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Match Review 20/10/19

Haywood’s Heroics Overcomes Resiliant Leeds Chiefs!

Lee Haywood turned overtime hero as the Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates were made to dig deep to conquer their newest Yorkshire rivals in a nine-goal encounter.

The Pirates, coming off the back of an overtime victory against Basingstoke the night prior, started the game strongest; pinning the Leeds Chiefs back in their zone for most of the opening period. Indeed the home side struck first just after 6 minutes as Lee Bonner worked the puck around the Chiefs net to find a returning Bobby Chamberlain in space, who made no mistake in striking past Sam Gospel.

In a sign of things to come, the Chiefs rallied instantly. The home team’s lead lasted a mere 33 seconds until Ethan Hehir grabbed an immediate equaliser. Both teams played out the rest of the opening 20 with strong plays and physical hockey; the best chance falling to Olegs Sislannikovs who saw his wrap-around effort saved by a diving Gospel.

As the middle period commenced, the Pirates once again took the upper hand. Kevin Phillips setting Josh Gent free on the breakaway. Gent deked and drew Gospel before slipping the puck through the Chiefs goalie’s five-hole to re-establish the home side’s lead after 22 minutes.

The visitors responded once more, controlling the game and keeping the Pirates defence on their toes. After a strong save from Ash Smith at one end, Tom Stubley found Sislannikovs with room. He proceeded to release Gent, who again got the better of Gospel and made it 3-1 on the half-hour mark.

The visitors looked shaken, with the home side creating chance after chance but unable to convert. Indeed the game turned once more when Lewis Baldwin slipped the puck past Smith just to make it a one-goal game.

This spurred the Chiefs on as they controlled the rest of the period, ringing the Pirates’ pipework on more than one occasion. As the second 20 drew to a close, Smith maintained the lead for his team with a string of consecutive, close-range saves.

The third period started with both sides aiming to gain the upper hand. The Pirates found themselves a man up once more, with Adam Barnes taking a seat in the penalty box. However, on the counter attack Radek Meidl fed former Pirate James Archer who evened the game short-handed.

The remainder of the period ebbed away, both sides creating chance after chance but denied by solid defending and goal-tending. With less than two minutes remaining, Chamberlain collected the puck near the red line, shrugged off a challenge from the Leeds defence and striking past Gospel to make it 4-3.

The visitors responded by almost immediately pulling Gospel for the extra skater, and with just 23 seconds remaining took advantage of the extra skater; Barnes scrambling the puck over the line to tie the game at the death.

Overtime commenced with the Chiefs gaining the zone. However, as the Pirates broke up ice a scramble in front of Leeds’ net saw Chamberlain slip the puck to Lee Haywood for the game winner, sealing a much needed four-point weekend for the Pirates.

Man Of The Match Awards:-

Leeds Chiefs – #31 Sam Gospel
Hull Pirates – #21 Bobby Chamberlain

Author: Greig Cardwell

Photographers:
-Rachel Stork Photography
-Lois Tomlinson Photography

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Olegs Departure

The Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates have released Olegs Sislannikovs from his contract with immediate effect.

We would like to thank Olegs for his service to the club and wish him the best of luck and success going forward.

A further a announcement will be made in regards to a new signing this Thursday.

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Chiefs Have High Hopes

Former Hull Pirate, James Archer, is returning to the rink as one of Leeds’s star attackers

After four negative results on the spin we welcome the new kids on the block, the Leeds Chiefs to the Hull Arena.  The Chiefs currently prop up the rest of the division with one win in six games although this was a shut out win on the road in London.  Could this be a turn in fortunes for the Leeds based team?

Looking more closely at the games Leeds have played, it becomes apparent that they are not a team who have been blown away by the opposition.  A 4-3 loss away at Bracknell and a 4-2 loss away at Peterborough show this.  Steeldogs, who managed eight goals against the Pirates last week, were held to only three in their game with Leeds.  Defensively they look steady and it is no surprise when you see the experience at the back.  The Chiefs have a high calibre netminder in Sam Gospel and bags of defensive experience with Steve Duncombe and captain, Luke Boothroyd.

