, as the Mildenhall man made it four wins in a row and the second over Smith in the match. As a result of a drawn heat, it meant that the visitors booked their place in the KO Cup final with nine races gone and saw the most anti-climactic announcement of the meeting, while the scores were level at 27-27 all on the night.

Fen Tigers Jordan Jenkins picked up two race wins in a row after a tough opening lap against Jon Armstrong and Ben Woodhull saw him overcoming both take the victory and in Heat 11, saw a very mature ride to keep Jack Smith behind him with a brilliant ride.

Belle Vue’s number four Joe Lawlor suffered an unfortunate blow in his ride in Heat 12, as a great battle with him and Matt Marson saw Lawlor getting a puncture towards the final lap and saw Marson coming under him to make the pass for victory and see Tom Woolley picking up his only point of the night as the visitors took a 4-2 advantage.

Jon Armstrong who was guesting from Coventry, saw him making a great gate in Heat 13 until Kemp again got the bike hooked up and passed Armstrong to lead. Jack Smith then passed Phillips and Armstrong in one more and saw the Colts captain looking to chase down the Tigers man for the third time and was forced to settle for second place again for three races in a row.

In Heat 14, it saw a great race involving all four riders, as the Tigers duo of Marson and Jenkins both gate ahead of Lawlor before he then split the pair on the first bend and with a 4-2 looking likely, it then saw Paul Bowen coming from nowhere to pass Marson on the opening bend of the final lap to see a shared heat.

In the final race of the night, it saw Jack Smith finally managing to beat the impressive Drew Kemp and avoid a clean sweep of race wins against him. Smith had made the gate initially before the Mildenhall man took the lead on the first bend of lap 2 and then saw Smith forcing him wide on the last bend of the same lap and then had the Belle Vue man holding firm for a win and have Joe Lawlor trying his best to catch Jenkins, but sadly couldn’t generate the speed.

Mildenhall managed to hold on for a victory and see them recording a second 47-43 victory over the Colts this season at the National Speedway Stadium and followed their win earlier at the start of August.


Belle Vue Colts = 43 (68)

1. Jon Armstrong (G) – 0, 2, 1′, 1′ = 4+2
2. Ben Woodhull – 1, 1′, 1′, 2, 2 = 7+2
3. Tom Perry R/R
4. Joe Lawlor – 2, 2, 1′, 2, 2, 0 = 9+1
5. Jack Smith – 2, 3, 2, 2, 2, 3 = 14
6. Paul Bowen – 3, 1′, 2′, 0, 0, 1′ = 7+3
7. Kean Dicken – 1, 1′, X, 0 = 2+1

Mildenhall Fen Tigers = 47 (111)

1. Danny Ayres R/R
2. Danny Philips (G) – 2′, 3, 3, 1, 0 = 9+1
3. Tom Woolley (G) – 0, 0, 0, 0, 1 = 1
4. Jordan Jenkins – 3, 1, 3, 3, 3, 1′ = 14+1
5. Drew Kemp – 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 2 = 17
6. Matt Marson – 2, X, 0, 3, 0 = 5
7. Sam Bebee – 0, 0, EF, 1, RS = 1


Panthers Bring Down Short Benched Storm

Manchester Storm  1 – 4  Nottingham Panthers

This weekend saw an injury-ravaged Manchester Storm side coming out on the back end of two defeats against a powerful Nottingham Panthers side that are highly fancied for the league title this season. On Saturday, a late power play goal was the difference for the East Midlands side as the Panthers won 2-1 at the National Ice Centre before the teams then renewed acquaintances in Altrincham the following night.


Manchester went into the Sunday game four imports down, as the defensive duo of Felix-Antoine Poulin and Harrison Ruopp were both missing from the lineup with respective injuries of a broken wrist and a groin strain, long-term absentee Chris Auger was still suffering from a shoulder problem, while last year’s top points scorer Mike Hammond, was still out after his injury against Manitoba last month.

What you don’t want to do when struggling for bodies is to face a side that is in blistering form of late, and sadly, that is just what their opponents in the Nottingham Panthers have been in during their pre-season and last week against their bitter rivals Sheffield.

