December 10, 2011

Winners keep winning in the EIHL and EPL

There were 4 games in the EIHL on Saturday including an important home game for the Coventry Blaze. The midlands club who earlier in the week had appealed for support and had been receiving pledges from the local community and were hoping for a big crowd in their match up with the Sheffield.

Elite League

Sheffield Steelers 3 Coventry Blaze 1

Sheffield faced their second game of three this weekend buoyed by there overtime win against the league leaders Belfast but knew they would be facing a big crowd.

It was a tight and nervous game with the scores tied at 1 until the midway marker in the third period. It was the visitors who got the call through Jonathan Phillips before Mike Ramsay got the insurance marker.

The result means that the Steelers move in on second place with the 2 points.

Dundee Stars 2 Cardiff Devils 6

It was a tough start for the new Stars coach Brent Hughes as the Dundee side he inherited from Dan Ceman on Monday faced a Cardiff side that are always tough to beat at home.

It was a poor start for the Stars though as the Devils took a first period lead after less than 3 minutes through Scott Matzka but the second period saw a turn around in the away side as Hutchins brace kept the Stars in the game as Smith and Matzka added for the Devils.

The Devils have put the hammer down in the third period as Dobben, Birbraer and Batch scored without reply.

It was an important win for the Devils against a team that on paper they should have beaten. It was an important game also for the Stars but they know the real test for their new coach will be Sunday’s home game against fellow strugglers Fife.

Belfast Giants 3 Fife Flyers 1

The controversial end to the Giants game with Sheffield the previous night looked to have had a bad effect on them early in this game as the league’s bottom side Fife took the lead after 5 minutes.

Belfast though took hold of the game and equalised before the end of the first period. The Giants looked to have gotten their heads back together in the second as Dignard gave them the lead.

A solid defensive effort from the Flyers kept them in the game until the third period when Ryan Crane gave the Giants an insurance marker.

The Giants will happy to head back to Belfast with 3 points from the weekend and to have gotten that controversial game with Sheffield out of their system. The Flyers, on the other hand, should be proud of their performance and will look to take that forward into tomorrows game with Dundee.

Hull Stingrays 2 Braehead Clan 4

Braehead knew that a win was necessary given their shock to defeat to Fife last weekend whilst Hull also knew that a win would be needed to keep the pressure up in their race for a playoff spot.

Despite the Clan setting the pace it was the Stingrays that took the lead in the first 30 seconds of the second period. However the Clan kept the pressure up and equalised by the end of the period.

The second intermission though galvanised the Clan attack and they took control when play resumed. First of all Krestanovich got a brace then Mike Bayrack added. Hull did get a second goal late on through Jerome Tendler but the two points belong to the Clan.

It was an important victory for the Clan who bounced back from their shock defeat to the flyers and proved they can still win against those teams they need to beat in order to get a high ranking going into the play offs. Hull however will be disappointed not to come away from their only game this weekend.

English Premier League

The big clash in the EPL was in Slough where the third place Lightning were the visitors to the second place Jets. It was the Lightning who had the better of the first two periods but with 15 minutes to go the Jets turned on the style to take the two points. The Jets though remain in second place as the Guildford Flames won when they travelled north to Manchester to face an understrength Phoenix squad that was boosted by 3 members of their junior outfit. The Flames were made to work for it however as the Phoenix made a valiant comeback but could grab the equaliser.

It was a closer game Basingstoke as well as the Steeldogs kept their fourth place in the league by the odd goal in 9. Whilst in form Swindon Wildcats powered through showed their full potential against Bracknell. In the final game Peterborough moved of the foot of the table with a tight win against fellow strugglers Telford.

Guildford Flames 5 Manchester Phoenix 3
Sheffield Steeldogs 5 Basingstoke Bison 4
Milton Keynes Lightning 1 Slough Jets 3
Bracknell Bees 2 Swindon Wildcats 6
Peterborough Phantoms 2 Telford Tigers 4

Neil Tucker

EIHL -UK Round Up 9th December

Controversy Seals It On The Ice As It Hits Off The Ice As Well

Friday was another busy in the EIHL as the top placed Belfast Giants faced the Sheffield Steelers in the first televised game of the season, whilst second placed Nottingham hosted the Edinburgh Capitals at the NIC. Off the ice rumours were circulating that the EIHL had held an emergency secret meeting to address the financial crises now gripping teams including the Coventry Blaze. The outcome seems to be that the EIHL will change its management structure and employ an outside agent to govern the salary cap.

