Steeldogs Preview 16/02/20

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.

By Dave Heath


Preview – MK Lightning 08/02/2020

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.

Author – Dave Heath
Hull Pirate Media


Bobby Chamberlain Receives a 2 Game Ban.

Bobby Chamberlain has received a 2 game ban.

Bobby recieved a 2 plus game penalty for fighting in the NIHL National Cup fixture against Peterborough Phantoms on Friday night.

Following this Bobby has received an additional 2 game ban, resulting in him missing last nights fixture against MK Lightning. Bobby will also miss Saturdays home fixture against MK Lightning, returning to the ice for Sundays away fixture against the Sheffield Steeldogs.


Pirates Defeat Top of the League Telford Tigers – Match Review

The Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates produced a blistering performance on Saturday night to overcome NIHL National League leaders Telford Tigers in a 6-3 game.

An end-to-end first period saw both sides create fantastic chances, with Ash Smith and Brad Day equal to everything both offences could throw at them. The deadlock was eventually broken by the Pirates when Tom Stubley’s initial shot was redirected by Matt Bissonnete straight into the path of Matty Davies, who had an easy task in opening the scoring [8:59], the only goal of the opening 20 minutes.

With the Tigers starting the second period on the power play, it didn’t take them long to level the game. Brandon Whistle finding Jason Silverthorn in space who drove the puck up over Smith for 1-1 [20:19].

Undeterred, the home side reacted almost immediately when patient build up play from David Norris saw him slip the puck to a waiting Jason Hewitt in front of the Tigers’ net, the Pirates player-coach regaining the lead for his side [21:28].

As the game opened up the Tigers once more found themselves level. Great play around the Pirates’ net was finished when Daniel Mitchell spotted Jack Watkins alone in the slot, who fired past Smith [25:32].

As the game reached the halfway mark the Pirates yet again took the lead. Bissonnette finished an outstanding solo goal by out-muscling a Tigers d-man, drawing Day and faking around him for a 3-2 scoreline [30:46].

With no further score in the second period, the third began with both teams pushing for an advantage, however neither able to convert. As the match entered the final 10 minutes it was the Pirates who gained the upper hand with two goals inside a remarkable 15 seconds.

Their fourth came when a 3-on-2 breakaway saw Hewitt skate unchallenged down the right hand side of the ice before slamming the puck five-hole past Day [53:40]. The fifth followed immediately after when the Pirates won the resulting face off, streamed back into the Tigers’ zone and Steven Chalmers squared to Sam Towner. The forward saw his initial shot blocked by Day but pocketed the rebound [53:55].

Stunned, the Tigers pushed to recover and grabbed their third, again on the power play. A slick passing move finished when Richard Plant set up Silverthorn to bring the scoreline within two [56:16].

Another late penalty against the Pirates saw the visitors call their time-out and pull Day to make it a 6-on-4. The Pirates stood resolute, killing off the penalty then sealing the victory when James Archer’s patient backhand pass set up Norris for an empty net goal [59:39].

The Pirates’ weekend would finish in impressive fashion; travelling to Bracknell on Sunday and running out 6-3 victors for the first 4-point weekend since late November.

Man Of The Match Awards:-

Telford Tigers – #22 Jason Silverthorn
Hull Pirates – #27 Steven Chalmers

Author – Greig Cardwell


Preview Peterborough Phantoms- NIHL National Cup Semi-final!

Bonus hockey action in Hull this Thursday evening as the Peterborough Phantoms come to the most versatile arena for Cup Semi Final action. This two legged event will conclude with the away fixture away at Peterborough on the 31st of January and promises to be a gem of a contest.

These fixtures have come about after the Pirates beat Steeldogs to 4th place in the cup table and Telford picked Swindon as the team they wanted to face.

Peterborough offer up tasty fixtures with tough D, attacking offence and gritty, full on physicality.

They are an impressive outfit going forward with import Ales Padelek leading the way with his 28 goals and 25 assists for 53 points and is ably backed up by experienced Brit with 46 points. The next goal threat is from big Brit player Martin Susters who has hit the twine 23 times this season. Their second import has also recorded 44 points in which Petr Stepney has 19 goals. These 4 top players are supported throughout the team with Corey McEwen and Will Weldon also racking up plenty of points. Our D is going to have to play solid for 60 minutes each night to minimise this threat.

At the back they have in Jordan Marr a former Elite level goalie who is proving his worth with his 89.29% save percentage. He has a solid D unit around him with Tom Norton, Hull boy Scott Robson, Rob Ferrara and Callum Buglass all very competent D men at this level and all more than capable of raising their game in a cup semi.