As the game started, it saw the home side having more of the puck while having no end product and has been a glaring omission during their preseason games with their inability to put the puck in the back of the net more often. Both netminders in Matt Ginn and Michael Garnett were forced into making some top saves for their respective sides.

The Storm or shall we say Matt Ginn, was harshly assessed a penalty for a delay of game call when the Manchester netminder tried to play the puck but with Panthers forwards prowling around his net he took the whistle and saw an overzealous referee in Stef Hogarth deeming it too be a deliberate breach of the new rule and had the home side irate with the call.


From that resulting penalty, it saw the Panthers netting through Mark Hurtubise with the extra man to put the Panthers one-up in the 10th minute of play. The home side was guilty of making some poor decisions on the ice and especially in dangerous areas too that had the visitors able to break up or even have the hosts messing themselves up too.

In the second period, it saw Manchester tying things up through Linden Springer of all people, as his shot somehow found a way by Michael Garrett in the Nottingham net and crossed the goal line for a 1-1 game at 24.57. Minutes later, it saw the home side on a 5 on 3 power play and saw the Panthers Kevin Henderson and Jaynen Rissling in the box for infractions, but yet again another poor power play saw the visitors successfully killing the penalties off, much to the delight of the travelling fans.

Late on in the period, it saw the home side caught out again when committing players up ice, and saw Justin Kovacs lifting it over Matt Ginn for a 2-1 score and just to add insult to injury, the Storm goalie seemed to take a blow to the helmet from Declan Balmer’s stick on the play too. Kovacs then grabbed his second to make it 3-1 shortly after, as the Panthers capitalised on a tired looking Storm side with their short bench starting to catch up with them.

Nottingham completely dominated the third period, as Ginn was taken out of the firing line due to a precautionary reasons. That meant that former Panther Jindrich Pacl got some ice time and after a slightly shaky start to the period, to which on a few occasions the goalie was unaware as to where the puck even was.


The Panthers then made it four at 42.13 when Mark Hurtubise played it around the backboards for Justin Kovacs and his pass into the path of Alex Guptill was neatly slipped home for 4-1. Throughout the game, there had been a sense of it simmering and tempers threatening to boil over. With less than ten minutes to play, it saw tempers flaring up as Dane Byers landed a huge hit on a Nottingham player and saw the Panthers out on the ice none too happy with the hit and saw a huge scrum with penalties dished out.

Storm Captain Dane Byers took the brunt of the calls, as he was handed a 2+2+game for unsportsmanlike conduct, while Luke Moffatt and Riley Stadel all sat in the box for roughing calls as well as two Nottingham men in their box. The victory went the way of the Panthers as those two late goals in the second really killed the Storm off in truth.

The Panthers never really had to move further than second gear in truth, as tiredness proved a key factor and saw the shots on goal seeing Nottingham outshooting their hosts 53-27 with the Panthers unbelievably outshooting the Storm 39-17 in just the second and third periods alone.

Manchester Storm coach Ryan Finnerty will be hoping for a miracle to get some extra bodies on the ice ahead of next weekend’s games, as he faces former sides the Sheffield Steelers on Saturday and then finally at home to Glasgow Clan on Sunday.

Colts keep their slim Playoffs hopes alive


Friday night saw the defending National League champions in the Belle Vue Colts keeping their hopes alive of making the playoffs after recording a 58-32 win over the Isle of Wight Warriors in their final home meeting of the regular season at the National Speedway Stadium.

The meeting started with a race win for guest rider Danny Ayers, as the Mildenhall man replaced Alfie Bowtell for the Warriors and beat Colts guest rider in Ben Wilson from Buxton and faced a surprising challenge from Ben Woodhull to take the victory.

A 4-2 from Belle Vue reserves Paul Bowen and Kean Dicken saw the host edging ahead in the meeting, and was followed up in the followed race with a 5-1 from Joe Lawlor and Tom Perry, as both Colts found a way passed Scott Campos for maximum points.

