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19 March 2017

Champion Chieftains Take The Cup

With the league done and dusted for another season, and another week until the play offs start, all NIHL S1 eyes were on the 2 legged Cup Final which sees league champions Chieftains take on Invicta Dynamos again. Whilst dominant in the league, Chieftains were far from their best in the group stage of the cup at the start of the season, only managing to beat Streatham. And with Dynamos coming into the tie as one of only two teams to win at Riverside this season, and the only team to have done it twice. The 'Mos have been filling social media all week with the #ourtime in an attempt to rally their support and the scene was all set for a classic matchup.

The first of the six periods of the tie started with Chieftains being penned into their own zone, with Dynamos cycling the puck like it was a powerplay. But It was Chieftains who got the break when Huska and Baldock set up Jake Sylvester for the opening goal at 2:40 to hush the vocal Dynamos crowd. However, it took just 51 seconds for Invicta to reply as Ondrej Zosiak, skating down the wing unchecked as the Chelmsford defence backed off, fired a heavy shot on Ben Clements and Steve Osman made no mistake hammering the puck into the empty net as the Chieftains stopper was unable to recover. With some solid end to end hockey from both teams, it was only a matter of time until the next goal was scored, it was just a question of who was going to score it. The answer was given at 12:17 when Zosiak, with help from Tom Ralph, sent Osman on his way once again, this time firing from the faceoff circle beating Clements stick side, much to the delight of the so called "Dynamos Wall Bangers". The period ending with a slender 2-1 lead in favour of the visitors, this one could still go either way.

Chieftains came out for the 2nd period all guns blazing with Danny Hammond setting up defenceman Sean Barry for a rare goal to tie the game at 2 just over a minute into the period. Just over three minutes later and Huska assisted by Cameron Bartlett restored the home teams lead. Cameron Bartlett had aspirations of a goal of his own and went skating in to the Dynamos zone, only for Tom Ralph to hold him up and impede his progress, resulting in a holding penalty, while referee (and far from fans favourite) Blaine Evans adjudged Bartlett to have exaggerated the hold and called him for a dive leaving the teams to play 4 on 4. Less than a minute into the penalties, Huska scored his second of the night, this time combining with Liam Chong. Their fans quietened, Invicta decided to turn up their physical game, finishing checks heavily, finishing some checks maybe a little later than they should have. Whether this was an attempt to goad the Chieftains into taking retaliatory penalties or not, only their coach will know. But for the most part, the home players just walked away - a game plan that has seen other teams infuriated even more. The period ending 4-2 in favour of the Chieftains, Invicta had some work to do in the third.

The Chieftains may have come out all guns blazing in the second, but it was the 'Mos turn in the third. Once again controlling the play in the Chelmsford zone, it was the visitors who looked most likely to score the next goal, and everybody in Riverside knew that would be crucial. And with Invicta carrying on where they left off with the heavy hits, it looked increasingly likely that some fisticuffs would eventually result. The next goal came at 44:39, Callum Wells in the penalty box sitting out a holding call, Dynamos Captain Callum Fowler made the man advantage pay, with assists going to Rehak and Strawson, much to the delight of the travelling fans. With just under 8 minutes of the game remaining, the expected, and inevitable, happened. Huska, skating into the Dynamos zone was checked hard by Harrison Lillis, to which the Slovakian forward took offence, and levelled Lillis with one punch, earning both players a sit in the box for roughing minors. However, among the ensuing mêlée, Liam Chong, who appeared to have fallen onto Lillis as he went down, was judged to have been third man in, earning himself a game misconduct. And after having had words for most of the period, Carl Graham and Mason Webster finally dropped the gloves. Webster getting the take down as Graham took a nasty cut to the forehead, resulting in the Zamboni being called out to clear the blood from the ice. Graham later posted a photo on social media from Broomfield Hospital showing his repair wound and stating that "I could see the blood squirting from my head during the fight but I had to keep going". And for their bout, both players were given 2+2 for fighting. In the minutes that remained, neither team could gain the upper hand, with both sides going close but nobody being able to find a way past either goalie.

With the final horn signalling the halfway point of this two legged tie, with the score finely poised at 4-3, Dynamos may be down but they're certainly not out. This was a great spectacle of ice hockey, all action, heavy hitting and end to end and just what a cup final should be.

Photos

  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Invicta Dynamos
  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Invicta Dynamos

Photos

  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Invicta Dynamos
  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Invicta Dynamos

Sunday night, and it was Cup Final, part 2. With Chieftains taking the narrowest of leads from Riverside on Saturday, the thrilling spectacle of ice hockey was all set to continue in the second leg at Gillingham. And with the score poised at 4-3 in favour of Chieftains, everybody in a packed Silver Blades knew that the first goal would be crucial.

As the puck dropped on the first period, both teams carried on where they left of the night before, playing good, flowing, end to end hockey. Referee Stephenson didn't take long to stamp his authority on the game, calling Lillis for a trip in the first 5 minutes. Chieftains set up the Powerplay in the Invicta zone, but alas nobody could find a way past Damien King. A big hit in the corner by Grant Bartlett saw the Chieftain forward sitting a minor penalty for boarding and the Dynamos set up camp in front of Sonny Phillips. They too were left frustrated as the young Chieftains nettie closed the door on every shot. The fans from both teams were making themselves heard as they tried to egg on the teams to find a breakthrough. They were made to wait until 16:09 before the deadlock was broken, the goal going to Invicta as Nick Lewis tucked away a juicy rebound from Grutridge's initial shot. 1-0 to the Dynamos, which tied the match at four apiece on aggregate. With less than two and a half minutes left on the period, Cameron Bartlett found himself in trouble for a hook that happened right in front of the referee, and with 41 seconds remaining, Sean Barry joined him in the naughty box for slashing. Unable to convert on the 5 on 3 powerplay, the period ended 1-0 in favour of the home side.

Chieftains started the second period with 1:19 of Sean Barry's penalty left to kill. It seemed an easy job, however, as Invicta could barely get set up in the Chieftains zone. Just over six minutes into the period, 'Mos import Adam Rehak hit Callum Wells hard behind the play at the back of Phillips goal. Taking exception to this, Wells wanted to have a little chat with him. Cue Invicta tough guy Mason Webster who stepped in and the pair of them dropped the gloves. A short game of handbag throwing ensued during which Wells got in some good punches and quickly took Webster to the ice. The fight bagged both Wells and Webster 2+2+2 for roughing, with Wells also getting and extra 2 minutes for a slash on Rehak before the melee, putting the face off to the right of Phillips' goal. Just 9 seconds after the restart, a defensive error by the Dynamos powerplay unit saw the puck fall nicely on the blade of Huska's skate, who was then allowed to skate at King and made no mistake burying the puck for a short handed marker, tying the game and giving Chieftains the go ahead goal in the tie. 3 minutes later, with Harrison Lillis in the penalty box again, this time for holding, Jake Sylvester slotted home a powerplay goal with assists from Huska and Danny Hammond, the period ending with Chieftains leading 2-1 on the night and 6-4 on aggregate.