Going forward the Chiefs have signed import, Radek Meidl, who is currently averaging 2 points a game with 5 goals and 7 assists.  He is being suitably backed up by former Pirate, James Archer, who is currently the clubs joint top scorer alongside Meidl.  Next in line offensively is 20 year old Adam Barnes.  He currently sits on 7 points but also has 25 penalty minutes which is a team high for the Chiefs.  If he can keep his cool and keep on the ice he could be dangerous going forward.  Other than these three, points have been hard to find for the Chiefs.  These three players account for 68% of all points scored by the Chiefs.  To put this into some context, nine of the Pirates nineteen players have scored more than the fourth highest Chiefs scorer.  We hope our offensive unit fires like we all know it can and that defensively we have our heads on to prevent the Chiefs from racking up plenty of points.

The Pirates have endured a torrid run with four straight losses, which has resulted in a rallying cry from the owner.  I’m positive that the players and staff of the Pirates are hurting just as much as we all are with the current form.  I’d expect a big response from the players this weekend and will be boosted on Sunday by the return of the ever combative, Bobby Chamberlain.  If Bobby plays his game he is without doubt one of the best forwards in this league.  Both imports have shown glimpses of their best but wouldn’t it be brilliant to see them both burst into life and fire with all guns blazing?  Regardless of whether or not these things happen we will see.  What I do know is that regardless of outcomes of games our fans make a massive impact.  Opposition players don’t enjoy coming to Hull because of the intensity of the team and our fans.  Let’s be loud and back the lads this weekend and give them every opportunity to drag themselves out of this streak.

Media Partner

Dave Heath

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Thriller ends in defeat to bitter rivals


Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates were on the wrong side of a 15-goal thriller on Sunday night, extending their winless streak to four games.

The Pirates, coming into the game short-benched with 3 key players missing, struggled to get up to pace against a well-drilled Dogs side looking for revenge following the Pirates’ smash-and-grab win a couple of weekends ago.

In the opening 15 minutes both sides were evenly matched. Vladmir Luka opened the scoring for the Dogs after 9 minutes, with Lee Bonner equalising 5 minutes later.  As the period entered its’ latter stages the visitors shifted through the gears, Ashley Calvert, James Spurr and Alex Graham all finding their way past the home side to give the Steeldogs a 4-1 lead.  Bonner grabbed his second of the game with just 22 seconds remaining of the period, the Sheffield team owning a 4-2 lead at the first break.

The second period saw both sides create chances in an attempt to gain momentum, and indeed, it was the Pirates who struck first.  Bonner completed his hat-trick after 24 minutes, clawing the game back to a one-goal deficit.

The gap widened once again after Nathan Salem restored the Dogs’ 2-goal lead on the half-hour mark, taking the score to 5-3.  Shortly after, the Dogs’ Thomas Barry was penalised for cross-checking and during the resulting power play, Bonner found the net yet again for his, and the Pirates’ fourth goal.

The visiting Dogs struck back almost immediately, Alex Graham with a power play goal of his own following an interference call on Olegs Sislannikovs; again providing the Steeldogs with a 2-goal cushion.

As the second period drew to a close, the Dogs found the back of the net via a Jan Danecek’s shot, resulting in a 7-4 lead for the visitors at the end of 40 minutes.

The Pirates struggled to build momentum at the start of the third period until a scuffle after the whistle saw Jordan Fisher and Charles Thompson drop the gloves.

A mere minute later and the home team found the goal they desperately needed; Sislannikovs beating Dmitri Zimozdra to claw the score back to 7-5.  With the game beginning to swing Hull’s way, Johnathan Kirk unleashed a screamer of a shot, which pinged down and in off the bar to pull the margin back to just one goal.

Seemingly shell-shocked and on the defensive, the Steeldogs called their time-out in an attempt to stem the tide.  However, it was not meant to be as Sislannikovs grabbed his second of the night on the 55 minute mark to tie the game at 7-7.