It then saw two race advantages for the home side which was sandwiched between a second race win for Danny Ayers, as the hosts led 19-11 with five heats gone.

Belle Vue then extended their lead with back to back 5-1’s in Heats 6 and 7 before the Warriors hit back with their only race advantage of the night in Heat 8.

Firstly, Ben Woodhull pulled a wheelie from tapes and saw him out of the race with Kean Dicken forced to repel the Warriors duo of Danno Verge and Shaun Tedham. Dicken seemed to have everything in order until a gap appeared and allowed Verge to dive up the inside on the final bend of lap 3 and see a 4-2.

Belle Vue then banged in a couple of 4-2 race advantages with Ben Wilson flying around the outside of Scott Campos in Heat 10, while Ayers made it three straight wins as he lowered the colours of Colts captain Jack Smith in Heat 11. In Heat 12 it saw Tom Perry going from third to first, as he blasted his way around the fence to pass teammate Kean Dicken and Scott Campos for a 4-2, to give the home side a twenty-point lead at 46-26.

Heat 13 then saw the two guest riders in Ben Wilson and Danny Ayres swapping places on the opening bends, before Jack Smith came on the outside and clipped Ayres back wheel down the back straight and moved to the front, with the Colts captain having a tiger on his tail in Ayres chasing him down, but saw Smith able to hold him off.

After the race, it saw Ayres making his feelings known to Smith and turning his bike into Smith, with more handbags heading to the pits. Back to the racing, and Joe Lawlor and Paul Bowen made it 55-29 thanks to a fourth 5-1 for the home side in Heat 14 and the night was rounded off with 3-3 after Ayres claimed his fourth race win of the night to finish on 14-points for his troubles.

It sees the victory keeping the champions in the top four for now, with Birmingham, Eastbourne and Coventry all with matches in hand on Belle Vue. The Colts round off their league campaign away this Monday night at Kent Kings and where victory may still not be enough to help them qualify to the end of season playoffs.

Next Friday sees the Colts final home fixture of the 2018 season, for now at least, as they take on the Mildenhall Fen Tigers in the second leg of their Knockout Cup, with the Colts facing a 39-points deficit from their hammering down at West Row last month.

Belle Vue Colts : 58 
1. Ben Wilson (G) — 1′, 3, 3, 1 = 8+1
2. Ben Woodhull — 2, 2′, F = 4+1
3. Tom Perry — 2′, 1′, 3, 3, 1′ = 10+3
4. Joe Lawlor — 3, 2, 1, 3 = 9
5. Jack Smith — 3, 3, 2, 3, 2 = 13
6. Paul Bowen — 3, 2′, 1′, 2′ = 8+3
7. Kean Dicken — 1, 1, 2, 1, 1 = 6

Isle Of Wight Warriors : 32 
1. Danny Ayres (G) — 3, 3, 3, 2, 3 = 14
2. Danno Verge — 0, 0, 3, 0 = 3
3. Scott Campos — 1, 1, 2, 2, 0 = 6
4. Chris Widman — 0, 0, 0, 1 = 1
5. Jason Edwards (G) — 2, 1, 2, 0 = 5
6. Dale Lamb (G) — 2, 0, 0, 0 = 2
7. Shaun Tedham — 0, 0, 1, 0 = 1

Captain Fricke leads Aces into Playoffs


The Belle Vue Aces made it four successive seasons in a row that the Manchester side has reached the end of season playoffs, thanks to a 48-42 points win over fellow qualifiers in the Somerset Rebels at the National Speedway Stadium on Wednesday night.

Aces team manager Mark Lemon spoke prior to the meeting about wanting his side to secure victory at home and not have to try and get the points they needed down at Swindon the following evening.

It saw the home side getting off a good start, following a 4-2 race advantage, courtesy of Stevie Worrall holding off the World Champion in Jason Doyle and his teammate Max Fricke taking third.

With all the matches between the Aces and the Rebels this season being highly competitive meetings, it came as no surprise that the sides negated each other early on, as three successive drawn heats saw the hosts lead 13-11.

