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Thread: Elite Ice Hockey League 2014/2015

  1. #51
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    There isn't any room for an EIHL team at the moment...

    A few years before the Vipers folded I remember the league announced that they wanted a 6 team league. They obviously realised a 6 team league would destroy the league so stuck with 10.

    I cant see them expanding the league any more, although they need to make their minds up what they want.
    As I said earlier in this thread, a London franchise has already been awarded and the league have already gone on record as saying that they expect the team to be in place in time for the 2014-15 season. Considering that Neil Black is behind the Wembley team, there is no chance that the league will refuse a Wembley team.

    LINK

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  2. #52
    IHF Member Viperdan's Avatar
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    A league with 11 teams? Odd... literally


  3. #53
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    A league with 11 teams? Odd... literally
    The EPL will have nine teams in 2014-15. NIHL1S had nine last year and while they will have ten this year, NIHL2S will go down to eleven.

    I don't understand the obsession that many in British hockey have that leagues must have even numbers. The only significant issue that this will create for the EIHL is that it doesn't fit into the conference system. But, given that there was a move to scrap the conference system this summer, an eleventh team will likely be seen as a good excuse to force that change through.

    Look at the 2014-15 season EIHL schedule. How many days have all ten teams playing? From a quick check, only four in September and only two in October. If you are already having teams sit out on game nights, what difference does having another team make?

    Scheduling will be difficult because it is an arena team. But, given that it is arena teams that the EIHL want, ways will be found around that.

    Graham.
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  4. #54
    IHF Member Viperdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    The EPL will have nine teams in 2014-15. NIHL1S had nine last year and while they will have ten this year, NIHL2S will go down to eleven.

    I don't understand the obsession that many in British hockey have that leagues must have even numbers. The only significant issue that this will create for the EIHL is that it doesn't fit into the conference system. But, given that there was a move to scrap the conference system this summer, an eleventh team will likely be seen as a good excuse to force that change through.

    Look at the 2014-15 season EIHL schedule. How many days have all ten teams playing? From a quick check, only four in September and only two in October. If you are already having teams sit out on game nights, what difference does having another team make?

    Scheduling will be difficult because it is an arena team. But, given that it is arena teams that the EIHL want, ways will be found around that.

    Graham.
    As you say, a conference system would have to be scrapped...

    Unless they get a team like Guildford or Basingstoke to move back to the EIHL. It was rumoured (along with hundreds of other rumours) that both teams wanted top flight hockey. Has anything else been said on that matter?

    It was rumoured the season after the Vipers folded, so 2012.


  5. #55
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    As you say, a conference system would have to be scrapped...
    I don't think you can say that, either. You can only say that the conference system couldn't exist in it's current format. Since playoff qualification is based on league positions and not conference positions, you need to ensure that all teams play the same number of games regardless of which conference they play in.

    But, you could have a conference system more like the previous NHL playoff qualification set-up and have an uneven number of teams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    Unless they get a team like Guildford or Basingstoke to move back to the EIHL. It was rumoured (along with hundreds of other rumours) that both teams wanted top flight hockey. Has anything else been said on that matter?
    There are no lower league teams expressing any interest in stepping up at present. They have no motivation to do so because they'll lose fans as they stop being a successful team and become whipping boys in the EIHL.

    The only exception to that is Telford. Scholes does have ambition, but, if they were to step up, it's several years away.

    Graham.
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  6. #56
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-s...wales-26850025

    Some views of Cardiffs new rink. Looks impressive!
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

  7. #57
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    It does look very nice, the surrounding area looks wonderful as well. Might have to take a trip over to Wales next season to see it in person.

  8. #58
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starkovs View Post
    It does look very nice, the surrounding area looks wonderful as well. Might have to take a trip over to Wales next season to see it in person.
    I might encourage me to take my first ever visit to Cardiff too!
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

  9. #59
    IHF Member Viperdan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    I might encourage me to take my first ever visit to Cardiff too!
    Hopefully the rec teams move into that new rink. Then I may have the chance to play there.


  10. #60
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    Hopefully the rec teams move into that new rink. Then I may have the chance to play there.
    Why which team do you play for? If you don't mind telling us all :D
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  11. #61
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Nottingham Panthers have signed a few players on 'short term contracts for the Champions league'. The link is about the signing on Martins Raitums, Latvian goalie. There is also Colby Cohen, US Dman who played 3 games for the Colorado Avalance. Are these JUST for the CHL or is it just the way they are wording it? Does any body know?

    If they are it is similar to what the EuroLeague basketball teams usually do, Stack their roster with really good imports just for the EL run then let them go afterwards.

    Also the Nottingham Panthers CHL jerseys are revealed
    http://www.panthers.co.uk/content/ch...hoot-unveiled#

    http://www.panthers.co.uk/content/la...eague-campaign
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  12. #62
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Longtime Cardiff Devil Max Birbraer was not offered a new contract by Cardiff's new ownership. He was apparently even willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay a Devil, as he now makes his home in Cardiff and married a local girl whom he has dated for years.

    I am friends with Max on Facebook, and I can tell you that literally hundreds of his Cardiff fans have poured on to his FB page to post messages of support and criticize the new owners. Max declined to say what the reasons were for them not offering him a contract.

    Although he is, in hockey terms, aging (born in 1980) and has been injury prone, he plays a physical, 'power forward' style, and has been one of the better EIHL import players over the past 8 years or so.

    Meanwhile, none of the other EIHL teams came calling, it appears.....he is playing this season with the Telford Tigers of the EPL. I have to imagine that he instantly becomes the best player in that league. With that said, and no disrespect to the EPL, Max should be playing in a better league. Why no other EIHL team offered him a contract is a mystery to me.

