Sun 31 Aug - STORM DRAW WITH SHEFFIELD STEELERS. Storm opened their B&H Cup campaign in front of 11,105 fans with a 2-2 draw against Sheffield Steelers. Storm opened the game looking much the stronger side but Steelers were always dangerous on the breakaways. Just before the end of the first period, Allison opened the scoring with a goal for Steelers. Four minutes into the second period Jeff Tomlinson equalised for Storm on the powerplay and the score stayed that way until the end of the second period. The third period opened with Steelers going ahead again with a goal from Andre Malo. A minute later Rick Judson scored the equaliser for Storm, again on the powerplay. There was controversy as Steelers had a shot that hit the pipes and the red light went on, but was overturned to rule out the goal. The game remained drawn as there was no overtime - this is a Superleague rule and so does not apply in the B&H Cup.
Also on Sunday, Bracknell Bees defeated Newcastle Cobras 6-2. The Bees goals were scored by Gomes (3), Kelman, Bucsis and Burke. Newcastle's goals were from Duberman and Vani. Paisley Pirates went top of the Group A table after they defeated fellow British League team Telford Tigers 7-2. Paisley opened the scoring after just 33 seconds with Edmiston putting the Scottish side in front. Marsden made it 2-0 with a powerplay goal after 10 minutes. Brandimore pulled one back for Telford after 14 minutes. Two minutes into the second period Lynch made it 3-1 to Paisley with Edmiston making it 4-1 after 28 minutes. Hand made it 5-1 just after the start of the third period. It was 6-1 two minutes later with another goal from Hand, this time short-handed. Claude Dumas pulled a second goal back for Telford after 45 minutes on the powerplay and then with 10 minutes remaining it was 7-2 with a goal from Robertson to finish off the scoring. In the second leg of the challenge game at the Playground, Basinstoke Bison beat Slough Jets 2-1 with goals from Joe Stefan (2) and Gatto for Bison and the Slough goal from Gary Stefan.
Sat 30 Aug - Newcastle Cobras beat Bracknell Bees 3-2 in the opening B&H Goup B match. Interlaken were the visitors for Nottingham's first home game under ther new management and a crowd of 2200 were there to see it. The result was an 11-3 win for Nottingham against the touring Swiss lower-league team. The three Interlaken goals came in the final 30 mins of the game. In the first leg of a challenge match between Slough Jets and Basingstoke Bison, Bison won 7-3 with Maybury scoring 4 goals for Basingstoke with Priest, Little and Schewan also scoring. The Slough goals were scored by Cross (2) and Coutts.
Sun 25 Aug - STORM WIN TOURNAMENT IN STYLE 10-3. Brad Rubachuk opened the scoring on just 31 seconds and then scored again after 10 minutes to make the score 2-0. Mike Morin scored just after the period break before Storm conceded their first goals of the season after one and a half games with Amiens scoring twice to close the score to 3-2. Dominic Maltais restored order on 34 minutes with Storm's fourth and then Troy Neumeier and Dominic Maltais scored two more goals just before the end of the second period. Dale Jago scored his first goal of the season and Storm's 7th of the night on 42.45 before David Smith scored what may be his only goal of the season after 45 minutes to make the score 8-2. Troy Neumeier made it 9-2 with seven minutes remaining before Amiens scored again to make it 9-3. Hilton Ruggles capped an excellent performance with a goal just 2 seconds from time to make the final score Storm 10-3 Amiens.
Also on Sunday, the Manchester International tournament play-off game took place with Esbjerg defeating Tilburg Trappers 5-3. Cardiff Devils hosted the touring HC Vitokice and were 5-0 down by the end of the second period. The third period saw a goal from Hodge before Cardiff let in another goal and went down 6-1. In the second leg of the Wella Charity Shield at the Beehive, Bracknell Bees beat Basingstoke Bison after Bison took a 3-0 lead in the first period with goals from Conway, Brown and Stefan. Bracknell equalised in the second period with goals from Pellerin (2) and Whistle. Rob Stewart scored the winner in the final period to win the Charity Shield for Bracknell 4-3. Kingston Hawks with guests including Nottingham's Jeff Sebastian, faced touring Swiss side Interlaken in Hull. Kingston led the Swiss side 3-2 in the third period, but they scored an equaliser to end the game 3-3.