Heat 5 saw the away side getting out on a 5-1 through Doyle and Bradley Wilson-Dean, but Belle Vue’s Rohan Tungate managed to split the pairing and see a 4-2 instead.

The Aces then responded with two straight 4-2 race victories in Heats 6 and 7, as they opened up a four-point lead. Heat 9 then saw a good race developing between Rohan Tungate and Jack Holder of the Rebels, as the two Aussie riders were tussling for second place and saw Worrall again taking the win. Sadly for the Aces, Tungate suffered a bike problem on lap 3 and brought an end to his race.

Max Fricke rode to his second race win in Heat 10, as the Belle Vue captain forced his way up the inside of Richard Lawson to take the lead and have his Aces teammate in reserve Dmitri Berge grabbing a point back in third for a 4-2.

In the next heat, it saw Berge making a great start from the gate and was joined by Craig Cook who ran wide to the fence and effectively stopped the momentum of his partner and that allowed Doyle and Wilson-Dean to come through into second and third for a 3-3.

Somerset then sent out Jason Doyle again in Heat 12 as a tactical substitute, to which the Australian took the race win thanks to his partner in Jake Allen holding up the Aces pairing of Worrall and Berge to slow the race down until the Rebels man swooped round to lead before Worrall took second and stopped a 5-1 for the away side.

As the riders came to tapes for Heat 13, it saw perhaps the race of the season by many, as Craig Cook battled with both Somerset riders in Jack Holder and Jason Doyle – for which was Doyle third race in a row – and saw the three of them passing and re-passing each for the whole race.

As the riders entered the final bend, it seemed for all the world that the Rebels had done enough to stop Cook and would score a maximum 5-1 for the visiting side, but that was until Belle Vue’s Max Fricke blasted his way around the outside of them all to steal the win by half a bike length and have a shared heat.

The Aces now needed just a 3-3 in the penultimate race to see them booking their place in the postseason playoffs. However, Belle Vue kept their fans in suspense and saw Richard Lawson taking his second win of the night for the Rebels, on way to finishing with ten points for the evening as part of a 4-2 to set up a tense finale at 43-41.

Surely the home side wouldn’t let this opportunity slip now, could they? For the last heat decider, it saw a repeat of all four riders from their classic race of just two races previous and have Swindon fans hoping that the Rebels could do them a favour and beat the Aces and see a shootout for determining the fourth spot the next night.

As the tapes went up, it saw Craig Cook making the gate ahead of Jason Doyle, but the world number one soon passed Cook for the lead and on the final bend of lap 3 saw the Somerset man getting some extra drive and riding into the air fence and falling off on his shoulder.

It was an unfortunate way to bring the meeting to a close, after what had been such a competitive and entertaining nights’ action served up from the N.S.S track once again.

Doyle was able to get up and walk back to the pits under his steam as the Aussie was excluded and saw the referee awarding a 5-1 to the Aces and see them qualifying for the Premiership play-offs.

Shortly after the final race was concluded, it saw the announcement that the Aces would take on the only side that they have failed to beat in the league, both home and away, in the King’s Lynn Stars. On paper, it seems straightforward for the Stars, as they are clear red-hot favourites to take the title.

Belle Vue Aces = 48 

1. Max Fricke – 1, 3, 3, 3, 2′ = 12+1
2. R/R for Dan Bewley – (SW – 3, MR – 1, RT – 3, DiB – 1 = 8)
3. Steve Worrall – 3, 1′, 0, 3, 2 = 9+1
4. Rohan Tungate – 2, 2, 3, 0, 2 = 9
5. Craig Cook – 1′, 3, 3, 0, 3 = 10+1
6. Dimitri Berge – 3, 2, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0 = 7
7. Mark Riss – 0, (DiB – 2), 1, 0, (DiB – 0) = 1

Somerset Rebels = 42 

1. Jason Doyle – 2, 3, 2, 3, 2, F/X = 12
2. Bradley Wilson-Dean – 0, 1, 2, 1′ = 4+1
3. Nico Covatti – 0, 0, 0, (JD – 3) = 0
4. Richard Lawson – 3, 2, 2, 3 = 10
5. Jack Holder – 3, 2, 2, 1′, 1 = 9+1
6. Jake Allen – 1′, 0, 1′, 1, 1 = 4+2
7. Aaron Summers – 2, 0, 1′, (JA – 1) = 3+1


Storm sees off Lowen to start their German weekend with a victory


Saturday night saw the Manchester Storm making it three wins out of four preseason games so far after they overcame the first of their German doubleheader this weekend, as they defeated DEL2 side Tölzer Loewen 3-1 at Altrincham’s Planet Ice rink, thanks to two goals from Canadian forward Marcus Basara.

