Category: Team News

2022-23 Signing Alert – Ben Lock

SOLENT LOCK IN THE LOCK

The Solent Devils are proud to announce the re-signing of British Defenceman Ben Lock.

From the outset Lock has been an absolute rock in defence for Solent, joining for the 2014-15 season, Lock will be starting his 8th full season. In a Devils league career of 164 games with 19 goals and 39 assists and part of the NIHL 2 playoff champions’ squad, Lock is the key. On re-signing for next season Lock comments

Solent is a club that is very close to my heart. The fans are loud and incredible no matter the result and the players and support staff are genuinely like a second family. I couldn’t see myself anywhere else.

Head Coach Murray

It’s great to have secured Ben for another season! Locky is one of the most underrated players in our team, and we won’t truly value his impact until he is gone!

Defensively, Locky is sound, compact, and a highly valuable asset on the penalty kill. His block shorting ability is the best in the league, which is why his teammates rate him so highly.

When asked about his favourite moment from last season Lock said

I would say coming second in a league that has tremendous talent was a huge success for us. We really dug in deep last year and fought hard in every single game.

Lock Adds

It was the toughest year I had faced in 12 years in the league. We were depleted at times in the D core due to injuries so playing 30+mins each night was taxing on the body. At times struggled with scoring but the resilience of every player and the bond we have drove us through!

When asked about the moments that stand out so far over his Junior and Senior career, Lock continues

Winning the NIHL2 playoffs with the Devils was incredible. But nothing tops the game winning goal at Chelmsford last season. 5-0 down. Alex scores the tying goal at the buzzer and I somehow score the winner in OT to win 6-5!

Murray adds

Locky has grown offensively as well, with the memorable OT winner in Chelmo as well as several PP points this year. We are hoping Locky can continue his form next season, whilst passing on his knowledge to the young group around him.

Speaking about the future Lock concludes

I’m looking forward to watching some of our younger players step up and take on the ice time they deserve. We have a great crop of young talent and I’m sure with Alex’s coaching they will flourish this year! Let my old bones have a rest!

Lock will return to the Devils in shirt #71. If you would like to sponsor a Devil or become a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com

2021-22 Season Review

Solent Devils a Season in Review

No sooner had the Solent Devils opened the 2021-22 season with a win on a rainy humid late September afternoon, then it came to a close with a victory on a warm spring evening. But never mind the British weather, what happened in between those games would turn out to be the most unpredictable and exciting season fraught with tests and challenges in some time.

With sport going on hold as the COVID pandemic unfolded, buds of hope emerged in the spring of 2021 with a cup series funded with the help of the EIHA, DCMS and Sport England, setting the backdrop for the 2021-22 season and giving the sport and supporters a lifeline and a much-needed distraction. With free live streaming, unrivalled commentary, and a change in colour the Devils took the title in a close fought series.

With restrictions easing the Devils focused on building a competitive squad, faced with the toughest ever start to a league season not only facing top 4 capable opponents with back-to-back double headers but with the retirement of Richard Facey the team had to find form from the first puck drop.

Securing the opening home game win, the Devils travelled to Chelmsford for arguably the greatest come back in a generation, trailing 5-1 to Chieftains at 43.49 Cooper #24 and Murray #73 set in motion a masterclass in sheer determination and spirit to level the game, 5-5 at 59.58.

What followed was a textbook perfect play with the final step executed to perfection by Ben Lock #71 taking the overtime win, the Riverside in Chelmsford falling silent.

As Autumn gave way to Winter the Devils seem set to dominate at home and compete for the away points, after an opening flurry of home wins against the Stars, Jets, Pitbulls and Raiders the tide turned with the tough calendar taking its toll with injuries, losing the likes of Dan Lackey #9 for eight weeks and then the release of Ralf Circenis #33 to the Swedish league. It would be the end of January before the victory song played again at home.

As the end of 2021 approached the league was hit by wave of COVID infections decimating rosters requiring league management to authorise dispensation, re-arranging fixtures with fines and penalties handed out for missed fixtures. The Devils battled through the outbreak, securing five players from different teams to assist in the away victory at MK Thunder.

# 1 CHICO COLE SAVING THE SEASON

With the changes in line-up the Devils were without an out and out goal scorer, struggling to find the key ingredient, tensions became high in the dressing room as the team stumbled at the start of 2022. During this window of absent wins, Chico demonstrated why the #1 shirt resides firmly on his back, saving the team from defeat and heavy losses as new tactics and lines were experimented with.