Sat 24 Aug - STORM OPEN SEASON IN STYLE. Stefan Ketola scored the first goal of the season on 3.25 before Rick Judson made it 2-0 after 10 minutes. Dave Morrison made the score 3-0 with a goal with 2 minutes remaining of the first period. A minute into the second period, Stefan Ketola scored again - this time a short-handed goal. The first goal by a retained player was on 23.14 as Craig Woodcroft made the score 5-0. Dave Morrison scored his second goal of the game on 26 minutes to make the two-thirds score 6-0. There was more of the same in the third period as Rick Judson scored again on 45 minutes and Brad Rubachuk scored with 7 minutes remaining to make it 8-0. Jeff Jablonski wrapped it all up with a goal in the final minute to make Storm's first game of the new season a resounding victory.
Also on Saturday, the opening match in the Manchester International tournament was an 8-3 win by Amiens over Esbjerg. Basingstoke Bison hosted the first leg of the Wella Charity Shield and after a goalless first period, Shewan scored for Bison after 28 minutes. Bracknell equalised after 33 minutes with a goal from Johnstone. The game ended 1-1.
The challenge game between Telford Tigers and Solihull Blaze on Friday 23 August was abandoned due to fog in the rink! Telford were leading 3-2 with 30 minutes of the game remaining when the referee decided that persistent fog above the ice, caused by high humidity in the rink, was too dangerous and that the game should be called off. The following evening Telford visited Solihull in the return game and recorded a 7-3 victory.
Friday 23 August saw the Meet The Players Night take place at the Nynex Arena. All the advertising boards seem to be sold and there is now a big Storm logo in the middle of the ice that glows in the dark for the new intro. There are some adverts on the ice with Allsports, Ian Skelly, Arndale Centre Manchester and Adidas have spots there. The shirt - I was very disappointed. I fully intended to buy a new shirt if not on the night then certainly soon, but having seen the new effort I won't be bothering. Where is the emblem that we were led to believe would be on it and where is the team name (ie. Manchester Storm)? Yes, there is a lightning bolt pattern instead of the wishy washy design of last season but although I still think the first season shirt was pretty rubbish, it's not half as bad as the later editions. There was an auction of last year's EHL shirts of the players that are still here. Somebody spent £250 on one of them. I wish I had that sort of money to throw around! We've got some new games instead of Shoot The Puck. There is going to be a game where you have to shoot as many pucks as you can in 1 minute. There is Hit Me With Your Best Shot where two people shoot into different nets and the first one to get 3 goals wins. The third game is called Its A Dogs Life where someone is blindfolded, dressed up in a dog outfit and have to crawl into a kennel on the ice! Anyway, basically we met the new squad!
Blackburn Hawks have undergone a name change to encourage wider support in the Lancashire area and to improve the local media's coverage of the team. The new name will be Lancashire Hawks and they will surely be hoping to entice Radio Lancashire into covering the team more as they did after Chorley rugby league team changed their name to Lancashire Lynx.
Benson and Hedges has underlined its commitment to British ice hockey when it launched an additional competition which will be run in conjunction with the Benson and Hedges Cup. The Benson and Hedges Plate will be contested by all the teams involved in the Cup which do not qualify for the quarter-final stages of British ice hockey's premier knockout tournament. With the 1997 Benson and Hedges Cup featuring 12 teams divided into two groups, the fifth and sixth placed teams at the end of the round-robin style group games will qualify for the inaugural running of the Benson and Hedges Plate. The fifth placed team will play the sixth placed team in the opposing group in a semi-final over two legs, home and away. The winners of the semi-finals will meet in the final of the Plate, which will be played prior to the Benson and Hedges Cup final at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, December 6th, 1997. (this report was from the BIHA Web site)
GMR's Sunday night programme on 25 August contained a good chunk of commentary of Storm v Amiens in the Tournament Final. The following Sunday against Sheffield Steelers they are back again commentating for spells, but the programme on a Sunday ends at 8.00 or 8.15 so there was no time for the end of the match to be broadcasted. If GMR gets serious with the commentary then surely they will extend their coverage. At the moment there is more need for AWAY commentary than home commentary as most fans will be AT the home games! But it's a start at least - maybe GMR will get some ice hockey fans back from Radio Sheffield soon! The commentator is Andy Costigan.
