League 1 North Mid Season Review
After losing out to the Hawks last season in the league the Wolves currently top League 1 North with a roster that wouldn't look out of place in the Elite League. New recruit, young David Sally currently leads the team and league in scoring, continuing to prove that he is a dominant player at senior level. The return of Roman Pecho in the Wolves net has helped to solidify them at the back end while secondary scoring, including Ross Killen and Vlad Lipcak continue to put the puck in net on a regular basis.
Despite being regularly short benched the Ballymena Vandals have continued to pick up points this season and currently sitting 3 points behind the Wolves. A key to their success has been the consistent performances of Martin Cajagi in the Vandals net while Marek Krsiak and Tomas Prazan have scored regularly for the Vandals. If the Vandals are to have a real shot at challenging for the title they will need to ensure they get a fuller lineup out in their remaining games.
Currently sitting 3rd is the Midland Thunder, a majority U18 side put together this season by Aigars Brencis. Despite a poor start to the season the Thunders performance has greatly improved, mostly due to the team work they put in. Miks Lidaks in the Thunder net is one of a number of great young goalies coming through while the goal scoring exploits of Nauris Osenieks and Devids Dedels help ensure the Thunder continue to pick up points. The Thunder could be the team to watch for the future as long as they continue work hard and stick together.
Rounding out the top 4 is Longford Hawks B, who have struggled to pick up any momentum this season. Ivars Abramovs continued to be their top scorer while despite some strong performances from Girts Zaharevskis, he has struggled to replace Peter Cergel. The secondary scoring for the Hawks hasn't been as consistent this season apart from Timurs Dijakons and Inguss Kursitis.
Despite a strong start to the season whereby they were sitting top after round 1, the Dundalk Warriors have failed to pick up a win since then. Arterm Muskulidi is another example of the talented young goalies in Ireland and has been the Warriors top performer this season. Adam Pepper currently leads the team in scoring but secondary scoring will need to improve if the Warriors have any shot of making the playoffs.
The Bangor Chiefs currently sit bottom of the league and continue to be a side in a building stage as they are too made up mostly of under 18s with a few veterans. Despite some big losses this year the teams performance keeps improving each and every game day. A special mention must go to Raymond Snel in the Chiefs net who is still playing at the ripe old age of 60, the oldest active player in Inline Hockey Ireland.
Image courtesy of Ballymena Vandals.