However in a repeat of a similar meeting nearly two years ago it seems not all clubs were invited. This time it appears that three out of the four Scottish clubs where not in attendance and it is unclear what their future will be although the rumour of a breakaway Northern league also resurfaced.

Belfast Giants 1 Sheffield Steelers 2 (AOT)
On the ice all eyes were on the clash in Sheffield in front of the Sky TV cameras. Belfast went into the game 8 points clear of the Steelers but the Sheffield team had played several less games. The Giants were also without a replacement for the long term injured Benoit Doucet whilst Sheffield were back to full strength with the signing of defenseman Francis Trudel.

It was the league leaders who took the advantage early on scoring through Jon Pelle in the first period. The Giants kept in control of the game as the Steelers went 0 for 8 on the powerplay.

But in the last minute of regulation the Giants shut off as Ashley Tait connected on to a Ryan Finnerty pass with 42 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

The Steelers kept up the pressure into the extra period and scored the winner 40 seconds through Jeff Legue despite it looking suspiciously offside.

It was a big win for the Steelers who keep up the pressure on the Giants but the win may proof to give the Sheffield side a bigger psychological edge in the title race later on in the season.

Edinburgh Capitals 2 Nottingham Panthers 6

Down the road in the NIC second place Nottingham were back to full strength and looking to take full advantage of the other two title contenders playing each other.

The Panthers set out their stall early on as Robert Lachowicz and Matt Francis both scored for a two-goal advantage at the first break. It was pressure that continued into the second period as the Panthers doubled the lead before the Capitals got back on the board before Jeff Heerema’s second put up the four goal lead into the final period.

The Capitals second goal came in the third period through Peter Holecko before David-Alexandre Beaureguard finished the scoring.

It was an important win 2 points for the Panthers who move a point closer to the Giants at the top of table.

Neil Tucker

Pominville pops Panthers in OT

Despite a solid night in net from former Albany River Rats netminder Scott Clemmensen, the Florida Panthers were edged by the Buffalo Sabres and Jason Pominville, 2-1 in overtime.  It was a tight, hard fought, down to the wire contest between both clubs.

Buffalo hopped on the board first, when late in the first Derek Roy was able to skate in and slip one past Clemmensen.  Roy’s seventh tally of the year, gave the Sabres a 1-0 edge. Yet Florida would respond with a marker of their own late in the second.  On the power-play, Jason Garrison from the circle, blasted his ninth of the season past Ryan Miller, knotting it up at 1-1.

After nothing was resolved in the third, the contest proceeded to OT. During the extra session, Paul Szczechura found a streaking Pominville up ice and the uncontested Pominville ripped one past Clemmensen for the winning tally.  Pominville’s tenth of the campaign helped the Sabres to an impressive win over the Southeast Division leading Panthers.

Additionally, Clemmensen stopped 18-of-20, while Miller turned away 22-of-23 between the pipes. With the victory Buffalo improves to 15-11-2 (32 points).  In defeat, Florida picks up a point and moves into a tie point-wise with the Philadelphia Flyers atop the Eastern Conference at 16-8-5 (37 points).

- Mike Gwizdala

December 9, 2011

Rangers struck by Lightning in 3-2 shootout loss

Things were going well for the New York Rangers (15-6-4) until a second half surge by the Tampa Bay Lightning (12-14-2) led to a 3-2 shootout loss for the Blueshirts. The Blueshirts have now dropped two straight games (0-1-1) following a five game winning streak.

New York started the night on a great note, as captain Ryan Callahan (11) recorded a power play goal at the 7:49 mark of the first period of play. Tampa Bay struck back in the second period as Ryan Malone (6) tallied an unassisted goal at the 11:23 mark.

The Blueshirts answered back on a shorthanded goal by Artem Anisimov (5) at the 13:23 mark of the second period for the 2-1 lead. Dominic Moore (2) responded with a shorthanded goal of his own for the Lightning at the 18:03 mark of the third.