The third period started with Invicta knowing they had to somehow get themselves back into the game with an early goal, and they were playing like they meant it too. However, the Dynamos Wall Bangers were silenced at 43:55 when Grant Bartlett skated down the left wing at speed and centred the puck to a waiting Brandon Ayliffe, who had an easy slot in with King well out of position. 3-1 on the night, 7-4 on aggregate, many thought that was the game. But three minutes later, with Matt Turner for Chieftains sitting out a tripping penalty, Nick Lewis again picked up a rebound slotting the puck past Phillips' right skate for a powerplay goal. The Invicta fans were alive again as they could feel their team get back in it. Mid way through the third period, the teams changed ends because of lighting issues at the aging Silver Blades rink, and just after the restart penalties were called on Ondrej Zosiak for the 'Mos and Sonny Phillips for Chieftains, both for slashing. Although both teams came close, neither could manage that finishing touch on the 4 on 4. With 1:05 remaining in the game, and a face off coming deep in the Chieftains zone, a time out was called. When the teams came back for the restart, Invicta goalie Damien King remained on the bench, in favour of an extra attacker. Chieftains got the puck and shot down the ice. The puck bounced off the right post. Invicta retrieved the puck and attacked again. Chieftains regained control and shot the puck down the ice and missed the goal. Icing called. Chieftains again took control of the puck and shot down the ice again. The puck bounced off the left post. This time, however, Grant Bartlett chased the puck down the ice and sent the rebound across the line to finish off the Dynamos.

With the Barmy Army leaving the building, all that was left was for Chieftains to celebrate a 4-2 win on the night and an 8-5 victory in the Cup Final, lifting their second piece of silverware of the season.

17 March 2017

It's The Cup Final Weekend

The NIHL S1 league season has ended, and the play offs are imminent. But before that, there's the small issue of the cup final to decide.

Invicta Dynamos visit Riverside on Saturday 18th March in the first leg, with the 2nd leg at Gillingham the following day. Going off whole season form, Chieftains have to be favourites to take the silverware. But, Dynamos are coming into the tie as not only one of only two teams to win at Riverside this season, but are also the only team to have done it twice. Invicta dominated Chieftains in the group round of the cup winning both games. But in the league it's been a different story, with a 2-1-1 record in favour of the Champions. Chieftains are coming into the tie on the back of a 14 game winning streak. However, the last points they dropped were at the beginning of January in the double header against Invicta. The 'Mos last 13 games since that double header they have a 6-6-1 record in all competitions. Statistically, at least, Chieftains should take the win.

But, ice hockey is far from a game of statistics. Gillingham is a notoriously difficult rink to win in, so Chieftains will have to come out all guns blazing on Saturday at Riverside and take a reasonable lead to Gillingham on Sunday. If Chelmsford can go into the 2nd leg with a 3 or 4 goal cushion, then I can't see how Invicta would be able to come back from that, even with their army "wall bangers". But, if Invicta can make it a third win at Riverside, chances are they can take that to Silver Blades and hold on to it. A draw on Saturday night and it really could go either way on Sunday.

All we can say for sure is that it's going to be a weekend of fast paced, hard hitting end to end ice hockey as both teams will be giving it their all to make it their night. Invicta have been advertising it at "Our Time", Chieftains will beg to differ.

Face Off at Riverside on Saturday is 5:40pm, while at Silver Blades on Sunday it's 5:15pm We will be at both legs and so will media giants 482days so come and tap us on the shoulder and say hello.

LET'S GO CHIEFTAINS

13 March 2017

The final weekend of the 2016/17 league season saw our Champions having a night off on Saturday, resting up for a trip to Streatham to face the Redhawks on Sunday for the second successive weekend. While all Chieftains league games since winning the title in early February have been glorified training sessions, positions 2 to 6 in the league have still been very much up for grabs right up until the last day. And with Streatham right in the thick of it as they battled hard to steal the runners up spot from Invicta Dynamos. Needing a win to guarantee 2nd place, and with a 6-3 home defeat at the hands of Chieftains a week earlier to avenge, the Londoners were determined to take the spoils at the High Road. It was clear from the first face off, however, that Coach Easton was in no mood to do the Redhawks any favours - even if it would've been at the expense of the 'Mos. It took just 2:10 for Jake Sylvester to put the first goal on the board, with assists going to Ollie Baldock and Sean Barry. And just 59 seconds later, Darren Brown fed Matt Turner for the Chiefs 2nd goal. The period saw every Streatham attack into the Chieftains running into a Chieftains player or his stick to stop the advance dead. On the rare occasion the 'Hawks players were getting through, Sonny Phillips in the visitors goal was standing tall. At 16:27, the red light of glory was once again lit as Cameron Bartlett converted Brother Grant's pass. And at 17:41, the Streatham faithful were truly silenced as Grant Bartlett this time sent Juraj Huska on goal, with the second assist going to Sonny Phillips. At the buzzer with the Chieftains holding a stonking 4-0 lead, the Streatham fans feared (and the Chieftains fans hoped) that a walkover was imminent. It was looking like a long, long night for Streatham.

With both sets of fans thinking the rest of the game may turn out to be merely a formality, the second period started and whatever the coach had said in the intermission team talk had clearly worked as Streatham had Chieftains on the back foot from the drop of the puck. It took just 1:10 after the restart for Sean Scarborough to dash any hopes Phillips had for a second successive shutout. And at 25:37, retiring Captain Joe Johnston gave the home team hope as he halved Chieftains lead. After not bothering to call any penalties at all in the first half of the game, Referee Jurijs Solovjovs made up for it in the closing minutes of the 2nd period. First penalising Callum Wells after he brought down a speeding Streatham forward who only had goal on his mind. At 36:32 George Norcliffe making Chieftains pay as he converted the man advantage. And, at 39:18, the home fans erupted as Jack Tarczycki fired from the slot to tie the game at 4. Streatham could almost taste that 2nd place. With just 6 seconds of the period remaining, Ref Solovjovs struck again as he tossed Callum Best from the bench for a 10 minute misconduct penalty, which completely baffled the fans and teams alike (not that the Chieftains contingency were complaining). We can only assume Mr Solovjovs took exception to the manner in which Callum banged the boards with his stick!

Final League Table

With the game very finely poised at 4-4, the game was all set for a grandstand finish. And that's exactly what the fans were rewarded with as, for the next 10 minutes, both teams played good end to end hockey with both Phillips and Colclough making outstanding saves. At 50:34 ,however, the deadlock was broken as young Brandon Ayliffe grabbed the puck and went speeding down the right wing like a greyhound and centred the puck to a waiting Matt Turner who made no mistake in bagging himself his second goal of the night. Chieftains then fought to kill off another Streatham powerplay, this time Ollie Baldock serving the time for an almost identical trip as Callum Well's . Fortunately, this time, Streatham were frustrated. With 1:10 remaining on the clock, and a face off deep in Chelmsford territory, Streatham called time out. After a 30 second chat and refreshment break, the teams returned - the Redhawks net ominously empty as Matt Colclough remained on the bench in favour of an extra attacker. Luck wasn't on Streatham's side, though, as Alex Staples and Grant Bartlett combined to send Liam Chong skipping through the Streatham defence to shoot into the empty net. Streatham confirmed in 3rd place as the final buzzer brought down the curtain on not only a thrilling game but also a thrilling league campaign. Final score from High Road, Streatham 4-6 Chieftains.

The win leaves Chieftains topping the league by a massive 18 point gap over Invicta Dynamos. And, having dropped just 4 points all season, a 93% points percentage. Focus now shifts to this weekend's cup final against Invicta. First leg is at Riverside on Saturda 18th March, face off 5:40pm, second leg in Gillingham on Sunday night, face off 5:15pm. Bring your voices, bring your drums, bring whatever you can and make some noise for your Champion Chelmsford Chieftains.

10 March 2017

League Finale Weekend

It's the last weekend of the NIHL S1 league season and, although the title has already been decided, there's still lots to play for mid table. Chieftains have a night off on Saturday then head to Streatham for the second week running for their final game of the season. For Chieftains, it's nothing more than bagging an extra couple of points and another win. And so far this season in all competitions, Chieftains have a 5-0-0 record against the Redhawks and will be looking to sweep the series. So whilst players that may be carrying injuries might get a bit of a rest ahead of next weeks cup final, Coach Easton will still be expecting his players to give their all for the whole game to take the current winning streak to 14. However, Streatham are still in with a chance of stealing 2nd place of Invicta so will certainly not be wanting to conform to Chelmsford's game plan.

