Vipers Remain Top Flight…

The Nottingham Vipers played against unbeaten Coventry Phoenix this evening at Coventry’s Skydome.

After an even first period, the Vipers scored 2 goals in the second period, with the final period ending 5-3 in favour of the Nottingham team. A great end to end game with lots of positives to take away.

Next fixture: Sunday 1st February, 11.15am.

World Girls Ice Hockey Weekend!

The Nottingham Vipers were pleased to support the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Girl’s Ice Hockey Weekend 2014 on Sunday 12th October.


The event in Nottingham was part of hundreds across the world with countries like Canada and Finland leading the way.

The Nottingham event saw females take to the ice, some for the first time. All of the equipment was available to borrow thanks to the English Ice Hockey Association and the National Ice Centre. The event was also supported by Ice Hockey UK.

Marie Would, Vipers assistant managers said, “It was great that even a girl who didn’t want to get on the ice and couldn’t skate didn’t want to get off, when she did come off the ice she had a smile on her face & really enjoyed the session”.


During the event the girls were given basic tips from the Nottingham Vipers players and coaching staff. They learned how to skate, pass, control the puck and shoot. This was all taught in a fun and playful way which even included playing some badminton on the ice.

Find out about future events and taster sessions by following @IH4Girls on twitter.

Boxing 09.04.14

The girls had a fantastic time at their latest off-ice session at Boxing last Wednesday.

Let’s hope they don’t all turn into goons!

Thanks to all at Beeston Boxing Club for your patience and support.

Click the link below to see us all in action!

Vipers Boxing

Next week’s off-ice is Boxersize! Why not come and join us?

Match Report v Coventry 9.2.14

Nottingham Vipers 2 Coventry Phoenix 5

Nottingham Vipers entered this game on the back of a fine 7-4 win at Sheffield, following a disappointing home defeat against Billingham. Although Coventry had lost their previous game to Kingston, they had won their previous 3 and were therefore eager to turn their recent record into 4 wins from 5. Despite the hard work of Robin Mullen in attack, was the Phoenix who emerged victorious, taking advantage of the Vipers’ short bench.

After a scrappy start to the game, Nottingham’s Robin Mullen managed to get the first shot away, saved easily by net minder Tomara Donaghue.  This then precipitated a phase of Coventry pressure during which Coventry could not generate a meaningful chance but equally, Nottingham were unable to clear effectively. The pressure was released when Robin Mullen had a great shot from the left saved by Donaghue, followed up by a shot from Lucy Kendall from the blue line. Attack then went back into defence when Debra Gibson was forced to make a great save by a swift Coventry attack. There then followed a series of break-out chances; in the first instance Rebecca Cooke had a shot padded away by Tamara Donaghue, this was followed by a Coventry shot which had to be saved by the right hand pipe and finally Robin Mullen nearly broke the deadlock with a shot which powered into the net minder.  Coventry then went onto the offensive, aided by Nottingham’s inability to clear the puck, resulting in Debra Gibson having to freeze the puck in front of a crowd of players. The resulting face off produced a sharp shot which had to be saved at the right hand pipe; the puck was eventually cleared with icing called. From the resulting face off Rosanne Adey scored an even handed unassisted goal to Debra Gibson’s left on 9.31. Directly from the re-start, Coventry nearly scored from the right, the Viper’s only saved by Debra Gibson’s alertness. A further shot from the blue line went over the goal, bounced back from the plexi and produced a perfect shooting opportunity for Hayley Laverick who duly dispatched the puck on 9.58 (assisted Preston Gennoe). The remainder of the period then followed a pattern by which most of the play took place in the Vipers end, with Coventry much more composed on the puck. This pressure was punctuated by the valiant efforts of Robin Mullen. In one case a cleared puck was chased down, Robin then cut in from the left and nearly scored inside the right pipe. Later on, she nearly scored again from another breakaway with the rebound nearly being buried by Emma French. Unfortunately, this was Vipers’ last chance of the period and they found themselves 2 goals down. (Shots on goal 7-9; penalties 2-0.).

