Next weekend sees the start of the new Ice Hockey season in Hull. The EIHL1 season faces off on Saturday 9th September when the Pirates entertain Solihull and Sunday sees Hull’s second side the Jets begin their home campaign in the 2nd tier of the NIHL, Laidler Conference.
We will be bringing you a preview of the Pirates season later this week, but today we take a look at what our other senior ice hockey team can look forward to over the next seven months.
Head coach Andy Daintith will be joined on the benches this year by two vastly experienced assistants in Alan Hague and Paul Newlove who will be on hand to help negotiate a tough 36 game regular season.
Coach Daintith expects this season to be something of a ‘suck it and see’ situation due to the upheavals of the various leagues, with EPL teams such as the Pirates dropping down a level and what impact that could have on the EIHL1 in terms of results and attendances, but he believes that it won’t impact too much on NIHL2 and that the league can continue to be the breeding ground of British talent.
One player who won’t be icing for the Jets this year is Kieran Beach, 24 who has made the step up to the Pirates roster after a successful stint with the Jets. Beach is a prime example of the breeding of young British talent that is nurtured in the lower leagues been able to make that step and compete at a higher level.
Daintith outlined the expectations for the coming season by saying “Our aim is to be pushing for a top half league finish and play off spot”. He went on to say “With the group of guys we have this year it’s more than possible and if we hit the ground running then who knows where we can end up”.
On the competition Andy believes that the favourites to push for honours in EIHL2 this year are the likes of Altrincham Aces, Widnes Wild and next weeks opening opponents Sutton Sting who have stepped down to this level this year.
It what will prove to be a tough league coach Daintith sees consistency has the major factor in gaining success this season, with all sides strengthening their rosters over the summer, Daintith said ” If we are consistent week in, week out then we can surpass our targets for the season and surprise a few this year”.
So if you want a double hockey fix next weekend get down to the Hull Arena for the Pirates on Saturday and the Jets on Sunday.
Here at FanaticHull we will keep you abreast of all the Ice Hockey news in the City from the juniors at the Kingston Sharks, to the high flying Jets and the swashbuckling Pirates and everything in between.