NIHL South weekend preview

Invicta Dynamos’ Head Coach Kevin Parrish has targeted a four-point weekend as his team look to keep their fading NIHL1 South title hopes alive.

Last week’s 6-2 defeat at league leaders Chelmsford Chieftains left Invicta in fourth place, twelve points behind their Essex rivals but with three games in hand.

They travel to London Raiders on Saturday, before returning to home ice the following day to face Oxford City Stars.

Parrish commented: “We need four points – it’s as simple as that. We’ve shown on our day that we can be more than a match for anyone, but we need to make sure we play for all three periods.

“We’ve got four winnable games between now and the Christmas break and I want us going into those few weeks off unbeaten and pushing towards the top.

“The fans make a massive difference and I urge them to be loud and proud for us at both games this weekend as they truly are the extra man on the ice for us.”

Oxford have boosted their roster ahead of the Invicta game with the signing of netminder Tom Annetts from the EPL’s Bracknell Bees.

The 28-year-old has played over 200 games at the higher level for Bracknell, Guildford Flames, Slough Jets and Basingstoke Bison.

Head Coach Simon Anderson said: “Having the opportunity to sign someone of Tom’s ability and experience was something I couldn’t turn down once he became available.

“Tom has played for some first class organisations in the EPL for his whole career and he is going to be a massive signing for us.

“He is a consummate professional, who will bring a first class attitude and ability to our team. We are excited to have Tom on board and look forward to seeing him in a Stars jersey.”

Slough Jets have signed Luke Martin-Digby from Bracknell Hornets. The forward stepped up to NIHL1S in the summer after enjoying a successful season with Slough, winning the D2 Cup and and South East Conference title, and returns to the Hangar just in time for Saturday’s game at Peterborough Islanders.

“Slough is where I learnt my trade, so it’s always a special place for me,” said Martin-Digby. “Leaving in August to go to Hornets in NIHL1 was always a challenge and I’m grateful to Danny Hughes for giving me the chance, but now I’m back and ready to give my all.”

Swindon Wildcats NIHL host Basingstoke Buffalo on Sunday looking to build on last weekend’s impressive cup victory against Bristol Pitbulls. Player/Coach Dan Sullivan was understandably delighted with the 6-1 success.

He said: “It was a fantastic performance by the lads. Everyone was ready for the game. Having a week off meant we could really focus on our systems during training and we kept Bristol to the outside and our defensive zone play was spot on.

“To get a result like this in front of a good home crowd has given us a lot of confidence and this run gives us a chance in the league and the cup – I’m really proud of every single player right now.”

“We’ve won our last three games so if we can keep our performances as they have been, we can really show the fans what we are capable of.

“Although we’ve been putting in professional performances, we’re not going to get carried away. You have to remain calm and focused and the harder you work, the luckier you get.

“We have to believe there’ll be more good days than bad. This is a young team and we are moving in the right direction.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

NIHL1 South

Saturday

Chelmsford Chieftains v Streatham Redskins
London Raiders v Invicta Dynamos

Sunday

Invicta Dynamos v Oxford City Stars
MK Thunder v Streatham Redskins

NIHL2 South

Saturday

Haringey Racers v Bristol Pitbulls (Cup)
Invicta Mustangs v Chelmsford Warriors
Peterborough Islanders v Slough Jets

Sunday

Swindon Wildcats NIHL v Basingstoke Buffalo

(Image permission: David Trevallion)

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