The two games against their DEL 2 opponents this weekend was seen by many as a measuring stick to see where the side are ahead of their opening league fixtures next weekend. First up, was Tolzer Lowen from Bavaria, and a team that brought an atmospheric bunch of travelling fans with them from Germany.

IMG_20180901_190352In the opening period, it saw neither side really managing to grab the advantage in the contest with both sides testing the opposing goalie with some shots, but nothing that troubled either goalie. Manchester was knocking on the Tolzer goal but if not for some last-ditch defending by the visiting side and also the inability to put the puck in the net, then the host would have been way ahead.

The visitors had a couple of shots on Matt Ginn in the Storm goals, but none that were particularly troublesome with defences on top for most of the opening period. A crazy passage of play saw the Storm trying to force the puck in with a scramble at the front of the Lowen net as the netminder was stranded down on the ice and saw virtually every player on the ice in the Tolzer Lowen crease hacking the puck. From there, the Germans headed straight up ice and had a shot that came off the shoulder of Ginn and behind him, but a Storm defenseman managed to bat the puck on top of his own net.

IMG_20180901_211723Luke Moffatt struck the pipework with a fiercely struck shot that had netminder Ben Meisner beaten and looked like the hosts may struggle to score. Then, with just over two minutes remaining in the first period, it saw Ciaran Long and Luke Moffatt on a 2 on 1 and had Long skating in on goal and firing high but his shot was partially saved and the puck ended up in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead to the Storm.

For the Second period – it saw the visitors exerting some good pressure on the Manchester goal and much like the home side in the first, they just couldn’t find a way past Matt Ginn or the Storm defence. Close to the midway mark in the game, it saw Marcus Basara doubling the lead for the home side, as he took a little-backhanded pass off of Storm’s two-way signing from the Blackburn Hawks in Adam Barnes, and put it right on the stick of Basara and went forehand to backhand and put it around the goalie for 2-0.

IMG_20180901_212235__01Inside the opening minutes of the third period, it saw the Storm turning defence into offence through Shane Bakker – as he pushed the puck away from a Tolzer Lowen defenceman and into the path of Adam Barnes, where the youngster spotted Basara all alone down the opposite wing and played a lovely weighted pass towards him and he put by Ben Meisner for 3-0 in the 42nd minute and all but kill the game off.

The German side did manage to pull a goal back late on through Florian Strobl, as the Storm’s powerplay unit continued to look poor and saw Lowen counter-attack and have Strobl tucking away a rebound at the front of the net on 54 minutes. With less than three minutes left to go, it saw Tölzer Lowen forward Philipp Schlager dropping the gloves with Manchester’s Declan Balmer and saw both picking up 2+2 for roughing.

Manchester saw out the game to start their weekend with a victory and sees their final test before the league starts in the form of Eispiraten Crimmitschau on Sunday night to wrap up their preseason program.





Eispiraten plunder victory from Storm


The Manchester Storm wrapped up their pre-season preparations with a disappointing 6-3 home loss to German DEL 2 side Eispiraten Crimittschau on Sunday night as they suffered their only loss in regulation during their warm-up games.
In the first period, it saw the home side pressing their German opponents and had Crimittschau netminder Sebastian Albrecht making some early stops and had his defence also standing firm at the back too. Vincent Schlenker then put the visitors ahead on the power play with a rocket of a shot in the 8th minute of play that saw the DEL 2 side taking a lead against the run of play.

