Building Craftsmen Dumfries-sponsored Solway Sharks recorded two wins at the weekend – 9-3 at home to Sutton and 8-2 away to Widnes – to keep their momentum rolling ahead of the NIHL Playoffs in two weeks time.


Saturday’s home win was the final League action of the year for the Dumfries Ice Bowl based club, and they finished in style with a second successive Saturday hat-trick for captain Struan Tonnar and a brace from youngster Scott Henderson among the nine goals.


Sunday’s goals away to Division 2 high flyers Widnes in Cup action were shared with Steven Moore brace the highlight.


The Sharks welcome Widnes to the Ice Bowl this Saturday (7pm) for the last home game of the season before travelling to Sheffield on 9/10 April for the NIHL North Playoff Weekend.


A win last Sunday for Solihull Barons ensured Sharks could finish no higher than fourth in the League which means a playoff semi final meeting with champions Blackburn Hawks at 1.30pm on Saturday 9 April.  Whitley Warriors play Solihull Barons in the later semi final (7.30pm) with the two winners meeting in the Final on Sunday 10th at 5pm.


At Dumfries last Saturday, the Sharks domianted the opening period 16-3 in terms of shots on goal, but only had a single strike from Steven Moore to show for their efforts.


The second period saw the home side explode for four scores, ending the session up by 5-2.  Scott Henderson, Struan Tonnar, Joe Coulter and Marc Fowley were the men on target.  Sutton’s import forward Sergevs Jegerovs scored twice for the visitors including the second as time expired in the period.


Duncan Speirs and Henderson scored in the final frame to add to Sharks’ tally before skipper Tonnar completed a hatrrick for the second home game running and a final scoreline of 9-3.


The following day Solway made their first ever trip to Widnes Ice Rink to take on the Wild – in just their second season of existence.  This NIHL North Cup match saw a single goal first period again from the Sharks – Scott Henderson with the touch at 6.16.  The second frame saw five goals from the visitors, defenceman Stuart Andrews starting the scoring at 28.20 followed by Steven Moore (2), Struan Tonnar and Marc Fowley.


The Wild made scored two of their own either side of the second break, while Sharks added two final period goals from Duncan Speirs – completing a four point night – and James Wallace.


In net for the Sharks Kyle Johnston played the full 60 minutes added to 20 minutes the previous evening to give him valuable game ice time ahead of the playoff weekend.


Reviewing the weekend, coach Martin Grubb said: “It was pleasing to end the league season with a victory over the Sutton Sting and although I don’t think we played particularly well it was nice score a few goals. Sutton came short benched and we got caught playing a dead rubber game rather than using the game to prepare for a playoff battle but we eventually moved the puck as I wanted and scored a few nice goals and we need to take that offensive punch into the semi final.


“We visited Widnes on Sunday and played a hard working team who never gave up but again we moved the puck well enough and scored some nice goals and tried to increase our tempo as much as we could and keep our good habits.


“The most pleasing thing from the weekend was that we were able to give our younger players regular shifts in a competitive game and we were pleased with how the handled the games. Kyle Johnston has played well in the games he’s played and we felt it was important to give him some home ice on Saturday and he played all of Sunday and did well. Scott Henderson scored 3 goals over the weekend and played well and has the attributes to make his mark in our playoff line up and Luke Houston played Saturday and slotted in well and worked hard and was unlucky not to score.


“It is very pleasing to be able to use these kids and show that we have a good junior program and that they will get a chance here to play senior hockey.”


Saturday’s home game with Widnes Wild faces off at the usual time of 7pm at Dumfries Ice Bowl.  The club have announced that season tickets will be valid for the game, and all under 16s will be admitted free.  Adult tickets are priced at £8 and available at the door from 6pm.

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