Sat 30 Nov - STORM LOSE AGAIN IN NEWCASTLE 4-2. Newcastle's goals were scored by Mike Bodnarchuk, Justin Duberman, Markku Kyllonen and Ralf Hantschke.
Also on Saturday, Ayr Scottish Eagles won again, this time at faultering Cardiff Devils 3-1. Cardiff had a 5 point lead at the top of the table not long ago, but Newcastle have now caught them and Sheffield, with games in hand, are right behind. This was Cardiff's 10th anniversary, but the party didn't go according to plan. Ayr were 3-0 up before Matulik finally scored for the Devils near the end of the match. Sheffield Steelers had a 4-1 victory at struggling Nottingham Panthers. In the Southern derby, Basingstoke Bison beat Bracknell again, this time 8-5. Maybury scored twice for Basingstoke as they led 2-1 and 7-2 before Bracknell had a late rally to finally go down 8-5.
Thu 28 Nov - STORM LOSE OUT AT AYR 5-3. Another defeat for Storm as they went to Scotland for the live SKY TV match. Storm were 3-0 down, got back to 3-3 before finally losing 5-3. The major talking point was the big fight between Ryan Kummu and Hilton Ruggles. Both men got sent to the penalty box, but before Ruggles could return to the ice, Kummu had left his box and went into Ruggles's penalty box to get his "revenge". This obviously caused comotion with all the officials racing into the box and Kummu, acting like a wild animal, was finally dragged away and I think was bannished from the game. He has since received a 6 match ban - to include the Benson & Hedges Cup Final on 7 December, and the incident caused quite a stir in the Manchester area with GMR playing the SKY SPORTS commentary on their Friday night sports programme and BBC North News on BBC1 played the clip from SKY TV showing the incident. Kummu has also been fined £50 for bringing the game into disrepute. John Lawless has been quoted as saying that the punishment was "too lenient". Scott Young opened the scoring for Ayr after 4 minutes before just a minute later, Hoffman made it 2-0, and this is how the first period ended. The second period didn't start well for Storm as they went 3-0 down after a goal from Woolf. Storm then scored two goals in the rest of the period, the second from Eric Calder to bring the score to 3-2. The Kummu v Ruggles fight incident happened just before the end of the second period and the referee called the end of the period with 25 seconds remaining. The remaining seconds were played at the start of the third period before the final 20 minutes were played with the players having swapped ends. In that time, Stephen Cooper equalised to make it 3-3 at the "official" end of the second period. Two minutes into the third period, Flynn put Ayr back into the lead at 4-3. With 30 seconds to go, Finnie was pulled and Lala scored an empty net goal to make the final score 5-3.
In the other game, Sheffield Steelers beat Newcastle Cobras 3-2 after overtime in Newcastle. After a goalless first period, Jamie Leach put Steelers into the lead before Mike Bodnarchuk equalised for Cobras. David Longstaff made it 2-1 to Sheffield before Norton made it 2-2. Glenn Mulvenna scored the winner for Sheffield just 12 seconds into overtime.
Dumfries Border Vikings have sensationally sacked coach Rob Barnes and two of their import players. Director Steve Marshall said that "irrepairable differences" caused the decision.
The home game against Ayr Scottish Eagles on Saturday 21 December will now face off at 6.40 as SKY SPORTS are showing the game live.
Sun 24 Nov - STORM BEAT PANTHERS 5-4 IN TIGHT GAME. Tait opened the scoring for Nottingham Panthers in the first minute, and Laxdal made it 2-0 after 11 minutes. Storm didn't really look like winning at this point. Brad Rubachuk got a 2+2+GAME penalty as he hit an official. That was obviously bad news for Storm, but it did have the advantage that it meant that there would be considerably less penalties against Storm now that Brad Rubachuk was not there! After 23 minutes, Storm had a goal disallowed after the puck went in the net off a skate. Hilton Ruggles pulled a goal back at last for Storm 13 minutes into the second period. The equaliser came six minutes later from Craig Woodcroft, and then Storm spectacularly took the lead just 30 seconds later when Nick Poole got the crucial goal. Four minutes into the third period, Olsen equalised for Nottingham Panthers, but it was short lived as just a minute later Dale Jago put Storm back into the lead 4-3. After 51 minutes Hilton Ruggles scored to put Storm 5-3 up and then with three minutes to go, Premak set up a grandstand finish to make it 5-4. Panthers pulled their goalie, but it wasn't enough as Storm recorded a much needed victory and kept up their winning run against Nottingham (obviously not including the 5-0 forced result last week).
Also on Sunday, Basingstoke Bison beat their great rivals Bracknell Bees 5-4 in the Beehive. Ellis scored to put Bracknell in the lead before Bison went on a scoring spree with goals by Sinclair, Conway, Priest, Little and Redmond to make the score 5-2. Bees rallied late on with goals from Cote and McCosh to end the game 5-4.
