Hi everyone! Hope everyone’s keeping well and safe in these strange and uncertain times! It is important for us to stay positive and optimistic. I must admit: lockdown is the the ultimate newlywed challenge! We’re surviving! By way of an update, in February my wife and I moved away from Sheffield to a house on the suburbs of Manchester.
Our cocker spaniel, Winston, who turns 1 later this month, loves his new garden and begs me to take him for a walk at every opportunity. I haven’t yet been able to visit my family and friends back in Montreal which is obviously something I usually do every summer. I’m hoping we’ll be able to fly over for a couple of weeks before the end of summer, but the health and safety of myself, my family and other people is paramount right now.
With regards to fitness, I recently joined a golf club (which conveniently backs onto our house) and thought this would help improve my game…I was wrong! My wife bought a treadmill at the start of lockdown and we’ve used it 4 times collectively. I do, however, take Winston out on 2 long walks every day and pick up the weights in our garage-gym when I’m really bored of NHL on the PS4.
Please stay safe and I hope to be seeing you all around the rinks sooner rather than later. Bizz
Sam Towner would like to check in with all the members of #PiratesNation during the off season!
Hi Pirates Fans
Just checking in with you all, I hope you’re all well and are enjoying the weather we are currently experiencing. I’m sure its making lockdown easier!
I don’t know about you all but for me personally this has been probably the toughest few months of my life for one reason or another. I think one thing which has come out of this is the realisation of the importance of family and I hope you are all keeping your nearest and dearest at the forefront of your minds and ensuring any vulnerable relatives are safe during this time period.
I think this period has been hard for myself and most of the boys as we haven’t been able to prepare for the upcoming season as we normally would. I know usually about this time of year the lads are hitting the gym pretty hard to get ready for September but unfortunately that’s not something we are able to do. Instead I have been doing some Joe Wicks workouts to maintain my fitness coupled with doing a lot of cycling out on the road to try and get myself ready for the season whenever that may be.
I have recently started going back into work for contact with my Y10 pupils who will be sitting their GCSE exams, im sure most of you will be the same with going back to work or the moment or most of you will continue to work from home.
Obviously the sentiment continues to be stay safe during this pandemic and im sure we will all see each other on the otherside back in the rink ready for a successful season.
It is with regret that our fixture against Basingstoke Bison was cancelled at short notice earlier today.
This was due to the Basingstoke Bison taking the decision not to travel to Hull after Milton Keynes posted what they did last night. Before this everything was due to continue as normal with a review tomorrow.
At this moment in time we are unsure about what will happen going forward with our remaining fixtures, but we will endeavour to keep our fans up to date with any league news. The league are holding a meeting tomorrow that will discuss the final fixtures and playoffs.
The Hull Pirates would like to take this opportunity to thank all our fans, sponsors and volunteers for their ongoing support this season. We are disappointed that you were let down last minute and hope to see everything rectified soon.
We will keep everyone posted as to the remainder of the season and playoffs.
Those who bought tickets for the game can seek a refund from the Hull Arena.
Moving on from 2 results that leave the Pirates drive for the upper places in the league looking increasingly unlikely. This week offers some chance to rectify the situation with an away fixture at peterborough before what is simply a must win against Milton Keynes on Sunday.
The fixture at Peterborough comes after their cup final fixture against Telford on Friday night and we could do worse than hope that game will have taken loads out of them.
On Sunday we play Milton Keynes for the final time in the league this season. They currently sit one place behind us in 6th but only 1 point behind us. That makes this such a massive game as we hope to hold onto the top half spot we currently reside in.
The team are backstopped by Jordan Lawday and Dean Skinns. Both have proven there ability at this level with Lawday at 90.27% And Skinns at 88.74%. They have big size at the back in the form of Leigh Jamieson and Ross Green with Jamieson the teams third leading points scorer. So far he has amassed 12 goals and 38 assists for his 50 points in 44 games.
Offensively the teams leading scorer is Tomas Kana. He has 25 goals and 33 assists in 46 games. Liam Stewart has given the MK lighting every reason to believe that they can go sailing into the playoff finals weekend with his 34 goals and 15 assists in only 32 games. The Lightnings offence has been spread amongst most of the teams with Tanaka and the forever young Cowley also chipping in.
One thing for sure is that the Lightning are not afraid to play gritty hockey. They have almost 100 more penalty points than the next largest in the league. If we keep our discipline and they don’t this could give us a big advantage providing our power play clicks into action.
Given the previous weeks results we would all love to see a change in our fortunes and rack up some big wins before the playoffs. Let’s get behind the boys and build some momentum before the playoffs come around.
It’s double header action for the Hull Pirates this weekend as we face London Raiders home and away.
The weekend could play a big part in both teams respective battles for league positions. London are locked in a battle with bracknell for the final play off place and we still hold aspirations of a top 2 or 3 position in the league.
Michael Gray is the man in between the pipes for London in what will be his final season for the club after a decade of playing for them. He adds vital experience to an inexperienced lineup and will be relied upon to give his team a fighting chance. His 88.09% save percentage should not be sniffed at given the amount of rubber he has faced. Defensively the Raiders have experienced former Hull player, Dan Scott, playing in a young looking defence. He will be supported by Olegs Lascenko who adds some steel to a backline low on numbers and game experience at this level.
Offensively the London Raiders have not put the sort of numbers up you would expect. Only 4 players are above a point a game which is potentially the reason they languish in eighth currently. Lukas Sladkovsky has 21 goals and 25 assists for his 46 points in 42 games. Aaron Connolly is the teams leading scorer with 27 goals amongst his 45 points in 42 games.