Meanwhile, at the foot of the table, Milton Keynes and Bracknell now have a couple of weekends off before the play offs as they've both completed their league schedule and finished 7th and 8th respectively. While Bracknell will be resigned to the fact that they will once again be facing Chieftains in the first round of the play offs, MK's opposition won't be confirmed until Sunday evening.

In the middle of the table, it really is a case of anything could happen. Every team from 2nd to 5th could drop a position, while every team 3rd to 6th could move up a position. But for any of that to happen, most teams will need to win out but will still be depending on other results going their way.

Invicta are currently holding on to 2nd just two points ahead of Streatham, who have a game in hand. The 'Mos also have the night off on Saturday, then welcome Solent Devils to Gillingham on Sunday night. Even a win against Solent, however, won't guarantee them 2nd spot, if Streatham win both their games they will finish level on points with Invicta but Streatham have the tie break by 6pts to 2.

While Invicta are enjoying their night off, Streatham make the short journey North of the the Thames to Lee Valley to take on London Raiders. Raiders are 2-7-1 in their last 10 games so the 'Hawks will surely fancy their chances here. Especially as we believe key import Marek Nahlik is still out injured and JJ Pitchley has just been handed a 2 game ban which will see him sidelined for the weekend. Sunday against Chieftains, they will be wanting to avenge last week's 6-3 defeat and send retiring Captain Joe Johnston off in style with a last night league win.

Oxford, currently 4th, could still go either way. If Streatham come unstuck both nights, 3 points could do it for them and see them sneak up into 3rd place. But the Stars are facing a tough trip to an in form Solent, who have won their last 4, on Saturday and then host London Raiders on Sunday.

Speaking of London Raiders, currently they're sitting in 5th position, and will need all 4 points if they're to leapfrog Oxford, and will need at least to points to keep the surging Solent Devils at bay.

That said, for Solent in 6th place, it's not going to be an easy weekend. With a record of 1-1-1 against Oxford this season, I think Saturday's game will be too close to call. And a road trip to Gillingham to take on Invicta in their final game on Sunday. Back in September in Gillingham, Dynamos took the points with a narrow 5-3 win. However, both games in Solent have resulted in home wins. Again, another tough one to call.

My predictions for the league finale, Invicta will have their Barmy Army on their side in Gillingham and that may be enough to boost them to victory over Solent. That will leave Streatham needing all 4 points and, while I can see them beating London, it's going to be a big ask to take 2 points of the streaking Chieftains. Oxford, however, could come away with a winning weekend but if they're to move up into 3rd they will still have to rely on Streatham dropping at least 3 points. London, with their wobbly form, I can see taking nothing from the weekend and will be desperately praying that Solent also slip up. While on the South coast, the devils could possibly take the points off Oxford, but I really can't see them beating Invicta at the Ice Bowl on Sunday. Overall, at the end of Sunday night, I expect the league positions to remain as they are.

6 March 2017

The final home game of the league season brought bottom placed Bracknell Hornets to Riverside in what will be a practice run for the first round of the play offs in just a few weeks time. Hornets not having beaten Chieftains since November 2010, the home fans were expecting a rout. But, since the guests at Riverside brought more travelling fans than frequent some of their home games, it seemed that the Berkshire outfit had aspirations of causing a big upset on the night the champions were officially presented with the league trophy. In the end, both sets of fans were treated to some great hockey - though most of it was from one team. From the first face off it was clear Chieftains would be dominant, every Hornets trip into the Chieftains zone resulting in a Chieftains counter attack. And the home fans didn't have to wait long as Jake Sylvester opened the scoring at 4:13 unassisted. Young Bracknell stopper Nate Gregory, getting the start over the more experienced Danny Milton, did well to keep the home side at bay for almost 11 minutes, until Juraj Huska doubled the lead at 15:08, with assists from Sylvester and Barry. Bracknell surely thought things weren't going that bad when the period ended with Chieftains taking a modest 2-0 lead into the break.

The 2nd period started much more sprightly for Chieftains, Matt Turner only making the Chieftains faithful wait 2 1/2 minutes after the restart before skating into the Hornets zone, deking Gregory out of his pads and firing through the 5-hole from the hash marks. Less than 6 minutes later, Grant Bartlett stole the puck from a Bracknell forward and skated unchecked into the slot right in front of the young Bracknell stopper and from point blank range only had to pick a hole to aim for, choosing just above Gregory's right shoulder taking the lead to 4-0 at 28:59. Then, at 35:13, that big productive forward line struck again, Huska once again ending the superb build up play from Sylvester and Baldock making the score 5-0. By this point, Ben Clements in the Chieftains goal was starting to look bored as the vast majority of Hornets attacks never actually made it much further than the blue line. The period ending 5-0, this one was all over bar the shouting.

The final period started as the previous one ended, the sixth goal of the game coming at 43:47, when a Sean Barry shot from the blue line was saved by Gregory but, a split second before he could get his glove over the rebound, Jake Sylvester popped up and poked the puck from under the looming glove and into the net for his second of the night. A little over four minutes later and Danny Hammond added a seventh, and the home fans could almost taste double figures. Bracknell applied some pressure and eventually it paid off as import Michal Oravec ended Clements' hopes of a shutout at 54:43. Not to be outdone, just 20 seconds later Huska bagged his 6th hat trick of the season, assisted by Baldock and Chong. And, less than a minute later, Danny Hammond skated from his own defensive zone, around the back of Gregory's net and slipped the puck just inside the post for his second of the night. One minute later and cue Callum Wells from the blue line to add the last goal of the game, giving the home side a spectacular 10-1 victory.

Not the worst defeat Bracknell have been handed by Cheiftains in recent years, having gone down 15-0 at Riverside a year previously, credit must go to the Hornets who, in all fairness, never give up even in the face of such adversity. And, the match over, Richard Carpenter of the EIHA presented the players, coaches and staff with their individual medals then handed team Captain, Anthony Leone, with the NIHL S1 league title for the 5th year in succession, much to the overwhelming delight of the fans.

Champions

  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Bracknell Hornets
  • Chelmsford Chieftains Vs Bracknell Hornets

3 March 2017

With the penultimate weekend of league hockey looming, Chieftains look to further increase their points tally. With 3 games to go they are looking good to end the season with a whopping 52 points. This weekend sees Chieftains travel to Streatham on Saturday night. In the four previous meetings between the two so far this season, Chieftains have come away victorious - albeit by a narrow 2-1 margin in two of the games, which surely makes the champions favourites to take the points here. That said, Streatham are pushing Invicta for 2nd place so will be hoping they can pull off an upset.

Sunday Chieftains return to Riverside for the final home game of the league season against Bracknell Hornets. This game couldn't be more dead rubber for anyone as the result won't benefit anyone in the league - neither teams position can be changed by a win nor will the result affect the any of the other teams in he league. But it's safe to say that Chieftains will be playing for points and Hornets will be playing for pride. You'd have to fancy a Chieftains win here as you'd have to go back to December 2009 to find the last time Hornets recorded a win over Chieftains.

Also at Riverside this Sunday, Chieftains will be officially be presented with the league trophy and, as with the previous few games, it's kids for a quid night again. Doors open at 5:30 for a 6:30 face off, come on down to Riverside and celebrate with your Chelmsford Chieftains.

Chieftains aren't the only team playing this weekend, however. In their quest to make the NIHL S2 play offs, Warriors host London Haringey Racers at Riverside on Saturday, with the return leg at Alexandra Palace on Sunday.

