NIHL South preview: Chieftains boost title hopes

NIHL1 South title hopefuls Chelmsford Chieftains have boosted their roster with the signing of Olegs Lascenko.

The Latvian born, British trained forward was part of the Romford junior set-up from 2009-13, before joining Chelmsford for the 2013/14 D2S season.

Lascenko (above) iced for both Warriors in D2S and the club’s U18 team, scoring 36 goals with 25 assists from 33 games.

The following year Lascenko moved to HK Liepaja in Latvia, where he has been icing for their senior and junior teams.

Since the start of 2014 season he has been playing his hockey in Latvia for Liepaja Juniors and Seniors in Division One.

Head Coach Sean Easton said: “Olegs has a lot of skill and speed. He will definitely be a huge offensive threat for us with his playmaking ability and eye for goal.

“He is a complete professional in his approach to the sport, has a high compete level and battles hard to win everything.”

Lascenko is expected to make his debut at Oxford City Stars on Sunday.

London Raiders host Invicta Dynamos on Saturday, before travelling to Solent Devils the following day, aiming to snap a five-game losing streak.

The run has seen Raiders drop to seventh in the table and defenseman David Oliver is keen to halt the slide.

He said: “If we all stick to the game plan and our jobs we will start picking up the points and move up the league.

“We know Liam (Chong) is missing now for four weeks so we have to work with that and move on from it quickly. He will be a great miss on and off the ice, but that’s hockey, getting injured.

“At the moment we are in a bad run of games without picking up a win, but the work rate has been showed every game.

“It’s just small things from man-on-man marking, back-checking and with the teams we have played over the last few weekends it has hit us hard.”

In addition to the game at London, Invicta are also in action on Sunday as they welcome Wightlink Raiders to Kent.

Head Coach Kevin Parrish should have a full roster at his disposal with Adam McNicoll and Bailey Wootton back from injury, while Haydn & Taylor Wootton and Andy Henderson are also available for selection.

Parrish said: “It’s a good place to be at the moment with so many players to choose from. I always said at the start of the season that it will be a strong and deep roster that will see us go places this season.

“We’ve got a strong, hungry roster here now and it’s great to have the headache of having so many to choose from.

“We’ll ease both Adam and Bailey back in gently as there are lots of games to come over the coming weeks and months.

“The fans will play a massive part this weekend and we urge them to get right behind the side as we push for two more wins.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL1 South

Saturday

Bracknell Hornets v Cardiff Devils NIHL
London Raiders v Invicta Dynamos

Sunday

Invicta Dynamos v Wightlink Raiders
MK Thunder v Cardiff Devils NIHL
Oxford City Stars v Chelmsford Chieftains
Solent Devils v London Raiders

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Invicta Mustangs v Lee Valley Lions
Peterborough Islanders v Slough Jets

Sunday

Chelmsford Warriors v Haringey Racers
Wightlink Tigers v Cardiff Fire

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