Match Report

Bulldogs off to flier in NIHL North Two season opener with 8-0 win over Nottingham Lions

Our Bradford Bulldogs NIHL team got their NIHL Division Two North campaign off to a flier at Bradford Ice Arena yesterday, beating Nottingham Lions 8-0.

The hosts got off to the perfect start when Josh Reynolds fired home with just eight seconds on the clock and were 4-0 ahead after the first 20 through further strikes from Liam Salt (2) and Josh Stockton.

Andy Brown’s team were able to maintain the momentum in the second when Reynolds added his second at 20.28, with Connor Medley getting on the scoresheet just over seven minutes later.Matt Barlow then got in on the act at 33.14 with a shorthanded effort before doubling his tally just over two minutes later.

No further goals came in the third, but the hard work had already been done in a dominating display. Matt Viney weighed in with three assists, with other helpers coming from Stockton (2), Penn (2) and Ben Derbyshire, Abi Culshaw, Reynolds, Medley, Dean Boothroyd, Barlow and Chris Butler.

Elsewhere, the only other Division Two game of the opening day of the season saw Sheffield Titans win 4-2 at Coventry Blaze.

Not surprisingly, head coach Brown declared himself pleased with his players’ efforts, particularly after being away so long from competitive hockey.

Bulldogs’ head coach, Andy Brown

“As starts to the season go that was really good,” he said. “We’d had a good couple of workouts in the warm-up games against Altrincham the weekend before but nothing beats having something on the line.

“It was great to get back to proper, full-on competitive hockey. There were some good performances out there for us and, so far, it looks good for the season ahead.”

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.

U13: Coventry 1 – Bradford 10

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.