CUP fever hits the city this weekend as both Chelmsford Chieftains and Chelmsford Warriors ice hockey clubs have chances of lifting silverware.
In NIHL Division 2 South the Warriors beat the Haringey Racers 4-3 at Riverside on Saturday which sends them through to the NIHL2 Cup Finals weekend in Oxford. They face Bristol Pitbulls in the semi-final next Saturday, with the winners facing the winners of the other semi the following day.
The Chieftains are in NIHL Division 1 Cup Final action this coming weekend. They go head-to-head with Streatham Redskins over two legs in a bid to secure a treble of trophies this season.
With the league and South-East Trophy already under their belts, they travel to Streatham on Saturday before meeting at Riverside on Sunday in the second and final leg.
Face-off is at 6.30pm. Tickets are available on the night with doors opening at 5.30pm Last weekend the Chieftains rounded off their victorious league campaign with a winning weekend beating Milton Keynes Thunder and London Raiders.
On Saturday they travelled to MK to face the Thunder. After a quiet two periods of hockey in which the Champions were held 1-1 by the holders of this season’s wooden spoon, Chieftains moved up through the gears.
Goals from Tibor Schneider, Matt Turner, Michael Ranby (two), Grant Bartlett (two) and Luke Brittle (two) secured an 8-1 win in the dreaded MK temporary ice rink.
On Sunday a large following of Chieftains fans headed to Lee Valley, another temporary home. The home of the London Raiders, better known as the Romford Raiders. The two clubs have been rivals for the past 25 years, always a close and physical encounter.
Chelmsford netminder Euan King (slashing) and Raider Billy Phillips (spearing) were both ejected from the ice. This probably hurt the Raiders more than the Chieftains as King was just replaced in the net by joint number one netminder Ben Clements.
Twenty-two seconds into the second period and Raiders player/coach Danny Marshall scored to give his side the lead. But it was short lived and less than two minutes later Cameron Bartlett made it 1-1.
The travelling fans cheers were silenced 28 seconds from the restart. Ex-Chieftain Jakub Klima latched on to a pass from Marshall and his shot beat Clements to restore his teams lead.
Chieftains searched for the equalising goal and were rewarded at 32:27 when James Ayling scored straight from a face-off in the Raiders zone, 2-2 with everything still to play for in the final period.
At 46:54 London were awarded a two-minute bench penalty for an icing infringement. Chieftains took their chance and at 48:46 the powerplay unit did its job, a patient build-up finished with Darren Brown beating Michael Gray in the net to secure the win.