Moore played a vital part to the Lighting victory, recording the game-winner in the shootout period for Tampa Bay. The Rangers meanwhile are denied the opportunity from becoming the fifth NHL team to record 2,500 wins.

New York cager Henrik Lundqvist earned the second star of the game with his 29 saves, as the keeper also now holds a .935 save percentage.

The Rangers will look to record their milestone victory on the road, in a Saturday showdown against the Sabres. The game between New York and Buffalo is slated to air on the MSG network, with face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

Isles singing the overtime blues in 3-2 loss to Blackhawks

The New York Islanders (9-12-6) showed resiliency and heart, but are still singing the overtime blues in their 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in Thursday night hockey action.  New York was bolstered by two goals by in the second and third periods to propel them to a well-earned point in the game.

“We battled back from a period we weren’t very happy with,” said blueliner Steve Staios after the game. Staios was vital to the Isles comeback effort, setting up the game-tying goal in the third period. “We have to get back to playing that 60 minute game that has been successful for us in the past few games.”

This marks the second time that the Blackhawks were able to gain a victory over the Isles in an overtime frame, as New York has still yet to gain the extra point in the extra period. The Isles fought throughout the night though, using goals by Travis Hamonic (1) and Michael Grabner (8) to make the 10,711 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum come to life.

“It was kind of a strange game, there were a lot of momentum shifts,” Hamonic said of the loss. “I think at some points we played well, and at others we didn’t play as well as we had in the past couple of weeks.”

The young blueliner continued to say, “By no means are we accepting this loss, but we got to be happy we got a point from a very good team (in Chicago).

New York has now been able to pick up 10 points in their last six games (4-0-2) thanks to improved play since the end of November. The night started off well for the Isles, who were creating a ton of chances on turnovers, and causing the Blackhawks to take an early penalty at the 9:10 mark of the first period.

Chicago grabbed the momentum on their first power play opportunity, when at the 11:42 mark Marian Hossa scored his 400th career goal. The Blackhawks sniper was able to tap in a loose puck that was hanging around the Islanders cage to open up the scoring.

Patrick Sharp (14) doubled the lead at the 2:23 mark of the third period, ripping a one-timer past Isles keeper Al Montoya’s blocker side. Montoya (25 saves) though held the Hawks at 2-0, as the Islanders blueline started the comeback effort with a big goal.

That big goal was in fact a big blast from Hamonic at the 18:21 mark as the Isles defenseman was able to blast from the post cut the Chicago lead to 2-1 before the end of the period. Staios then had his booming shot tipped in by Michael Grabner at the 10:52 mark of the third period.

“It always feels good to get a goal, it just would have much sweeter if we got the overtime victory,” Hamonic said of his goal in the game. “For myself personally I try to chip-in offensively, maybe this season I haven’t done as much as I have in the past, but I am hoping that now that the first one has gone in there will be more goals to come.”

Things started to get physical between the Blackhawks and the Islanders, as these two teams needed the overtime frame for the second meeting to decide the winner. Chicago skated away with the two points when Captain Sharp recorded the game-winner at the 1:34 mark of the overtime frame.

New York had chances during the course of the night to earn the two points against, what was a very good Blackhawks teams. The Islanders had a 5-on-3 power play which lasted 1:56, but every shot the team had either went wide or hit Chicago keeper Ray Emery (31 saves).

“Chicago has a good team,” Al Montoya said after the game. “We are starting to show that we can hang in there with the best in the NHL, we have been raising our game every single time. Tonight we saw where we were at and it was a good building block.”

The Isles will conclude this most recent homestand with a Saturday showdown with the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game between New York and Pittsburgh is slated to air on the MSG Plus network, with the face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Stacy Podelski

December 8, 2011

GetRealHockey has a ton of NHL stars on our friends list on Facebook

Check out GetRealHockey @  The blog has NHL, EPL and EIHL updates.  Our Facebook site is really busy with tons of  NHL players on our friends list.  Check the players out by joining our Facebook  friends @  Some of the players who are friends with us include; Claude Giroux (Philadelphia Flyers), Yannick Weber (Habs), Tomas Plekanec (Habs), Rick Nash (Columbus Blue Jackets), Barry Beck (NYRangers alumni), Ron Greschner ( NYRangers alumni), Chris Nilan (Habs alumni), Mario Lemieux (Pittsburgh Penguins alumni), Ryan Smyth (Edmonton Oilers), PK Subban (Habs), Antoine Vermette (Columbus Blue Jackets), Alexandre Picard (Pittsburgh Penguins), and Cam Ward (Carolina Hurricanes).

