SUNDAY saw two more of our teams in action, this time the Under-13s and Under-18s facing Widnes in the Planet Ice Cup.
The Under-13s travelled across to Cheshire and, after a number of them had excelled in the JLMC Jamboree event beforehand, still had enough energy left to enjoy a comfortable 21-3 win over their hosts.
Will Durgan led the way in terms of goals, bagging six, with Danny Harrison (4+6) and Daragh Spawforth (4+0) also getting in on the act. Frankie O’Sullivan (3+1) weighed in with a hat-trick, with Jake Wigginton (1+1), Kieran Smith (2+0) and Charlie Barker also making their mark. Danny Harrison was presented with the Spirit of the Game afterwards.
Back on home ice, the Under-18s enjoyed a 12-0 win against their visitors.
Daniels Justovics (3+2) again excelled, with Jack Wooding (2+2), Logan Jean-Jacques (2+0), Lucas Vince (2+0), Damarni James (1+2), Kacper Andrukianiec (1+1) and Malachi Budd also finding the net.
Further assists came from Dan Lilley, McKenzie Barker, Gabe Lingaard and Alex Lutwyche.
HOME ice proved an advantage for our Under-11s and Under-15s when they each recorded deserved victories against Whitley Bay on Saturday.
Daragh Spawforth (6+1) and Jake Wigginton (1+5) combined brilliantly to lead the way for the Under-15s, for who Andy Bourke was behind the bench to oversee an entertaining, closely-fought 9-4 win against impressive opponents.
McKenzie Barker and Danny Harrison were the others to find the net, while there were assists for Harrison Booth (2), Brett Harper, Tom Mardell and Harrison.
Netminder Jacob Midgley excelled between the pipes, saving 40 of the 44 shots on his goal to take the Spirit of the Game award.
Earlier in the day, our 11s got the better of the visitors with a comprehensive 17-8 win.
There were several hat-tricks to be had with Kyle Bower (3+1), Billy Simpson (3+1), Layden Fletcher-Robb (3+1) and Charlie Barker (3+0) all finding their range, while Will Durgan (2+5) also got in on the act, along with Kieran Smith (2+1) and Anjris Mikelsons (1+0). An assist apiece went to Maksims Gailliss and Ellie Simpson, with brother Billy making it a day to remember when also picking up the Spirit of the Game award.
Today, it is back to Planet Ice Cup for two of our teams, with the Under-18s hosting Widnes, while the Under-13s head over to Cheshire.
Last weekend, there were mixed fortunes for Bradford Bulldogs’ teams in the Planet Ice Cup on Sunday, the Under-15s going down at home to Kingston Sharks, while the Under-11s enjoyed a comfortable win on the road against the Sharks.
With Hull Ice Arena undergoing major refurbishment work still, the Under-11s only had a short distance to travel to Leeds to take on Kingston, who are using the Planet Ice rink on Elland Road as their temporary home.
The visitors won 20-4, thereby invoking the mercy rule which means it will go down as an 8-0 victory.
Kieran Smith, Will Durgan, Charlie Barker, Layden Wood, Billy Simpson, Kyle Bower and Anjris Mikelsons all got on the scoresheet, while Ellie Simpson was awarded the Spirit of the Game award.
It was a different story on home ice for the Bulldogs’ 15s, who went down 16-4 against a strong Kingston team (again the mercy rule means it is recorded as an 8-0 win for Kingston).
Daragh Spawforth fired home all four of the Bulldogs goals, with an assist apiece to Jake Wigginton and Danny Harrison. Grace Cooper was presented with the Spirit of the Game award for the home team.
Busy weekend for our Under-18s and Under-13s, who faced games against Whitley Bay and Kingston Sharks, the latter in the Planet Ice Cup.
On Saturday, the 18s enjoyed a 10-1 win over Whitley Bay, Daniels Justovics (4+3), Damarni James (1+2), Matty Cross (1+3), Kogan Jean-Jacques (2+0), Lucas Vince (1+0) and Kacper Andrukianiec (1+0) all getting on the scoresheet with further assists from Logan Roberts and Jack Wooding.
On Sunday, they faced a strong Kingston Sharks outfit, eventually going down 3-2.Justovics and Cross found the net with assists from Andrukianiec (2) and Jean-Jacques and Justovics. Ben Norton turned away 56 of 58 shots on his goal.
It was a similar story across the weekend for our 13s who enjoyed an impressive 15-6 win over Whitley Bay, before going down to Kingston in an 11-goal thriller at Leeds.
On home ice, Daragh Spawforth (6+2), Will Durgan (5+2)Danny harrison (1+4), Kieran Smith (1+3), Frankie O’Sullivan (1+0), Harrison Booth (1+0) and Charlie Barker (0+1) all getting on the scoresheet, James Adamson saving 27 saves from the 33 shots on his goal.
On Sunday, against a strong Sharks team, the Bulldogs can count themselves unlucky not to have taken anything from the game, Durgan (3) and Smith (2) getting on the scoresheet.
Next week sees our Under-15s back at it, hosting Kingston Sharks in the PI Cup, while our Under-11s make the trip east down the M62.
A very short handed U13s squad made the long journey to Coventry over the bank holiday weekend for one of the final games of the season. Due to some of the regular players being unavailable and the U11s having a home game, numbers were depleted and the game actually looked in doubt earlier in the week. Thanks to people rearranging other commitments, we managed to get a team together and the efforts everyone went to were much appreciated, Because to the numbers, each of the players knew they had to step up if we were to overcome the home side in what we knew would be a tough game and so were fired up to do their best.
The game started well and due to some excellent play, the Bulldogs soon took control. By the end of the first period the Bulldogs were leading by 4-0. Things settled down a little in the second, as the pace inevitably slackened off but the Bulldogs kept up the pressure and at the end of the second period they had extended their lead to 6-0.
Despite a lack of numbers, the Bulldogs controlled the game for large periods with the puck spending most of the time in their opponents half and, although Coventry put up their usual spirited and physical performance which eventually got them on the score sheet in the last minute of the game, the Bulldogs finished on top with the final score of 10-1, This was a spectacular effort considering we had such a short handed squad. Every member of the team can be justifiably proud of the way they all stepped up when the time came and each one of them demonstrated a true Bulldog spirit. This determination, combined with some skilled tactical plays and encouragement by coach Andy Brown saw the Bulldogs take the points in a memorable and hard earned victory.
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.