  13. #63
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Longtime Cardiff Devil Max Birbraer was not offered a new contract by Cardiff's new ownership. He was apparently even willing to take a "hometown discount" to stay a Devil, as he now makes his home in Cardiff and married a local girl whom he has dated for years.

    I am friends with Max on Facebook, and I can tell you that literally hundreds of his Cardiff fans have poured on to his FB page to post messages of support and criticize the new owners. Max declined to say what the reasons were for them not offering him a contract.

    Although he is, in hockey terms, aging (born in 1980) and has been injury prone, he plays a physical, 'power forward' style, and has been one of the better EIHL import players over the past 8 years or so.

    Meanwhile, none of the other EIHL teams came calling, it appears.....he is playing this season with the Telford Tigers of the EPL. I have to imagine that he instantly becomes the best player in that league. With that said, and no disrespect to the EPL, Max should be playing in a better league. Why no other EIHL team offered him a contract is a mystery to me.
    Looking at the quality of leagues their other imports are from it doesn't look like a wise move to let Max go, especially on a discount too! He's proven consistent in the EIHL and even had 50pts last season! It looks like the new Canuck owners have decided to build Team ECHL instead though. I'm sure he will become a favourite at Telford and he's probably on more money there too!
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  14. #64
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Nothing against him, but I'm not overly surprised that he wasn't offered a contract. Cardiff are an ambitious team and not making the playoffs last season was unacceptable to them. A wholesale change was always on the cards, particularly given the new ownership. While Birbraer has typically been one of the best imports, they've dropped down the standing every single season since 2010-11 (2nd -> 4th -> 5th -> 9th). Given those three years of decreasing performances, I don't think it's a surprise that the only three import Devils that have survived the chop all have very, very short Devils careers so far.

    It's not to say that the decision by the Cardiff management is right, but I do think it is entirely understandable and not completely against standard team personnel policy.

    While he will be one of the better players in the EPL, I think you are doing the league a disservice saying that he will surely be the best. If Fussey and Huppe come back from this season strong then, along with Kristoffersson, I think Guildford have a trio of imports that should strike fear into every team that they face.

    I think it's a genuine concern for the EPL. We already had a situation where the weakest teams were struggling to stay competitive, forcing the withdrawal of Slough from the league. Given how much Telford and Guildford seem to be raising the bar this summer, I have a real fear that the EPL is in the process of ripping itself apart.

    Graham.
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  15. #65
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Last year was his first in seven EIHL seasons where he scored less than a point per game. However, he saw time on defense and played for a weak squad.

    In seven EIHL seasons, he has scored 163 goals and posted 245 assists for 408 points in 363 games. He has also played in 19 playoff games, scoring 22 points. On top of that, he can play multiple positions and has been one of the league's toughest players.

    He won't turn 34 years of age until December of 2014.

    You can count the number of better players in the EIHL on your fingers.

    How no EIHL team offered him a contract is beyond me.

  16. #66
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Last year was his first in seven EIHL seasons where he scored less than a point per game. However, he saw time on defense and played for a weak squad.
    In seven EIHL seasons, he has scored 163 goals and posted 245 assists for 408 points in 363 games. He has also played in 19 playoff games, scoring 22 points. On top of that, he can play multiple positions and has been one of the league's toughest players.[/QUOTE]

    But, that's irrelevant in a team that is in decline. In the space of three seasons, they've gone from a team that lost the league title on regulation wins (they were tied on points with Sheffield), lost the playoff final by a single goal and set a world record for unbeaten games to a team that failed to meet the playoffs.

    Regardless of whether or not you think Cardiff's ambitions are realistic (I personally think that they are not), Cardiff has always been an ambitious club. It's entire business model has been based upon being one of the top teams in the country. Over the past two seasons in particular, this is a club that is seen to have massively underachieved.

    Therefore, it should not be a surprise that all players who have been a part of that three season slide are not being asked to return to the club. Particularly players who were expected to be leaders in the dressing room. And trust me, the stories that I'm hearing coming out of that dressing room don't paint a pretty picture. Cardiff was a team ripe for a root and branch rebuild.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    You can count the number of better players in the EIHL on your fingers.
    I'd agree that the Max Birbraer of 2010-11 was a top 10 player in the league, but that was the last time that he was. He's still a very, very good player. There's not a single team that wouldn't have put him on at least their second line last season. For a significant number of teams, he'd be first line. But, he's not top 10 any more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    How no EIHL team offered him a contract is beyond me.
    I think you need to look deeper into the players that are being signed by EIHL teams this summer. The AHL experience level has significantly shot up. There are a couple of theories around this. One is that teams have been allowed to drop an expensive Brit so they have more money to spend on better imports. Another is that the currency exchange rate is very much in the pound's favour just now, so there has been an increase in the spending power of the teams in the UK. That second one, in particular, may have badly effected Birbraer because that increased spending power will only apply to players who are based in North America. Birbraer, being based in the UK, will be relatively expensive this season.

    But, I think it also needs to be accepted that we are talking about a player who is relatively old for the EIHL and who has three disappointing seasons behind, both on a personal level and at a team level. He'll be seen as a risk by many teams. With so many players currently trying to come to the UK to take advantage of the stronger pound, teams don't need to take a risk just now. And British hockey teams tend to be very risk adverse. It's why British kids can't get an opportunity with the top league.