With a couple of free weekends in January the team reflected, reset and returned with a 4 point weekend, once again facing the Chieftains at the Riverside this time with an overtime penalty shootout and victory secured by head coach Murray #73.

Top Scorers in 2021-22

As Winter gave way to the early sun of spring, a glimmer of something special emerged, Elliot Lewis #19. With a hardened core of experienced players; Pitts, Lackey, Cole, Murray, the twenty year old found himself on the first line and before long the goals started coming not only for him but his U23 peers as well.

The seasons defeats were out shone by the memorable wins and brightened by the emerging talent in our under 18s and NIHL 2 teams.

Top Assists in 2021-22

This season has seen extraordinary support from our supporters at home and away, despite the hardships and world events, demonstrating that together we are stronger.

#togetherstronger

Finally finishing the season off at the Ageas Bowl with the end of season presentation, with Top Points and Supporters Player going to Elliot Lewis, Best Forward Mark Pitts, Best Defencemen Ben Lock, Coaches Player Dan Lackey, Players Player Calumn Perella-Fox, Shane Clacy Award Scott Cooper and the inaugural Pete Murray Award to Graham Cole in recognition of excellence and commitment to the club.

Select the end of season pic to see the end of season presentation pictures taken by Sam Partridge Photography, thank you all for making 2021-22 a successful and memorable season we look forward to seeing you all back in September! PS. Thank you Steve Smith!

Select to view presentation evening pictures

If you’d like to be a part of this extraordinary team by volunteering to do a game day job, own and loan a shirt or become a team partner through sponsorship then get in contact by e-mailing info@solentdevils.co.uk or by direct message on our social media channels.

2022-23 Signing Alert – Connor Hutchison

SOLENT RETAIN HUTCHISON

The Solent Devils are excited to announce the re-signing of British Forward Connor Hutchison.

Hutchison returns for his second full season with Solent, the experienced young forward has been playing in the senior leagues since he was 16 at Basingstoke and Bracknell. In his 29 league appearances last season Hutchison secured 3 goals and provided 5 assists, on the ice Hutchison demonstrated his tenacious playing ability chasing down every opportunity and not giving the oppositions defence anytime to rest.

Commenting on re-signing Hutchison said

We had a really competitive league and cup campaign last season, the 2022-23 season should be even better and the whole experience with fans, the boys and staff is really enjoyable.

Head Coach Murray commented

I’m pleased to have Connor return to the Devils for his second full season with the club.

Hutchy really settled into the team in the later stages of the season and so I’m excited to see him continue his progression within the team.

Looking back at last season Hutchison continues

I really enjoyed getting the points on the board and getting a streak going, as a team we had our ups and downs, but we always battled hard.

Hutchison adds

My takeaway from last season was finding out the strength in myself and the entire team that when you’re down, you dig deep and you keep pushing for the win, there is nothing like the feeling when you triumph against the odds.

Murray continues

Hutch is a solid winger who plays a gritty game and works hard at both ends of the ice.

Concluding Hutchison says

Next season I’m looking forward to being back with the boys and doing it all over again!

Hutchison will return to the Devils in shirt #6. If you would like to sponsor a Devil or become a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com

2022-23 Signing Alert – Oscar Evans

SOLENT SECURE EVANS

The Solent Devils are thrilled to announce the re-signing of British Forward Oscar Evans.

In his first full season Evans was one of handful of players who iced in every league game, scoring 6 goals, and providing the assist on 5 more. When asked about his decision Evans said

It was an easy decision for me to return to the Devils because they are all a great bunch of guys who all love hockey and obviously the Devils fans, whose support is second to none!

Head Coach Murray reacts

I’m excited that Oscar returns to our line-up for next season! Oscar is a talented young British winger who is growing in confidence whilst playing a more influential role within the line up!

Evans first joined the squad for the 2020-21 season, but with the pandemic putting the season on hold, when it eventually resumed with the Spring Series, Evans was back on the ice and became an NIHL South Cup Champion.

When asked about his season highlight Evans continues

My personal highlight from last season was scoring away at Bristol in a sold-out rink! The noise from our fans was tremendous, it was a great experience to play in front of so many people.

