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Royal Navy win Tri Service Ice Hockey Competition

16 July 2018
Royal Navy ice hockey players have picked-up the top award in the Tri Service Ice Hockey Competition for the first time in nine years.

From June 5-8, the Navy, Army and Air Force met at the Ice Sheffield arena to “put the biscuit in the basket” – ice-hockey slang for putting the puck or the “biscuit” into the net or “basket”. 

The Royal Navy entering three teams in the Tri Service tournament which was immediately followed by the Inter Service competition.

First up was the Tri Service tournament with The RN ‘Kings’ Blue team featuring the most experienced players from the Senior Service. 

There has never been a better time to get involved in Ice Hockey

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New and developing players made up the RN ‘Kings’ Yellow Team and the Royal Marines were also ably represented with the Commandos forming the ‘Bootnecks’ team.

The last time the Royal Navy won silverware in an ice hockey competition was 2009 and since 2010 they have been without a single victory in the competitions.

This year, however, hopes were high after a surge of interest in the sport led to an influx of Royal Navy personnel, with numbers rising to 75 from the 35 players available just two years ago.  

Over 200 competitors participated in the Tri Service tournament playing for the chance to win one of three trophies up for grabs.  The highest honour was the Tri-Service Cup, followed by the Plate, and then the Quaich.

After two-and-a-half days of fierce competition, the King’s Blue team came away with an impressive record of four wins, one draw and one loss, meaning they would compete for the Cup. 

The Royal Marine Bootnecks finished their group games with a record of four wins and two losses meaning they were seeded in the Plate, and RN King’s Yellow meanwhile were competing for the Quaich.

Facing the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) Chiefs in the Plate final, the RM Bootnecks finished runners-up in what was a close fought fixture finishing 4-1 to the Army team.

The RN Kings Yellow team meanwhile found themselves playing against the RAF Cosford Stars in a gruelling three-leg fixture. 

After 105 minutes of hockey the score was even at 2-2.  A five-minute period of sudden death overtime followed with Royal Marine Corporal Chris Smith scoring and sealing the victory for the Royal Navy team in the Quaich.

The Royal Navy Kings Blue took to the ice for the Tri Service Championship final against the Army Infantry team. 

For the first ten minutes the action was end to end, but before long the Senior Service began to take the upper hand. 

A quick-fire hat trick from Able Seaman William Stennet put the game out of reach of the Infantry and the RN Kings Blue came away as Tri Service Champions 2018 with a score of 5-2.

There was barely time to savour the victory before the competitors were back on the ice for the Inter Services Competition.  The best players from each Tri Service team came together to represent their individual service.

The Royal Navy Kings took on the RAF Aces in the first Inter Service fixture to determine who would face reigning champions the Army Blades in the final.

Nineteen Sailors and Marines laced up their skates with the focus on making the final, something that the Royal Navy has not achieved in seven years. 

Things went exactly to plan with the Kings finishing the first period 1-0 up.  The RAF answered with an equaliser in the second period, but the Navy came back to score two goals in ten seconds. 

The Royal Navy players added two more in the third period winning 5-1 overall.

In the finals, champions the Army Blades, took the lead 1-0 in the first period.  The Royal Navy equalized in the second, but could not prevent the Army adding two more to their tally. 

In the third period, each team scored one-a-piece, bringing the final score to 4-2 and seeing the Army retain their Inter Service crown.

The final day saw individual prizes go to some of the best competitors with AB Luke Rowlands recognised as best netminder, AB William Stennet as best forward and Engineering Technician (ET) Gary Parker the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

There has never been a better time to get involved in Ice Hockey.  For more information on the RN Ice Hockey Association email General Secretary Petty Officer Paul Shannon at: [email protected]

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