Ogdens official Storm Web site is about to enter the construction stage. Lets hope they are unofficial-site-friendly as there are a lot of people who have worked very hard over the last 26 months to ensure that Storm are well represented on the Internet. Lets hope it doesn't go un-noticed. The site is expected to be launched in time for the start of the Superleague season in October.
Wed 21 Aug - Basingstoke Bison played HC Vitkovice at the Playground and drew 5-5. Steve Brown, Mike Shewan, Rich Strachan, Greg Gatto and Darren Hurley scored for Basingstoke.
Jeff Tomlinson's work permit problems have been solved! His permit was granted and so he has joined the rest of the team - albeit a few days late.
Jeff Tomlinson has not been given a work permit for the new season and it is reported that he has gone to Germany to confirm his Euro-Canadian passport. Hopefully this will mean that he will soon team up with the rest of the players.
Nottingham Panthers have been sold at last to London-based Alladin Management (a sports management company) and the the deal cannot be finalised until the Superleague have agreed to the franchise change.
Storm have announced the possible resigning of one of Storm's longer serving players Dave Smith, who it was originally had not been offered a new contract. He will be on trial for a new contract during the pre-season.
The Stormforce sponsorship deal with Planet Internet of Leeds fell through at the last minute and so Fujitsu instead are the main sponsors of Stormforce. In return for advertising, Fujitsu gave Stormforce a computer and printer.
The Nottingham Evening Post reports that the Nottingham Panthers' hopes of avoiding liquidation have been severely hit following the last-minute withdrawal of a potential buyer. The deal, for both the club and the Ice Stadium, fell through just hours before the documents were due to be signed. Director Charles Walker said, "It's obviously a big blow, particularly because time is now of the essence." Panthers, with current debts of £250,000, are scheduled to play their first game two weeks on Saturday against a Czech team, and players will have to re-negotiate contracts with any new owner coming in. But Panthers still haven't given up hope of attracting a buyer, with two more parties in the wings. Financial advisor Robert Matusiewicz, of BDO Stoy Hayward, said "There is strong interest from two parties who came forward following the national newspaper advertisement. "We are currently holding extensive meetings but there is a complex issue concerning the use of the ice, both in the current stadium and the proposed new arena that has to be resolved by the City Council."
Season ticket holders have been told in a letter that their ticket gets them into thirty games - confirmed as 14 Superleague games, 5 Benson & Hedges Cup games (ie. the group games), 3 EHL games, 3 play off (group) games and 5 cross-channel cup games. If the cross-channel cup fails to happen then it is likely that there will be additional Superleague games.
The work permits that were being refused by the Department of Employment to Superleague players including seven from Manchester Storm have now been approved meaning that the players will arrive for pre-season training with no permit worries.
The BIHA Web site reports that the Superleague has announced a formula for increasing the number of British and European players participating in Superleague. This new plan will have far reaching implications in the development of young talented British players and will ensure continuity in the standard of play that followers of the sport have come to expect since the inception of the Superleague. The ISL's Board of Directors have for some time been developing ways to introduce a farm system of teams throughout the country where youngsters can be nurtured for positions within the professional clubs, when their strength, stamina and fitness is suitable for them to achieve regular full time employment in Superleague. Generally these teams will be owned and managed by the Superleague Clubs themselves, but in some cases players may be seconded to other National League teams through a commercial arrangement with their affiliate Superleague Club. The Superleague's committment to change goes even further than that, with an undertaking from all eight member clubs and from Leeds Lasers, who join Superleague in the 1998/99 season, to commit themselves to a first choice from players within the EU. To effect this the Clubs have agreed to hire two thirds of their players from the European Economic Area by the start of the 1998/99 season and by the beginning of the 2000/2001 season at least one third of the players in each team must be eligible for GB duty. The Superleague will manage this process through its own secretariat, working with the DfEE to establish clear procedures from the outset.