The Vipers began Period 2 knowing that they had to pull something back early on if they were to have a chance of getting back into the game. Emma French was soon in the action with a shot which was saved by Donaghue to her left. The resulting face off nearly brought further grief to the Vipers as it generated a Coventry break out which was snuffed out by Debra Gibson. Further pressure from the Vipers produced shots from Rebecca Cooke and Stephanie Thompson, the latter resulting in a melee in front of the Phoenix net which ended with a frozen puck right on the line. From the resulting face off, Emma French shot over the Coventry bar; the resulting bounce from the plexi then brought a Coventry attack which resulted in a pad save from Debra Gibson. Thoughts of a goal almost came to fruition when a run from Lucy Ebinger down the right forced a diving save from the Coventry nettie. From the face off, Kendra Hourd nearly squeezed the puck home in from the left. It was then the Vipers’ turn to breathe a sigh of relief when Debra Gibson was confronted with a 3 on 1 break. Fortunately for her and the Vipers, the final pass was poor and she was able to freeze the puck. However, this attack was a portent of what was to come. At 22.32 Hannah Worthington cut in from the right, taking advantage of Vipers’ inability to control the puck in centre ice, and put the puck past Debra Gibson’s right hand post to extend Coventry’s lead. The assist was given to Crystal Wilkins. Rebecca Cooke attempted to get one back but this was saved by Tamara Donaghue. Coventry continued to be the stronger team; Nottingham’s inability to connect passes together in centre ice meant they were always at a disadvantage from the point of view of initiating a sustained period of offence. At the end of the period Robin Mullen was given a 2 minute minor for a body check. The face off nearly generated a fourth goal for Coventry but the puck whistled past Debra Gibson’s left pipe. That attempt marked the end of the period, with Nottingham having a further 1 minute of penalty kill to withstand at the start of the third period. (Shots on goal 6-12; penalties 2-0).

The final period began with Coventry having a further 1 minute of power play to extend their lead. This produced some pressure on the Vipers’ net but both shots were saved easily by Debra Gibson. Out of nothing, Nottingham had a lifeline with Robin Mullen scoring 2 unassisted back to back goals on 31.27 and 31.55. The first was an inspired move down the left wing with a cut back into the centre to create the shooting chance. The second goal almost came immediately from the re-start with Robin powering through centre ice to slot the puck past the Coventry net minder. Ironically, she nearly scored again with another pick up in centre ice but was unlucky with the final shot. An opportunity to embrace the new momentum which the game had taken emerged on 35.10 when Preston Gennoe received a 2 minute tripping call.  The power play produced 2 substantive shots on goal. The first was from a cross by Robin Mullen to Catherine Jones who hit over and a second from Robin Mullen who took the most direct route to goal from centre ice, only for the puck to be buried by the net minder. However, the Vipers never really took the chance to cycle the puck as they were dispossessed too easily in centre ice. There followed a phase of play which took place in the Vipers’ half but produced no meaningful shot on goal from the Phoenix. However the dynamic of the game changed following an altercation on the right wing between Emma French (2+10) and Hayley Laverick (2). The Vipers then enjoyed the advantage of the extra skater when Agnese Zirdzina took a 2 minute hooking penalty on 41.14. However, the Vipers’ seemed to spend much of the time pinned in their own half unable to break out. Any hope that the Vipers might have had with respect to pulling something back was killed off when Rosanne Adey scored an even handed goal on 43.33. Vipers took a time out but it was inevitable, based on what had happened so far, that the Vipers would be unable to take advantage of the extra skater. Coventry duly ran in an expected empty netter on 43.55.  A disappointing end to the game but, on balance, Coventry did outplay the Vipers in the key areas. The final score was about right. (shots on goal: 7-11; penalties 12-6).

The spirit of the game award was given to Lucy Ebinger #11 which was thoroughly deserved for her hard work and passion every shift.


Match Report v Billingham 19.1.14

Nottingham Vipers 3 Billingham Lady Stars 4

Nottingham Vipers contrived to lose a game they had expected to win in a one-goal game against the league’s bottom team. Vipers were hoping to gather momentum at the start of 2014 following a last-gasp home win against Manchester at the end of November and an 8-1 defeat at league leaders Whitley Squaws just before Christmas. Billingham were looking for their first win of the season after having had four straight defeats.

Billingham took the initiative at the start of period 1, with the Vipers seemingly unable to turn defence into a meaningful attack. The play was scrappy, with missed passes by both sides. It was no surprise that Billingham had the first shot on goal of the match when Joy Craighead strolled through centre ice; her shot was saved by Debra Gibson in the Vipers’ goal. This seemed to be a wake-up call, with the Vipers replying quickly with an attack up the right wing which was eventually cleared by the Stars’ defence. However, this precipitated back-to-back attacks from Billingham with Rachel Serrell and Sarah Burlington-Jackson both requiring intervention by Debra Gibson. Momentum then switched the other way when Laura Smith’s goal-bound shot was saved by Megan Quigley; this was followed by excellent interplay between Laura Smith and Robin Mullen, with the latter hitting the outside of the right hand pipe. Subsequent shots by Paige Dance and Michelle Peat did not trouble the net minder, the former running across the goal, the latter going over the crossbar. Robin Mullen then prompted a good stick save. Despite these attacks, the Vipers did not look confident. The play from both sides was scrappy with numerous attempts to take the initiative breaking down in centre ice due to sloppy passing and failure to control a bouncing puck. Towards the end of the period, Rebecca Cooke’s shot required a save from Megan Quigley and then Paige Dance’s shot across goal was inches away from Claudia Venables’ stick for what would have broken the deadlock. However, it was Billingham who finally took the initiative with an even-handed, unassisted goal, by Alison Walworth at 14.46.   The period closed with Nottingham attempting a shot on goal following the face-off, but this was saved easily. The period was summed up by the fact that both sides could only muster 6 shots on goal apiece, with neither conceding penalty minutes.