Sat 23 Nov - STORM LOSE AT BASINGSTOKE 6-4. Storm were 4-0 and 6-1 down and recovered to 6-4 but it wasn't enough as Bison went above Storm in the table. Storm drop to 7th place.
Also on Saturday, Newcastle Cobras defeated league leaders Cardiff Devils 5-3 in Cardiff. Seventeen fans helped out the Cobras by giving them their shirts after Newcastle left their kit behind! In the other game, Ayr Scottish Eagles also won on the road as they defeated Nottingham Panthers 3-2.
After leaving Storm to return to play for Telford Tigers, Mark Pallister is to start work full time on a building site in Wolverhampton. He admitted that he didn't really want to move from Telford in the first place and he only moved because Telford were in the middle of a financial crisis and needed the money. He was returning to Telford two or three times a week while playing for Storm.
Mike Morin and Stephen Cooper appeared at the opening of the outdoor skating rink in Albert Square in Manchester City Centre on Monday evening. There is 10% off for all Stormforce members to skate on the rink, which is called the Bellway Manchester Ice Rink. It is open daily (except 24 December and 1 January) Mon - Fri from 11.00AM to 10.00PM, Sat - Sun from 10.00AM to 10.00PM. The cost to skate is £3.50 (£2.50 on Sundays). The Stormforce prices are £3.15 and £2.25. Family tickets are available. The rink will remain open until Sunday 5 January.
Manchester Storm have announced that all equipment sponsors with the exception of stick sponsors (not sure why) will receive their photos before 25 December. We await our Chad Penney with great excitement!
You can vote for Dale Jago and John Finnie in the Manchester Evening News Sports Personality of the Year awards.
Ceefax is writing its usual drivel I see. The page tonight prints this weeks midweek fixtures. Great! Except they are actually last week's fixtures! Over the weekend they printed my letter on their new Sports Letters page on 356. Except they printed complete rubbish that was nothing like I sent them! I said well done to Sheffield Steelers in Europe and they printed Good Luck to Sheffield Steelers in Europe. I said that the Super League was doing well and that it wasn't just Sheffield Steelers in the running and they printed that the Super League was doing well and that Sheffield Steelers were the only team in the running! It made the letter look a right load of old rubbish! To mail Ceefax Page 356, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Basingstoke Bison are planning to increase their capacity of the Playground to 3150. Added to the cost of the redevelopment of the adjacent swimming pool, the total cost will be £16 million. The council will pay £6 million of it. The new capacity will be in effect for the 1998/99 season.
HTV Wales are now screening ice hockey every Wednesday night at 10.40pm. HTV is available in the Manchester area if you live on medium to high ground with a reasonable arial. I could get it when I lived in Blackley, but I can't get it now in Bury. On the scale, it is to the left of BBC1 after BBC1 Wales. They will be showing Cardiff Devils games from the previous weekend and then highlights of the other Super League games. The programme lasts for 1 hour which sounds better than Face Off which BBC1 Wales used to show on a Monday night for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, Ayr Scottish Eagles fans can folow their team on the Sky Scottish channel.
New signing Bart Vanstaaiduinen was injured in the Lulea game and has a groin strain and expects to be out of action for about two weeks.
Nottingham Panthers are threatening not to release Paul Adey for Great Britain's Olympic Qualifiers next month. They are doing this in retaliation for the Super League's refusal to allow them to replace Adey after he broke a bone in his hand playing for GB in their 5-0 win at Sheffield Arena.
The following arrived in an e-mail to Inter The Storm:
In response to the original Stormforce pages of the programme for the Storm V Steelers game Sunday 27 October :
Having been to the House of Steel on 21 September, we would like to point out that everything that was said in the unedited version was the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, however, we would not like to see ourselves lowered to the same standard. Afterall, ice hockey is a family sport and it should not be turned into a slanging match, similar to football. All that will result from comments like this will be bad feeling between the supporters. Eventually, the events of Nottingham become a common occurrence and do we really want this to happen in British Ice Hockey?!
Also... was it not bad enough to be fined £1000, they had to take the two points earned away only to be given to the team that lost.
We took a junior to the stormforce event last night. We arrived at 7.15pm prrrrrompt (as told very snottily by Linda Harper) to find that the referee that had been invited to talk about the finer points of the game, had been called away and the one that was arranged to step in couldn't get there due to the bad weather. The 4!!!!! players that actually turned up didn't get there until 8.30pm as they got lost! and if it wasn't for the fact that Dale Jago was one of the players that deemed fit to show his face (sorry but true) there would have been a lot of heartbroken children.The night would have been more of a success if more players ie Finnie, Ruggles, Byram, Rubachuk etc had made the effort for their junior supporters. (Having attended the quiz night and the halloween disco at least half the players were at both events...Why such a poor turnout when children make up more than half of the supporters?!) The only other opportunity for them to meet their heroes is at the arches after a match, where they are either crammed in like sardines and they are lucky to catch a glimpse of their favourite player or to stand outside to catch them on the way in, and in this weather that isn't very practical.