    Ultimately, I think the EPL will be very good for his career. He will be a top draw player again. It's a physical enough league that his style of play will be very, very suitable to it. He'll have more time on the puck, so his slowing down through age won't be a problem. He'll be able to more than compensate for that with his hockey brain. At 33, he was coming to the end of his EIHL career. In the EPL, if he stays relatively healthy, he could genuinely have added another decade to his playing life.

    And he's done it early enough that he seems to be coming out of the EIHL relatively healthy. The longer he stayed in that league, the more likely he'd be less healthy going into the EPL and seeing his overall hockey career shortened as a result.

    Graham.
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  17. #67
    IHF Member Garethw87's Avatar
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    While I agree with you Graham, especially about Birbraer in the current EPL, it still seems odd why a team like say Dundee, Fife, Hull didn't bother offering Max a deal?

    Off subject of Max... I didn't notice this signing! http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=13399

    Nathan Robinson for Nottingham! 331 DEL games and 261 AHL games with good point margins to go with it. Surely one of the best signings of the season. (Obviously he could be horrible but if he can cut it in the DEL for so long I doubt he will flop)
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  18. #68
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham View Post
    I think you need to look deeper into the players that are being signed by EIHL teams this summer. The AHL experience level has significantly shot up. There are a couple of theories around this. One is that teams have been allowed to drop an expensive Brit so they have more money to spend on better imports. Another is that the currency exchange rate is very much in the pound's favour just now, so there has been an increase in the spending power of the teams in the UK. That second one, in particular, may have badly effected Birbraer because that increased spending power will only apply to players who are based in North America. Birbraer, being based in the UK, will be relatively expensive this season.
    And the new rule expanding on imports to take advantage of the IIHF 2-year clause doesn't hurt recruiting AHLers when you can say "play here for a couple of years, get a passport, and you can go to the World Championships."

    The EPL will still provide a good platform for Birbraer to maintain his fitness and skills for national team competition, if available for it.
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  19. #69
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garethw87 View Post
    While I agree with you Graham, especially about Birbraer in the current EPL, it still seems odd why a team like say Dundee, Fife, Hull didn't bother offering Max a deal?
    Every single one of those teams finished above Cardiff and made the playoffs last year. Why would they want to bring in a 33-year old player from a weaker team, one where questions have been publicly asked about the attitude in the dressing room, when there are much cheaper players coming straight from the ECHL who are in their mid-twenties and who don't have the same injury concerns?

    The only team who finished below Cardiff last year was Edinburgh. Considering how tight a budget that team runs on, I've no doubt that Birbraer could not make himself financially attractive to that team. Would not suprise me if Birbaer is now playing in a team with a larger budget than Edinburgh's.

    I think the bit that isn't being acknoweldged in this thread is that 33 years old is not especially young for an EIHL player to be stepping down to the EPL. The EIHL isn't typically a league where players go deep into their careers. Last year, the 5th oldest player in the league was only 38. And, imports do make very good money in the EPL. In many cases, players step down to the EPL for a pay rise and it would not suprise me one bit if Birbaer is getting more money at Telford than any EIHL team was prepared to offer him.

    It's the downside for imports playing in an import-laden league. The resource pool that teams can pull in from is huge. Therefore, players have to expect to be discarded much earlier in their careers.

    Kenton Smith is only one year older and has stepped down from EIHL to EPL this season, for example.

    Graham.
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Last year was his first in seven EIHL seasons where he scored less than a point per game. However, he saw time on defense and played for a weak squad.

    In seven EIHL seasons, he has scored 163 goals and posted 245 assists for 408 points in 363 games. He has also played in 19 playoff games, scoring 22 points. On top of that, he can play multiple positions and has been one of the league's toughest players.

    He won't turn 34 years of age until December of 2014.

    You can count the number of better players in the EIHL on your fingers.

    How no EIHL team offered him a contract is beyond me.
    I've always been a big Birbraer fan but his game has declined in the past few seasons. He would of been a good pick up for one of the lower end EIHL teams but reality is he can earn more money at Telford in the EPL.

    In terms of being one of the top 10 players in the EIHL, no where near. Next season with the quality of import signed he probably wouldn't of been in the top 75 let alone top 10

  21. #71
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I can understand Cardiff looking to cut ties with practically all of its veterans, including its imports, after the debacle of last season. But the seasons before that were not bad seasons. In addition, Max was hurt most of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and when he did play, he was more than a point per game producer - so Cardiff's slide can hardly be blamed on him.

    Insofar as last season's debacle, there were issues with ownership and the coaching staff which hurt team morale. And while it was the first season where Max put up less than a point per game in the EIHL, he still scored 50 points on a terrible team and finally stayed healthy despite continuing to play his hard-nosed, North American power forward type of style.

    The other thing to remember is that Cardiff's terrible record last season is still a bit of an illusion, given that the EIHL is essentially split into an "A-league" and a "B-league," with limited interplay between the two levels. And Cardiff is an "A-league" team. Dundee, Fife and Hull are "B-league" clubs.

    I can't blame Max for going to Telford if he's making better money there than on one of the smaller budget EIHL teams. Likewise, Telford, while in England, is near the Welsh border and is 'only' a 2, 2.5 hour drive from Max's home in Cardiff.

    As for where he's at now, in my view a player's prime hockey decade is from 24 through 33 years of age. He's still in his prime, though at the end of it.

    In my view, you can't name ten offensemen in the EIHL that are, right now, better than him.

    I expect him to rip the EPL apart.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    In my view, you can't name ten offensemen in the EIHL that are, right now, better than him.