In the WPL, leaders Chelmsford Cobras​ head to Slough for their penultimate game of the season. Still sitting pretty at the top of the Women's Premier League, the Cobras go into Saturday's game 2 points clear of 2nd place Streatham Storm. But, with Storm having a game in hand over the Cobras, and Cobra's final game of the season being against Storm at Riverside in May, the WPL race is all set for a thrilling finale.


1 March 2017

Here at Ice Cold Photography HQ, our main purpose was originally providing great action photos ice hockey to local fans of their favourite team.  Over the last two seasons that's progressed somewhat.  Even so, we have never sought, nor expected, to win any awards for our efforts.  So we are chuffed to announce that we have today received what is arguably THE most sought after prize in the NIHL and, quite possibly, British Ice Hockey today.  That prize being the 482days.com #piamg mug.  We weren't expecting it so we didn't have an acceptance speech prepared but let us just assure the nice folk over at 482days that we will love it and cherish it and look after it and most definitely drink lots and lots of good strong coffee from it.  And finally, thank you to every player who scored a goal on the weekend that I correctly guessed the total amount of goals over a weekend.  It means a lot.

27 February 2017

Chieftains In The Final

After Chieftains narrow 3-2 first leg win at Lee Valley on Saturday, Chieftains and Raiders returned to Riverside on Sunday for the second leg with expectations from both fans running wild. While Chieftains were confident their game plan would allow them to continue where they left off, Raiders had to find a way to put a halt to any notion Chieftains had of glory in front of their home crowd. Things started off looking good for the visitors as they were able to keep Chieftains at bay - for the first 6 minutes at least. It was, by Chieftains standards, a slow start but with each Raiders venture into the Chelmsford zone, the breakout and forecheck became stronger. The fans knew it was just a matter of time until the first goal came. And, at 6:49, it came. Jake Sylvester being the first to light the red light of glory, assisted by Baldock and Huska. With more end to end action, Chieftains made the home fans wait almost 11 minutes to celebrate again - almost 11 minutes of hope for the Raiders fans. Huska was 2nd to bag a goal at 17:39, assisted by Sylvester and Baldock and proving once again the firepower of this forward line. The period ending 2-0 in favour of the Chieftains, the home fans could taste another Cup Final appearance already.

The second period saw much more end to end hockey, but with some added aggression coming from the Raiders players, clearly trying to goad the Champions into penalty trouble. The tactics proven unsuccessful as at 27:11 Danny Hammond added a third goal to the scoreboard giving Chieftains a 3-0 lead on the night and a big 6-2 aggregate lead. Just two and a half minutes later, with Stewart Tait in the penalty box for interfering with somebody, Juraj Huska netted his second of the game on the Powerplay. And at 33:00, Raiders fans hope was turned into despair as Carl Graham's shot on goal hit a Raiders defender and ricocheted past King to extend the lead to 5-0. The travelling fans got their hopes up as they finally managed to get a puck past Sonny Phillips in the Chelmsford goal, but ref Solovjovs had already blown the play dead as the goal was off it's pegs. Shouts of "Cheat Cheat Cheat" resonated from the away corner of the rink, the Raiders fans seemingly having forgotten how many times their net seemed to suddenly fall off it's pegs as the Chieftains attack got close.

With a 5-0 (8-2 aggregate) lead that seemed unassailable, Raiders had nothing left to lose as they came out of the blocks hitting hard, once again trying to goad Chieftains into penalty trouble. It seemed, to their misfortune, that Coach Easton had a strategy of just walking away which seemed to frustrate the visitors even more, Chieftains not actually picking up their first penalty of the night until nearly half way through the period. Try as they might, Raiders just couldn't find a way past Phillips and as the seconds ticked down, the London fans, who had been very vocal on the various social media platforms, were noticeably silent as they were unable to break a home shutout for Sonny Phillips. Outshot 50-23 and out scored 5-0 on the night, a deflated London Raiders side vowed to avenge themselves in the play offs, while Chieftains look forward to the Cup Final against Invicta Dynamos on the weekend of 18th/19th March.

Jake Sylvester celebrates Chieftains Semi Final win

Chelmsford Chieftains Vs London Raiders

26 February 2017

A break from league action this weekend as the Cup Semi Final takes centre stage. Saturday night the Chieftains were on the road in Lee Valley for the first leg against London Raiders. A week earlier, it was the Chieftains who had dominated, taking an emphatic 11-3 victory. But with London having dominated Chieftains in the group stage of the cup, winning both games, they fancied their chances again. A close game, the breakthrough didn't come until 13:45 when Huska centred a pass to Jake Sylvester, who made no mistake in burying the puck past King in the London goal, much to the delight of the travelling fans. 6 minutes later, Grant Bartlett doubled the lead shooting from the slot to beat the former Chelmsford stopper. With 55 seconds on the period remaining, Miles pulled one back for the Raiders, ending the period with a narrow 2-1 lead for Chieftains. The second period started where the first ended, with fast paced end to end action, with lots of pushing and shoving, scoring chances but, alas, was lacking in goals and at the end of the period it was still 2-1 to the visitors. The third period began and the fans were made to wait just 34 seconds before Anthony Leone put another goal on the board for Chieftains as he put a puck on goal which hit King, who failed to react to the shot, and went into the net, which seemed to force a delayed reaction from the Raiders nettie as he dived to the floor to save a puck that had long since crossed the line. It wasn't all plain sailing for Chieftains, though, as just over 5 minutes from time, Tom Davis clawed a goal back on the Powerplay. In a night that saw few penalties called, the ones that were called were dubious to say the least. But, the game ended with Chieftains once again victorious in Lee Valley, and return to Riverside for the second leg on Sunday with a knifedge 3-2 lead.

24 February 2017

It's the weekend, and it's NIHL S1 Cup Semi Final weekend. Chieftains are once again facing rivals London Raiders for a place in next month's final. Having dominated Chieftains in the group stage of the cup, beating the defending champions 6-5 in a close run game in Lee Valley and 4-2 in the return leg in Chelmsford, Raiders will be hoping their Cup luck continues. While over in the Chieftains camp, they will be hoping to bring their league game to the table, having won all four outings in their domination of NIHL S1. Most notably was last Saturday's emphatic 11-3 victory in Lee Valley, which saw Juraj Huska bag 5 goals and Grant Bartlett grab a hat trick. Coach Easton will certainly be looking for a repeat performance from his players. Chieftains are surely favourites to make it through the double header game, but Raiders are one of only two teams to beat Chieftains at Riverside this season and will, no doubt, be looking to rain on their parade.  Personally, I think this one's going to be too close to call.  One things for sure, it's bound to be an action packed weekend.

Catch all the action, face off at Lee Valley is 5:30pm Saturday 25 February and the return leg at Riverside is 6:30 face off and, once again, Chieftains will be hosting a "Kids For A Quid" night. Get down to the games and make some noise for the boys!

If you can't make it to the games, then we will be there tweeting live updates from both games, head on over to twitter and follow @icecoldphotos for the action as it happens.