Our site keeps growing in popularity and the ranking rises on a regular basis.  We want to make this site a destination site for hockey fans. If you are a blogger and you have something to say about your favourite team we want to hear from you @ 

The Phoenix Coyotes Escape the Fallen King of Blackberry

Boy or boy;  it is good for Phoenix and the NHL that the King of RIM (Research in Motion) was unable to buy the Coyotes.  Jim Balsillie (the self anointed crown prince of Waterloo, Ontario) was in hot pursuit of the Coyotes not long ago.  He was very insistent on moving the team to Hamilton (Ontario) but he didn't count on the NHL and the community in Phoenix kicking back and saying no.  Since then Mr.Blasillie has had his hands full with the collapse of his company's stock price resulting from the IPHONE's successful assault on the Blackberry.  Billions of dollars later; Mr.Balsillie has got his hands full trying to save his company.  If he had been successful in acquiring the Coyotes; he would have two problems instead of one and the NHL team in Phoenix would be worse for the experience.

The desert rats of the NHL are quietly winning games and taking names.  The team beat the Blackhawks and Predators this week and they did so without fanfare.  They are up against the Red Wings tonight and if they win; they would be 3 for 3 on their latest road trip.  The team leads the Pacific Division of the NHL with 33 points and they show no signs of slowing down.  Dave Tippett (the head coach of the Coyotes) has done a brilliant job of rallying this team despite losing Bryzgalov to the Flyers in the off season.  Ray Whitney and Shane Doan are the veterans who are showing the young Coyotes how to win on a nightly basis.  This is a real team effort and every time they put another victory in the plus column; it is thanks to the entire roster.

Phoenix is a well oiled hockey machine.  They may now be  making tons of money but they are building something special right in the middle of the blazing desert.   The reason of the success is commitment and hockey knowledge.  Pay attention MR. RIM; not everything is about money and opportunity.  Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should do it.  If Mr.Balsillie had been focused on his company and not the Coyotes ; maybe he would have seen Apple coming and done something about it. Good luck to the Coyotes and good luck to RIM.  We hope both the team and the company make it out of their problems.     

The Get Real Guide to the Coventry Blaze: Building Success from the Ground Up

Founded: 2000

Colours: Black, White, Navy, Sky Blue

Home: Skydome Arena, Coventry

The Coventry Blaze are a team that has built its self up from the very bottom to become one of the most successful teams in British ice hockey over the last 10 years. And now features many of the Great Britain team as well as being coached by national team coach Paul Thompson.

The Blaze story though begins a short distance up the road with the Solihull Barons. The Barons were themselves a famous name in the 1980's and early 1990's but the race to professionalism and lack of a larger arena combined with some money issues left the Barons behind their counterparts in Sheffield and Nottingham. And so in 1996 the Barons where bought out and became the Solihull Blaze before in the year 2000 making the short move south to the new Skydome Arena in Coventry to become the Coventry Blaze.

Their move to the Skydome also saw the club maintain their place in the British National League and in 2003 with the formation of the new Elite League the Blaze made the jump to the top flight. In that first season in the top flight the side laid out their stall early beating eventual winners Sheffield 6-1 and the Manchester Phoenix 11-0 before finishing third in the league.

The following season the Blaze had there most successful season ever winning not only the Challenge Cup for their first ever piece of silverware but added the league title and the playoff trophy for grand slam.

The Blaze went on to win 3 more titles in the next 4 seasons adding a Challenge Cup victory in 2007 as well as a Knockout Cup win in 2008.

In all the Blaze are the most successful club in the Elite League but have so far this season hit some finaincial problems. As of now the future of the Blaze is unclear beyond this season but their raise to become a powerhouse of the game in Great Britain can only benefit the club going forward.


British National League Champions
British National League Play Off Champions
ñ2004–05, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10
ñ2004–05, 2006–07
Elite Ice Hockey League Charity Shield Champions

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Neil Tucker