Three of the Sutton Sting’s U12 players who were crowned League Champions at U14’s only two weeks ago have been crowned champions again. This time it is for the Midlands Conference team that has been competing in the EIHA Conference Tournament in Hull.
The Tournament is an annual event involving teams from the South-East, South-West, North, Scotland and the Midlands. The teams are made up of players selected from the Clubs from their Conference with the Midlands teams players coming from Nottingham, Sheffield, Coventry, Telford, Flintshire, Solihull and Sutton. This year in the U11 team three of the seventeen players were from Sutton Sting and it was the first time that a player from Sutton Sting had been selected at U11 level.
Sting netminder Lewis King, defenceman Ryan Apsley and forward James Spencer have all been attending special training sessions since their selection last November. They went to Den Haag, Holland to compete in an international tournament in March as part of their preparations for the Conference Tournament in Hull which took place over the week-end Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Playing in a team considered to be the best players for their age group, the three boys from the Sting have worked tirelessly to prepare themselves for the contest with the other conference teams and they knew they would be up against some of the best ice hockey players in the UK at their age.
In the first game on Saturday they faced the Northern Conference. It was a tight game and the Midlands had to come from behind to win 5-4. On Sunday the Midlands played two games, first up was the South-West who were beaten 5-1 and later in the afternoon they played the South-East and won again, 3-0. Going in to Sunday and the final group game against Scotland the Midlands had won 3 from 3 and the team was playing really well. It was a 6am start for the youngsters and the Midlands was the fresher team winning 2-0 and gaining a place in the final against their first opponents, the Northern Conference.
The final was a really tense affair for the first period with both teams battling hard. The North took the lead twice only for the Midlands to come straight back. With a change of tactics by their Coach the Midlands got their noses in front and in the final 15 minutes stamped their authority over the proceedings and netted three goals without reply to win 5-2.
After the game Sting player Ryan Apsley said. “Coach Glossop told me to stick tight to their play-maker Kieran Brown. He is a brilliant player and I tried my best to stop him. We won so I suppose I did ok? I am so pleased we won.” Sting netminder Lewis King was equally pleased and said. “It’s been a really good week-end, I’ve loved it. We have won and I’m dead proud!” Northern Conference forward Kieran Brown was voted Player of the Tournament by the organisers and also made one of the All-Star players so for the Sting trio to have stopped him winning it was a great achievement. Forward James Spencer said. “It’s been great and I’ve had a good time. We have won and that is good for us too.”
Watching the Conference for the first time was Sting Chairman Ian Johnson who said. “The week-end is a great celebration of ice hockey and for me watching our U11’s as well as our U13, Brady Doxey play for the Midlands Conference it tells me that Sutton Sting is doing the right thing.” He went on; “If we can get kids to win at this level then our plan is working. All we need to do now is get more kids involved at the bottom end so that we can see more kids come out at this level. I am thrilled for the U11’s and for Brady too who played for the U13 team. They have all worked hard all season and now they are enjoying their time in the spotlight.”
Playing at U13 level, Sting U12 captain, Brady Doxey, was the only Sting representative in the Midlands U13's and he too was involved over the week-end. The Midlands U13's made the final against the South-West who on the day were the stronger side. Although the The Midlands tied on points with the South-West in the group games they lost out 4-0 in the Final game and finished with the silver medal.
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 06:52