Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stars Need to Keep Ice Cool at Telford

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Stars Need to Keep Ice Cool at Telford

Article excerpt

Byline: CAROL WHITE

MARK PATERSON/SKIDPIX BILLINGHAM Stars need to keep their composure as they look to consolidate second place in National Ice Hockey League (N) Moralee Division 1 with a long trip to Telford Tigers NIHL this afternoon followed by the big Tees-Tyne derby against Whitley Warriors at the Forum tomorrow evening.

This evening the Ultimate Windows-sponsored Stars are in Shropshire doing battle with basement club Telford Tigers NIHL.

Tipped to challenge further up the table by many at the start of the season, the Tigers have not really gelled and consequently have had a schizophrenic campaign.

They are two points adrift at the foot of the table and have played more games than their nearest rivals. The game this afternoon is their penultimate home game of the season - they will go on the road for the next five matches before meeting Whitley Warriors on home ice for their last game, by which point their fate may well have been sealed unless they can find some consistency and form on their travels.

They will see today's game as a must-win if they are to climb away from relegation trouble, and will hope that dangermen Luke and Adam Brittle can find the net and give them a platform to build on.

They also need to stay out of the sin bin, being the League's 'bad boys' in terms of penalty minutes accrued by quite some way.

Tomorrow evening is the big North-east derby at the Forum, with honours even thus far in the sixgame mini-series between the two sides.

The sides last met just two weeks ago on Tyneside, Billingham taking the points after a sterling performance between the pipes from James Flavell.

The Warriors are currently clinging onto a play-off spot, but their form on the road is poor and six of their last seven league games are away from home.

Their fight to stay in at least fourth place starts tomorrow evening, and the Stars can expect yet another tough game in front of a packed Forum Ice Arena crowd.

Billingham go into the weekend needing to recover their composure after a turbulent few games last weekend. The defeat to league leaders Solway Sharks looked heavy on paper, but in reality the match was much closer and the Stars were unlucky to come away on the wrong end of a 7-1 score line. …

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