    I expect him to rip the EPL apart.
    I could honestly name you a lot more than 10. I think either you are either underestimating the rise in EIHL standard or the play of Birbraer. Even Cardiff fans have commentated about his reduced effect on the team. He will be one of the top players in the EPL and hopefully the less physical nature of the league will prolong his career.

    Here is a great video tribute of his time in Wales if anyone wants to watch - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9BdIs_U_iw

  23. #73
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Ok, give me ten offensemen that are better in the EIHL. Name them. Back it up with stats.

  24. #74
    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    In addition, Max was hurt most of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and when he did play, he was more than a point per game producer - so Cardiff's slide can hardly be blamed on him.
    If he's out of the lineup, he wouldn't be contributing anyway. As Graham said, its better for the club to take a player who is cheaper, younger and not injury prone. So he was hurt for two seasons and then didn't have a great season last year, but we're talking about a competitive sport where "what can you do for me now" weighs in decisions. Loyalty can only go so far.
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  25. #75
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I can understand Cardiff looking to cut ties with practically all of its veterans, including its imports, after the debacle of last season. But the seasons before that were not bad seasons.
    The season before, Cardiff only finished 5th in the league and were bottom of their conference.

    Even the year before, they'd gone from a team who only lost the league on regulation wins to a team who finished 4th and 14 wins behind the champions. Had there been a conference system that year, they'd have finished tied on points with Coventry for last place.

    By the standards Cardiff set themselves, none of those three seasons are acceptable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    In addition, Max was hurt most of 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and when he did play, he was more than a point per game producer - so Cardiff's slide can hardly be blamed on him.

    Insofar as last season's debacle, there were issues with ownership and the coaching staff which hurt team morale.
    It's a team game. Personal stats count for nothing if you don't have the silverware to back it up. That is particualrly true when you are a veteran in the dressing room and have had an 'A' put on your jersey.

    Comes back to my earlier comment about the ease with which you can replace imports. You're pulling in from a huge market place. Cardiff will not struggle to find a player 10 years younger who can produce similar stats. Therefore, to justify keeping his place, he needs to show that his veteran status is adding something. Given those three consecutive years of decline and just how bad the attitude in the Cardiff dressing room is believed to have been last year, I still don't see how it can be seen as a surprise that he was not re-signed.

    Doesn't matter why the dressing room was bad. With that letter on the front of his jersey, it was part of his job description to make the team rise above it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    The other thing to remember is that Cardiff's terrible record last season is still a bit of an illusion, given that the EIHL is essentially split into an "A-league" and a "B-league," with limited interplay between the two levels. And Cardiff is an "A-league" team. Dundee, Fife and Hull are "B-league" clubs.
    Irrelevant. You think that's any consolation to the Cardiff fans when they realised they weren't playing in the playoffs for the first time in years? Cardiff signed a team to make the playoffs given the league structure. They failed to do that, therefore they underachieved regardless of the league structure.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    As for where he's at now, in my view a player's prime hockey decade is from 24 through 33 years of age. He's still in his prime, though at the end of it.
    And, as I said before, that statement is fundamentally not true in the EIHL. Because of the size of the talent pool available to teams, 33 is quite old for that league. To be allowed to play beyond your early 30s in the league, you generally have to be a superstar who has had no injury concerns in their career. Over the past three years, Birbaer has not been that. Even if Cardiff had had an average season last year, I wouldn't have been suprised if they still decided to call time on his Devils career.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I expect him to rip the EPL apart.
    He will be a superstar in that league, for sure. But, so should any EIHL player stepping down. Have a look at the three imports Guildford have this year. Birbaer is not in a class of his own in the EPL. All three of those guys are at least at his level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Ok, give me ten offensemen that are better in the EIHL. Name them. Back it up with stats.
    He was only 65th in the league on points per game. He didn't play in defence enough to justify being that far down the scoring list. There were even 7 defencemen, who played the entire season in defence, who out-performed his offensive stats. The year before, he was 32nd on points per game despite playing the whole season (albeit injury shortened) as a forward. The year before, he was 19th. Even in 2010-11, his last really good year on a personal level, he was only 11th.

    But, to answer your specific question, without even having to think about it and in no particular order:

    Ryan Ginand
    Ned Lukacevic
    Nico Sacchetti
    Adam Henrich
    Jordan Fulton
    Rob Sirianni
    Tomas Kurka (showing that Birbraer wasn't even the best player in Cardiff)
    Guillaume Doucet
    Jereme Tendler
    Kevin Saurette

    A few comments on the above list. I wouldn't even say that's my top 10, just 10 players that immediately spring to mind. A lot of them are from the "B-league" teams, which shows that Birbaer can't use a "weaker Cardiff Devils" as a valid defence.

    And for statistical evidence, look at their points per game from this season. Only once in his entire EIHL career has Birbaer scored more points per game than six of them. For four of them, he's never scored at a higher pace. That despite the league being noticeably down on goals this year.

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
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  26. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Ok, give me ten offensemen that are better in the EIHL. Name them. Back it up with stats.
    See Graham's list for EIHL season 13/14, as he said that was just 10 that came to his head, a lot more could be named. I'll name 25 for the upcoming season (there are more than 25 who could be named):

    Kevin Saurrette
    Mike Kompon
    Mark McCutcheon
    Evan Cheverie
    Matt Keith
    Stefan Meyer
    Brent Walton
    Joey Martin
    Joey Haddadd
    Jereme Tendler
    Ashley Tait
    Jade Galbraith
    John Mitchell
    Jordan Fulton
    Ned Lukacevic
    Bruce Graham
    Nathan Robinson
    Mark Lee
    Chris Higgins
    David Clarke
    Robert Dowd
    Mike Forney
    Tyler Mosienko
    Colton Fretter
    Matheiu Roy

  27. #77
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Very few of these guys have consistently produced year in, year out the way Max has. Regardless of anything else, he's good enough to still be a top line player in the EIHL. I would have liked to see him stay in the league.