Reflecting on last season Evans adds

Last season was really tough for me personally after having almost 2 years out of hockey due to injuries and COVID. I really struggled to get going and found it extremely frustrating. But as the season went on, I started to find my feet again and I’m hoping to start next season fully prepared and continue with the same momentum!

Commenting on how he maintains his off-season fitness, Evans shares

I am away in America all summer coaching/playing hockey so I’m sure that’ll keep me fit!

Murray continues

Oscar is a great team guy who works hard on and off the ice as well as continuing to develop his game, so he is ready for those big game moments and minutes

Evans concludes

I’m looking forward to wearing the Devils shirt again in front of our incredible fans! Increasing my point tally and doing everything I can to get us some silverware.

Evans will return to the Devils in shirt #47. If you would like to sponsor a Devil or become a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com

2022-23 Signing Alert – Callum Perella-Fox

SOLENT SECURE PERELLA-FOX

Solent are delighted to announce the re-signing of Calumn Perella-Fox

The Scot born British Forward played a key role for the Devils last season working hard up front and back in defence when injuries and sickness hit the team. Demonstrating his adaptability and performance earned him a consecutive players player award from his peers on the ice.

When asked about re-signing Perella-Fox said

For the love of hockey, the club, the fans and the lads in the changing room, keeps me coming back every year!

Speaking about the signing Head Coach Murray said

I’m delighted to have secured Foxy for another season!

Calumn is a valuable asset to the club at both ends of the ice, with his ability to play both forward and defence across all lines!

Perella-Fox accumulated 10 points over 29 league games last season, but each of the points were pivotal for the outcome of those games. Commenting on his highlights from the season Perella-Fox adds

Getting players player again for sure, the other scoring the game winner against Chelmsford at home! But as a team I think coming second in the league was a great achievement, we had a lot of up and downs throughout the year but the way we stuck together and got the job done was the real highlight!

Reflecting on last season Perella-Fox says

I feel I learnt a lot this year, getting more ice time, stepping up to play forward and playing on all the lines, the experience has really improved my game.

Murray adds

I was really pleased with how Cal transferred to forward in the middle of the season, it helped balance our units and made us more successful.

When asked about what it meant to receive the players player award again this season, Perella-Fox continued

Means everything, especially two years in a row! I love the lads and will do anything for them, so for them to pick me as players player really means a lot to me!

Looking towards next season Perella-Fox adds

Just getting back on the ice with the lads playing some hockey and of course playing Infront of our amazing fans!

Perella-Fox will return to the Devils in shirt #44. If you would like to sponsor a Devil or become a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com

2022-23 Signing Alert – Alex Cole

SOLENT RETAIN COLE

Returning for his 13th season as a Solent Devil in 2022-23, Cole will wear the Captains C for a sixth season.

Steadfast and reliable defenceman Cole has competed in over 300 senior league games for the club and provided an assist on 10% of goals since 2015.

Commenting on his return Cole said

The fans and supporters club are amazing, I couldn’t leave!

I’ve been with the Devils for many years now, seeing the club develop and come so far is a massive achievement to everyone involved at Solent and Muzza. The team is progressing every season and we’re just getting better.

Head Coach Alex Murray said

I’m delighted we have retained our captain for the up and coming season! I’m looking forward to another year with both the Cole’s in the line up!

When asked about his season highlights Cole adds

I have a few, but the main one was the win against Streatham at home, something we deserved and again proves how good of a setup we are. 

Looking back on the NIHL 1 this season and sharing his thoughts on how tough things were, Cole continues

I’ve been in this league for a while now so I have lots of experience, that said I’m always learning and focusing on specific areas of my game. This season was difficult, constantly adjusting with the impact of injuries and further COVID infections, making it tricky to find the right line combinations.

The injuries found me again and I spent four games out recovering. This summer I’ll be working out and strengthening my core physical fitness so I can focus on remaining injury free next season.

Murray adds

Coley is an integral part of our team and defensive core. Having been a part of this club from when I took over, Alex’s presence is essential in ensuring the young or new guys come in and buy in to the Solent way!

Speaking about what Ice Hockey means to him, Cole says

Hockey has been a part of me since the age of 5, I find it gives me a release and purpose. Hockey keeps me focused and I continue to develop my physical and mental game.

Commenting on the season ahead Cole concludes

I’d love some silverware and I think that’s achievable if we come together and all work for each other.

Cole will return to the Devils in shirt #8. If you would like to sponsor a Devil or become a team sponsor, contact devilssupporters@outlook.com