Whilst all this is well and good the Pirates look awesome in the weekends game against Leeds. Two solid games for Smith in net and a more rounded performance as a team blew Leeds away. The return of Matty, who’s pass for our second goal was just pure quality, was a wonderful sign for us going forward and we hope we see more from him towards the end of the season.

Equally Bissonnette looks like a great pick up at this level. His size plus clear skating ability will add yet another dimension to our forward line. His goal and 2 assists is a solid start and will only develop with his understanding of our systems.

Lets be loud and proud once again Hull fans as we endeavour to reach a cup final yet again!

By Dave Heath
Hull Pirate Media


This Weekends Preview!

Another weekend comes upon us with 2 games of some significance again. The Saturday fixture away at Basingstoke looks a crucial fixture as we aim to climb up the table from 5th to challenge for the top few places. This coupled with the return of the Leeds Chiefs makes it a weekend featuring a tough away fixture and a local derby. What more could we want?

The Leeds Chiefs are no strangers to us this season and although they prop the league table up with only 5 wins so far this season they will play a tough and physical game. They have experienced much misfortune in their debut season but have stuck together and shown they are capable of grinding out wins in the most unexpected of scenarios.

It is clear to see the Chiefs deficiencies when you look at the league table and at their roster. They have a small group of players, many with limited experience of professional hockey. This coupled with the lowest tally of goals scored in the league paints a grim picture for them. Digging deeper we see that even with experienced players in the squad such as Luke Boothroyd, Steve Buncombe and Richard Bentham they are struggling to create enough and stop enough getting through to net minder Sam Gospel. His 89.02% save percentage will be a concern to him but given the fact he has faced well over 1000 shots so far this season it appears he may have a valid reason for this.

At the other end their line is being spearheaded by young Brit Adam Barnes who currently sits with 38 points from 28 games. From what we’ve seen of him he looks a very talented player but often takes silly penalties which result in the Leeds team missing their most offensive output for 2 minutes or longer. Steven Moore who was so prolific in the NIHL for Solway looks to have found this step up a challenge and currently has just 15 points in 29 games. It is worth noting that no Leeds player other than Barnes has more than a point a game this season.

Despite what I’ve written above the Hull team know this will be no walk in the park. Local derbies are never dull and Leeds, despite what the stats may say, are a tough outfit to play. We must simply hope that our D is too strong for their offensive efforts and that what is probably the best offensive line up in the league have too much for the D of Leeds.

By Dave Heath
Hull Pirate Media


Match Review – 05/01/20

Chamberlain Seals Win After Epic Cats ComebackBobby Chamberlain’s powerplay goal inside the last two minutes sealed a much important 2 points after a stunning fightback from the second-placed Swindon Wildcats on Sunday evening.

After a devastating 9-4 loss at the hands of MK Lightning the evening before, Jason Hewitt’s men looked to put their away form behind them as the first home game of 2020 began; and his team did not disappoint, putting 5 goals past Wildcats’ goaltender Reny Marr inside the first period.

Lee Bonner got the ball rolling just after the three minutes when James Archer’s pass on the forecheck found him in space to open the scoring. [3:09]. With Ash Smith keeping the Wildcats’ response out, the Pirates broke forward and with Archer and Bonner linking up, the score was doubled by the Pirates #2 [11:32].Less than a minute later and the home side had their third. David Norris slammed home top-shelf for a three goal lead [12:09], with Swindon calling their timeout with an aim of quelling the storm.However the Pirates remained relentless, adding a fourth when Bonner scored a highlight reel goal for his second of the game.

Picking the puck up on the halfway line, he faked around Neil Liddiard before drawing out Marr, dekeing around him and slotting home [13:36].Swindon managed to get themselves onto the scoresheet shortly after, when Sam Godfrey’s shot from the blue line crept through traffic and past Smith to narrow the deficit to 4-1 [14:49].

Unfortunately for the visitors, Jonathan Kirk’s own one-timer from the blue liner powered past Marr restoring the home side’s four goal advantage and ensuring the Pirates entered the first break in blistering fashion.

The second period passed with both sides effectively cancelling each other out. As Swindon pushed to regain a foothold in the game, the only goal of the period came when Tyler Vankleef battled through the Pirates defence before slipping past Smith [27:32], taking the game to 5-2 for the start of the final period.Short on bodies, fatigue began to play a part in the Pirates’ last period; and indeed the Wildcats grabbed their third when a counter attack allowed Chris Jones through alone against Smith, putting his shot past the home goalie to cut the lead to two [46:41].

As the game entered the final 10 minutes, the Cats had their fourth. Jones grabbing his second of the night with an individual effort of his own to make it a one-goal game [53:21]. After having a goal waived off for interference, the Wildcats did manage to find their equaliser, a scramble in front of Smith leading to Tomasz Malasinsky poking the puck under Smith to tie the game at five each [56:09].