Unfortunately, the three unanswered goals could not complete the comeback as immediately following the face-off, Salem skated through the Pirates players to slot past Smith and score the game winner, consigning the Pirates to their fourth regulation loss in a row.

Man of the Match Awards:-
Sheffield Steeldogs – #12 Kieran Brown
Hull Pirates – #74 Lee Bonner

Greig Cardwell – Hull Pirates Media Partner


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Pirates ready for a ‘Dogs’ fight

At the risk of repeating myself, there is no such thing as an easy game in the new National League and if evidence was required, the Raiders 2-1 win over the Pirates provided a timely lesson.  Whoever lifts the championship in 2020 is likely to register a greater number of losses than any league winners would normally expect.  So, do Pirates’ fans have cause to be worried after a pointless weekend?  Should fans already temper their expectations of lifting titles this season? 

There is no doubt that the loss to Raiders came as a nasty surprise but if a wake-up call was required then that is it and a timely one at that.  Any Pirates languishing under the illusion that the likes of Leeds or the Raiders will provide respite from the white-hot fixtures against the so-called leading teams, have received a reality check.  The narrow defeats inflicted last weekend suggest that the Pirates are in need of fine-tuning rather than major surgery, therefore, now is not the time for panic.  However, fans need to be patient and realise that the Pirates’ treble success will not be repeated.  I will be as bold as to say that winning the league this season will be a greater achievement. 

This campaign will be a gruelling one, where attrition rates will be high.  In Hull’s case, the erosion has already commenced with injuries to key personnel.  There is every chance that the team, which emerges with the league championship in its grasp, will not be the most talented but the one with the greatest fortitude and team spirit.  So, should Hull fans cower at the prospect of meeting leading side Swindon and table toppers Sheffield Steeldogs when trying to reverse our recent slump?  The Wildcats are proving to be poor travellers and have endured an indifferent start to this campaign but still retain an excellent home record.  The Pirates will travel with little hope of capturing points in Wiltshire and so Sunday’s battle with arch rivals Sheffield, will be even more keenly contested, if that was possible.  The ‘Dogs’ key outfield skater is Vladimir Luka but arguably, their most influential player is netminder, Dimitri Zimozdra.  His 92.35% current average is a foreboding one for any attack-minded team, even one as potent as the Pirates but part of his success is due to the ring of steel cast around him by Ben Morgan and his fellow defenders.  Break through them, and as we saw last season, Dimitri is definitely beatable with not just his ability tested but also an undeniably brittle temperament.  Games against the ‘Dogs’ are never for the faint-of-heart and this weekends could prove to be one of the most ferocious ever.

Ian Mowforth

Media Coordinator

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Raiders Smash and Grab on The Pirates

The Raiders lived up to their name by stunning the Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates on Saturday night, taking 2 points and ending the Pirates’ unbeaten start to the 2019-2020 season. 

With last Sunday’s game against MK Lightning cancelled due to ice arena problems, Jason Hewitt’s men came into Saturday’s game well rested following the 7-5 victory at IceSheffield a week prior. 

However, it was the visitors who shocked the Hull Ice Arena early in the first period. With Matty Davies in the penalty box for a hooking infringement, Blahoslav Novak took advantage of the extra man and slotted past Ash Smith to give the Raiders the lead after just 2 minutes. 

The Pirates looked shell shocked and struggled to find a response, with the visiting team controlling most of the first period. Every chance the home side managed to create was either kept out by an inspired Michael Grey in the Raiders’ net or blocked by a well-drilled Raiders defence. 

A few power plays did land in favour of the team in green, however it was the visitors who had an outstanding chance to double their lead with a 2 on 0 short-handed breakaway. Smith however, kept his composure and maintained the score at 0-1 heading into the first break. 

The second period delivered much of the same, with both teams struggling to gain the upper hand. Chances fell both ways but once more Smith and Grey were more than equal to every shot thrown at them. The Pirates did create the best opportunity of the second 20 minutes, only kept out by the Raiders piling onto their own goal line to prevent the puck sliding in. 

