BRADFORD Under-18s made sure they stayed top of Division One North with a 4-3 win over Telford at Bradford Ice Arena.
The game, however, was marred by an incident which saw the game end early and the Bulldogs getting the win. The incident is now being investigated by the English Ice Hockey Association. The club has issued a statement elsewhere on the website, while the EIHA have also issued a statement.
During the game, the hosts got off to the perfect start when, with just 17 seconds on the clock, captain Damarni James put his side in front, although a lively first minute concluded with Telford equalising 35 seconds later through Ben Everitt.
The visitors then got themselves ahead through Oscar Howells at 11.35 and there was to be no further scoring until the second period when Tom Mardell equalised at 25.21.
Charlie Webb’s 33rd-minute power play strike then saw Telford edge ahead again, but it wasn’t to be that way for long, Lucas Vince striking at 33.54 to add to his assist on James’s opener.
And it was James who was to get what proved the decisive goal, making it 4-3 at 51.02.
Elsewhere, the Under-14s headed to Nottingham hoping to avenge a heavy defeat to the East Midlands side at Bradford last month.
But they found themselves up against it when they were 4-0 down inside nine minutes, Dylan Hughes, Leland Stevens, Theo Thomas and Ewan Woodward all on target.
But the visitors rallied in the early part of the second, getting it back to 4-2 through strikes from Daragh Spawforth, at 16.17 and Danny Harrison at 23.11.
But a second for Woodward at 26.16 saw momentum swing back towards the home side, who made it 6-2 through Thomas’s second two minutes later.
In the third, further efforts from Tyler Parsons, Alfie Langridge and a hat-trick strike on the power play from Woodward made sure of the points before Frank O’Sullivan tipped in a consolation effort for the Bulldogs in the final minute.
On Saturday, our Under-12s kicked off their EIHA North Division campaign with a handsome 7-1 win at home to Whitley Bay.
Captain William Durgan led the way with four goals, the first two coming within the first five minutes.
William Simpson then made it 3-0 at 5.42 before Durgan sealed his hat-trick early in the second.
Kieran Smith then got in on the act with a short-handed strike at 36.34, with Charlie Barker making it 6-0 just under six minutes later.
Durgan then weighed in with a shorthanded effort of his own at 45.03 before Whitley got on the board through a power play strike from Evie-Mae Tindale at 46.08.
Shortly after, the Under-16s hosted Nottingham in an entertaining North Division One clash with both teams searching for their first win of the season.
It was Bradford who struck first with only 1.46 on the clock when Frank O’Sullivan pounced for his first-ever goal at Under-16 level, assisted by Oliver Massey.
Nottingham dominated in terms of shots but Callum Preston stood tall in the Bulldogs net, turning away 18 shots to ensure his team went in 1-0 ahead at the first break.
But Nottingham were level just 26 seconds into the second when Nocholas Martin struck with a short-handed effort.
The visitors then got themselves ahead through Luke Birchnall at 19.55, only for the hosts to then level through Daragh Spawforth – another notching his first goal at this level – just 37 seconds later, the assist going to Danny Harrison.
Into the third and it was the Bulldogs who were next to strike, O’Sullivan doubling his tally after good approach work by Harrison.
But three goals in less than a minute were to settle the game in the visitors’ favour, James Mather getting the equaliser at 36.42, with Birchnall getting his second just seven seconds later.
Theo Thomas then made it 5-3 shortly after which, despite the Bulldogs’ best efforts, is how it stayed, Harrison being awarded the Spirit of the Game award.