With overtime looming, the Pirates found themselves on a late power play which ended when Norris found Chamberlain in space at the back post, who made no mistake in sealing the win and two points [58:44].

Man Of The Match Awards:-

Swindon Wildcats – #36 Tyler Vankleef
Hull Pirates – #9 David Norris

Author – Greig Cardwell


Player Injury Update.

The Pirates have been plagued with injuries through the first half of this season, with five players missing from action over the last few weekends.

However, good news is on the horizon with the majority of these players hopefully returning to the ice within the coming weeks.

Looking to return this weekend is Matty Davies. After a period of absence due to a lower body injury, Matty has been training with the team over the past few weeks and all being well we should be welcoming him back for this weekend’s fixtures.

Defenceman Lee Haywood is also looking to return in the next 2-3 weeks after also suffering with a lower body injury.

Josh Gent will hopefully be returning to training as of this week after a serious injury early in the season removed him from action. Depending on how this goes, Gent is aiming to return competitive games in the next few weeks.

After fracturing his wrist in the recent away fixture against Sheffield, Aaron Smith is recovering well and it has been predicted we will be see him play again in 4 weeks’ time.

Unfortunately there is no set timescale for the return of Marcus Neil. Marcus continues to train.
We hope to see Marcus return ASAP.


We face our biggest rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in a double header weekend.

2 more points last week in the final game before Christmas leads into a massive double header against Sheffield.

Away on the 28th at Sheffield will no doubt be a tough challenge against an always physical and gritty Steeldogs team. This coupled with a home game against the same outfit the following night promises us a great weekend of hockey.

Sheffield sit directly below us in the table so this double header is crucial as we aim to put further distance between ourselves and the Steeldogs.

At the back they have Dmitri Zimzodra currently on 89.4% save percentage. He is backed up by captain Ben Morgan and Lewis Bell who have bags of experience at this level. Going forward they offer loads of threat with former Pirate Nathan Salem currently on 33 points in 19 games. Imports Vladimir Luka and Jan Danecek offer some more offence also. The stand out player is undoubtedly Kieron Brown who sits on nearly 2 points a game.

From previous history its apparent that these 2 games will be very much no holds barred. These are always tough and physical affairs with that both teams will love to play in as much as us fans love to see it. One body missing from this is Ashley Calvert who has switched teams to join the Leeds Chiefs. Will this bring a change in the physical approach from the Steeldogs? I’d guess probably not as there are others that offer similar size and power on the ice. This size is complemented by speedy in abundance from players such as Cam Brownley.

The Pirates will hope to add some consistency to their game and look at picking up a decent point total this weekend. We know how well the Hull fans travel to this fixture so lets be noisy and passionate to spur the lads onto the weekend games.

Lastly I’d like to wish you all a happy new year and a prosperous 2020!

By Dave Heath
Hull Pirate Media


Preview for our final fixtures before Christmas.

Another 2 point weekend with an away loss in London followed by an impressive 6-2 win against Bracknell at home. This leaves us firmly in the middle of the pack with a big gap to the top 2.

This weekend we travel away to table topping Telford. This looks no easy game against a team who look threatening offensively but Scrooge like at the back. Telford have got multiple bodies back into their line up since last we met and coupled with the impressive Whistle look a front runner for the league this year.

This game is followed by Leeds on the Sunday in Hull. The Leeds Chiefs were rocked last week by the request of 3 key players to leave the club. This however made little difference to them as they recorded 4 point weekend with home and away wins against Basingstoke.

The Leeds team appear now to be a stronger defensive outfit than offensive. Backstopped by Sam Gospel with a 90% save percentage and with old wise heads of Luke Boothroyd and Steve Duncombe they will be organised at the back but our offensive pace may cause some problems.

Up top it’s more a case of what they are now missing instead of what they have. Archer has rejoined ourselves whilst Radek Miedl, who was the top points scorer for the Chiefs, has also left the club. Still with them is Adam Barnes who has just over a point a game with 25 in 21 appearances. Other than him they are limited to players who currently sit with less than 1 point every 2 games.

Without a doubt this season will be a steep learning curve for the Leeds outfit. They have not been helped by ongoing delays in the development of the Leeds Arena, a theft of equipment and departures from the team. Still the results from the previous weekend show they will be no mugs and again Pirates will have to be at their best.

The pirates will be hoping to see bodies return to the ice over the festive period and also build some momentum. Lets hope we can have a loud and passionate atmosphere in the last game before Christmas. I’m sure a solid 4 point weekend is very much on Hewy’s list to Santa.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas period. Merry Christmas!

By Dave Heath
Hull Pirates Media