20 February 2017

Well what a weekend it was to be a fan of Chelmsford ice hockey.  Chieftains road trip yielded a maximum four points, as they took an emphatic victory over London Raiders at Lee Valley on Saturday in a prequel to this Saturdays game, they ran away with the game humbling the home side with a massive 11-3 thumping, including a 5 goal tally for Juraj Huska.  On Sunday night on the South Coast, it was much closer but with the end result being another 2 points for Chieftains - this time rolling out 5-2 winners over Solent Devils.  This time a brace for Jake Sylvester, one each for Huska and Zatopek and Brandon Ayliffe bagging himself an empty netter in the dying seconds.  In our game of the day at Riverside, where the Cobras took on Kingston Diamonds in the Womens Premier League, things were equally entertaining.  After a period of hockey, one goal from Cobra Tereza Plankova was all that seperated the teams.  Early in the second, however, Kingston's Joanne Cockerton evened things up with a power play goal, as the bottom of the table visitors looked to cause an upset.  It was short lived though as just a minute later Cobra's Jennifer Bolton regained the lead on a delayed penalty goal.  Shortly after, the lead was increased as GB International Beth Hill scored two goals within three minutes and Jennifer Bolton bagging her second just after the half way point.  Then just before the break, Beth Hill once again skating at speed down the wing from her own defensive zone leaving the Kingston defence in tatters, centred to Sam Noble who slotted the puck past Diamonds keeper Charlotte Cook.  Into the third period which saw end to end hockey, wayward passes and lots and lots of penalties, including a 2 minutes for elbows and a 2+2 for roughing Plankova.  It was just lacking in goals after all the action in the previous period.  Then with just 47 seconds on the clock and Cobras on a Powerplay, Stephanie Thon from floated a puck in from the blue line which beat Cook, hit the underside of the cross bar and dropped across the goal line.  The final score at Riverside, Cobras 7-1 Kingston.  Cobras are still undefeated at the top of the WPL with just two games to play, whilst Kingston are still looking for their first point this season.  Next games for the Cobras are away to Slough Phantoms on 4 March and their final game of the season is on 14 May at home to 2nd placed Streatham Storm.


This weekend sees NIHL Cup Semi Final action for Chelmsford Chieftains as they face London Raiders in a two leg knock out match.  Saturday, they are once again visiting Lee Valley facing off at 5:30 pm, with the home leg at Riverside on Sunday and our usual 6:30pm face off.  We will be at both games, with photos and live twitter updates.  If you can't make the games, follow us on twitter @icecoldphotos 

17 February 2017

No home games for Chieftains this weekend, as they're spending the whole weekend road tripping. Saturday night they travel to Lee Valley to take on London Raiders in a rematch of last Sundays home game, and a precurser to the first leg of the upcoming cup semi final. And on Sunday they travel to the South coast to take on Solent Devils. So with no NIHL action, this week our focus shifts to the Womens Premier League. Chelmsford Cobras are in action at Riverside taking on Kingston Diamonds. Last years wooden spoon winners, Cobras are this season sitting pretty at the top of the league with an undefeated record after 9 games and with just three more to play. While Diamonds, on the other hand, look set to take over as wooden spoon holders, having failed to gain a single point from the 6 games they've played this season. And with international starlets Beth Hill and Abbie Sylvester in their line up, Cobras will be looking to add another two points to their title charge. Face off at Riverside is 12:20pm with free admission. Come along and support our girls.


13 February 2017

With the league title all wrapped up, the only thing at stake for the Chieftains camp was the pride of defeating arch rivals London Raiders again. For the Raiders, however, there is still play off position to fight for and after being surprised by Bracknell at The Hive the previous night in the form of a 4-4 draw, the visitors to Riverside had only the W on their mind. Unfortunately, for Raiders, Chieftains were in no mood to help their cause. It took just 7:21 before Huska broke the deadlock, some nifty passing between Baldock and Sylvester, the latter finding Huska lying in wait on the far post to slot the puck low past form Chieftains stopper, Euan King. Less than three minutes later and Huska struck again, this time firing from the face off circle over King's left shoulder. Things looking good, Chieftains started to cruise a little, and at 13:02 Raiders import Slavo Buda beat Sonny Phillips in the Chelmsford goal. Five minutes later, with Chieftains killing a penalty, a short handed attempt went bad quickly as the forecheck turned the puck over to Pitchley who went coast to coast and went top shelf to beat Phillips. With the score at 2-2, the first period buzzer loomed and in the dying seconds Chieftains D-man Carl Graham put a heavy hit on a Raiders player, which Ref Matthews raised his hand to signal the delayed penalty, the buzzer going before King had reached the bench. The 2nd period began with the penalty on Graham being announced as 2+10 for Check to the head, giving Chieftains 2 minutes of Raiders powerplay to kill off. After a successful PK, Leone set Grant Bartlett free to skate into the Raiders zone, and a centring pass to Cameron Bartlett who'd skated into the slot and sent the puck into the back of the net. Just 3 1/2 minutes later, a rocket from the blue line by big Lukas Zatopek got redirected past King by Darren Brown to send the home side into the intermission 4-2 up. Just a minute into the final period and Chieftains penalty woes began again, this time Matt Turner sitting for a tripping minor after retaliating to a big hit on youngster Brandon Ayliffe. With a little under 10 minutes of the game to go, Chieftains go on the Powerplay as Raiders Callum Burnett was penalised for a high stick that saw Huska brought to the ice clutching his eye. Luckily no injury occured. But the man advantage was short lived as just 45 seconds into the Powerplay Ref Matthews called Zatopek for slashing and Leone for hooking giving London a 4 on 3 advantage. And just 13 seconds after the restart, Sonny Phillips was called for Delay of Game as he was judged to have kicked the goal off it's pegs. Sean Barry was sent to the penalty box to sit the penalty, at which point him and Zatopek must have said something that Mr Matthews disagreed with, and both were given 10 minute Misconduct penalties and escorted from the rink. The resulting London Powerplay paid off as Pitchley bagged his second of the night, reducing Chieftains lead to one goal. But with 1:21 remaining in the game, the Bartletts combined for an almost carbon copy of Cameron's 2nd period goal to end any hopes London had of a comeback. The result sends Chieftains 13 points ahead of Invicta in 2nd, who lost on Saturday at Streatham and whose grip on 2nd place is not as secure as they'd hope. While London are down to 5th, below Oxford who had a 3 point weekend.

6 February 2017

Those that were in Invicta on Saturday night were hoping for a repeat performance when Chieftains returned to Riverside to take on Streatham Redhawks. A win on Sunday would confirm Chieftains as Champions again. Redhawks, however, had their own agenda - their eye on robbing Invicta of 2nd place. Those that thought it was going to be plane sailing for Chieftains, but it was the home crowd who were stunned when just after 8 minutes Ryan Webb managed to lift the puck over Ben Clements outstretched leg. 'Hawks struck again on the Powerplay at 15:29, as former Chieftain Ryan Giles converted from the blue line. A dismal first period for the Chieftains finishing 2-0 to the visitors, their fans loud and proud. It was the Streatham fans who were stunned into silence in the 2nd period, however, as first Jake Sylvester, then Ollie Baldock and finally Liam Chong on the PP all scored in less than 2 minutes. On the half way mark, Casimir Madren-Britton was called for roughing, Cameron Bartlett making him pay on the score sheet just 49 seconds into the powerplay. And with just over 3 minutes of the period to play, Darren Brown netted Chieftains 5th consecutive goal. At 46:54 Liam Rasmussen tried to start a comeback for the London outfit, but just 23 seconds later Brown restored the cushion and thwarted any ambitions of any further comeback from Streatham. At 53:24 Ryan Giles was called for a trip on Cameron Bartlett, and tried to explain to Referee Belfitt that he was mistaken. Ref Belfitt was none too pleased and sent poor Ryan for an early bath. At the final buzzer, the numbers on the board said 6-3 in favour of the home side, but nobody was really interested in the numbers as the champagne was cracked open and fans and players alike celebrated the first silverware of the season. The Chelmsford Chieftains machine continues to march forward in it's quest for NIHL S1 world dominance.