All this being said we saw first hand the unity and tram spirit this outfit has. They appear to thrive on being the underdogs and fight tooth and nail until the bitter end. This showed in the last visit to our arena where they came away with a 2-1 win. Couple this with the battle for points to maintain the play off place they occupy and these two games will be no easy ask.
The Pirates broke a run of losses with a strong win against table topping Telford last weekend and only another performance like that will suffice. Matty Davies was inspirational last week to demolish the Tigers and he could be a big difference against those London outfit. A big chance for a coveted 4 point weekend here which would solidify a place in the upper parts of the league.
Preview Telford Tigers After what was a bitterly disappointing set of results last weekend the Hull Pirates dust themselves off to face Milton Keynes Lightning away from home on Saturday before a visit from table topping Telford tigers on Sunday. Both games are sure to be great spectacles of hockey and will again allow a firmer picture of league standings to become apparent.
The game away at MK should be a firecracker of a game.Mk are certainly no pussycats as is shown with the 1000 plus penalty minutes this season so far. Equally though they have been resurgent at points this season and the addition of some quality makes them a truly threatening opposition to play.
Sunday we face the Telford Tigers who despite some variable form of recent time sit 2 points clear at the top of the table. The current form able has them dead last with no win in 5 games so to still be top by 2 clear points is testament to the season they have had overall.
At the top they are being lead by Scott McKenzie who has 26 goals and 36 assists in his 38 games. Dominik Florian supports him with 27 goals and 31 assists in his 40 games while former Sheffield Steelers player Brandon Whistle has 44 points in his 30 games. Jason SIlverthorn and the ever tenacious Andrew McKinney are also around the point a game mark. Some top quality attacking options here which make them a dangerous outfit at all times.
At the back they also have plenty of point scoring capability with Ross Kennedy and Corey Goodison also just under a point a game. In goal they have relied upon Bradley Day all season and he hasn’t disappointed with a 90.03% save percentage.
Whatever has caused this loss of form I’m not sure but what is for certain is that it will not be a permanent one. Going into this game with anything less than 100% commitment could spell trouble.
Those of us at the Sheffield game will know that that performance will not be close enough to beating a team like Telford. What we do know is that this Pirates team have found a way of beating Telford regularly this season and that what we saw last week was not the norm.
We’ve heard the players talk about last weekend in the aftermath of the results and as much as we will hurt from last week they will hurt more. I’m positive that come this weekend there will be a response from our boys. Let’s get behind them one and all and be that boost when we don’t get the bounce of the puck. Let’s make our arena the fortress it used to be and get back to what we do as a fan base and back our lads 100%.
This Sunday is a chance to avenge our close loss from last weekend in which the Steeldogs overturned us 4-3. What could be a better Valentine’s Day gift than two local derby hockey games.
Sheffield sit a couple of places below us in the table some 5 points adrift having played a game more. This is a big opportunity to keep them in the bottom half of the table and distance ourselves well away from them.
At the back they have Dmitri Zimzodra currently on 90.92% save percentage. Coach Ben Morgan alongside Lewis Bell offer stability at the back and chances will have to be earned instead of given. The play good systems and have clearly bought into coach Morgan’s philosophy. Given this it perhaps strange to see them languishing in the bottom half of the league. Maybe a couple of off games coupled with some injury issues have held them back this season.
Going forward import Vladimir Luka leads the way with 47 points from his 38 games. This has been split pretty evenly between 27 goals and 20 assists. No other player has scored more but second import Jan Danecek has 22 goals with Alex Graham and former Pirate Salem both on 19. Assist wise Captain Morgan leads his team with 40 assists significantly more than Alex Graham on 25 and Kieron Brown on 24. It is worth noting that Browns have come in 18 games however.
These two games could be a pivotal moment for us this season. We have oozed class and quality at times but have had a tendency to let games become close or slip away completely. A big 4 point weekend here with a near full strength team could push us right into the mix for the top 2 for 3 places.
We know that our games against Sheffield are relentlessly fierce and aggressive. It’s something I think our players thrive on and our fans love to watch. Come Sunday lets be at our best as a fan base. Lets be passionate and commanding. Lets back our boys and not let the Steeldogs settle. When we do this in our arena, the team play their best hockey. Be loud, be proud and lets see the lads through to a solid 4 point weekend.
A cup semi loss on the road was followed by a tough home victory against MK on Sunday. Some great individual performances lit up the game which was a great victory and kept us the hunt for the top 3 places.
Saturday is chance to do it all again as we face the Lighting once more. This is followed by the biggest local derby we have with a visit to Sheffield. I’m positive there will be plenty of fans making that short journey.
At the back they have used 3 nettles this season. Jordan Lawday has faced 538 shots so far this season with an 89.96% save percentage whilst former Steeldog Brandon Stones has also featured with an 89.41% save percentage with Dean Skinns also appearing with an 87.43% save percentage. Jordan Lawday was on top form in this fixture last week and will be disappointed to have let a soft one in that ultimately cost the game for his team. This is maybe evidence that they are still even at this stage in the season not sure who their starting nettie is. Supporting these 3 at the back they have some respected players at this level. Jordan Stokes and Leigh Jamieson offer experience and quality at this level and have shown this in previous encounters.
At the opposite end they appear to have more depth and with big names such as Liam Stewart and former Hull Stingray Cale Tanaka in tow they will be no mugs in front of our net. Stewart sits on 39 points from 26 games and Tanaka has 44 from 37. This backed top by D man Jamieson with 42 points and import and leading scorer Tomas Kana who has 47. Lightning have scoring threat all over the ice and there will no easy shifts for Ash and his D this weekend.
In previous encounters with MK, apart from one blow out on the road, have all been tightly contested affairs with 1 or 2 goals in it. Let’s hope for another great game of hockey and yet another successful weekend with 2 more wins for the Pirates to further enhance the chances of a strong playoff position.