(sorry for the whinging but we needed to air these grievances to someone and unfortunately you got it)
By the way, has Ruby got a good book stashed in the sin bin or what?! (War and Peace perhaps?!) and if John Lawless wants him sorting out we'd be more than happy (ecstatic in fact) to help!!
Thu 21 Nov - Bracknell Bees moved to within one point of Basingstoke at the bottom of the league after defeating Nottingham Panthers 8-3. Brant got a hat trick as the Bees led 4-0 at the end of the first period. Cardiff Devils stretched their lead at the top to 5 points after beating Basingstoke Bison 6-4. Cardiff led 4-1 before Basingstoke came back with two Merv Priest goals and one from Kevin Conway to level the score. Cardiff scored twice more from Steve Moria and Ken Hodge to make the final score 6-4.
Wed 20 Nov - Ayr Scottish Eagles shocked Sheffield Steelers with a 5-4 overtime victory at the Centrum Arena in Ayr. This was the first time that the teams had ever met. Mark Woolf scored twice as Ayr led 4-3 with five minutes remaining. David Longstaff equalised for Steelers to send the game into overtime, but Markus Berwanger scored for Ayr to give them a well deserved victory.
Tue 19 Nov - STORM ARE PATHETIC AS LULEA WIN 11-0. This was unbelievable. Storm were so poor that the over 65's team could have beaten them tonight. They fell about and missed everything like it was a Charlie Chaplin film. Lulea weren't even trying! Whenever they got bored of playing about with the puck, they would rush down the ice and score. Gronau was at fault for some of the goals, but it was the poor team performance that was really to blame. It was only 2-0 at the end of the first period. Chad Penney managed to get himself sent off for the rest of the game after about 5 minutes and that set things up for the rest of the night. Lulea had a goal disallowed as well. The second saw five more Lulea goals, and it could have been much worse. The Storm were playing Who sits in the box next with Brad Rubachuk doing well there. Lulea hit the post about 5 times as well! The third period was just the same with 7-0 stretched to 11-0 before Lulea gave up bothering and Storm had their heaviest defeat this season, and their second ever shut-out.
In the other game TPS Turku won 2-0 against Berlin Capitals in Germany.
STORM FINED & HAVE WIN OVER NOTTINGHAM OVERRULED. Saturday's win over Nottingham Panthers has been expunged from the records as punishment for playing new signing Bart Vanstaalduinen. There was a problem with his registration and as a result, Storm have had the 5-4 win so magnificently gained turned into a 5-0 defeat. The Super League table has been updated to reflect this. Storm have also been fined £1000. Lets's hope Bart is worth it!
What is the problem with Brad Rubachuk? He spends so much time in the penalty box it is unbelieveable. John Lawless MUST sort him out one way or the other.
MARK PALLISTER LEAVES STORM TO RETURN TO TELFORD TIGERS. Mark Pallister has left Manchester Storm after his signing last season to return to Telford Tigers. He still lived in Telford when playing for Storm and ran his business from there also. He said that he always wanted to return there and so couldn't settle in Manchester.
Sheffield Steelers were reported to be involved in a brawl with fans after their Europa Cup games in Finland. The Steelers were outside a nightclub celebrating their success in becoming the first British team to get a point from the semi-final stage of the competition, when fans of the Norwegian team Storhammer taunted them. Blows were exchanged and it took 15-stone Jamie van der Horst to calm things down.
Sun 17 Nov - STORM STUFF AYR 6-1 IN EXCITING GAME. This was a great performance from Storm. Ruggles opened the scoring after 2 minutes and it remained 1-0 until Nick Poole scored the second after 15 minutes. The third came from Jeff Sebastian after 18 minutes. The second period was more even with Hilton Ruggles, Storm's top scorer, making it 4-0 after 26 minutes. Then came a goal from Shawn Byram that the officials judges did not cross the line (despite the fact that it did!) and so was ruled out. But the fifth goal came from Brad Rubachuk before Ryan Kummu pulled a goal back in the 38th minute to make the score 4-1 and that bring back memories of the match last week against Newcastle. But Storm held out and scored the sixth goal in the final minute from Nick Poole. Storm are now in 4th place in the Super League.