The Vipers began Period 2 more positively with Robin Mullen hitting the post with the first attack following the face-off. This was followed by Emma French nearly getting a tip in from a pass from Robin Mullen. This was agonisingly close. However Billingham nearly extended their lead when the Vipers defence seemed unable to clear their lines. The bobbling puck eventually got caught up in an array of bodies, leading to a face off which was cleared safely. However, things got worse when a horrible Vipers line change not only converted a promising attack into a penalty kill situation 9too many skaters), but also led to Billingham’s second goal when Joy Craighead (assisted Jenny Henir and Rachel Serrell) slotted the puck home following a rebound on 17.38. Worse was to come. Vipers’ ongoing inability to clear their lines soon resulted in Billingham’s third goal when Rachel Serrell scored a deserved even handed unassisted goal at 19.09. Her solo incursions into Vipers’ territory had been a problem for the home team all game and this goal was waiting to happen. At long last, Vipers managed to get a goal back when Paige Dance skilfully slotted the puck over Megan Quigley’s shoulder to score a very nice goal (assisted Emma French). It could easily have been a second goal when Emma French hit the pipe, only for the puck to bounce into the grateful hands of Megan Quigley. After putting the Stars under pressure following a 2 minute interference call on Stars’ Philippa Blackburn, the Vipers then lost concentration to allow Rachel Serrell to score another even handed solo goal on 28.27. The period finished with the Vipers on power play. Paige Dance put in a good shot at the close, but this hit the net minder’s chest. The period had continued to be somewhat scrappy, with Billingham making fewer mistakes, factor which gave them their overall edge.

(Period shots on goal: 5-12, penalties 4-4).

The final period began with 1.17 left on the Vipers power play. They immediately went on the attack from the initial face off with a shot from Emma French producing a good pad save. This was followed by a great goal from Paige Dance on 30.37 (assisted Lucy Kendall). In many respects, a replica of her first goal, the puck powering over Megan Quigley’s shoulder to make the net bulge. Vipers continued to attack. However, all nearly came to grief when the Rachel Serrell cleared up at the back, only to cut across the ice diagonally from the right and nearly putting the puck past Debra Gibson. Vipers continued to attack, with Robin Mullen and Rebecca Cooke both forcing saves from the net minder. Belinda Chillman then hit the pipe but unfortunately the Vipers were unable to dig the puck out from the melee which followed. On 36.45 Robin Mullen made Vipers renewed dominance by scoring an excellent unassisted goal for the Vipers, having weaved through the Billingham defence to slot the puck through the 5-hole. This goal gave impetus to further sieges on the Billingham goal, the first resulting in the puck bobbling around the Stars’ goal, the second when Robin Mullen hit the post following an aborted line change by Billingham. However, Billingham then went on the offensive, taking advantage of Vipers’ inability to clear the puck in key areas; this phase of play resulted in the Vipers having to endure a period of penalty kill, at one point 5 on 3. Thankfully Debra Gibson stood tall and the deficit remained at one goal. Brilliant breakout by Emma French nearly resulted in a goal for the Vipers with the puck frozen right on the line by Megan Quigley. Vipers entered the last two minutes with memories of their last home game – would a goal emerge right at the death this time? Things moved in the right direction when the Stars took a 2 minute penalty for a body check on 43.58. A time out was taken and the nettie was pulled to generate a 6 on 4 power play but the resulting siege on the Billingham goal produced shots which hit defenders or the net minder. Billingham survived and ran out winners by 4 goals to 3.

(Period shots on goal: 8-6, pens 4-12). Paige Dance (2+0) was given the Spirit of the Game award.

Match Report v Manchester 24.11.13

Nottingham took on Manchester Lady Phoenix at the National Ice Centre today in what turned out to be a fantastic end to end game with Nottingham only confirming both points in the final minute of the game.