The final period began in a similar way to the first, an early goal once again taking the wind out of the Pirates’ sails. After the home side had failed to clear the zone, Lukas Sladkovski hammered a shot over Smith’s shoulder to double the lead for the visiting Raiders on the delayed penalty after 41 minutes. 

Now two goals down, the Pirates again struggled to mount a comeback as both sides took needless penalties. Eventually the home side managed to find the net; Sam Towner giving the Pirates hope after just past the 50 minute mark, redirecting Josh Gent’s shot from the blue line past a sprawling Grey to make it a one goal game. 

The remaining 10 minutes played out in end-to-end fashion; the Raiders ringing the pipework on more than one occasion, and the Pirates throwing everything at their opposition. Despite Smith heading to the bench to give the home team the man advantage in the dying minutes, the Raiders held on for a well-deserved victory. 1-2 the final score. 

Man Of The Match Awards:

Raiders: #74 Jack Flynn

Pirates: #5 Lee Haywood 

Greig Cardwell Hull Pirates Media Partner 

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Look Out For Raiders

Raiders Promise a Rough Ride for the Pirates

Preview London Raiders

This weekend sees the first visit of the London Raiders this season.  It promises to be a feisty encounter with a tough and rugged team that clearly plays for each other to the very end.  During the Raiders’ first four games this season, they amassed over 90 penalty minutes.  Expect them to accumulate this weekend at the Arena.

Performance wise, London have played four games winning one and languish second bottom as a result.  However, they graft until the final buzzer as evidenced in their game against Swindon.  At the end of the first period, London were 6-0 down.  At the start of the third period they were 7-6 down.  This sort of temperament will ensure that the Pirates will have to be at their best from the first whistle to the last.

The London Raiders will be hoping that netminder Michael Gray performs against a Pirates team, which so far this season, averages over six goals a game.  He is no stranger to facing plenty of action having faced 1,192 shots last season with a save percentage of 90.86%.  Defensively the Raiders have experienced former Hull player, Dan Scott, playing in a young looking defence.  His experience will be vital to London if they have any hopes of stopping the venomous attack that Hull have put together.  Offensively the London raiders have recruited two young imports that are new to British ice hockey.  Lukas Sladkovsky is yet to find the net or create anything of note whilst Marek Malinsky has scored twice and assisted once in his four games so far.  In addition to these import players, the Raiders have the old head of Aaron Connolly available.  Connolly is a veteran of British ice hockey having played hundreds of times for Basingstoke before making his move to London.  The Raiders squad seems a little lightweight in numbers and experience but it will be one of the tightest team units to come to Hull this season.  As already alluded to, the Raiders have a never-say-die attitude and play ferociously, often on the edge, until the end.

The Pirates, fresh off a successful result in Sheffield on Saturday and well rested with no game on Sunday, have an ideal opportunity to expose the Raiders inexperience and frailties.  This could be a game in which everything clicks into place for Hull.  That would be welcome given the tricky away fixture at what looks a strong and potent Telford side.  A big win against the Raiders would go a long way towards the Pirates coming away from Telford with the points.

By Dave Heath

Hull Pirate Social/Media Partner

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Sizzling Olegs scorches the Dogs

The Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates remain unbeaten in the league after a solid and hard-fought away game against the Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night. 

The game started in quick fire fashion, both teams trading goals within the opening minutes.  Cameron Brownley and Jan Danecek gave the home team a 2-0 lead before Bobby Chamberlain and Jason Hewitt responded for the Pirates to level matters.

Nathan Salem took opportunity of a power play to score against his former team, only for Peter Fabus to tie it at 3-3, all within the opening 10 minutes.

The match settled down until Tim Smith poked the puck in off Ash Smith, again on the power play, to give the Dogs a 4-3 lead heading into the first intermission.

The second period started in much the same way with both teams trying to take control of a thrilling game.  Hewitt grabbed his second of the night on the power play to level it at four each, before Olegs Sislannikovs gave the Pirates the lead for the first time at the halfway point.

