Bradford Bulldogs gear up for new season
26 young ice hockey players have just spent a gruelling week on Bradford Bulldogs’ annual ice hockey camp, to develop and improve their skills in preparation for the new season.
The young people, aged from 6 to 14 clocked up over 40 hours training at Bradford Ice Arena, where they worked on the ice on their skating, puck handling and team work skills and off the ice at the University Gym, where they strove to improve their fitness levels and knowledge of game strategy.
Two of the older Bulldogs players, Harrison Walker and Jordan Griffin plus Kieran Brown (who recently gained an apprenticeship with Sheffield Steelers), volunteered their time to boost the coaching team and thoroughly enjoyed their new roles.
Andy Brown, Head Coach said ‘Our annual hockey camp is popular and well attended. We seek to develop the players both on and off the ice and our commitment to player development is reflected our winning the EIHA Award for Development for the past two years’.
All players trained extremely hard and we hope this is reflected in our games, next season’.
Bradford Bulldogs Ice Hockey Club runs a Stick and Puck Session every Wednesday, for players aged 6 up to 14. Players need to be able to skate without holding onto the edge. A helmet and stick is provided and skate loan is available for the first few weeks. The session costs £4.00 and starts at 5:15pm, concluding at 6:15. For further information, contact Andy Brown on Tel 07976 931842, email email@example.com, or, just come down to the rink at 5.15pm on Wednesday!
Bradford Bulldogs Under 13s enjoyed a trip out to Laserzone and Bradford Ice Arena on Sunday 9th July. The event was organised by Assistant Manager, Leanda Smith, to celebrate the end of a good season for the team and to help with team building. To the right are some of the players who took part.
Bradford Bulldogs Ice Hockey Club has played a major part in the North’s success.
20 players from Bradford Bulldogs Ice Hockey Club represented the North of England in the 2016 EIHA inter conference tournament, which took place recently.
The tournament, which took place in Sheffield, saw the best players in the country from the North, South East, South West, Midlands and Scotland compete against each other to become EIHA Conference Champions, in this showcase event.
The North U11s beat Scotland and the U15s beat the Midlands to be crowned champions. The Under 13s reached the final.
As well as the Bradford players helping their teams achieve the North’s most successful year for some time, two players were selected for the All Star Team in the closing ceremony presentations. Jacob Lutwyche (U15s) was named as an All Star Forward while Lewis Baldwin (U17s) picked up the award as a defenceman.
In addition to these, twelve Bradford players were successful in being selected to their national team squads for the 2016/17 season, as well as two former Bradford players who were not playing in the tournament due to currently playing in North America. The Under 13 s team also won the Northern League for the second year running.
Bradford Bulldogs Ice Hockey Club is celebrating as its U13s team has won the league for the second year running and is now set to take on the best teams from the South for the chance to be crowned the English Ice Hockey Association’s National Champions.
The U13s team beat off strong competition from the ten teams which make up the top tier of junior ice hockey such as Sheffield, Nottingham, Coventry and Hull to become the Northern champions.
Bradford Bulldogs U15s Team will also be fighting for National Champion status as a League runner up.
Head Coach Andy Brown said ‘The Bulldogs have had another fantastic year and we are hoping that both teams successfully defend their title. I am very proud of all the players in the Club, who have trained hard all season to achieve their goals’.
The Club, which this season won the EIHA Development Award for the second year running and the Young Club/Team category in the Bradford Sports Awards, hopes the success of the teams will attract more children to play ice hockey. It is particularly looking for players for its Under 11s and Under 13s team.
The game was restarted from scratch after the original first period was refereed by coaches. At this point Bradford was leading 4-0. The restart was done with the agreement of both teams and on the instruction of the official referee, who arrived late due to personal circumstances.
After the restart, it appeared that Billingham had forgotten to read the script. Bradford scored the opening goal, however Billingham scored 3 quick goals in reply and celebrated loudly each time. In response, Bradford started to pull their socks up and soon put some points on the board. As usual, Alex Graham led the charge with some accurate finishing. The Bradford team outclassed Billingham in almost every area and only the desire of Bradford to play a very attacking style with the defence pushing up a high line allowed Billingham the occasional chance to counter attack, with some quick breakouts.
The Bradford players controlled the game in large sections of play with some great work from all the team, together with some slick passing and a good work rate to recover lost or missed passes. The players celebrated vocally with each goal, as this increased their goal difference over Nottingham in the title chase. Bradford continued to score regularly throughout the game and controlled the pace of the game, making it difficult for Billingham to even break out of its own defensive zone.
Unfortunately, Billingham pulled the team with just over 2 minutes to play after a heavy check from behind on one of their players. Our player was excluded for the challenge, which was the correct decision, but Billingham indicated that they no longer wished to continue, signalling the end of the game.
In summary, although the Billingham players put up a valiant effort and didn’t give up, Bradford dominated an ill tempered game, scoring 18 goals to 4. The early finish denied Bradford the chance to put what could potentially have been some more very important goals on the board in their chase for the title.
Alex Graham received Player of the Match for his tireless work rate.
Last year, the Coventry game was the closest of the season. The team came close to doing what no other team could, as they almost beat the mighty Bulldogs.
This game turned out to be a different proposition. Bradford came out strong in the first period, dominating the possession throughout and although we conceded penalty minutes, Bradford remained l the stronger team, even scoring short handed goals.
Coventry never really threatened to score in this period with the Bradford defensive line holding strong on the occasional breakout.
No 21 Alex Graham, with his clinical finishing and shots from impossible angles, left Coventry trailing at the end of the first period 8-0.
The second period started in much the same way as the first, ending with Bradford dominating possession and shots on goal and some good team work. The passing game looked good for Bradford, whilst Coventry must have felt like they were chasing ghosts, on occasions looking frustrated. At one point Bradford had players lining up to take shots with No 11 defence player, Alex Lutwyche, hitting his big blue line slap shots (hit and hopes) looking for his first goal of the season.
The period ended 16-0.
Achieving such a high score, however, seemed to be the undoing of Bradford for the final period, with players going for glory and playing more as individuals with the resulting passing rate significantly dropping. This allowed Coventry back into the game with 2 goals in the period and only 3 from Bradford. But in truth even with 3 on 5 for part of this period, Bradford still looked like the stronger team. The goals from Coventry had more to do with the Bradford defence pushing forward and being caught out of position.
Coventry put up a good effort but quite simply couldn’t deal with the sniper like accuracy of Alex Graham and the stronger Bradford team, both offensively and the excellent defence.
Final Score 19:2