Before Sunday's game with Ayr, there was the Stormforce Forum where Stormforce members got their chance to ask questions to the Stormforce committee and Dave Biggar, the Marketing guy for the Nynex. Some points that came from the forum was that it was voted quite emphatically to change the build up to the team's entrance onto the ice to the old one from last season with smoke and everything. This will come into effect from the Lulea game. It was also asked that the music that is played in the breaks in play should not interrupt any chanting and singing already going on by the Storm fans. It was agreed by Dave Biggar that this would not occur any more as far as they could help it (ie. you cannot always tell when songs are just about to happen). There is to be an end of season dinner dance on the ice at the Nynex - at the end of March with a disco, a live band, a presentation and auction. Next season's shirt will have an emblem on it, like you would expect a sports shirt to have - how many times have people asked you what shirt you were wearing? There were also questions asked about when Stormforce would have an AGM, produce accounts and have elections. They said it would be towards the end of the season. Questions were also asked about the spending of money raised by Stormforce, and it appeared that much of it funds the team, such as air fares. Other questions were about merchandising, and why there wasn't enough cheap merchandise available. Then most shockingly of all someone asked why Storm didn't have any decent Web pages!! What a cheek! What do you think these are? There is more information on Inter The Storm, and the rest of Storm Info than the Sheffield Steelers Official Web pages and certainly runs alongside the Unofficial Bracknell bees page. The only other Super League teams with pages are Cardiff Devils page (official and designed with the help of BT!) and Nottingham Panthers, which has hardly anything. You also have to remember that these pages are created, written, programmed, designed and maintained by the extensive team of...me, just a Storm supporter who has a (very small) amount of spare time to dedicate to the pages. I receive nothing from the club for doing this except a mention in the match programme in exchange for maintaining some pages for Stormforce.
The John Lawless cutting the Stormforce programme editorial story continues to grow. It is reported that Mr Lawless has not responded in any way to the letter sent to him by Stormforce asking for an explanation or to confirm that he shall be attending the Stormforce committee meeting to discuss the matter. Unconfirmed reports suggest that he is booked on a plane to Canada on that day - with a ticket paid for by Stormforce - and that they may consider stopping the plane ticket if he there is still no response. Until the matter is resolved, Mick Thompson, the Stormforce Press Officer, who usually writes the editiorials for each match programme is refusing to write another - that is why the Newcastle game had only one Stormforce page and the the Ayr game had a passage from Linda Harper (Events Officer) instead. If you've been following this story, look out for the Stormforce Newsletter published soon - you may find it very interesting! Inter The Storm will of course let you know what happens.
Did you know that you can listen to full commentary on the radio of all Storm matches home and away? No? That's not surprising as the radio station that provides this excellent service is a hospital radio station in Leeds!
If you've been wondering why GMR does not give out much in the way of latest scores for Storm matches, it is because they had a reporter lined up to cover each match with a mobile phone to phone through the scored. He was not asking for any payment for this, not even payment for his match ticket. He asked GMR only for his petrol to be paid for and they refused.
There is to be a Charity Fun Run (or jog or walk!) with some Storm players around the Arena concourse. The event is being run in order to raise funds for the Children's Hospital Appeal. The run starts at 12.00 noon on Sunday 8 December 1996.
Also on Sunday, Newcastle Cobras defeated Basingstoke Bison 3-1. Tukala put Newcastle into the lead before Little equalised for Basingstoke. Cobras sealed the game with goals from Boelnarchuk and Justin Duberman. In the other game, Cardiff Devils had a 4-1 victory over Nottingham Panthers. The Cardiff scorers were Ian Cooper - brother of Storm's Steve, Steve Moria, Steffen Zieche and Doug McCarthy.
In the NFL, a game between Boston and Buffalo was postponed because the scoreboard collapsed! I hope there was no-one on the ice when that happened, especially if the scoreboard is anything like the one at the Nynex!
You might have heard Whoosh It's Behind You played at the Nynex Arena when Storm scored against Sheffield. In case you don't know the story behind it, the Sheffield Steelers released a compact disk of songs over the summer, one of which was Whoosh... and they play it at Sheffield Arena when Steelers score. I was rooting around the Steelers Web pages and dug out (OK stole!) a couple of sound clips of Whoosh. The first one is a short clip, but the second is a minute long and includes 10 seconds of Dave Simms commentary on a Steelers v Nottingham Panthers game!! This file is over 450KB in size, so will take ages to download. To hear the short clip click here. To hear the large clip click here. Both are .WAV files.
The third and final game in the Europa Cup semi finals on Sunday, Sheffield Steelers lost out 5-4 to Polymir Novopoletsk, the champions of Belarus. This was expected to be the easiest of the three games for Sheffield, but they finished bottom of the group on one point. Despite this, they shouldn't feel disgraced, as they played really well over the weekend. Ron Shudra pulled a goal back for Steelers towards of the end of the first period after they had gone 2-0 down. The second period saw three more goals to the Belarus team with Steelers scoring twice from Glenn Mulvenna. Tony Hand brought the score to 5-4 at the start of the third, but they could not get another goal and so went down 5-4.
Sat 16 Nov - STORM BEAT PANTHERS IN NOTTINGHAM 5-4. Storm got back to winning ways with a 5-4 victory over Nottingham Panthers. A powerplay goal from Jeff Sebastian and a short handed goal from Eric Calder gave Storm a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period. David Smith scored in the second, but Panthers scored three times to make the score 4-3 at the end of the second. Shawn Byram levelled the game on the powerplay in the third and Nick Poole scored the winner.
