Player of the Match: Callum Cove
D*ck of the Day: Callum Cove
This was the first game of the unofficial season for Wildcats' A’s and they went into it with a strong fight. For our international players this was their first match at Whitley Bay and for the Wildcats completely, so it was exciting for the whole team to come together! The game was fast paced and relentlessly end-to-end the entire game, with two goals scored by both teams in the first four minutes. Our goals were scored by Callum Cove and Moritz Schnell, assisted by Ngan Cheuk Long (Bob). The rest of the first period, the Gryphons dominated the score board scoring another five goals, however the A team kept fighting for every puck and didn’t let effort level or determination drop. Ben Bridgeman, once again, played incredibly in goal, stopping a huge number of shots taken on goal by Leeds. Paul Gailey took a two minute penalty for tripping, but the team managed to control the game and defend heavily to avoid any goals being scored while we were a player down! The first period ended 7-2 to the Gryphons.
The next two periods were very matched, with both teams scoring one more goal in each: our third goal scored by Max Walker, assisted by Bob and the fourth goal in the last period scored by Moritz, assisted by both Haydn Richards and Callum. It was a very well-fought, exciting game to watch against a very talented Leeds side, so we are hoping that their next match in Leeds on 06/11/21 will show a fairer score with respect to how well our A’s played!
Callum Cove managed to simultaneously be awarded Player of the Match from Leeds for his superb skills and shots, and D*ck of the Day for taking a two minute penalty for roughing, which in his words was “hardly roughing, just grabbed the guys cage when I had the puck cause he was being a pylon” – ice hockey terms for standing in the way! He also rightly deserved d*ck of the day for trying to get the other team a penalty with a very dramatic fall and what can only be described as doing the worm on ice – didn’t work and play carried on, but entertaining nonetheless.
Player of the match: Ben Bridgeman (Netminder/ goalie)
D*ck of the Day: Erin Hatton
Despite promises of a better matched ability team than our previous game against Glasgow Stags in preseason, which resulted 27-2 to them, Wildcats didn’t know what to expect going into this match, causing both apprehension and excitement to get back on the ice versus the Stags!
As the first official (post-trials) game for our Wildcats B team, everyone was super excited to play an actual match together again and to try out all the skills and drills we have been perfecting in training. The B team started strong with two goals within the first five minutes: the first from our very own player-coach Adam Roth and the second scored by our B team captain Zoe Dunnett, assisted by Adam. By the end of the first 20 minutes, the score was 6-0 to us, with the other four goals being scored by Adam (assist by Zoe), Eleanor Wager scoring her first goal for Newcastle Wildcats (assist by Adam), Paul Gailey and Andrew (Andy) Gleave! This match we came out fighting and the score reflected this. Although it was a slightly easier opposition compared to our previous game, we used this advantage to practice what we had been learning in training and continued to fight to gain goal difference.
In the second third, we continued to work hard as some of their stronger players took to the ice more frequently, our defenders back checking combined with Ben Bridgeman’s amazing performance in goal meant we kept their score at zero. Meanwhile, our attack were strong, fighting for the puck, keeping it in our zone and going for rebounds, which enabled us to score another six goals: starting with another goal from Andy, a power play goal from David Millar, another two goals with the combo from Adam assisted by Zoe and a goal from Haydn Richards. Our sixth goal in the second third came from Hannah Jones, one of our A team defenders playing down, who kept it in the zone and took a point shot which landed straight into the net!
Our final third was less point heavy, as we tried to work more on passing it round and giving everyone a chance to shoot on goal, including defenders, as we had already gained the point difference to win the game. The final two goals were, however, still scored by Adam, the top goal scorer for the game. A huge shout-out to Ben for an absolutely smashing game as goalie, keeping all of their shots out and resulting in a well-deserved player of the match chosen by the Leeds side!
It couldn’t be a Wildcats match report without explaining d*ck of the day! Despite many nominations: Paul Gailey for tripping himself up just forward skating to a face-off while everyone watched, Kathleen Bialik for taking a 2 minute penalty for tripping on her first game for the Wildcats, Rob Harris for being Rob Harris, the award went to Erin Hatton. There were numerous reasons: the main one being accidentally (we hope) tripping up one of the Stags newbies (he hit the ground HARD), not getting called for it and carrying on, but also for a little display of figure skating where she proceeded to fall very gracefully at the start of a face-off!
Editor's note: D*ck of the day is voted for by the team in humour and good nature, and not as a suggestion that any of the players are, in any way, d*cks.