  28. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viperdan View Post
    Hopefully the rec teams move into that new rink. Then I may have the chance to play there.
    Guess from my avatar haha.


  29. #79
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    Mike kompon becomes a giant

    MIKE KOMPON BECOMES A GIANT

    Mike Kompon Joins The Belfast Giants Roster For Season 15

    The Stena Line Belfast Giants are pleased to announce the signing of Mike Kompon on a one year deal that sees the Canadian become the latest recruit to the Elite League Champions forward line for their 15th Season.

    READ THE FULL STORY HERE


  30. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Very few of these guys have consistently produced year in, year out the way Max has. Regardless of anything else, he's good enough to still be a top line player in the EIHL. I would have liked to see him stay in the league.
    I agree with this!
    Dinamo Riga, Manchester Storm

  31. #81
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Very few of these guys have consistently produced year in, year out the way Max has.
    Birbraer hasn't had a good season since 2010-11. The reasons why the following three seasons haven't been good years for him are irrelevant. If you have three bad seasons in a row, only that cold hard fact matters.

    But, taking the 10 names that I quoted above from last season:

    Ryan Ginand - Played AHL in 2 of the 3 previous seasons, was a top 10 scorer in Italy in the other season.

    Ned Lukacevic - With the exception of 10 games in Asia last season, EIHL is the lowest that has ever played. Rich AHL and ECHL pedigree.

    Nico Sacchetti - Only 24, so not had the chance to build consistency, yet. But, so good last year that he has gone to the VHL this season.

    Adam Henrich - Top 15 scorer for two years in Italy before coming last year. This was his second year in a row as top 5 on PPG in the EIHL.

    Jordan Fulton - As solid an ECHL career as Birbraer and 21st in Denmark the year before he came to Fife.

    Rob Sirianni - Straight from AHL to outstanding career in Italy. Consistently top 10 scorer, there, including twice being top scorer.

    Tomas Kurka - EIHL was the lowest he had ever played in an outstanding career. Did so well, he's joining Sacchetti in the VHL next season.

    Guillaume Doucet - Only 27. Put in such a good performance, he's stepping up to the Danish league this season.

    Jereme Tendler - In 2010/11, was only one place behind Birbaer in PPG for 12th overall. That was his first of what is now four very strong seasons in the EIHL. Last season was his best yet, but it wasn't out of synch with expectations for him.

    Kevin Saurette - Consistent point-a-gamer for four seasons in the German Bundesliga (arguably stronger than the EIHL) before coming to the EIHL.


    To be honest, look at Jordan Fulton's career in more detail before passing judgement on these players. He has the solid but short ECHL career that we'd typically expect of a top EIHL import and a season in a slightly stronger European league in which he won a league title. In his first season in the EIHL he scored at a rate Birbraer has only once matched in his whole EIHL career and did that at a time when scoring was higher than it was now. Cardiff, with their smaller ice surface than Kirkcaldy's, have also typically been more offensively minded than Fife.

    And Jordan Fulton is only 26. He's already shown enough consistency to offer as good a guarantee as you'll ever get in sport. He's already shown enough leadership that he also wears an 'A' for the Flyers. And he's got another seven seasons until he's Birbraer's age. And he did all of that while collecting 182 penalty minutes (he was actually signed for his grit more than his scoring because of Fife's poor road form the season before). That's a first line player in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 EIHL.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Regardless of anything else he's good enough to still be a top line player in the EIHL.
    After last season, I think the only team in the league that would have him as a top-liner would be Edinburgh. In that list above, I have listed one Dundee, two Fife and two Hull players. All 'B-League' teams.

    Birbaer is now a second line player at best for the Gardiner conference teams (Edinburgh excepted). For the Erhardt conference teams, he's now a third liner at the start of the season who may show enough of a return to form to get himself some second line ice time as the season progresses. But, given the standard of player that is being brought into the league this summer, he'd find that hard. Producing consistently year in, year out doesn't get you ice time. Only how you will perform in that game.

    To be honest, I think you're over-estimating the size of impact he's made on the league. In his seven seasons in the league, he was a top 20 player for the first four seasons. In the third and fourth, there is certainly an argument that he was top 10. For his last three, he has definitely not been a top 20 player.

    I understand that you have an affinity with the player and not the team. But, I strongly believe that you are letting that emotional connection cloud your judgement. A 33-year old import with three poor seasons behind him does not get re-signed in the EIHL and nor should he expect to.

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
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  32. #82
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I openly admit that I'm a big fan of Max's. On top of that, I know him a tiny bit.

    With that being said, the majority of the guys on Britlight's list don't have anything on Max.....and don't have his long history of production. Of your list, I'd put about a half dozen above him. Max, incidentally, had stints in the AHL, VHL and Bundesliga/DEL2 as well.

    I don't see how you say he's had three "bad" seasons. Other than last season, when he still put up 50 points, he was more than a point per game player.

    He's too good, in my opinion, to spend anything more than this coming year in the EPL.

    I'm not sure if he did get any other EIHL offers or not - he hasn't told me, and I'm not close enough to him to ask. My guess is that Telford offered him the best combination of money and proximity to Wales.