There were reports of crowd trouble at the Nottingham Panthers v Manchester Storm match last night. The trouble was multiplied by the Nottingham stewards who refused to speak to, never mind eject, a Panthers fan who was consistantly abusive towards the Storm fans. He was obviously drunk and came over to the Storm fans for no other reason than to threaten them, and when he was told to go back to his seat, he took objection to this and punched a female Storm supporter in the face. This was at the end of the game, and the Storm fans decided that enough was enough and that they would chase the Panthers fan out of the Arena, which they did. The Nottingham Arena say they will press charges against the Panthers fan, if the Storm fan that was hit doesn't, so he's in trouble either way. All the situation needed was someone in authority to speak to the drunkard and let him know that such behaviour would not be tolorated. If he continued, he should have been ejected. All Nottingham Panthers fans should not be tarred with the same brush, though, as this incident was entirely caused by a single stupid drunk man.
New signing Bart Vanstaalduinen made his debut in the game against Nottingham, but Storm could be in trouble for playing him. He was left out of the team on Sunday against Ayr after a complication was discovered with his registration.
In other Super League games on Saturday, Cardiff Devils beat Bracknell Bees 2-1 in the Beehive, while Ayr Scottish Eagles won 3-1 at Basingstoke Bison.
Also on Saturday, Sheffield Steelers created history by becoming the first British team EVER to take a point from a Europa Cup Semi Final game, as they drew 2-2 with Finnish champions HPK Hameenlinna in Finland. Steelers were 1-0 down at the end of the first period, and then went 2-0 down in the second before Tony Hand pulled one back (although the rink announcer credited Tim Cranston with the goal giving Tony Hand the assist). The second ended 2-1. In the third, Scott Campbell equalised to make the final score 2-2. Scott Campbell was man of the match and Steelers then went on to lose the penalty shoot out 2-1, Jamie Leach scoring the Steelers penalty. Radio Sheffield described the performance as brilliant, but Greco was injured in the match and a bad injury to Ken Priestlay has ruled him out of the game on Sunday.
Fri 15 Nov - Sheffield Steelers had a dramatic start to their Europa Cup semi-finals! They lost their first game in the tournament 7-5 against the champions of Norway, Storhamar, after leading 4-1 at one stage. There were two goals for Storhamar in the last minute of the game. The Sheffield view is that they were robbed. There were a number of "dreadful" performances by the officials according to Frank Kovacs, Alex Dampier, Bob Ballard and Dave Simms (all were interviewed on Radio Sheffield in their sports programme at 7.00pm). Apparantly Storhamar were getting away with nothing short of murder after Steelers were leading 4-1. The referee (apparantly) gave the game to Storhamar. The Steelers goals were scored by Tony Hand, David Longstaff (2), Glenn Mulvenna and Ken Priestlay. Five of Storhamar's goals were powerplay goals. I don't know the result of the penalty shoot out that happens at the end of each game, to decide positions in the table. The other game that took place was a 3-2 victory for the Finnish champions HPK Hameenlinna against Belarus champions Polymir Novopoletsk. Radio Sheffield commentator Bob Ballard thinks that Steelers will lose on Saturday against Finnish team HPK Hameenlinna (live on Radio Sheffield 4.30PM start (UK time) commentary starts on 104.1FM at approx 4.50pm after the football commentary. He thinks that Steelers will win against the Belarus champions Polymir Novopoletsk (live on Radio Sheffield on 104.1FM and it begins at 12.30pm UK time). Bob Ballard and Dave Simms will be doing the commentary.
Kingston Hawks are to get a new arena, to be built alongside a new football stadium for Hull City. The Kingston capacity is expected to be 10,000.
Mick Thompson, the Stormforce Press Officer was interviewed on GMR Talk last Friday night. He was talking about Storm's recent performances and said that Storm's defending in their own zone was not up to scratch and said that the defence needs strengthening. He also mentioned that other teams may be jealous of the arena and so want to knock Manchester Storm and so play well. Aha! So that's why we keep losing at home! There does seem to be an element of truth in that though as teams are not scared of playing in the arena, but seem to be inspired - the opposite to Storm!
Alan Hough who was released a short time ago by Storm, has joined Blackburn Hawks.
The final of the Super League play offs to be played at the Nynex Arena on Saturday 29 March is not all that is happening on that day at the Nynex. The Junior final will take place at 10.00AM, followed by the Premier League final at 1.00PM (that's the Southern Premier League, not the Northern Premier League!) The Super League final will begin at 5.30PM. All times are yet to be confirmed.
Great Britain will play Japan in March at Blackburn Ice Arena, it has been announced.