5 February 2017

Everybody expected Invicta to come out all guns blazing. Having started the weekend 7 points adrift of Chieftains and played two games more, they could still mathematically spoil Chieftains party however unlikely that was starting to look. But it was Chieftains who came out of the starting blocks on fire, with Grant Bartlett bagging the first goal with just over a minute gone. Just six and a half minutes later, the officials noticed that Invicta were actually playing with six skaters and called the home team for Too Many Men. Just 14 seconds into the Powerplay and Zatopek fired a rocket from the blue line beating John Dibble. And just two minutes later Cameron Bartlett added to the tally. With just over 3 minutes of the period remaining, a defensive error by Chieftains put the puck on Steve Osman's stick and with Sonny Phillips well out of position Osman made no mistake putting the puck into the virtually open goal. It took Jake Sylvester just 55 seconds to skate down the ice and restore the 3 goal advantage, though, and a busy first period ended 4-1 to the Essex side. The second period started a bit more cautiously until at 24:07 Adam Rehak took a boarding penalty. 20 seconds later, Tom Ralph cleared the puck over the plexi resulting in a Delay of Game penalty and a 5 on 3 Powerplay for Chieftains. Just 10 seconds into the second penalty and Juraj Huska made it count. Just after the half way mark and Ralph found himself in the box again sitting for a trip this time. And again, it took Chieftains less than a minute to make them pay - Grant Bartlett with his second of the night. With just under 2 minutes of the period remaining, Brandon Ayliffe was called on a tripping penalty. Some good cycling of the puck from the Dynamos resulted but they were essentially kept to the outside. Chieftains gained possession but were unable to clear the zone and the puck fell to Callum Fowler who was standing point blank in the slot and just had to pick his shot to beat Phillips for the Powerplay marker with a little over 30 seconds of the period to go. With 21 seconds remaining, Grant Bartlett completed his hat trick and ended the period 7-2. Less than 3 minutes into the final period and Osman got his 2nd of the night after some good build up play from Fowler and Bailey Wooton. On the 5 minute mark, Callum Wells shot the puck out of play and sat for a Delay Of Game minor. With just seconds of the penalty kill remaining, Chong and Hammond combined to set Huska free to skate in on Richardson, who'd replaced Dibble after goal #6, and score a shorthanded marker. And after a final 10 minutes of penalty woes for Invicta, culminating in Huska getting the team's 4th PP goal and completing his hat trick. Score at the final buzzer of 9-3 effectively put Invicta's challenge for the title to bed.

3 February 2017

With the title race heading into it's final stages, this weekend could see the league decided.  After having a weekend off last week, Chieftains go into the weekend 7 points clear of rivals Invicta Dynamos - who had mixed results last week - and with two games in hand.  With just 8 games of the season remaining, the Essex side need just 6 points to clinch their fifth consecutive title.  But, first up for this weekend is a road trip across the Dartford Bridge to Kent to take on the Dynamos in a 4 point game.  So far this series has been an even affair, with both teams having taken a win each and drawn the third game, and both teams having scored 11 goals.  Both teams will be looking for the win just in case a tie-break is required for the league title.  A win for Invicta will push the defending champions a bit harder and the league a little closer to the wire.  But a win in Gillingham for Chieftains and it will surely be all over bar the shouting.  On Sunday Streatham visit Riverside to take on Chieftains.  Whatever Saturday's result, Streatham will be no pushover as they will want to be challenging Invicta for second place, especially if Chieftains win on Saturday.  And after losing against Solent last weekend, Streatham will be looking to bounce back and get back to winning ways.   If Chieftains can pull off a four point weekend, however, by my calculations they would be crowned league champions again on Sunday night.  We will be at both games this weekend, tweeting live updates as well as taking the "Official Unofficial Photos" from Riverside on Sunday. 

23 January 2017

After getting back to winning ways last weekend, Saturday brought what was expected to be a tricky match against a suddenly revitalised Solent Devils. After having tallied a massive 18 goals, including 8 against Invicta Dynamos, the previous weekend, fans and team alike were expecting the visitors to put up a good fight. The game opened brightly for Solent, as they got into all Chieftains passing lanes, forcing turnovers and breaking into the home teams zone. However, Devils lacked finishing and all their hard work on the puck was coming to nothing. Devils couldn't keep up the pressure and at 4:23 Matt Turner opened the scoring for Chieftains. Four minutes later the Huska/Sylvester/Baldock line, that's been so effective reacently, as Sylvester and Baldocks build up play set up Huska nicely to double the home lead. Just over half way through the period Anthony Leone was sent for a 2 minute sit down for interfering with a Solent player, after he'd hit him for the third time. Some pretty average cycling of the Solent PP wasn't really doing anything and with just seconds of the penalty remaing Hammond bagged the first of 3 short handed goals. With a minute remaining on the period and Luke Tull sitting out a holding penalty, the Chieftains showed their guests how a Powerplay should be done as Grant Bartlett converted with the man advantage, the horn signalling the end of the period giving Chieftains a healthy 4-0 lead going into the first intermission. The 2nd period started a bit flat with really not much happening, Solent appearing to have run out of steam and Chieftains looking happy to defend their lead. But just after the half way point, Mark Baroni had a punt, firing a shot that beat Sonny Phillips. This roused the largest crowd that I've ever seen Solent bring to Riverside, but their elation was short lived when less than 4 minutes later both Bartletts combined to set up Anthony Leone point blank in front of Cole, and he made no mistake finishing off the move with 3 minutes of the period remaining and the period ending with Chieftains still for goals up at 5-1. Going into the 3rd and Solent still didn't seem to have any kind of answer for Chieftains game, Cole being by far the most worked goalie on the ice. However, the first goal of the period didn't come until half way through the period when Darren Brown found Turner all alone in front of goal to increase the home lead to 6-1. Payback came at the Clock End just over a minute later as Matt Lawday clawed a goal back for the Hampshire team. This time the Devils cheer lasted just 30 seconds as Grant Bartlett also scored his second of the night. Then just 8 seconds after the restart, Devils despair deepened and their night summed up as Mark Baroni put his stick out to stop Danny Hammonds wrist shot, which should have been an easy save for Chris Cole in the Devils net, and deflected it into his own net. Solent called a time out and replaced Cole with back up nettie Sam Calder. The move didn't really work as just 3 minutes later Huska scored his 2nd of the night. Although 30 seconds later Richard Facey managed to bag another consolation goal, the writing had been on the wall for the Devils for some time. With 4 minutes remaining in the game, Callum Wells picked up a slashing penalty, again the Solent Powerplay was lacklustre and disorganised and didn't really get a chance to get set up before Liam Chong sent Hammond down the ice on a breakaway to complete his hatrick short handed. 25 seconds later and Huska sent Chong on a breakaway of his own to score Chieftains 3rd shorthanded goal of the night. The scoring was finished off with just 22 seconds left on the clock and Huska also completing a hat trick. Final score Chieftains 12-3 Solent Devils.  On Sunday, Chieftains travelled to Milton Keynes in the return game of the previous Sunday which Chieftains won emphatically 9-5.  Naturally, Chieftains were hoping to build on that victory - whilst Thunder were looking to avenge it.  Thunder got the best start with import Jakub Klima scoring first with a little over a minute and half remaining of the first period.  Unfortunately, for the Buckinghamshire side, that was the best they could manage.  2nd period goals from Juraj Huska and Danny Hammond, and a further one by Ollie Baldock in the 3rd saw Chieftains wrap up the game 3-1.  Chieftains and Invicta are now level on games and, with just 8 games remaining, Chieftains are looking good in the driving seat 9 points clear of their Kentish rivals.  Our Chieftains get a break this weekend, which with Invicta having games both days, will put them back to having 2 games in hand.  Chelmsford are next in action against Invicta on Saturday 4 February - which could be huge in the title race, and then back to Riverside to face Jeremy Cornish's Streatham Redhawks on Sunday 5th  February.


