Hard trying Barons entertain but fail to add points

TC Cars Solihull Barons 3 : 5 Telford Tigers

The highly anticipated grudge match between long time rivals TC Cars Solihull Barons and Telford Tigers lived up to expectations, but ultimately saw the Barons defeated despite a spirited display.

In a tightly contested first period of high quality there was little to choose between the two sides, with the Barons striking first through Philip Mulcahy to the delight of the home crowd after 5.21 minutes.

Telford had shaded the opening minutes, despite being a goal down, but cheered on by a vocal away support they drew level with Joe Miller finding the net after sustained pressure in the twelfth minute.

Marcus Maynard fires the puck netward (Steve Crampton)
Marcus Maynard fires the puck netward (Steve Crampton)

Goalie Daniel Brittle made a string of superb saves to keep the scores tied, with Solihull forced to play on the counter attack, but the Barons showed great spirit to and determination to finish the first period tied.

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Barons miss out in entertaining opener

Solihull Barons 4 : 5 Sheffield Steeldogs

Sunday evening saw the TC Cars Solihull Barons emerge disappointingly pointless after an enormously entertaining ice hockey game against an extremely well drilled Sheffield Steeldogs squad in the opening skirmish of their Moralee campaign.

Josh Bruce battles along the boards (S Crampton)
Josh Bruce battles along the boards (S Crampton)

In what would prove to be a very fast paced first period the Barons game got off to a dissappointing start as they found themselves a goal down within the first minute as James Spurr for the Steeldogs shot past Danny Brittle in the Barons net. By six minutes the home side levelled as Ed Eaton passed the puck to a charging Elliot Farrell for the Barons first goal of the new season. After an interlude on nine minutes as the Barons changed to their away shirts due to the two sides initially both icing in white home jerseys the play got back underway and the Barons pushed into the lead, Matt Maurice, from behind the net feeding Josh Bruce for Solihull’s second. The lead would hold to the last couple of minutes of the period before Adrian Palak capitalised on a powerplay chance to draw the sides level once more.

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Budzie happy ahead of season opener

The TC Cars Solihull Barons season proper kicks off this Sunday evening with a home tie against one of the league’s pre-season Moralee title favourites, the ex-EPL Sheffield Steeldogs.

Mackriel happy ahead of Sunday (J&K Davies)

Speaking ahead of Thursday night’s training session, the Barons head coach, Daniel ‘Budzie’ Mackriel was happy with how things were going and how he was settling down with his new team.

“It’s been good and I feel I have settled in well. I already knew a lot of the players having played with or against them before. I feel they are a good group and it has been a pretty easy transition for me.”

The team have been in training now for a number of weeks and have responded well to Budzie’s approach in these sessions. The preseason ties have also gone well with three wins from three but Mackriel was keen to emphasise that while the wins were nice they were not the be all and end all.

It has been a strong preseason for the Barons with three wins from three. (J&K Davies)

“We got the three wins but it was never really about getting the results. I was really just wanting to get the team up to match fitness and check different lines against two very different teams. I was very pleased with the response and the team was very positive at taking onboard what I am trying to do”.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s Steeldogs tie, Mackriel was fully aware of the challenge involved.

“It will be a very big test given they were playing in the EPL last season. Like all Sheffield teams they are very well drilled and have a lot of strength in depth. That goes for the goalie, through the D and to the forwards. It will be big challenge but we are all really looking forward to it.”