Wed 13 Nov - Bracknell Bees shocked Newcastle Cobras in a similar fashion to the defeat of Sheffield Steelers a few weeks ago, by winning 4-2 in the Snake Pit. Newcastle would have gone to the top of the league if they had won. The Cobras had any goal disallowed early on, but Bracknell soon got their act together. It was 1-1 at the end of the first period. Bracknell scored two goal to Newcastle's one in the second period, which ended 3-2 to the Bees. The fourth goal came for the Bees after 45 minutes. Newcastle pulled the keeper Rautio with 5 minutes to go and had with four minutes remaining had a 6 on 4. Bees almost scored an empty net goal in the dying seconds, but the score remained 4-2. Bees remain bottom of the table, but their fans will be hoping that this isn't another Flash in the Beehive and that they can make a Basingstoke-like move up the table.
STORM SIGN DEFENCEMAN BART VANSTAALDUINEN. Oh no, someone called Bart playing for Storm! Now that the rubber duck phase is coming to an end, what better than a load of Bart Simpson toys to cheer up the crowd! Yes, Storm have signed defenceman Bart Vanstaaldvinen (that won't fit on his shirt surely!) and he will go straight into the team for the games against Nottingham away on Saturday and Ayr Scottish Eagles at the Nynex on Sunday. He has apparantly just received his Dutch passport. He is 6'2" tall, aged 24 and has spent the last four seasons on a full scholarship with Michigan State University. He has been team captain for two seasons, has scored 50 points from 160 games and was voted defenceman of the year last season. He started this season as an import for Norwegian side Lillehamme.
Tue 12 Nov - GREAT BRITAIN WIN 5-0 AGAINST SLOVENIA AT SHEFFIELD. This was a comprehensive victory for Great Britain in front of a Sheffield crowd. The goals were scored by Paul Adey, Nicky Chinn, Merv Priest and two from Tommy Plommer. There was full coverage of the game on Radio Sheffield. They have got a new piece of technology that enables Dave Simms's match night announcements directly into the radio - which they still haven't quite got the hang of, by the sound of things! Great Britain's next game is away in Holland on 12 December. After that they return to Britain for a very important game against Switzerland on Wednesday 18 December - face off 7.40PM. The game was supposed to take place at the Nynex Arena, but for some reason this game will also take place at the House Of Plastic in Sheffield. This is a rare opportunity to see the national team, and if you missed the Slovenia game, try and get to Sheffield to watch this one. If you can't make it, Radio Sheffield have promised similar coverage of it on 104.1FM. The game should also be on SKY SPORTS.
Will Eric Calder ever get his name on the back of his shirt? Since he signed he has been nameless. They must have run out of letters as Chad Penney has stick-on letters on his shirt that are so obviously out of a 50p shop.
There has been a major fixtures reshuffle. In all 8 fixtures have changed. Nottingham Panthers (A) originally scheduled for Tuesday 24 December 7.30 will now be played on Saturday 4 January 7.00. The game against Ayr Scottish Eagles (A) on Thursday 9 January 7.30 will now be played six days later on Wednesday 15 January 7.30. The game against Cardiff Devils (H) scheduled for Wednesday 29 January 7.30 will now be played on Thursday 16 January 7.30 - the date originally scheduled for Bracknell Bees (H). This game will now take place a week later on Thursday 23 January 7.30. This is the the date that Storm were due to play Newcastle Cobras (H) and this game will now be played on the date originally set for Cardiff Devils (H) on Wednesday 29 January 7.30 (see earlier in the paragraph!!). Meanwhile, the game against Sheffield Steelers (A) that had not been scheduled will now be played on Tuesday 21 January 7.30. The previously unscheduled game against Cardiff Devils (A) will now take place on Thursday 20 February 8.00 - the date originally scheduled for Basingstoke Bison (A), and THIS game will be now played on Thursday 6 February 8.00. Hope that's clear!!!
At the end of the regular season, the Super League play-offs take place. Every team will enter with the teams split into two groups of four. The first, third, fifth and seventh team in the final table will play in one group and the rest in the other. Normal Super League rules will apply including 10 minutes sudden death overtime. The winners of each group will play the runners up of the other group in the semi finals to be played at the Nynex Arena on Saturday 22 March. There are different rules for games that are drawn after 60 minutes. After 5 minutes of overtime at full strength, one player from each side will be withdrawn for another five minutes. The teams will then be reduced to 3 skaters plus keeper each, and this will continue for further 5 minute periods until somebody wins. It hasn't yet been confirmed yet whether the 5 minute periods are sudden death or not. The winners of each semi-final tie will go forward to the play-off final on Saturday 29 March, also at the Nynex Arena, where the same overtime rules apply as in the semi-finals. The announcement of Manchester as the arena for the semi finals and the final is excellent news, not only for the North West, but for the whole country. Manchester is in the centre of Great Britain and so is a good focal point for fans. The only shame is that the semi finals and the final could not be held on the same weekend, as this would have attracted a great deal of visitors, similar to the old Wembley finals weekend.