16 January 2017

After the disappointment of last weekend taking just one point from a possible four against Invicta, Chieftains wanted to bounce back and pick up their first win of 2017. This they did on Saturday in London, putting 6 past former Chieftain Euan King, while at the other end Sonny Phillips got what we believe to be his first shutout as a Chieftain. The road points taken, focus returned to Riverside on Sunday for the home game against MK Thunder, another team who've taken points from the Chieftains this season after holding them to a 4-4 draw in MK at the start of the season. After a lacklustre and somewhat flat start from both teams, it was Chieftains who broke the deadlock at 15:55, with Danny Hammond finding the net. Just 2:02 later and Jake Sylvester doubled the lead, and 0:45 after that Juraj Huska added a third as Chieftains came to life and wrapping up what was, except for the last4:05, an unexciting first period. Out for the 2nd and 6 minutes in Ross Green managed to get a puck past Clements in the home goal and bring the defecit back to 2. Just over 2 minutes later, Danny Hammond cheekily stole the puck in the MK zone as they tried to break out and bagged his 2nd of the night to restore the two goal lead, and 29 seconds later, Brandon Ayliffe made it 5-1. After getting into penalty trouble the previous weekend and being punished, just before the half hour mark Ollie Baldock took a hooking penalty, which MK converted on after just 8 seconds, thanks to Jakub Klima. But at 5-2 things were still looking good for Chieftains. But before the end of the period Harrison Goode and Ross Bowers had given the visitors hope, bringing the score back to 5-4 at the 2nd intermission, setting up a nail biting finale for the fans. The tension grew when, just 33 seconds after the restart, Boris Ruzicka released a rocket from the blue line, levelling the scores at 5. The crowd were stunned, but the Chieftains rallied and just less than 3 minutes later Chieftains were back in the lead thanks to Matt Turner. Two minutes later and Danny Hammond completed his hat trick to double the home teams lead. But Hammy wasn't done yet, as Ross Green took a cross checking penalty, he grabbed a 4th goal on the PP. And with just under 3 minutes remaining, the Bartlett twins with some great build up work set up Leone who made no mistake putting the 9th goal of the night past David Wride in the MK Goal. A massive weekend for Chieftains which leaves them now 7 points clear of Invicta with just 10 games remaining, and a game in hand of their Kent rivals.  Next weekend, Chieftains welcome Solent Devils to Riverside on Saturday 21st January, the previous encounter ending in a close run 4-3 victory for Chieftains and Solent having found some form this weekend dishing out heavy defeats to Invicta and Oxford.  Face off will be 17:40, and Chieftains are having a "Kids For A Quid" promotion for this game.  On Sunday 22nd January they visit Milton Keynes for the return of yesterdays match, in which Coach Easton will surely be hoping for more of the same from his offensive lines, and a much tighter defence.

2 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR, hockey fans.  With the Christmas break almost over, it's time to start looking forward to the second half of the NIHL S1 season.  Chieftains went into the festivities at the top of the league table, 5 points clear of 2nd place Invicta Dynamos with a game in hand.  The first weekend of the year sees a double header against Invicta, firstly at Riverside on Saturday 7th then at Silver Blades in Gillingham on Sunday 8th.  A crucial weekend for both teams, a win both nights for Chieftains would surely put the nail in the coffin of the rest of the league's hopes of wrestling the league title from the champions.  A pair of wins for the 'Mos, on the other hand, would throw the league wide open.  Further down the league, Streatham's form has improved of late, thanks mainly to the team bringing in former Wightlink supremo Jeremy Cornish, along with several of the displaced Island players.  Oxford, who started sprightly, appear to be struggling in recent games - possibly no coincidence that their downturn seemed to start around the time they released top scorer Ondrej Pekarik.  London Raiders spent the end of 2016 suffering from injury problems which saw them slip to the bottom half of the table.  Starting the season with Marek Nahlik suspended for a couple of games could, perhaps, see that struggle continue for the first couple of weeks, but I expect them to rally their troops and climb above Oxford by the end of the month.  MK Thunder, only 2 points behind Raiders, do pose a real threat to the London team if their form continues to dip.  5th or 6th is generally where we'd expect to find Thunder going off recent years but with veteran Nick Chinn now in charge, they could sneak up into the top half.  7th and 8th currently occupied by Solent and Bracknell respectively, are generally par for the course from what we've come to expect.  Indeed Bracknell are firmly rooted to the floor of the table, having just 5 points from 17 games.  The sigining of Pekarik from Oxford at the end of 2016 should have bolstered them a tad but is yet to yield the rewards they were looking for.  All that said, I believe we're in for a good 2nd half of the season with, hopefully, a nail biting finale.

12 December 2016

After two previous meetings in the Cup earlier this season which, essentially, London owned, this was the team's first league clash. Having essentially been nothing better than an average team in the Cup games, Chieftains seem to have been saving their A game for the league campaign and are still unbeaten in that competition. While the Raiders fans were hoping for a repeat performance of a few weeks ago, in their last home game of 2016 Chieftains were looking to avenge their earlier home defeat by the visitors. Things didn't start well for the Home side, however, as the very short bench took the lead through Jacob Ranson at 8:30. Then Chiefs ran into penalty trouble as first Cameron Bartlett took an interference call at 12:00 then at 12:22 Hammond and Nahlik took co-incidental holding penalties, which were eventually played out without incident. Then, at 14:24 Zatopek sat for a hooking penalty then Sean Barry followed him at 16:20 giving the Raiders a brief 5 on 3 powerplay. With two key defencemen in the penalty box, the home fans held their breath. However, things didn't go as planned for the London team as Juraj Huska scored twice and Darren Brown scored one on the same penalty kill giving Chieftains a 3-1 lead at the end of the first. Into the 2nd period and the 11 man Raiders were reduced to 10 as John Connolly didn't return to the ice, presumably injured. Just before the half way point Marek Nahlik got his name on the score sheet redirecting a Ross Connolly slap shot past Sonny Phillips, halfing the deficit. The joy was short lived for the visitors, however, as Jacob Ranson decided to hug Zatopek's stick and didn't really want to let go. A 2 minute sit down duely followed. Just 57 seconds later Brown was called for a trip giving the crowd some 4 on 4 action. Just 11 seconds after the restart, Huska - despite having to fight off some attempted hooking from Nahlik, skated coast to coast and claimed his hat trick. Then just 27 seconds later Liam Chong added to the tally, ending the period with Chieftains 5-2 to the good. And the 3rd period started as the 2nd ended, Tom Davis of the Raiders being the first of a long line of players to keep Sin Bin Jack company just a minute into the period. Just before Davis's penalty expired up stepped that man Huska again to add a PP goal to his already impressive 2x SH and 1x ES tally. Just over half way through the period, Carl Graham making his debut in a Chieftains shirt, sat for a delay of game penalty and Matt Turner again silencing the visiting crowd by taking the Chiefs SH goals to 4. Less than 2 minutes later Jake Sylvester rounded off the scoring with a brilliantly aimed shot from the slot. Shortly after, JJ Pitchley and Cameron Bartlett dropped the gloves and had a dance centre ice which saw the home player sent to the dressing room after picking up a 2 min roughing penalty and 2+2 for fighting. Despite Raiders expectations of glory after the last match, they went home disappointed after being on the wrong end of an 8-2 result. Chieftains march towards another league title continues.

