This weekend, over 25 Wolves travelled up to Gateshead to compete in the 2018 Fantastic Fours tournament, organised by the North East Dekstars!
Three teams represented the club, all donning the new 25th Anniversary jerseys!
Here's how our teams got on:
The Wolfpack, made up of players from the Central Conference’s Hyenas and Timberwolves side, played in Group A during the opening round of fixtures. The Wolfpack finished the first round of fixtures with an 0-6-0 record, but there were still some highlights, including Andy Bolstridge’s behind the net goal against the Sheffield Steelers!
An inexperienced Wolfpack side battled hard all weekend and were unfortunate to end the weekend winless, losing to the Steelers in the quarter final.
Wolfpack coach Patrick Cox had the following to say:
"There was a family feel to the Wolfpack with the Smith’s, Bolstridge’s and Wyatt’s making up two thirds of the squad. They had a tough weekend in terms of results but that didn't dampen spirits on the bench. Being such a D heavy group of players meant several of them had to take a turn playing out of position up front, but the work rate was good all weekend and they were unfortunate not to take something from some of their games".
The second of our teams, the Coyotes, had a much more successful weekend. The side started as they meant to go on, with goals from assistant captain Ben Royle and captain Jordan Bartram in a 2-0 opening fixture win, in Group B! Finishing the opening round of fixtures with a 1-3-1 record, the Coyotes were placed in Tier Two Group A for the following round.
Day 1 finished with a 2-1 victory against Hellfish, before the Coyotes closed out the group stage with a 2-0-1 record, enough to win the group. This set the Coyotes up to play the Nottingham Titans in the quarter final, in which they came from behind to win 2-1, thanks to goals from Jordan Bartram and Aidan Cox!
The semi-final saw the Coyotes again meet the Hellfish, and again the Coyotes were forced to come from behind to win 2-1, which saw them advance to the final of the Tier Two competition!
The Coyotes, a side made up of predominantly junior players, rose to the occasion in the final. Two goals from Hadden Bolstridge and a string of top-draw saves from Richard Bennett saw the team crowned victorious in the Tier Two competition!
Assistant Captain Ben Clayton had the following to say:
"Although the goals didn’t come easily at the start of the weekend, we were determined and battled through, and thanks to the clinical backstopping of Richard Bennett, we were able to find a rhythm in front of goal eventually. The trophy was well deserved, with a tremendous effort from every member of the team".
The Wolves also had a largely successful tournament, initially competing in Group D! The side kicked off the tournament strongly, winning all five games on Saturday and topping their Tier One group stage the following morning.
The Wolves defeated the Greasley Bears in the quarter final, in part to a long-awaited goal from D-man James Brown, before going onto face Maidenhead in the semi-final.
A late power play, with the score tied at 1-1, granted the Wolves a late opportunity to win the game, but Hayden Johnson’s buzzer beater wasn’t enough to secure the victory, having conceded short handed just before.
The tie went to penalty shots, and a miraculous effort by the Maidenhead netminder to keep out all three Wolves shots saw the eventual Tier One winners go through to the final.
Here are Wolves club captain, Mick Donoghue’s thoughts on the weekend:
"We started well, winning our group playing fast, aggressive, passing hockey, and we upped our intensity in the second phase, winning the group which included the Dekstars, London Jets and Stanley. To remain undefeated in regulation (8-0-2) was a great achievement but we are all frustrated that we didn't bring the trophy home. I'm really proud of the lads, we played our game all weekend, imposed ourselves on the tournament and everybody made telling contributions. Onwards and upwards for the remaining tournaments this year and another go at the elusive F4s next year".
All in all, it was a great weekend of hockey for everyone from the Wolves, so we’d like to thank the Dekstars for once again putting on such a great tournament! There is plenty more hockey to come this season, and you can follow the club’s every move across all of our social media platforms and on our website.