The Eagles are Hatched
Up until 2003 Recreation Ice Hockey in Cardiff was limited to just the Cardiff Titans, they played full contact hockey and were very well established. When Ed Patterson got injured during the 2003/04 Elite League Season and was out of the Devils roster things changed. Ed needed a way to keep busy and slowly regain his fitness he started a learn to play hockey session aimed at adults. The Eagles were hatched, the Team Eddy’s Eagles comprised of beginners and rink staff and was the first adult learn to play session organised by the Devils. With Ed as the coach and guest coaching appearances by fellow devils Vezio Sacratini, Jeff Burgoyne and net minder Jason Cugnet, the 7am Monday morning sessions became popular with 30 players turning up regularly.
Eagles Team After First Ever Game
2005/06 Season – First Game
After training together for a year the team was ready to embark on some challenge matches, and took on the Cardiff University Red Hawks. Two games against the students a few weeks apart showed how far the Eagles had come but also how much further they needed to go before they could compete with more established teams. Losing both games, 10-2 and 10-5, was not a set back and confirmed to most of the team that they had the hockey bug. With the heavy involvement of the Cardiff Devils in establishing the team Ed and Brent Pope arranged a charity game for the Eagles V the Devils at the start of the 2005/06 season. The Devils were limited to playing reverse handed and were out played by the Eagles in front of a crowd of 300+. With over £1000 raised for junior hockey, the Eagles first victory 13-8, and a number of players even offering to drop the gloves with Devils new enforcer Brad Voth, offers he thankfully refused, a great night was had by all.
Eagles V Cardiff Devils Team Photo
Following on from the victory over the Devils the eagles played 7 more games during the season, winning 5 more times including an exciting 8-7 victory over the RAF Bluewings, drawing with the Titans and once again losing to the students A team.
2006/07 Season – All Change
The Welsh National Ice Rink was demolished, with no where to train the team drifted apart, with only a handful of players making the trip across the bridge to share Ice time with the Cardiff Comets in Bristol, things did not look great. When the new rink open in Cardiff Bay the team slowly began to get back together and the Eagles were once more able to take on some games. Before this however, the team faced another set back when the Devils released theirs and Eagles coach Ed Patterson. Eddy’s Eagles said goodbye to their coach and founder Ed Patterson on 7th March 2007 at a Cardiff Devils versus Belfast Giants match, presenting Ed with a signed team photo as he prepared to return to Canada . Ed loss was a blow but the Eagles legacy continued.
The first game at the new rink saw the Eagles face the old enemy the Red Hawks. The University were able to boast a number of GB Internationals within their roster, while the Eagles suffering a 15-7 defeat were blooding 7 players to their first taste of competitive Ice Hockey. As the Eagles were now an established rec hockey side the Cardiff Devils had created a new learn to play programme, Cardiff Demons, when the new rink opened. Two games and two victories against the Demons brought the Eagles full circle. Although things were going in the right direction, all was not well within the club and many players moved on, leaving just ten players during the summer of 2007.
2006-07 Cardiff Eagles Squad
2007/08 – A New Beginning
As the season approached the Eagles had just ten players and were struggling to cover the cost of ice time. Dave Thomas then took over as General Manager and a concerted effort to draft new players ensured that the club were on a firm base for their first season as a registered EIHA side. Steve Fisher was also brought on board to provide the first proper coaching since Ed and Brent. The Eagles spread their wings and played a wide variety of teams from Bracknell, Basingstoke, Swindon, Birmingham and Newcastle. The 26 th October 2007 marked the Eagles first away game at Swindon against the Nationwide Knights the score was 25-4. During July the club went on its first tour to Whitley bay playing the Newcastle Coyotes and Whitley Bay Wildcats. The tour was a great success cementing the great team spirit that had grown during the season within the squad. The season ended with the club having 29 registered players and in a healthy financial position this was due to the great team spirit within the squad and everyone’s desire to ensure that the Eagles are a success. On the ice the Eagles had played 21 games (more than the total number of games played in the previous 3 years), winning 2 and drawing 1.
2008 -2011 – A New Challenge
After the 08/09 sesaon playing challenge matches the club were invited to join the newly formed Southern Conference for 2009/10 and finished mid table in their first campaign. This meant that the Eagles entered the Southern Conference plate competition and after winning their semi final over two legs against RAF Bluewings 17-9 on aggregate, progressed to the plate final against Medway Madness. The Eagles lost the first leg 2-5 but at home put up an exciting display scoring with 5 mins to go to give Eagles the victory 4-1, leading to penalties with the aggregate score 6-6. Unfortunately the Eagles lost the penalty shoot-out 1-0 but had arrived in Conference play and in their fist season gained runners up in the plate competition.
2010-11 Cardiff Eagles Squad
2011/12 – A First Championship
A new season brought a new coach for the Eagles with Dan Salisbury taking over as player coach.The Eagles hit a milestone in 20011/12 by winning their first championship in their history. They became the Southern Conference West Division Champions including three home wins when scoring in the final minute of each match to secure victory and send one of the matches into penalties where they held on in the shoot-out. This no quit attitude lead to the Eagles first championship and the most successful year to date.
2011-12 Cardiff Eagles Squad
2014/15 – 10th Anniversary Season