Nottingham head coach Ryan Rathbone had the chance to ice an almost full strength team today, with Rebecca Speckman coming back to the Vipers nest. What a difference a full team made, as the Vipers flew out of the blocks in direct contrast to the recent Telford game. Manchester seemed to be having some problems getting their full roster to the bench, as players kept arriving throughout the first period. Nevertheless, they stood tall against a Nottingham team who were throwing everything they had at Manchester netminder Stephanie Drinkwater, who came up with some great saves to keep the Vipers at bay. The Phoenix were finally beaten at 8:31 with a second goal of the season for the ever-present third liner Kendra Hourd, who found herself unmarked at the back door to slot home after controlling a pinpoint pass from Vipers alternate captain Michelle Peat. The score board wouldn’t stay still for long, as exactly one minute later Rebecca Speckman delightedly announced her return, firing unassisted past a shell-shocked Manchester goalie. Both teams traded tripping penalties around the 10 minute mark, with neither team mustering anything of note on the special teams. In fact, Nottingham’s goalie Holly Steeples enjoyed a very quiet period thanks to shrewd defending by the Vipers defence, who only allowed her to face 3 shots all period, which she saved with ease.

With Manchester finally able to boast a larger bench, Nottingham stopped having it all their own way in the 2nd period as the Phoenix began to take flight. They clawed one back at 18:13, a superb solo effort from Zuzana Zauadiloua. Not to be deterred, Nottingham pushed forward and drew a tripping penalty from the Manchester Captain. On the ensuing delayed penalty, Nottingham’s Robin Mullen drove the net hard, forcing a save from Manchester’s goalie. The puck seemed to be loose, and everyone piled in forcing Manchester’s netminder back into her crease. With the goal judge unable to see if the puck had crossed the line, it was left to Refereeing duo P Braisby and J Susters to deem if the puck had indeed slid into the net with goalie Stephanie Drinkwater. They wasted little to no time awarding the goal, awarding it to Robin Mullen with the assist going to Captain Julia Coughill at 19:01. The teams again traded powerplay chances, but that was to prove to be the end of the scoring in a much more even second period, with Nottingham facing 12 shots to Manchester’s 11.

The third period started off relatively tamely, both teams traded shots on goal but seemed unable to score the goal that would either put the game to bed or reignite the comeback. Manchester was to be the team to strike, as Emma Middleton broke down the wing. Nottingham defenseman Rebecca Meats did a sterling effort forcing her wide, but Middleton fired a pinpoint shot from an acute angle, flying over netminder Steeples glove into the top corner at 38:38. The comeback was on, and from the ensuing face off the Nottingham defence pinched too high, leaving the Nottingham goalie to face a two on one break which she came desperately close to clearing off the line to tie the game 3-3 at 38:57. The Phoenix had well and truly risen from the ashes, and must have been confident of taking at least a point from the National Ice Centre as the clock wound down. This looked to be the case, until coach Rathbone wisely used his timeout to try and rescue both points. In the last 24 seconds of the game, Robin Mullen stole the puck off the manchester defence after great effort by Nottingham’s top line, and found the back of the net for her second of the night, prompting celebrations on the Vipers bench. Nottingham held on for the remaining few seconds, and skated away with a well earned two points in a 4-3 game. Spirit of the game went to Natalie Clare, who was playing her first game on D for the club, using her strong skating to great effect to help keep the Phoenix at bay.

Hire Kit

The hire kit has become available for new players interested in trying ice hockey! It’s a great opportunity to try ice hockey before you commit to buying a full kit.

For more information please email

Day Release: 14/10/12

Wow, what a day. On Sunday 14th October; 20 kit bags, 2 bursting stick bags, 30 volunteers and 2 hours ice time and what have you got? You’ve got IIHF World Girls Hockey Weekend.

In a country where women’s hockey is not a mainstream sport we have had an amazing 64 girls and women on the ice this weekend, and what’s better is that we’ve have 64 smiles on the ice too, and maybe a fair few bruises.

Joined by GB players and coaches past and present, and coaching staff and players from the Nottingham Junior and  Nottingham Vipers, with 64 new players on the ice you can imagine the scene! It was absolutely fabulous to see the potential talent out there and all the girls have left their contact details for further follow up. Nottingham Vipers, we don’t think you’ll have a problem with player recruitment for a while!

Ryan Rathbone, the English Ice Hockey Association World Girls Hockey Day Roadshow Organiser said “It was amazing to see so many girls on the ice, trying something new and wanting to come back for more and we look forward to following up with everyone and helping them get into the sport”

Geoff Hemmerman, English Ice Hockey Association Board member and head of the EIHA Women’s section commented at the end of the day, “It was great to see so many young girls taking to the ice and entering into the spirit of the day and trying all the different skills and techniques in the strange world of helmets and gloves”