It is reported that the Streatham Redskins will be back next season playing in the English League Division One as London Redskins.
Nottingham Panthers players have refused to take a pay cut as a way of helping the team with its money problems. The team is due to be sold in the near future if a suitable buyer can be found.
The Belfast Giants from Northern Ireland are expected to join the Superleague in the 2000/01 season after Ice Hockey Enterprises (London) purchased the franchise and put plans into place for a 100 million pound indoor arena with backing from the Millenium Commission. The strip and logo for the proposed Belfast Giants have already been designed and they have secured 1 million pound per year for players' salaries. The outcome of the bid should be known early September.
The Wales National Ice Rink, the home of Cardiff Devils is up for sale. The rink, in the centre of Cardiff, is a prime site in an area close to the Cardiff bay development. Paul Guy of Celtic Leisure said any sale would have to involve a commitment that the Devils could train and play there until the new arena is ready.
The sponsors for Storm this coming season have been announced. Adidas are now the shirt collar and shirt back sponsor, Allsports stay main sponsor and McDonalds are the ticket sponsor (now that there is a new MacDonalds next to the ticket office!). Piccadilly Key 103 remain the players shorts sponsor and are still the "media partner". Ciro Citterio continue as the suit supplier to the squad, Cathedral Arches remain the official after-match public house, Ian Skelly continue to supply cars for the players and Stormforce will now sponsor the Man of the Match award.
The Superleague fixtures have been released - much earlier than expected. Some fixtures are not yet available due to it still being undecided about the cross-channel cup competition. Currently two home and two away fixtures have been arranged and so the cup or third home and away will be announced when it has been decided.
The Nottingham Evening Post reports that an advert for the sale of Nottingham Panthers is in the Financial Times. The directors of the club say they want to widen the net of possible buyers and explore all possible options before they accept any offer.
The Superleague fixtures have been delayed until mid-August due to confusion over the new Cross-Channel Cup competition taking place in the second-half of the season. There were to be two Dutch and two French teams joining the Superleague teams in a cup competition, but the Dutch teams pulled out. It is hoping that two more French teams will join meaning that the competition can be resurrected. If no more teams can be found to take part, the cup will be scrapped and there will be more Superleague fixtures to compensate - it will revert to 3 home and 3 away like last season. Until this is all resolved, no fixtures are being released apart from the B&H games.
The Manchester Evening News reports that some of Storm's new signings are having their positions in UK ice hockey put in doubt after the British Players Association protested about the number of foreign players being allowed into the country to play for UK teams. Work permits are therefore being put on hold until the matter is resolved. This means that Kevin Hoffman, Dominic Maltais, Rick Judson, Troy Neumeier, Jeff Jablonski and netminders Jim Hrivnak and Grant Sjerven have not yet got their permits. Those players who have had their permits confirmed are Kris Miller, all last season's players and Stefan Ketola, Jeff Tomlinson, Mikael Wiklander and Dave Morrison all hold Euro passports.
Storm have signed a new netminder - Jim Hrivnik. He is expected to be the new number one netminder, and is generally accepted as one of the best netminders ever to be playing in this country. He is aged 29, and last season played with Koln Sharks in Germany. His last NHL Season was in 1993/94 with St Louis Blues. He has also played for Las Vegas Thunder (IHL), Carolina Monarchs (AHL), Kansas City Blades (IHL), Milwaukee Admirals (IHL), St. Louis Blues (NHL), Winnipeg Jets (NHL), Washington Capitals (NHL) and Baltimore Skipjacks (AHL)
[Back to Latest News Index]
These pages are maintained by Simon Sandiford-Mitchell and hosted by U-Net.