Rink Closure Postpones Lions Clash with Slough

Don McDermott reports as the Lee Valley Lions match this Saturday away to the Slough Jets has been postponed after Slough announced they had no rink available to use.

Last month's Lions-Jets fixture at Absolutely Ice

The Jets usual home, Absolutely Ice, was closed for renovation last month, but Slough Borough Council announced plans to construct a temporary rink in the Montem Lane car park. Slough said in a statement that they had hoped the temporary ice pad would be completed within two weeks, but apparently work has not yet begun almost a month later.

Delays

Slough said in a statement on their website: “We had originally hoped to be only postponing two weeks of fixtures before gaining access to the temporary rink but sadly things haven’t worked out to that time scale, so we are currently looking at fixtures on a week to week basis.”

Slough’s General Manager Steve English said: “This is a difficult time for the whole club and we are not letting up with anything. In the summer we were told, when the time came, there would be a 7-10 day outage between one rink closing and another opening… Having made commitments to the [English Ice Hockey Association] and the members and parents I am determined that we will see out this trying season and survive to enjoy a less stressful 17/18 season.”

In some good news for the Jets, Slough Borough Council have told Rising East that “work has started for the new temporary rink — utilities, changes to the parking routes, etc. But as of the end of the last week the contract with the supplier had not yet been signed by them. We are working towards the temp rink opening on 17 December and will let you know if any change of date is confirmed.”

Nemesis

The Lions will be forced to wait on the match until the rink is completed. Lee Valley have already played twice against Slough this season. In their season opener, the Lions drew 3-3 against Slough at the Lee Valley Ice Centre. Lee Valley then travelled to Absolutely Ice in Slough’s last home match there on 22 October, defeating the Jets, 5-3.

Those results against Slough account for the only league points Lee Valley have picked up so far this season, as they sit bottom of the table with one win, one draw and seven losses.

The Lions will be anxious to face Slough again with those results in mind. The two sides face off in Lee Valley in the new year, and then will eventually play the postponed fixture as soon as the match is rescheduled following the temporary rink construction.

Lee Valley’s next match will be in the cup against the Peterborough Islanders on Sunday, with puck drop at 5:30 at the Lee Valley Ice Centre.

Don McDermott

Don McDermott is a sports presenter and commentator for Wycombe Sound Radio 106.6 FM, a media and marketing intern for the Essex County Cricket Club and a regional press officer with the Students RFU. Don has written and commentated on various sports, including cricket, rugby union, football, tennis, athletics, hockey, netball, rowing, basketball, volleyball, ice hockey, baseball, softball, cheerleading and gymnastics.