Manchester Storm are now in their third season but if you don't visit the Nynex Arena regularly to watch the matches, keeping up to date can be quite difficult. There are a number of ways to keep up to date with the Storm if you know where to look.
Into The Storm
If you are reading this, then you'll be aware of Into The Storm. By visiting these pages regularly you will be able to keep in touch with the fixtures, results, reports from key matches, all the latest news and gossip and general Storm information. The site also includes the Guestbook and the Manchester Storm Message Forum where you can leave messages for fans to see and view messages left from other people.
Storm Blitz is a newsletter sent out by e-mail that keeps you up to date with all the latest news and information about Manchester Storm and UK ice hockey. The newsletter is written by me and so is officially part of Into The Storm. See the Storm Blitz pages from the left frame to subscribe.
Other Internet Resources
There are a number of other dedicated Manchester Storm Web sites offering services from in-depth game statistics, pictures from the games and history of Manchester ice hockey. Don't miss ThunderFlash, Storm's very own Internet fanzine! More information can be found on the Storm Info page. You can follow UK ice hockey from uk.sport.ice-hockey, which is a newsgroup for fans of UK ice hockey, or alternatively, you can visit rec.sport.hockey which is the worldwide verison, but it tends to concentrate on the NHL. There is an e-mail discussion group called UKH which has over 180 members, who are all fans of UK ice hockey and this can generate several messages per day!
SKY TV hold the rights to live match coverage of Superleague & B&H Cup games. There is a live Saturday night match plus occasional Thursday night live matches. European League games are shown on the German sports channel DSF which is available on Satellite TV. The local news bulletins on Granada and BBC feature major Storm news and on rare occasions, game action. Towards the end of last season Granada TV showed highlights of Manchester Storm games on Saturday afternoons, but there are currently no plans to repeat Battles On Ice this season.
The radio coverage of ice hockey in Manchester has improved dramatically since last season. The benchmark for coverage is still with Radio Sheffield, who naturally follow Sheffield Steelers. There is full match commentary of selected Sheffield Steelers matches - but watch out as Dave Simms is part of the commentary team! Tuesday and Wednesday night matches for Steelers are the most likely to be covered live. Radio Sheffield has a weekly ice hockey phone-in feature called Steelers Ice Line that takes place on Wednesday nights from 6.00 - 7.00pm. The Friday night preview programme between 7.00pm and 8.00pm includes a weekend match preview and news is covered when it happens. Radio Sheffield can be picked up fairly easily in Manchester and the surrounding area on 104.1FM - just to the left of Radio Cymru (Welsh language radio), which has a strong signal in the area. It also broadcasts on 88.6FM and 94.7FM. Meanwhile GMR concentrates on football during the winter, and we can't really expect the extent of coverage that Radio Sheffield gives to the Steelers. However, GMR recently broadcasted their first ever full live commentary game - the Tuesday night match at Nottingham Panthers. Currently their coverage depends on whether there is a sports programme on at the time Storm play, if there is an alternative available to them to cover and also if the Storm game is at a convenient location, as some rinks have very poor communications equipment installed. GMR have also had full match commentary on the game with Sparta Prague and the away B&H Cup semi final at Ayr Scottish Eagles. With many Storm midweek games now on Tuesday nights, there is hope for much more coverage. Friday's sports programme between 7pm and 10pm is the best chance of getting Storm features - there have been Storm phone-ins on three occasions to date, and this sort of thing may occur when there are no local Friday night football matches on. Storm's matches are usually reported on live though during normal evening programmes when there is no sports programme. The hourly sports desks throughout the day will report any major breaking news, such as signings. The morning sports desks broadcast the results of any previous evening's game, but the scoreline is all you can expect here. There is a regular Storm feature on Monday afternoons at 5.55pm featuring news and interviews. GMR broadcasts on 95.1FM and 104.6FM throughout Greater Manchester and North Cheshire. The other local stations in the Manchester area cover Storm to a lesser degree. Piccadilly Gold on 1152AM will broadcast the results of matches in their news and sports bulletins, while sister station Piccadilly Key 103 promotes the forthcoming matches by announcing ticket prices and giving out the ticket hotline number. There is an interview and preview feature on Thursday nights at 8.30pm. Piccadilly Key 103 broadcasts on 103FM. Galaxy 102, broadcasting on 102FM, also provides a results service after the match has been played. Galaxy also has a regular Storm feature at 5.15pm on a Saturday afternoon that includes interviews. As far as national radio, BBC Radio 5 Live, is concerned things are looking quite promising. There will be live commentary of the B&H Cup Final for the third season running in December. Last season the Superleague Final was also broadcasted live. It is expected that there will be some commentary Superleague matches broadcasted this season on Saturday nights, but there has been no confirmation of this yet. Radio 5 Live always broadcasts the results in the 11.30pm sports desk. Radio 5 Live broadcasts on 693 and 909AM.
The ice hockey pages on teletext have improved over the last couple of years. Ceefax still has patchy coverage, occasionally missing out games, particularly those played early in the week. Their ice hockey news coverage is a bit sketchy, although that is probably the fault of PA News and other news agencies, who provide the news in the first place. The page often disappears after the weekend and returns later in the week. Ice Hockey comes under the General Sport banner (page 380) and the fixtures and results page is usually number 384, although this is not standard, and can be moved around at will. The results of games are usually available soon after the end of the games. The service is available on Ceefax for BBC1 and BBC2. In November, Ceefax launched a set of local pages to include sport. Page 390 will include news, previews and reports from Storm games. ITV Teletext sometimes includes Manchester Storm news on the Local Sport index on page 170, as well as on the dedicated ice hockey page 183, which usually includes latest scores as well as results. This page is always there, and the fixtures, results, reports and news are generally more up to date than on Ceefax. Teletext also has inaccuracies as well as Ceefax, so to find the truth you normally have to read both and make an educated guess at to what is correct.
The Manchester Evening News gives Storm quite major coverage for important matches and news, although they rarely make it to the back page. Full reports and pictures are printed the day after the games. The Saturday sports paper, made by the M.E.N. called The Pink, has almost a dedicated page, though sometimes shared with other sports, that contains a weekly news roundup article with a picture, but this is always the same as is featured in the Saturday edition of the Evening News. The North Manchester Express features Storm regularly, while other local papers occasionally feature them. The off-season coverage is usually limited to new signings news.
There are two ice hockey magazines that feature Manchester Storm that I know of. PowerPlay and Ice Hockey News Review feature news, reviews, results and fixtures from all levels of ice hockey in the UK. They arr on sale at most rinks and in some newsagents.
Manchester Storm Official Programme
This is the match programme that accompanies each Storm game that takes place at the Nynex Arena. It features interviews, pictures, features, rules, adverts, a scorecard, fixtures and results and player profiles. It is priced at £2.00, but the biggest problem is that there usually aren't nearly enough of them.
The Storm Ice Line
If you've got lots of money to spare, then you can call the Storm Ice Line, which is a news service dedicated to Manchester Storm charged at 50p per minute. The telephone number is 0930 100 606.
These pages are maintained by Simon Sandiford-Mitchell and hosted by U-Net.