The away team doubled their lead when Josh Gent capitalised on a spill by Dimitri Zimozdra to take the game to 6-4 in favour of the Pirates, which it would remain until the second break.

A spree of penalties through the third period threatened to stop the flow of the game until the Dogs called their time out with just 1:31 left on the clock.

With the puck in the Pirates’ zone, the home team gambled and pulled Zimozdra.  The resulting six on five saw Vladimir Luka scramble the puck in to bring everyone at Ice Sheffield to the edge of their seats.

After the resulting faceoff, the Dogs again took the man advantage, but this time unsuccessfully as the puck found its way to Hewitt near the halfway line who skated unchallenged and seal the win – and the valuable 2 road points – with an empty netter.

Written by Greig Cardwell

Man of the match awards-:

Pirates – #96 Olegs Sislannikovs 

Steeldogs – #19 Cameron Brownley

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Boys on Film

This week the Pirates have been experiencing a bit of the Hollywood treatment.

The Pirates’ first ever studio session was conducted by students from Hull School of Art and Design, overseen by world famous photographer, Leo Francis.

Leo is renown for his sports imagery and has worked for numbers of prestigious clients including Red Bull. He is mentoring the students and directed them in setting up a ‘blue-screen’ studio. Back at HSAD, he is assisting the editing where backdrops will be dropped on the images. These will be used in Pirate Media and on this website for player profiles.

Smailes Goldie Hull Pirates would like to thanks the students for their work to date. Pictured here from behind the scenes are #19 Aaron Smith and Assistant Coach, #62 Kevin Phillips.

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Re-opening News

Hull Pirates fans have expressed their disappointment at the postponement of Sundays game against MK Lightning but there is good reason to believe that the failed air conditioning system will be fixed by Tuesday next week.

It has been a huge blow to the Pirates, who until this weekend had a 100% record in Friendly and League ties. But off the ice, the closure has more repercussions. The fixture is likely to be rearranged for a midweek slot which will involve a significant loss of revenue to the Pirates.

Media Spokesperson, Ian Mowforth, commented, ‘This closure has a significant impact on the Pirates cash flow. Owner Shane Smith has managed this but in the past, cash flow issues have brought down Hull Thunder and Hull Stingrays. We are lucky to have an owner who is willing to fund us in this manner but cash flow is only part of the problem. We now face a shortfall in revenue of thousands of pounds due to the fixture likely falling on a weekday. This too will be managed but it is a loss that Shane is far from happy to sustain.’

A date has not yet been fixed for the re-scheduled game but next week’s tie against Raiders is due to go ahead.

‘I share the fan’s frustration because I am a supporter first and foremost but having spoken with Shane it is evident that there is nothing we could do to prevent this. The operation of the rink is completely out of our hands. Shane found and suggested a solution, which if accepted, may have seen the game go ahead, but HCC has its procedures and we cannot encroach upon these. At the end of the day, we are only tenants,’ said Ian Mowforth

Some fans were upset that the announcement came from other sources before the Pirates announced the postponement. ‘I just cannot understand how that happened; the impression I have is that media outlets, the League and MK seem to know before us and that is embarrassing. But I need to look into the facts of what happened here because this cannot be repeated. Within the Pirates’ organisation, none of us were any the wiser so we can discount a failure of internal communications. Naturally there is a procedure in place to notify the League and opponents as quickly as possible but the first I learned of it was when a good friend posted me the HDM article! From there, the Pirates only announced the postponement once we had exercised every possible solution to the air condition problem. Yes, there was a delay because we saw no point in announcing a certain postponement when we saw the possibility of Shane finding and implementing a solution. He spent hours sourcing portable air conditioning systems but in the end the decision was out of our hands. I can hold my hands up and say that we did everything possible to put this fixture back on.’

The failure of the air condition systems, falling on the back of last seasons’ technical issues, highlights the need for a new rink. ‘I have seen Twitter postings from senior HCC personnel, expressing that this rink is getting to the end of its days and that the new one should be built asap. I can only echo that sentiment. This old place holds many memories for me but we have to move on and we urge everyone to support the HCC in its drive for a new rink.’