Manchester then exerted more pressure on the German side but went without a reward. Eventually, their dominant puck possession told and saw Rob Linsmayer playing a pass across the face of goal for captain Dane Byers to tap in to send the teams all square at the break.

Crimittschau retook the lead in the second stanza after Patrick Pohl skated down the wing and saw the Eispiratens on 2 on 1 advantage, as Pohl played a pass over towards Marius Demmier who put it high in the net for a 2-1 lead. The visitors saw their lead diminish within a couple minutes after Luke Moffatt levelled things up and saw him starting the play as he made a pass while on his knees and saw him finishing it off for 2-2 at 27.59 in the game.

IMG_20180902_191245As the game headed to the third period, it saw the game still on a knife-edge at 2-2 and when a shot from Philipp Halbauer was turned home by Rob Flick after Matt Ginn had spilt the puck, it saw Crimittschau going ahead for the third time. With the Storm falling behind for the third time in the game, could the home side pull it back again, the answer was yes.

It saw the home side level on the power play thanks to a quick wrist shot from defenceman Felix-Antoine Poulin from the blue line as the puck flew past Albrecht for a 3-3 game, with less than ten minutes to play. With the game all square with five minutes to play, it saw the former Cardiff Devils and Milton Keynes man from last season in Carl Hudson, firing home through traffic and went five-hole on Ginn to put Eispiraten Crimittschau 4-3 up.


A beautiful team move that saw nearly all of the out skaters of Crimittschau getting a touch on the puck, it saw Benjamin Kosiankski getting credited with the fifth goal as the netminder was dragged out of position and saw Christoph Kabitzky missing an open net before Kosiankski put it on goal and had Luke Moffatt putting into his own net for 5-3 with just over a minute of play.

Manchester then pulled the goalie in search of two late goals with just over thirty seconds left, but after the Storm won the draw, it saw three players all getting in each other’s way and ending up colliding into one another and allowed Eispiraten to break up ice through Vincent Schlenker to skate freely up ice and net his second of the game and put the exclamation mark on the scoreline as the hosts fell to defeat.

Eispiraten Crimittschau players celebrate with their fans

Storm coach Ryan Finnerty will be hoping to avoid any more niggles during training, with his side already three-imports down with Mike Hammond, Chris Auger and recent casualty in Harrison Ruopp all on the treatment table, with the season not even started yet. Manchester starts their season with a daunting trip down the M1 South to tackle the red-hot Nottingham Panthers on the road before then welcoming the East Midlands side to Altrincham the night after.

Manchester Hockey teams agree ‘unique’ Partnership

The PLS Solicitors/ Victory Hockey sponsored Manchester Mayhem announced an ‘exciting’ partnership with their bigger brothers in the shape of British Ice Hockey’s Elite League side the Manchester Storm Ice Hockey Club this past Wednesday, as both sides play out of the Planet Ice Altrincham rink, so it makes sense to have both sides trying to work together and start a great partnership for all connected with Manchester Hockey.

Following their regular season programme coming to a close after their fiesty two-all game this past Saturday in Hull, it sees the Mayhem now currently occupying second place in the British Para Ice Hockey League table and can’t finish less than third in the standings.

The news of this announcement will come as a huge boost for the side ahead of their playoffs weekend next month in Widnes and will look to set the wheels in motion of big things for the club in the future. It is breaking new ground for hockey in Manchester and Britain too, that Para Hockey and Ice Hockey are seeking to work together and hopefully give this exciting sport some exposure from this unique partnership.

As part of the partnership with the Storm, the Mayhem will be helping to sell 50/50 tickets during the Elite games and will see the Playoffs champions getting a slice of the profits too made too that night. With the announcement made of the link-up, it saw the respective parties giving their views on the news:

Storm’s sponsorship and marketing consultant, Liam Hesketh said the following on the clubs website;

“Manchester Storm are excited about this partnership with our rink-mates the Manchester Mayhem, strengthening the brand of top-level ice hockey in the North West. We look forward to welcoming Mayhem players and fans to our games, and Storm fans will enjoy being able to see high-level hockey played through the summer months during the Elite League off-season.”

