Elks strike late to roll past Thunder
THE Widnes-based Earle Road Elks ice hockey team picked up their first-ever piece of silverware after beating the Trafford Thunder in a dramatic final at the inaugural recreational ice hockey tournament held at Planet Ice Widnes over the weekend.
The Elks had finished second in the B Competition qualifying group stage with two wins from their three games, with the only defeat coming against the Thunder who topped the group with three wins from three.
The final was incredibly close with the Elks taking the lead after just three IN the Widnes & District Darts League last Friday evening, the latter stages of the Jason Bright President Pairs took place during the Mill Brow League RTB Finals & Presentation Night at the Mill Brow SC.
In the Jason Bright’s President Pairs semi-finals – sponsored by Chris & Linda Bright – Paul Linger was back in action with Dave Powell as his partner as they took on Karl Whitfield & Ste Whitfield.
They proceeded to take the tie in two straight legs to go through into the final.
In the second semi-final, Sean Bell & Terry Roach went through by default as their opponents Jamie Doneghan & Brian Dutton failed to attend.
In the final, the Mill Brow pairing of Paul Linger & Dave Powell took on Goldmine duo Sean Bell & Terry Roach – and they found themselves down as they lost the first leg.
Paul and Dave nipped in to take the next, however, to level at one apiece. And a further win ensured Paul & Dave’s victory by two games to one. ● minutes and then having to defend against waves of Thunder attacks, picking up several penalties and, at one point, having three players in the penalty box at once.
The Altrincham-based Thunder team finally managed to equalise, setting up a thrilling last few minutes during which the result could easily have gone either way.
Then, with the prospect of a penalty shoot-out looming, the Elks broke away and fired in the winning goal with just seconds left on the clock.
The tournament victory represents a huge success for the Widnes rink’s least experienced team which only began playing com- petitive games earlier this year.
The other Widnes team in the B group, the Halton Huskies, finished third overall with one win from their three games beating bottom team Coventry Centurions before losing to both the Thunder and Elks.
In a separate competition held at the same time, the Widnes-based Riverside Raiders team had a difficult time, playing with a reduced roster and losing all four of their group games.
The A Competition – which was for more experienced teams – was dominated by the Coventry Snipers, a team comprised mainly of Czech and Slovak players who are now living in England, who won all four of their group games, conceding just one goal while scoring 28.
The Snipers beat second place Altrincham Jets 6-0 in a slightly one-sided final and the Deeside– based Flintshire Phantoms saw off the Blackpool Seagulls 4-1 to secure third place. ● THE next competitive ice hockey game at Planet Ice Widnes is on Sunday, July 29 when the Riverside Raiders take on the Kingston City Knights in their final home group game of the Summer Classic Cup competition. Face-off is at 4.30pm and admission is free of charge.
Jason Bright President Pairs winners Paul Linger and Dave Powell celebrate their success on the Finals & Presentation Night at Mill Brow SC.
The Earle Road Elks celebrate their success in the ice hockey tournament held in Widnes.