Hull Pirates are still awaiting confirmation of the 2017/18 fixture list from the English Ice Hockey Association with the season due to face off on the 2nd of September.
Richard Carpenter, manager for the National Ice Hockey League said via Twitter “The NIHL1 fixtures are nearly done”. “I took the decision to delay release today (of the fixtures) due to some last minute issues that have cropped up”. Carpenter went on to acknowledge that there is frustration amongst the clubs and fans alike but reiterated that it was crucial to get things right and he anticipated that the fixtures would be ready to go by this mid week.
As much as the fixture list is eagerly awaited by the fans, Saturday 26th August is the date of the defence of the cup. No not Hull FC at Wembley hoping to defend the Challenge Cup, but the first leg of the preseason double header versus the Sheffield Steeldogs, were Jason Hewitt’s men will be striving to defend the Bradfield Brewery Cup they won in dramatic circumstances last season, overturning a first leg deficit to win the cup on penalties.
The home leg will face off at 6pm whilst the Pirates travel to the steel city the following night to face-off at 5:30pm.
Hopefully it will be a cup winning weekend for our West Hull based rugby league side AND the Hull Pirates.
Meanwhile coach Hewitt has been busy adding further additions to his 2017/18 squad, with four more additions in recent weeks. As with the previous signings earlier in the summer, the emphasis has been adding local talent to the playing roster.
18 year old defenceman Tom Stubley has returned to home ice after a year with the Peterborough Phantoms. Joining Stubley next season at the Hull Arena will be a trio of locally trained players.
Aaron Lyon who played his junior hockey in Hull and Sheffield, before a stint in Canada at the Ontario Hockey Academy is joined by Kieran Beach who joins the Pirates from Hull Jets and the third of the trio is a familiar face to Pirates fans, Cain Taylor. The 17 year old was on last season’s roster and he will be looking shine with more ice time.
The trio all forwards will be aiming to be post some big numbers for the Pirates this year to propel them up the NIHL division 1. Hewitt is definitely building a talented young squad that the fans will have an immediate connection and affinity with.
Here at FanaticHull we wish the Hull Pirates all the very best for the new season, and we will be there to cover them.
Here’s hoping the Pirates can make August 26th/27th a double cup winning weekend for this great City of ours.
Photos courtesy of: HullPirates.co.uk , Peterborough Phantoms & David Strover