Manchester Mayhem Para Ice Hockey Club   Photo: 98 Yetiiis Photography

Head coach of the Mayhem side in Pete Hagan spoke on his feelings of the partnership, saying;

“This is a great opportunity to promote our sport to hockey fans in Manchester. So on that front, it’s exciting for the sport as I believe it’s undiscovered by many…hopefully, that will change.

Hoping this shows Storms commitment to the community and to help promote all forms of hockey. It’s promoting both teams and hopefully, utilising Storms team, we can help promote ourselves and help to raise funds for us to help grow the sport.

Hopefully, we can provide another route for Storm fans to enjoy the game and participate as well. For the future, we’ve had talks about some interesting ideas and some joint projects….but gotta leave a little mystery for now lol”

What the future holds for the North West’s only Sledge Hockey/Para Hockey side in anyone’s guess, but hopefully it results in more exposure and a bright future for the Mayhem to boot.

Mayhem & Kestrels play out a fiery draw


Saturday afternoon saw a controversial and stormy game played out between the league and playoff champions at the Hull Arena, with both Great British Internationals Matt Clarkson and Karl Nicholson bagging a brace each for their respective sides in a 2-2 draw.

Kingston inflicted a huge 9-1 home loss on the Mayhem in the opening league fixture of the season, although, Manchester remain the only side in the league to have scored past the Kestrels this year in their previous six games.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts for the visitors, as Matt Clarkson put the hosts ahead inside the opening minute of play, as thirty-four seconds had been played in the game. Manchester was forced to weather the storm of the home side, as the Kestrels went in search of a second and needed a couple of stops from their netminder Darren Pomfret.

The Mayhem were under the cosh for most of the first period and had their coach Pete Hagan not pleased with what he was seeing from his side. As the period grew, Manchester managed to regroup and hold firm at the back, while also creeping their way back into the contest.

In the second period, Manchester tied things up thanks to their captain Karl Nicholson, after a rare assist from their goaltender saw the puck heading up ice and saw the Mayhem forward outpacing Fitzgerald of the Kestrels to then put the puck by Ian Houliston for a 1-1 game.

Later in the period, it saw Nicholson getting sent crashing into the boards by a member of the home side and had the forward down on the ice in clear distress. The GB man managed to block out the pain carry on in the contest. Anthony Booth was then called for a holding penalty against him with minutes left in the second and saw the hosts restoring the lead once again, with Matt Clarkson added his second on the power play to make it 2-1.

As the game headed to the third, it began to see the game simmering and in danger or boiling over. Those predictions would come true, as Manchester wasn’t happy with the sledge of Matt Clarkson, as they deemed it to be broken and therefore illegal equipment. With the match officials discussing the problem and having neither side happy, it saw Clarkson begrudgingly forced off-the-ice until his sledge was fixed.

With tempers fraying on both sides, it saw the Mayhem scoring the equalising goal with a bit of a helping hand from their opponents. After the Kestrels won the faceoff deep in the Manchester zone, it saw the pass back overhit and put Anthony Booth through for a one on one with the Kingston goalie and saw Houliston making the save, however, the puck fell loose and saw a Kestrels man running into his goalie and taking him out of the play which then allowed Nicholson to put home for a 2-2 score.

The remaining ten minutes of play saw both teams having chances at either end, but neither could find a way past either goalie. Kingston hit the pipe late on and the best chance fell in the final ten seconds to Karl Nicholson, who found himself one on one with a chance to win the game for the Mayhem, but Houliston again denied the Mayhem from recording a famous victory and saw it end all square.

That wasn’t the end of the action though, as, on the sound of the horn, the Kestrels side weren’t happy with Graham Wilson and saw one of their players taking a shot at him from behind and saw a little scrum with both teams and marred what was a very entertaining and physical game of hockey.

Early Playoff chirping started between the teams and could see the sides renewing acquaintances once again in the final of the Playoffs that takes place in Widnes over the weekend of September 29th-30th.

Manchester POTM: 22. Peggy Assinck

Kingston POTM: 10. Simon Berry