ICE HOCKEY: FLINTSHIRE Freeze continue their pursuit of the ED1 North championship on Sunday with a home clash against Billingham Eagles (face-off 6.30pm).
The Freeze are just two points behind leaders Sheffield Scimitars with two games in hand and will start as clear favourites against the midtable Eagles.
Said Freeze player-coach Mark Stokes: 'If we want to stay in contention for the title, then we have to beat the likes of Billingham. All the games in this league are tough but so far we've managed to keep picking up the wins.
'I'm always keen to see us put on a good performance in front of our own fans and hopefully that's what we'll do this Sunday.'
With defenceman Russ Richardson unavailable, Stokes is considering switching himself from attack to de-fence to bolster his back line. The Canadian sat out the victory over Bradford Bulldogs a fortnight ago due to a knee injury but has set his sights on a return to action this weekend.
Stokes said: 'My knee's still a bit sore but I should be fit enough to play. We've got plenty of selection options up front so it looks like I'll play at the back to cover for Russ.' Freeze players and officials were saddened to hear that Alwena Ireland, the mother of Freeze player Neil Ireland, died at the weekend. Alwena was a former secretary of the junior section at Deeside. Deeside Ice Rink played host to its first ever Elite League game on Tuesday night when Manchester Phoenix 'borrowed' the Queensferry facility for their clash with London Racers.
A healthy crowd cheered Rick Brebant's side to a 5-4 win, which arrived after captain George Awada scored 19 seconds into sudden death overtime. Awada, Mike Lank-shear, Eric Lind and Mike Morin netted the Phoenix's other goals.
Head coach Brebant said: 'All the boys worked hard and I thought we were always in control. We could have won by a bigger margin, but you have to give London credit for sticking to their task.'
Phoenix use Deeside as their official training base and club officials are considering playing more midweek matches there, rather than at their MEN Arena home in Manchester.