NIHL South preview: Streatham welcome back Oravec

Streatham IHC have confirmed the signing of Slovakian forward Michal Oravec ahead of Saturday’s NIHL1 South Cup game at home to Chelmsford Chieftains.

The 35-year old (above) has spent the last 18 months with Invicta Dynamos and London Raiders, having previously iced with Streatham from 2012 to 2014.

Player/Coach Nicky Chinn said: “We all know what Mikey can do and he offers us more quality going forward.

“He is popular with the guys in the room and he will slot into the team straight away on and off the ice.”

The Dynamos meet the Raiders in the cup on Sunday aiming to build on last weekend’s excellent start to the campaign.

Dynamos saw off the Chieftains and Bracknell Hornets without conceding a goal, but Head Coach Kevin Parrish expects the Raiders’ much-changed roster to pose a stiff test.

“They are going to be a totally different team – Jacob Ranson is there, Euan King is there, Julian Smith is there, so they’re not a bad team at all.

“They’re going to be a good strong, tough team, so we’ve got to fight, battle and play our game.

“If we play our game we’ll be fine, but if we come off our game, then that’s when we’re going to struggle.

“We can’t get ahead of ourselves and we need to stay grounded.”

Raiders will also have another returnee in their ranks, with forward JJ Pitchley back with the club following spells at Bracknell and Basingstoke.

He said: “I can’t wait to get back on the ice and play competitive hockey again. I haven’t played a game since February due to concussions, so it’s been a long long summer for me.

“But I’m back to full strength and eagerly excited to put back on the gold and blue and get us back to the glory days of the Raiders.

“We’ve got a good bunch of guys in the room and things are coming along well on the ice and once we gel and get things going we’ll be challenging for the top spots.

“The league has got better once again and I don’t think anyone will be a clear winner this year, so every game and minute counts. You can’t afford to take any shifts off.”

In D2S, Lee Valley Lions face a difficult looking weekend as they travel to Peterborough Islanders on Saturday before returning to home ice to face Haringey Racers the following day.

Lions bounced back from an opening day cup defeat against Swindon Wildcats to draw 3-3 with Slough Jets in the league last weekend, and Head Coach George Alley was pleased with the point.

“The Slough game was a big step as a team, because they’ve now seen they can get points without key players,” said Alley.

“To play as well as they did without six players should give them a lot of confidence.

“This weekend will be a very good indicator as to how we cope physically, as we’re playing two teams that historically have used the body quite a lot.

“We ran Peterborough close a few times last season, but if we want to be consistent in this league, we need to be competing with them every time we face-off.

“Haringey is a very different type of challenge. Because it’s a derby, players tend to buy into the emotional aspects of the game which I don’t think is the right thing to do.

“Each game is different, but our approach can’t change just because their rink has a London postcode. We have to steer the same course, regardless of our opponents.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL 1 South

Saturday

Streatham Redskins v Chelmsford Chieftains (Cup)
Bracknell Hornets v Oxford City Stars (Cup)

Sunday

Chelmsford Chieftains v Solent Devils
Invicta Dynamos v London Raiders (Cup)
Oxford City Stars v Streatham Redskins

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Peterborough Islanders v Lee Valley Lions (Cup)
Slough Jets v Invicta Mustangs
Wightlink Buccaneers v Swindon Wildcats NIHL

Sunday

Lee Valley Lions v Haringey Racers

(Image permission: Rick Webb)

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