Sat 31 May - Kirk Maltby and Joey Kocur scored first-period goals and the Detroit Red Wings used a solid defensive effort to make them stand up as they defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-2, in the opening game of the Stanley Cup Finals Saturday night in Philadelphia. Sergei Fedorov and Steve Yzerman also scored for Detroit, which snapped an eight-game Stanley Cup Finals losing streak as it tries to end its 42-year championship drought. The team that has won Game One has gone on to win the Cup 46 times in the last 58 years. Rod Brind'Amour and John LeClair tallied for the Flyers, who appeared jittery in their first Finals appearance in a decade.
Nick Poole is doubtful for a return to Manchester Storm next season as he has not heard if he is in Kurt Kleinendorstís plans or not. Earlier he had verbally agreed terms with John Lawless for a return, but the coaching change has nullified that agreement. Meanwhile Brad Turner has turned down the chance of joining Vienna to return to Storm next season.
I was sent an e-mail regarding obtaining a season ticket and it would be useful to let everyone know about it. The story comes from a Storm Blitz reader from Prestwich:
I received my credit agreement today from Ogdens for the season tickets. After I'd sat and filled the thing in, I looked again at the price per month as it seemed to be a bit on the high side. When I worked it out, it appeared that Ogdens had decided to charge an extra £20; bringing the price of the ticket to £220. I telephoned the contact number and was told that this was because the original finance company had pulled out and the last minute replacement was not giving as good a deal. Later on, I went to the box office and actually had a word with Andy Yates (I think it was he!). I conveyed to him my disappointment at being charged an extra 20 quid and the covering letter not mentioning anything about it, and asked to whom I should write regarding the matter, after which I left.
Later on I got a call from Andy who said that after my telling him it was 20 quid dearer he'd looked into the figures and the finance company had supplied the wrong details. He gave me an amended figure that works out just under the £200 mark.
Since then, Nynex have written to everyone (presumably) giving the correct prices as £33.22 per adult ticket and £22.44 per junior ticket (per month for 6 months).
Some of last seasonís Storm squad are playing in the US for Roller Hockey teams through the summer. Jeff Sebastian is playing for Sacramento River Rats, Mike Morin for the San Jose Rhinos, Jeff Lindsay for St. Louis Vipers and Eric Raymond is also playing in the USA. The games begin on June 1. The players are in squads of 30, but arenít guaranteed a place in the 17-man squads that will be running by the time the season starts - with the exception of Jeff Lindsay who is on the St. Louis Vipers protected list.
The Superleague seems set to approve a new schedule for next season which involves clubs playing each other only twice home and away instead of three times. The reduced number of games is expected to be made up by a new cup competition which will take place after the B&H Cup. To give the new cup contest added interest it is proposed to invite clubs to compete from Belgium, France and Holland.
The final go-ahead has been given for the building of the arena to host Leeds Lasers games situated next to Leeds United FCís Elland Road football ground. The building work is unlikely to start until January 1998 and so there are doubts whether Leeds Lasers will start the 1998/99 season. The team launch may be put back a season to the 1999/2000 season if an alternative venue for early season games cannot be found.
The 1998 Pool B Championships that Great Britain applied to host, will actually take place in Slovenia it is reported, meaning that GBís application to host the games has been turned down.
Cardiff Devils did partly win their appeal against being excluded from the European Hockey League by overturning their exclusion, but the Wales National Ice Rink was not to be used for Cardiff's home games. Instead, Storm's Nynex Arena was expected to be used for the three games. Then came the blow to Cardiff fans that because the Devils had not signed the pepers in time agreeing to play their games at the Nynex Arena, they had been excluded from the competition again. Another team from Europe replaced them - not Sheffield Steelers, who had earlier pulled out of the EHL in protest at the decision not to allow Cardiff Devils in. This series of events has meant that Storm are now the only representative of Great Britain in the EHL having won the wildcard place ahead of several other European teams on a facilities basis.
In a shock announcement, the government said that it is ready to ban all tobacco advertising and sponsorship of sports events. BBC Radio 5 Live highlighted ice hockey as a sport affected as the B&H Cup is a big tournament in the ice hockey calendar. The government said that it would give the sports time to find new sponsors, but it doesn't look good for the future of the competition in its present format.
The dates and times of the EHL Division F fixtures for Manchester Storm have been announced. The teams that Storm will face have been changed slightly as Amiens (France) have withdrawn and have been replaced with Sparta Prague (Czech Republic). The other two teams are Moscow Dynamo (Russia) and Bolzano (Italy).
TUE 16 SEP 1930 Bolzano v Manchester Storm
TUE 30 SEP 1930 Manchester Storm v Moscow Dynamo
TUE 14 OCT 1730 Sparta Prague v Manchester Storm
TUE 28 OCT 2000 Manchester Storm v Sparta Prague
TUE 18 NOV 1930 Moscow Dynamo v Manchester Storm
TUE 02 DEC 2000 Manchester Storm v Bolzano
It is reported that Storm's new coach, Kurt Kleinendorst has offered five of last season's squad new contracts. The five are Craig Woodcroft, Brad Rubachuk, Mike Morin, Brad Turner and Dale Jago. This contradicts earlier reports of the impending departures of Dale Jago and Brad Rubachuk. It isn't clear yet whether the new contracts have been fully agreed or signed. Kris Miller, the experienced defenceman who was expected to sign in time for the start of the season is still in contract negotiations and so his move is not yet confirmed. There are expected to be more of last season's squad still around next season, but Kurt is keeping his cards close to his chest for now. We can also expect more new signings (hopefully quite a few more!) and with the lure of European League hockey, hopefully a high enough calibre of player can be attracted. Craig Woodcroft is quoted as being extremely excited about playing in this season's EHL, especially playing against Dynamo Moscow, and was one of the reasons that he wants to remain a Storm player.
Cardiff's young Great Britain goalie, Stevie Lyle, has been drafted by Detroit Whalers, a junior team that belongs to the NHL side Detroit Red Wings.
The following is a BIHA press release :
The member clubs of the present Premier and Northern Premier Leagues met together at Holme Pierrepoint on Tuesday 29th April 1997. They have accepted the proposal put forward by the BIHA for the sport's restructure outside of the Ice Hockey Superleague. This included the establishment of a British National League Management Committee. The Committee comprises of representatives from Blackburn, Guildford, Murrayfield, Peterborough, Telford and Whitley Bay.
All sixteen British league clubs go into a British National League which will see each club play the others once home and once away between 6th Sept and 22 February. Running simultaneously with this competition will be the Northern and Southern Premier Leagues.
A new competition will be introduced over the Christmas/New Year period with four groups of four competing in the Christmas Cup. The group winners will go into the semi-finals and the winner of these two semi-finals will contest the eventual final.
The format for the end of season championship play-offs will be determined by the top eight league positions in the British National League. The remaining clubs will go into a British National Shield competition.
BIHA President, Frederick Meredith, congratulated all the teams on this exciting agreement betweens the clubs. he felt the future was bright and that clubs and fans alike would be thrilled with the future plans. Exciting times lie ahead!
-- end of press release --
The teams are expected to be split as follows:
Northern League :
Dumfries Border Vikings
Southern League :
Swindon Ice Lords
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