The opening weekend of the Planet Ice National League 2022/23 was a humbling one for the depleted Hull Seahawks but anticipated given their unprecedented level of absentees. Back-to-back games against two of the league’s toughest opponents was always going to be an uphill task, even for a full strength side but given the level of absences, the Seahawk’s challenge was close to impossible. A 0-12 defeat away to Swindon was difficult for players and Coach Davies to absorb but the following home night’s fixture to Milton Keynes Lightning appeared just as formidable.
The Seahawks’ first ever home league game was marked by the return of legendary, Jereme Tendler, whose #27 jersey was retired. It now hangs alongside the shirts of fellow legends, Lambert, Johnson and Cloutier. How Hull could have done with some of ‘T’s goal scoring genius. Still without their two imports, Matt Davies, defensive talisman Dec Balmer and club Captain, Sam Towner, Hull put up a spirited performance. MK are tipped to be top three finishers if not league champions and it was not long before former Hull player and fan’s favourite, Bobby Chamberlain, set the tone for an unremitting attack. Goals from MOM Chamberlain and another hat trick from Liam Stewart contributed to a 0-9 defeat for Hull.
After the game, GM Commercial, Ian Mowforth commented, ‘Even if our imports had played, this would have been a difficult weekend. Our team was not set up to to fail nor finish bottom. The combination of unforeseen delays in visas and an unbelievable injury list has hit us hard. We are chasing the Home Office since the visas were due over two weeks ago. Assurances that the backlog is being cleared have been given so we anticipate movement very soon. In the meantime, Matty is working on additions to the squad and one or two injured players should return this week.’
Always positive, Ian has an angle on the current position. ‘Our team was built around three key players so their absence is forcing players to play up a line, or even two in some instances. We have academy players who are getting far more ice time than they anticipated and playing on lines that they hardly expected. It is a baptism of fire for them but when I see them battling out there it makes me proud and I can see the potential shining through. I am 100% convinced that when we get the imports into the team and players back from injury, we are still a force to be reckoned with.’