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Bulldogs team up with new jersey sponsor Tiger Home Improvements

Bulldogs’ head coach Andy Brown, second right, presents a Bulldogs shirt to Dale Barker, owner of new jersey sponsor Tiger Home Improvements. Dale’s sons, Mackenzie, far left, and Charlie, far right, both play for the juniors and were mascots for the day.

BRADFORD BULLDOGS are pleased to announce a new sponsorship deal with Tiger Home Improvements, who have kindly agreed to sponsor the club’s new shirts for the 2021-22 season.

Dale Barker, owner of Rotherham-based Tiger, was guest of honour for Saturday’s pre-season home opener against Altrincham Aces, along with his family.

Before face-off, Dale joined Bulldogs’ head coach Andy Brown to be presented with a club jersey with the name ‘Barker’ printed on the back, with the pair also joined by Dale’s sons Mackenzie and Charlie, who both play for the club’s junior teams at Under-12 and Under-16 level. 

After the match, which the Bulldogs won 5-4, Mackenzie presented hat-trick hero Josh Stockton with a well-deserved man-of-the-match award.

“The club means a lot to our family, ever since we first came up to be involved over two years ago,” said Dale. “I just felt it would be good to be able to do something to get involved with the club, seeing as it does such a great job, particularly in developing junior players.

“I know my two boys love coming here to both practice and play and it was great to be invited along to the first seniors match of the season – particularly as they had been off the ice for so long.”

Head coach Andy Brown added: “Sponsors are a vital part of any sports club, at any level, and when we get companies or individuals wanting to be involved in such a way, it is always very welcome.

“It was great to have Dale and his family along for the opening match day of the season and even better that we were able to deliver a win.

“We look forward to a great partnership with them during 2021-22.”

** Tiger Home Improvements were established over 15 years ago and have many years of experience in the home improvements industry, covering the Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire areas. Work undertaken includes windows and doors, conservatories, fascias and gutters, flat and tiled roofs, conservatory roofs and conservatory refurbishments. For more information log on to www.tigerhomeimprovements.co.uk

Bulldogs’ 14s and 18s enjoy wins over Whitley Bay

Action from the Under-18s game against Whitley Bay.

BULLDOGS’ youngsters returned to action in impressive style on home ice at the weekend with the Under-14s and Under-18s overcoming Whitley Bay in back-to-back games.

Birthday boy Daragh Spawforth celebrated turning 13 in style on Saturday with a seven-goal haul as the 14s took to the ice first against their North East opponents, building up a healthy 4-1 first period lead before eventually running out 12-3 winners.

Danny Harrison also made an impression with three goals and an assist, while Jake Wigginton (1+2) and Frank O’Sullivan (1+1) also got in on the act. Kieran Smith, Will Durgan and Charlie Barker weighed in with an assist apiece.

Bulldogs’ Under-14s get an attack going on the edge of the Whitley Bay zone.

Oliver Jardine (2) and Max Torre were the Whitley players to find a way past returning netminder Jacob Mardell, who impressed in between the pipes for the hosts, making 28 saves on his way to picking up the Spirit of the Game Award.

Shortly after, it was the Under-18s’ turn to take to the ice and, like the 14s before them, they dominated the first period, building up a 3-0 lead through strikes from Damarni James, Malachi Budd and Logan Jean-Jacques.

The second period was a more even affair with Whitley hitting back on the power play through Matt Bentham before Budd grabbed his second at 36.52.

Head coach Andy Brown, far left, gives his Under-14s instructions during the first period break.

James doubled his tally early in the third to give the hosts a four-goal cushion, although Whitley refused to lie down when pulling it back to 5-3 with just over 10 minutes remaining.

But the Bulldogs struck three times in as many minutes to put paid to any hopes of a comeback. James struck twice more for an impressive four-goal haul – one of them on the PP – with Jean-Jacques completing the scoring with his second of the game at 57.09.

Widnes put to the sword by 13s and 18s

Coach Andy Brown talks to his 13s during a period break in their 21-3 win over hosts Widnes.

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 comforts allow 15s and 11s to get better of Whitley Bay

HOME ice proved an advantage for our Under-11s and Under-15s when they each recorded deserved victories against Whitley Bay on Saturday.

Bulldogs’ Under-15s after their 9-4 win against Whitley Bay.

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 gets down to smother a shot on goal.

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.

Bench coach Andy Bourke gives instructions to the Under-11s during a period break in the win against Whitley Bay.

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.

Weekend Review – 18s and 13s v Whitley Bay and Kingston Sharks

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.

Bulldogs’ head coach Andy Brown on recent GB training camps at Ice Sheffield

NOW LISTEN UP! Bulldogs’ head coach and GB Under-18 assistant coach Andy Brown (centre) instructs the GB Under-18s attending last week’s training camp at Ice Sheffield. Picture courtesy of Ice Hockey UK Media.

BULLDOGS’ head coach Andy Brown believes there is an abundance of young talent coming through in GB hockey – something made clear at a three-day camp held at Ice Sheffield last week.

Andy was down there in his role as assistant coach for the GB under-18s, one of several national age-group teams taking part, with over 200 youngsters attending.

The camp began on Thursday with two on-ice practices each for GB U18s Women and GB U16s Women, as well as off-ice activities, including strength and conditioning. 

On Friday, the men’s GB Under-20s, Under-18s and Under-16s – including Bulldogs’ very own Gregor Mills – took to the ice twice, before all three sides returned the following day for their final sessions of the camp. 

The youngsters also had gym fitness sessions at the nearby English Institute for Sport and there were also off-ice workshops.

In addition, GB Women’s captain Saffron Allen met with the youngsters on Thursday while GB Men’s forward Liam Kirk – who finished as joint-top goalscorer at the recent World Championships in Riga and last week agreed a three-year NHL entry-level contract with Arizona Coyotes – was the special guest on Friday. 

Given how long it had been since some of the youngsters had been together due to the pandemic, Andy said he was impressed with the level of skill and effort produced throughout the camp, something which bodes well for next season’s hoped-for IIHF World Championship campaigns for the various GB teams – although dates and venues are yet to be confirmed by the governing body.

FUTURE PROSPECTS: Youngsters taking part in last week’s GB Under-20 training camp at Ice Sheffield listen to their coaches during practice. Picture courtesy of Ice Hockey UK Media.

Because of the various lockdowns all over the world, no GB teams – other than the GB men’s team under Pete Russell – have been able to compete on the world stage since early 2020.

“The GB selection process is slightly different this year as we’ve been able to secure ice for two ‘identification camps’ to allow the coaches at each age group a chance to have a really good look at players before the trials start properly,” said Andy.

“It’s something we thought would be needed this year given the amount of time that some of the players have been off the ice due to the pandemic.

“I was surprised by the high standard shown at all age groups and it’s hopefully a great indicator that GB will be extremely competitive in the World championships next season.”