    A few years ago, Max had been playing for his hometown club, Kazzinc Torpedo Ust Kamenogorsk, in the VHL. He had a slow start but had picked up his production. He ultimately chose to leave and returned to the EIHL after a short German stint because Cardiff had become home to him, and, more importantly, his then-girlfriend and now wife was there, and he didn't want to be away from her for long stretches.

    We can argue whether he's still top ten in the league or not. I don't think it's realistically arguable, given his history and current health, to say that he wouldn't be one of the top 20-25 offense men in the EIHL......meaning he should still be a top line player.

    But that's just my opinion. You're certainly entitled to disagree.

    I do agree that with his age creeping up and his past injury history, and his being established as a Cardiff resident in the UK for several years, it does make good business sense for EIHL teams to take a chance on younger, cheaper talent with a similar (albeit less established) pedigree.

    With that said, he'd be a great pickup for an EIHL team looking for a still productive veteran presence.

  33. #83
    IHF Staff Graham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    With that being said, the majority of the guys on Britlight's list don't have anything on Max.....and don't have his long history of production. Of your list, I'd put about a half dozen above him. Max, incidentally, had stints in the AHL, VHL and Bundesliga/DEL2 as well.
    In that case, I'd have to challenge you and name the four players you believe that are better than him at this moment in time. You've asked the same of us...

    And yes, he has played in higher leagues. But, he's 33 and hasn't played in the VHL/Bundesliga for 5 years and AHL for 10 years. There are 10 years worth of AHL players fighting for his spot now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I don't see how you say he's had three "bad" seasons. Other than last season, when he still put up 50 points, he was more than a point per game player.
    You're too hung up on his points per game. EIHL teams don't work with huge squads. If an import is injured, the team is generally a player down. Birbraer was signed to score 70 points a season. The fact that he would possibly have done that had he played a full season is irrelevant. All that is relevant is that he's not been a 70 point player since 2010-11. Cardiff did not pay him to score 37/38 points a season, even if those points were scored in 30/36 games.

    The simple fact is that the 30+ points he didn't score for Cardiff whilst he was injured have had a huge effect on the team. Had he returned to being an 87 point player (his highest ever EIHL total), maybe he'd have got away with it because there would have been hope that he was an impact player in the league again. But he didn't, and so he didn't.

    Based upon the last three seasons, Birbraer is a risk for any team who sign him. Telford, included. The EIHL don't need to take risks on their signing policy because of the size of the resource pool that they can draw upon. Telford's pool is much smaller because they can't sign players who need work permits. Birbraer is a risk that is worth taking for them.

    Graham.
    "It's very hard to talk quantum using a language originally designed to tell other monkeys where the ripe fruit is."
    ---
    "Night Watch", Terry Pratchett

  34. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    I openly admit that I'm a big fan of Max's. On top of that, I know him a tiny bit.

    With that being said, the majority of the guys on Britlight's list don't have anything on Max.....and don't have his long history of production. Of your list, I'd put about a half dozen above him. Max, incidentally, had stints in the AHL, VHL and Bundesliga/DEL2 as
    Who would you put above him?

  35. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by britlight View Post
    Who would you put above him?
    Sorry meant to say who would you put him above?

  36. #86
    IHF Member Viperdan's Avatar
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    I personally do not like the conference system. They should just stick to the one league, with one league standings. Rather than having conferences.


  37. #87
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Britlight, I'd put him above Mark McCutcheon, equivalent to Kevin Saurette, equivalent to Brent Walton, equivalent to Joey Martin, equivalent to Joey Haddad, equivalent to or slightly above Jereme Tendler, (with apologies to my British friends) better than Ashley Tait, above John Mitchell, above Jordan Fulton, equivalent to Ned Lukacevic, equivalent to Bruce Graham, better than Chris Higgins, equivalent to David Clarke (who is Nottingham's captain and a first liner), better than Robert Dowd (again, apologies to my UK friends), equivalent to Mike Forney, above Tyler Mosienko (due to his size advantage and physical play), equivalent to Mathieu Roy.

  38. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Britlight, I'd put him above Mark McCutcheon, equivalent to Kevin Saurette, equivalent to Brent Walton, equivalent to Joey Martin, equivalent to Joey Haddad, equivalent to or slightly above Jereme Tendler, (with apologies to my British friends) better than Ashley Tait, above John Mitchell, above Jordan Fulton, equivalent to Ned Lukacevic, equivalent to Bruce Graham, better than Chris Higgins, equivalent to David Clarke (who is Nottingham's captain and a first liner), better than Robert Dowd (again, apologies to my UK friends), equivalent to Mike Forney, above Tyler Mosienko (due to his size advantage and physical play), equivalent to Mathieu Roy.
    Okay Marc it's pretty clear from that, that you have a beyond inflated opinion (understatement) of Max Birbraer. The biggest fans of Birbraer, who watch him week in & week out would disagree with you as well. I don't know what else to say really, I don't think your open to suggestions of people who have watched for the past 5 or so years. I honestly don't think one fan who follows EIHL (as in watches games) would agree with what you put above

  39. #89
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    We'll have to agree to disagree. Stats don't lie, for a start, and many of these guys don't have the long history of consistent production that Max does. Of the guys who do, the stat lines are very similar. Most of them aren't as physical or as versatile as Max (Max also plays defense when needed). Many of them are similar in age. The guys on your list who I didn't mention, incidentally, I rate ahead of Max.