Sun 10 Nov - NEWCASTLE BEAT STORM 6-4. This match was a true game of three thirds!! The first was all Newcastle as they piled on the pressure but only had a 1-0 lead from a goal from Justin Duberman after 2 minutes to show for it. The second period was all Storm. They scored four unanswered goals - from Mike Morin, Martin Smith, Brad Rubachuk, the man of the match for Storm, and Hilton Ruggles. The third period was a disaster for Storm as they conceded 5 goals unanswered includiung the final one from Kelly Askew, which was an empty net goal with Finnie removed while Storm looked to equalise. The Newcastle Finns didn't seem like world beaters - until the last 20 minutes when they cut through Storm's tissue defence. Storm have now slipped to 6th in the league.
Also on Sunday, Cardiff Devils overran Bracknell Bees 8-0 to remain top of the Super League. Sheffield Steelers recorded an expected win over Basingstoke Bison by 7 goals to 4. Ayr Scottish Eagles lost 6-4 at home to improving Nottingham Panthers.
The match programme went through a minor redesign for the game on Sunday as the fixture list and player sponsorship pages had the font improved. Although it isn't perfect yet as the sponsorship grid doesn't show some of the sponsors as it falls outside the new design! There was only one Stormforce page in the programme this week instead of the usual two - the one with the editiorial on had been replaced by an advert for season tickets. You can buy a "half season ticket" from 1st January until the end of the season to get into Super League games and have priority for other games. This costs £70 (£45 consessions).
I got an e-mail from Ian, a Storm supporter, and he had this to say:
I think your Guestbook is really good and is not a long way from becoming a newsgroup when you think about it.........As for tonights match against Newcastle well, "Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory" just about sums it up! They were definitely unlucky in the first period not to have had at least two goals, but if it don't go in.........The second period was great, all the confidence was coming back and I thought the match was won, but the third period Storm were back to their rather ponderous build up, with it would seem no one prepared to have a shot, preferring to pass, whether this is caused by a confidence crisis or poor tactics I wouldn't know, but a crowd of 9000 plus definitely deserve better. If things carry on like this the good attendances will start to dwindle away which would be a great shame. We don't want to become the Man City's of the Hockey world, the laughing stock of the Superleague do we? Any positive input by people with Storm's interests at heart would be gratefully appreciated.............
Don't forget that if you are a student, you can get into Storm matches for just £4 - bring your Student card with you when buying the ticket and on the night and you can spend the £2 you saved on a packet of crisps or something.
Sat 9 Nov - Cardiff Devils stayed top of the Super League after a 4-0 victory over Basingstoke Bison at The Playground. Sheffield Steelers came from 2-0 down at Bracknell to beat the Bees 4-2. The other game saw Newcastle Cobras beat Ayr Scottish Eagles 6-5.
Peterborough Pirates are back in turmoil. They seemed to have been saved after it was thought that they had played their last game at home to Telford Tigers a couple of weeks ago after potential new owner walked out on the club. A new consortium of three local businessmen said that they wanted to put Peterborough back on the ice hockey map...BUT the original owner claims he is still in charge and that the consortium never took over anything!
Sheffield Steelers have signed Canadian defenceman Cory Beaulieu to strengthen their side after their recent poor run. He is a former Hartford Whalers and Manitoba Moose player.
Ayr Scottish Eagles will play Nottingham Panthers in the B&H Cup Final at Sheffield Arena on Saturday 7 December. They were 2-0 down to Basingstoke Bison in the first leg, and were trailing 2-1 on the night at one point, but came back to win 9-4 on the night, 9-6 on aggregate.
Stormforce merchandise is now available in the Arena after a deal was struck with LMS who have the merchandising franchise at the Arena. Stormforce goods can be purchased at the outlets from now on as well as by mail order. For more details, see the Stormforce pages.
Guildford Flames, who were set to join the Super League next season, have put back their entry until the 1998/99 season, it is reported.
Rumours are rife that Channel 5, the new terrestrial TV channel launching in the UK in the new year, will be showing live Premier League matches. Hopefully that includes the Northern Premier League, as the Premier League contains only southern and midlands teams in it.
Wed 6 Nov - Cardiff Devils remained top of the Super League after a 4-4 overtime draw with Sheffield Steelers at the Sheffield Arena. Ken Priestlay opened the scoring in the first period and then Ron Shudra made it 2-0. In the second period Cardiff pulled the two goal back from Hodge to close the second period at 2-2. Cardiff took the lead in the third before Steelers came back with David Longstaff and Ken Priestlay put Steelers back into the lead at 4-3. Cardiff pulled level again with a goal from Noble and the game went into overtime. In stepped Gareth Hampshire to bring overtime live commentary to the North on Radio Sheffield, but unfortunately it was not the dramatic finish we were hoping for as both sides played out the 10 minutes and Steelers lost the chance of going back to the top of the league.
Tue 5 Nov - BERLIN CAPITALS BEAT STORM 6-1 IN GERMANY. Marc Gronau was the Man of the Match - he was the reason that it wasn't a complete stuffing! It was four Berlin goals in the first half of the third period that condemned Storm to the defeat, but Craig Woodcroft scored a late consolation goal. Jarno Peltonen scored in the first minute of the first period. There was no more scoring until Jim Camazzola doubled Berlin's lead with a goal after 6 minutes of the second period. Four more goals on 45, 46, 48 and 50 minutes sealed the tie and Craig Woodcroft scored the consolation with 1 minute to go.
