STUDENT LEAGUE CHAMPIONS, 2nd DIV. PLAYOFFS AND LOCKDOWNS
What a year it has been. Unfortunately not a full season for the Icehawks but one with a beautiful ending.
The Icehawks have started the year in good spirits. Some important import players were attracted from, for example, but not limited to Latvia, Ireland, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Bulgaria and Finland. There was also an increase of new students for our rookie team and student team. Our coach Roger Provencher guided us again in this turbulent year full of self-tests, contact sports, non-contact everything else, closed bars and general members meetings via webcam. Fortunately, the year ended with a successful second place in the Slapping Studs Night Tournament, reaching the playoffs in the Second Division and a championship in the Student Division.
The Icehawks first team plays in the Second Division, South Region. Last year they held up well in the middle of the ranking. That was the goal this year. The first game was a big win against Nijmegen Saints (7-3). Then there was a surprise against Dolphin Utrecht with an exciting draw (5-5). After a blistering victory (6-5) against Hijs Hokij Den Haag, there was a prospect of a possible championship in the south division. This was confirmed by a convincing win against the Dutch Dukes (11-2).
But unfortunately, COVID-19 quickly threw a spanner in the works. The lockdown ensured that from mid-November the competitions could no longer take place. Matches were not made up later, but played results were counted double. This resulted in a regulatory double draw (0-0) against Zoetermeer for the first team.
From mid-February, the rest of the season could still be completed. They won against Dordrecht Lions (6-3) and drew against The Hague (2-2).
The regular season ended behind Dolphin Utrecht and the Icehawks had to face the number 1 of the North region in the playoffs.
In this decisive playoff away game, GIJS Groningen turned out to be a size too big and the Icehawks lost 9-0.
Our top scorer was again Bart van Dijk, who was also elected Student Sportsman Of The Year a year ago. He collected 13 points in 5 games in the regular season.
The student division always provides surprises. You never know which players have graduated from other teams and what you have in store this year. A surprising star from Scandinavia? A complete line from the Baltic? Or a Canadian student who happened to be born on ice skates. The Icehawks have to fill two teams, which makes it difficult for our second team to make the best use of these experienced foreign additions. Fortunately, our experienced coach transforms our rookies into full-fledged ice hockey players in no time.
After a good start against the Groningen Bulldogs (8-4), there was a big loss against the Nijmegen team (11-4). A win against Amsterdam Thor (8-1) made the weekend better again, but Coach Roger nevertheless put everyone on their toes again. A week later, revenge was taken at our home ice rink (10-1).
After the lockdown, Amsterdam was again convincingly beaten (7-1). Unfortunately, the game against Utrecht Buccaneers was lost 3-1. A result that counted double due to the canceled games. The season ended with a win over Enschede Slapping Studs (4-1).
For a while it looked like the championship would go to Utrecht Buccaneers because of the double counted loss. But in a thrilling denouement, the Icehawks clinched the championship. We end up tied with Nijmegen but have won by the mutual result of the two matches.
In the student team, Koen Bouckaert found the goal most often with four goals from three matches.