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    We'll have to agree to disagree. Stats don't lie, for a start, and many of these guys don't have the long history of consistent production that Max does. Of the guys who do, the stat lines are very similar. Most of them aren't as physical or as versatile as Max (Max also plays defense when needed). Many of them are similar in age. The guys on your list who I didn't mention, incidentally, I rate ahead of Max.
    We will have to agree to disagree as you say. Even though Birbraer is clearly not the player you are making out (for anyone who watches EIHL), it is still hard to understand how you can rate him above someone like John Mitchell who is "6'5 and straight off a 2-way NHL contract, has played every game of his professional career in the AHL bar 3 and has played more games in the AHL than Birbraer ever did and with a better PPG average. In your opinion though clearly Birbraer who hasn't played in the AHL for over 10 years and was nothing more than average in the ECHL & CHL was easily good enough to of been on a 2-way NHL contract last season

  41. #91
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    John Mitchell has never played an NHL game, and scored at a 0.30 ppg pace in the AHL. He's played roughly 30 more AHL games than Max. Max scored at a 0.24 ppg pace in the AHL, when he was fresh out of Junior A - a GIANT jump up in level to the AHL from second tier Canadian junior hockey - and wasn't even in his prime yet. And the AHL was a better league back then as compared to now, because there weren't as many restrictions on veteran players playing in the league back then, so the rosters were stronger than they are now. And John Mitchell hasn't shown he can produce in the EIHL on a big rink yet, or in any European league, for that matter. Max has.

  42. #92
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    5.9.14

    Dundee Stars - Belfast Giants 1:4 (0:1, 1:2, 0:1)*
    0:1 - 18.24 Ray Sawada (Peacock, Elfring) PP
    0:2 - 23.03 Craig Peacock (Kompon) PP
    0:3 - 25.36 Darryl Lloyd (Cheverie)
    1:3 - 36.40 Brad Plumton (Mitchell, McCluskey)
    1:4 - 59.58 Evan Cheverie (Elfring, Murphy)
    PIM: 7x2+2x5 - 5x2+1x5x10 SOG: x-x Att: -

    *Counts towards Challenge Cup

  43. #93
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    6.9.14 - Challenge Cup

    Braehead Clan - Belfast Giants 4:3/SO (1:2, 1:0, 1:1, 0:0-1:0)
    0:1 - 10.01 Evan Cheverie (Sawada, Sandrock)
    0:2 - 16.58 Ray Sawada (Cheverie, Shields) PP
    1:2 - 18.44 Neil Trimm (Pitt)
    2:2 - 28.27 Lee Esders (Frank, Davies)
    3:2 - 41.23 Derek Roehl (Keith, Aarssen)
    3:3 - 58.38 Robby Sandrock (Cheverie, Lloyd) PP
    4:3 - 65.00 ---
    PIM: 5x2 - 2x2 SOG: 37-36 Att: 3373

  44. #94
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    6.9.14

    Cardiff Devils - Hull Stingrays 3:2/OT (1:1, 1:0, 0:1, 1:0)
    0:1 - 05.23 Dominic Osman (Tanaka, Hervato)
    1:1 - 05.55 Jake Morissette (Lord) PP
    2:1 - 26.37 Joey Martin (Lord, Morissette) PP
    2:2 - 52.51 Cory Tanaka (Galbraith)
    3:2 - 60.46 Jake Morissette PS
    PIM: 9x2+1x10 - 11x2+1x10 SOG: 34-16 Att: 1382

    Fife Flyers - Coventry Blaze 0:1 (0:0, 0:1, 0:0)
    0:1 - 27.12 Rory Rawlyk (Lee, Egener)
    PIM: 4x2 - 7x2 SOG: 31-37 Att: 2733

  45. #95
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    7.9.14 - Challenge Cup

    Edinburgh Capitals - Belfast Giants 1:2 (0:1, 1:1, 0:0)
    0:1 - 12.11 Kevin Saurette (Keefe, Cheverie)
    0:2 - 26.46 Kevin Saurette(2) (Shields, Sawada)
    1:2 - 31.18 Greg Collins (Emmerson)
    PIM: 7x2+1x10+1x5x10 - 7x2+1x10 SOG: 26-36 Att: 767

    Cardiff Devils - Sheffield Steelers 2:3 (0:0, 2:3, 0:0)
    1:0 - 21.22 Joey Martin (Hotham, Walton)
    1:1 - 24.19 Mathieu Roy (Forney, Kohn)
    1:2 - 25.05 Jason Hewitt (Hill)
    2:2 - 29.31 Chris Culligan (Haddad, Marsh) SH
    2:3 - 31.36 Mathieu Roy(2) (Eddy, Fretter)
    PIM: 10x2+1x5+1x10+1x5x10 - 11x2+2x5 SOG: 28-26 Att: 1886

  46. #96
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    7.9.14

    Coventry Blaze - Fife Flyers 4:2 (1:0, 1:2, 2:0)
    1:0 - 04.26 Mike Egener (Tait)
    1:1 - 21.44 Jordan Fulton (Chaumont, Auger)
    2:1 - 25.47 Kyle Bochek (Goertzen) PP
    2:2 - 29.34 Kyle Haines (Reber, Auger) PP
    3:2 - 43.19 Ben Arnt (Tait, O'Marra)
    4:2 - 59.40 Russell Cowley (O'Marra) EN
    PIM: 7x2 - 5x2 SOG: 29-32 Att: 1988