21 November 2016

After having the previous weekend off, the Chieftains returned to league action in Bracknell on Saturday night, picking up a big 9-2 win at The Hive to keep their lead at the top of NIHL S1, and rooting the Hornets firmly to the bottom of the pile. But while things are going great for the Chieftains in the league where they remain unbeaten, things aren't quite as rosey in the Cup. A poor run in this competition has seen them lose on home ice in the season opener against Invicta and on the road in London and Streatham. So, despite Sundays visitors, arch rivals London Raiders, being confirmed as Chieftains semi final competitors in the cup, there was still bragging rights and home ice advantage to play for in this game that many had considered dead rubber. Chieftains opened the scoring with a great effort from Huska, who scored from pretty much a seated position. However, just seconds later Raiders equalised. They took the initiative later in the first period, and following a penalty filled first period, London took a 2-1 lead into the first break. Things didn't look much better for the Chieftains in the second period, London scoring the only goal. Things got even worse for the home side in the 3rd as the visitors increased their lead after a wayward Chieftains pass went to Raider's Tom Davis who passed the puck to Marek Nahlik who was standing point blank in front of Ben's goal - making no mistake with his shot. With less than two minutes of the game left, Grant Bartlett managed to pull one back with a beautiful shot over King's left shoulder. An empty Chieftains net for the last minute or so but neither team could capitalise on their advantage. Final score on the night was 2-4 in favour of London Raiders, and confirming Chieftains 3rd position in the Cup group.

7 November 2016

After the disappointment of last weeks defeat in Gillingham at the hands of the Dynamos, Chieftains were back to league action on Sunday night, and looking to bounce back and retain their unbeaten record in this season's campaign. But, since the recent sad demise of Wightlink Raiders, other teams have strengthened their squads with the displaced IoW players. Streatham were among the first to take advantage of this, sacking head coach Nicky Chinn and bringing in Wightlink legend Jeremy Cornish who also brought with him half a dozen or so of his best players from the Island team, including goalie Matt Colclough who replaced former Chieftain Euan King who decided to head to London Raiders a few days prior. The changes in Streatham were evident from the get-go with Chieftains pretty much hemmed in their own zone for much of the first five minutes. An even period on the scoreboard as the first 20 mins finished scoreless but Chieftains were outshot 22-11. Returning for the second period, Chieftains started the period much more sprightly and finally with just under 3 mins remaining on the period, Darren Brown managed to break the deadlock. Again the Chieftains were outshot 15-12 but had the advantage on the scoreboard. The third period was much the same as the second in terms of end to end play and both teams managing to find the net, giving a final score of 2-1 in favour of the Chieftains - although Streatham outshot the home team 45-34 after 60 mins. A fair result overall, for me at least, and a result that saw both goalie's picking up Man Of The Match beers. Chieftains now have a weekend off where a visit from Wightlink Raiders should have been, so return to action at Riverside on 20th November.

31 October 2016

A break from league action this weekend as Chieftains took a trip to Kent to take on rivals Invicta Dynamos in a cup clash. In the home leg, Invicta took a 2-0 win, shocking the home crowd. In a hard fought, thrilling match which saw both teams with some good pressure and Chieftains successfully killing off a 7 minute penalty, Invicta once again took the W by a 4-2 margin. This means Invicta win the group and leaves Chieftains in 3rd place behind London, although a win over the Raiders at Riverside next month would see them take 2nd spot and the choice of home game in the Semi Finals.  The team look to move on from this as they return to league action this coming Sunday as the take on a revamped Streatham, who have brought in new coach Jeremy Cornish to replace Nicky Chinn, and several of the displaced Wightlink Raiders players.

27 October 2016

Here at Ice Cold Photography HQ, we're delighted to announce that one of our photos was selected to be on the cover of this year's NIHL Ice Hockey Review book.  The annual publication reviews all the NIHL leagues and teams from the 2015/16 season, as well as the Women's leagues.  Along with the cover photo, we've also got some Chieftains and Cobras photos on the inside pages too.  If you'd like to pick up a copy, click on the photo of the book on the right to be directed to the purchase page.

24 October 2016

Despite the UK hockey world in being in shock over the announcement of the demise of Wightlink Raiders, there were still games to be played. This Sunday's visitors to Riverside were Milton Keynes Thunder, who had held Chieftains to a draw at their barn just a few weeks earlier, and a close contest was anticipated by all. After the first two periods, that's exactly what happened as both teams traded goals and penalties - Chieftains taking a narrow 4-3 lead into the 2nd intermission. But in the third period, the wheels kinda fell off MK's wagon with a 7 goal frenzy in the last stanza. Grant Bartlett finished the night with 4 goals to his name while Danny Hammond managed a pair. The win leave's Chieftains heading the NIHL S1 above 2nd placed Oxford City Stars.  The current league table still shows Wightlink Raiders in the mix, but the league have confirmed that all their results this season will be expunged.

NIHL S1 Table 24/10/16

10 October 2016

A double header against the Bracknell Hornets both home and away this weekend. Away at The Hive on Saturday (I had planned to bring you photos from the game but out of order A/C meant taking photos was pretty much impossible due to condensation on the plexi and patchy fog ON the ice!) after a scoreless first period the Chieftains took the initiative in the second and scored 7 goals, including 3 in 30 seconds. The third period saw the Hornets finally wake up and mount a comeback scoring 3 goals but the damage was done by then and the game ended 7-3 in favour of the visitors. The return leg back at Riverside the following night saw the Grant Bartlett stun everybody by scoring within 12 seconds. A four goal first period for the Chieftains it looked like it was going to be plain sailing for the home side. But, as with the night before, the Hornets weren't ready to lie down and mounted a comeback scoring 2 quick goals with Darren Brown getting one back for Chieftains between them. In the third, two more Chieftains goals sealed the Hornets fate, the home team coming out 7-2 winners.  And with a surprising home defeat for Invicta Dynamos against a resurgent Oxford City Stars, Chieftains are back to the top of the NIHL S1 league.

NIHL S1 Table 10/10/16

19 September 2016

After a shaky start to the new season, losing 2-0 at home to Invicta Dynamos in the season opener on Saturday 10th in the NIHL Cup and salvaging a 4-4 draw the following night in Milton Keynes, Chieftains were back to winning ways last weekend.  Saturday night in Streatham it was the battle of the goalies as Chieftains Ben Clements faced off against former team mate and Chieftain Euan King.  Goals from Anthony Leone and Jake Sylvester gave Chieftains the cup points with Streathams Callum Best striking short handed to get a consolation goal for the hosts.  Sunday night back at Riverside was equally hard fought as Chieftains hosted Solent Devils for their first clash of the season.  Goals from  Oleg Lascenko, Callum Wells, Big Lukas Zatopek and Cameron Bartlett gave Chieftains the win but not before Solent had given the Champions a scare with goals from Richard Facey, Kyle Goddard and Matt Lawday.  Devils pulled goalie Chicco Cole in the last minute to bring on an extra forward but to no avail, nor were Chieftains able to capitalise on the empty net with Grant Bartlett coming closest with a shot from his own blue line that cleared the cross bar by a good foot.  So back to back wins under their belts, Chieftains look forward to next weekend with a trip to the Isle of Wight on Saturday and Invicta returning to Riverside on Sunday.  It's sure to be action packed all the way next weekend.

27 August 2016

Ice Cold Photography website is relaunched with a brand new look, new navigation and featuring photos of Chelmsford Cobras Ladies Ice Hockey Team and a page dedicated to Roller Derby featuring Chelmsford's Killa Hurtz Roller Girls as well as lots and lots of new photos from the upcoming Chelmsford Chieftains season which sees them starting as defending Quadruple champions.  To navigate the galleries, hover your cursor over the team whose photos you want to see to show the drop down box with links to the different seasons photos.  Also on the home page we'll keep you updated with all the latest news from Riverside and Chieftains.  And don't forget, you can still follow us on facebook and twitter by clicking on the buttons at the top right of all the pages on this site.  To contact us, click on the envelope.  #COYC2016!

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