Joe Stefan and Paul Holden missed the plane to Berlin and had to catch a later flight. Apparantly their connection was late and the rest of the team could not wait and so Joe and Paul went on a later flight. Both iced in the match so they must have got there eventually!
In the other game, LuleŚ lost 3-0 at home to TPS Turku, who are now 2 points clear at the top of the table.
Also on Tuesday, Nottingham Panthers started their climb back up the Super League with a 3-2 overtime win at home to Newcastle Cobras.
You can now hear Stormforce updates as well as the normal Storm news every 2 or 3 weeks on GMR Talk's Friday evening sports programme between 7.00 and 10.00pm on 95.1FM. Stormforce's Press Officer Mick Thompson will be giving all the latest news and updates.
Sun 3 Nov - BASINGSTOKE BISON HUMILIATE STORM 8-3. A terrible performance that made Basingstoke look like world-beaters. Storm led 1-0 after 10 mins with a goal from Brad Rubachuk, but Bison levelled from Priest to go in after the first at 1-1. Storm were looking quite comfortable in the first, but in the second they were garbage. Five Basingstoke goals from Weinrich, Newman, Brown, Knox and Wagstaff, went past Finnie in the second without reply. The third started in the same way with Bison's 7th from Weinrich and then the 8th from Priest causing Finnie to exit to be replaced by Gronau. With 7 minutes remaining, Storm finally got it together a bit with two late goals from Woodcroft and Morin to finish with a 8-3 defeat. Mike Morin was Storm's Man of the Match - well someone had to be, I suppose! Storm slipped to 5th in the Super League table.
Stephen Cooper finally returned to action this weekend after his injury earlier in the season.
In other results on Sunday, Ayr Scottish Eagles beat Bracknell Bees 7-2, while Cardiff Devils went top of the league by beating Newcastle Cobras 5-4 after overtime.
Sat 2 Nov - STORM WIN 3-1 AT BRACKNELL. This was Dale Jago's return game after his injury at Sheffield in the opening Super League game of the season. It was 0-0 after the first period. Bracknell took the lead in the second period with a Junkin goal. Shawn Byram had a shot at the Bees keeper towards the end of the second period, and he looked to have saved it, but it went in and it was 1-1. Another lucky goal this time from Martin Smith put Storm into the lead as the puck flicked into the air and went over the Bees keeper into the net. Brad Rubachuk scored the third in the third period.
Also on Saturday, Cardiff Devils beat Nottingham Panthers 3-2 after overtime at Lower Parliament Street. In the other game, Newcastle and Sheffield drew 2-2 at the Sheffield Arena after overtime.
LOCAL PLAYERS ALAN HOUGH, NICK CRAWLEY AND TIM DEMPSEY HAVE BEEN RELEASED BY STORM. They haven't yet signed for a club, but should do well in the Northern Premier League or equivalent (since this was written, Alan Hough has signed for Blackburn Hawks). They have hardly played this season, so it wasn't too much of a surprise really. Daryl Lipsey, Storm's assistant coach, was interviewed for BBC GMR on the subject and it was played at 8.20pm on Friday night. He said that the partings were amicable and that they were being released to enable them to get games under their belt, as Super League ice hockey was too tough for them. It will be a massive disappointment to the their loyal band of supporters in the crowd who have idolised them as all three are local players. The holders of the ALAN banner will be a bit upset, especially as they paid an big fee to fully sponsor Alan Hough. And what words can we use to Whoomph There It Is now?
The Manchester Evening News reports that John Lawless had the players in training every day last week following the Steelers game. He said that he was not happy with the overall effort by the players and he thinks it'll be a while until we see them at their best. Well, if the Basingstoke match is anything to go by, maybe it isn't the training that's the problem, but the trainer???
John Lawless is apparantly still on the lookout for new players and a forward in particular. He wants to stay with 3 lines and give everyone a chance.
Have you got £4 million to spare? You could buy Sheffield Steelers for that if you want. Yes, it's true, the Steelers are up for sale - "a steel" at £4m! If you're lucky, you might get the gameboy over the centre of the rink thrown in! Three public limited companies have shown an interest in the ex-Grand Slam champions.
A skate shop called Skate Attack has appeared at the Victoria Station entrance to the Nynex Arena. It appears to sell shirts and skates and other ice hockey equipment.
Reports are surfacing about plans for a Super League bid from a team from Stevenage. A company owned by boxing promoter Frank Warren plans to build a two pad 5000 seater arena and enter the Super League by the 1997/98 season. Nearby Milton Keynes is also planning an arena for the Super League. Due to the closeness of the two, it is very unlikely that both will be accepted. Let the battle begin...
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