    Hull Stingrays - Braehead Clan 6:8 (3:4, 1:2, 2:2)
    0:1 - 03.11 Chris Frank
    0:2 - 03.46 Leigh Salters (Trimm, Pitt)
    1:2 - 04.33 Jordan Mayer (Lauzon)
    1:3 - 06.31 Leigh Salters(2) (Trimm, Pitt)
    1:4 - 11.21 Matt Haywood (Frank, Esders)
    2:4 - 14.34 Sam Towner (Lauzon)
    3:4 - 18.31 Eric Galbraith (Davies, Mayer)
    3:5 - 21.09 Neil Trimm (Keith, Pitt) PP
    3:6 - 29.08 Scott Pitt (Trimm, Davies) PP
    4:6 - 39.32 Zach Hervato (Tanaka, Lauzon)
    4:7 - 40.17 Neil Trimm(2) (Pitt)
    5:7 - 51.59 Matthew Davies
    6:7 - 56.49 Jordan Mayer(2) (Lauzon, Davies) PP
    6:8 - 59.59 Leigh Salters(3) EN
    PIM: 9x2 - 8x2 SOG: 39-29 Att: -

  47. #97
    IHF Staff Starkovs's Avatar
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    Sheffield Steelers have announced that due to ongoing works at Motopoint Arena, the club is forced to move their home opener on Sunday over to Ice Sheffield.

    http://www.eliteleague.co.uk/steeler...unday--p193542

  48. #98
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    12.9.14

    Belfast Giants - Edinburgh Capitals 8:2 (2:1, 2:1, 4:0)*
    1:0 - 08.11 Colin Shields (Cheverie, Sawada)
    1:1 - 14.12 Dennis Rix (Portwood, Grimaldi)
    2:1 - 17.38 Ray Sawada (Shields, Elfring) PP
    2:2 - 24.54 Jade Portwood PS
    3:2 - 30.01 Evan Cheverie (Sawada, Shields)
    4:2 - 35.58 Kevin Saurete (Kompon, Sandrock)
    5:2 - 40.36 Evan Cheverie(2) (Sawada, Sandrock)
    6:2 - 43.23 Ray Sawada(2) (Lloyd, Elfring) PP
    7:2 - 47.19 Craig Peacock (Phillips, Saurette) SH
    8:2 - 54.58 Craig Peacock(2) (Sawada, Shields)
    PIM: 5x2 - 11x2 SOG: 54-28 Att: 3723

    *Counts towards Challenge Cup

  49. #99
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    13.9.14 - Challenge Cup

    Belfast Giants - Braehead Clan 3:4/OT (0:2, 1:1, 2:0, 0:1)
    0:1 - 01.48 Stefan Meyer (Davies, Keith)
    0:2 - 02.11 Lee Esders (Haywood, Roehl)
    0:3 - 27.55 Leigh Salters (Trimm, Aarssen) PP
    1:3 - 36.43 Colin Shields (Keefe, Lloyd)
    2:3 - 45.32 Colin Shields(2) (Elfring, Cheverie) PP
    3:3 - 58.39 Jeff Mason (Shields, Keefe)
    3:4 - 60.34 Neil Trimm (Pitt) PP
    PIM: 6x2 - 5x2 SOG: 34-25 Att: 3923

  50. #100
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    13.9.14

    Hull Stingrays - Edinburgh Capitals 2:5 (0:0, 2:3, 0:2)
    0:1 - 22.56 Jade Portwood (Rix, Naslund)
    1:1 - 25.37 Carl Lauzon (Tanaka)
    2:1 - 26.23 Dominic Osman (Hervato)
    2:2 - 36.50 Rene Jarolin (Hartmann, Petran)
    2:3 - 37.10 Joe Grimaldi (Rix, Naslund)
    2:4 - 44.20 Dennis Rix (Jarolin, Petran)
    2:5 - 59.27 Jade Portwood(2) (Rix, Jarolin) EN
    PIM: 2x2 - 6x2+1x5 SOG: 43-27 Att: -

    Coventry Blaze - Dundee Stars 4:0 (3:0, 0:0, 1:0)
    1:0 - 09.51 Steven Goertzen (Cescon, Chalmers)
    2:0 - 14.31 Jereme Tendler (Tait, Arnt)
    3:0 - 14.56 Ashley Tait (Lee, Griffn)
    4:0 - 43.40 James Griffin (Goertzen, Arnt)
    PIM: 7x2 - 5x2 SOG: 38-33 Att: 1901

    Nottingham Panthers - Cardiff Devils 3:1 (2:1, 1:0, 0:0)*
    1:0 - 06.14 Bruce Graham (Benedict)
    1:1 - 08.28 Chris Culligan (Hudson, Hotham) PP
    2:1 - 15.09 Maxime Langelier-Parent (Jacina)
    3:1 - 30.42 Cody Wild (Lachowicz, Jacina) SH
    PIM: 6x2+1x4+1x5 - 10x2+1x5 SOG: 26-19 Att: 4907

    Fife Flyers - Sheffield Steelers 4:5/SO (1:1, 0:2, 3:1, 0:0-0:1)
    1:0 - 07.09 Josh Scoon (Haines)
    1:1 - 14.10 Darrell Hay (Roy, Baldwin)
    1:2 - 35.27 Michael Forney (Roy, Hay) SH
    1:3 - 36.58 Robert Dowd (Latulippe, Phillips)
    2:3 - 41.45 Chris Auger (Chaumont)
    3:3 - 45.20 Ned Lukacevic (Auger, Wands)
    3:4 - 57.01 Michael Forney(2) (Roy, Eddy)
    4:4 - 59.51 Jordan Fulton (Chaumont, Auger)
    4:5 - 65.00 ---
    PIM: 7x2+1x4+1x10+1x5x10 - 9x2+1x4+1x5 SOG: 30-41 Att: 2078

    *Counts towards Challenge Cup

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