Busy weekend of Ice Hockey For Young Sharks


Catch up on all the weekend’s action from Solway Shark Juniors Ice Hockey squads, with 3 match reports covering all the games, home and away. 

The Oakbank Services sponsored Solway Sharks Under 16s Ice Hockey teamfaced an arduous trip to take on Aberdeen last weekend.  Undeterred by the long journey the youngsters skated out in fine fettle, ready to take on their Aberdeen counterparts showing no sign of tiredness.  Lewis Houston opened the scoring in his usual style, slamming home a Liam Stenton pass after only 35 seconds. The stunned Aberdeen team was provoked into action, setting out a strong defensive stall, and repelling attack after attack by Solway for the next 8 minutes, before defenceman Jack Little struck home a lovely powerplay goal, ably assisted by Houston and Matthew Watters.  Just on 10 minutes Stenton made it 3 nil, again on the powerplay, from Scott McCutcheon and Houston, and despite Aberdeen’s best attempts on Joshua Leuvennink in the Solway net the score remained until the end of the first period.


Aberdeen came out determined to strike back, and the scored after just a minute of play.  Undeterred, the Sharks clawed one back minutes later through that man Houston with an unassisted goal, before he got on the end of a Stenton cross to score his third and the team’s fifth.  It was newbie Andrew Craik who scored next, getting on the end of a rebound from Stenton and tipping it past the Aberdeen netminder to score his first ever competitive goal, and make the score 6 -1 to Solway.  Leuvennink took the opportunity to make way for Rebekah Scott between the pipes, and she took up where he left off, warding off Aberdeen’s attempts on goal.  A flurry of Solway attacks followed, and there were numerous shots in the next few minutes, with Megan Gourlay, Scott Rae, Andrew Robb and Joe Little all having credible attempts on goal and coming close to scoring.  With Houston scoring another first-class solo goal just before the buzzer, Solway were comfortably in charge with a 7-1 lead at the end of the second.

The play continued in the same vein, with Aidan Nicol netting from Charles Leuvennink after 2 minutes to make it 8 for Solway.  Houston stretched the lead to 9-1 two minutes later, assisted in the powerplay goal by Craik and Stenton, before Aberdeen responded, scoring against the run of play to make it 9-2.  Undaunted, Solway turned on the attack, and Jack Little found the net again, from McCutcheon this time.  Revitalised by their goal Aberdeen stepped up the pace, and managed to scrape past Scott into the net to score another, but this didn’t deter the young Sharks, who kept on attacking. The final goal of the game was in Aberdeen’s favour, and the Sharks finished tired but delighted 10-4 victors.  Andrew Craik was man of the match for Solway.

Coach Jamie Kerr said, “With a 440 mile round trip, the emphasis was on not starting the game sluggish and then relying on our skill late on.  Our squad is too small for that, so a fast start was preached and that is what the team responded too, leading 3-0 after the first and 7-1 after the second periods.  We slowed up a bit in the third but the graft was done by then.  Good performances all round and great to see young Andy Craik score his first ever competitive goal.”

The youngest Sharks, the under 12s, sponsored by SK Joinery, welcomed their counterparts from North Ayrshire to Dumfries Ice Bowl on Sunday.  The youngsters were slow out of the blocks in the first period, and North Ayr were quick to take advantage, scoring 3 goals in the first 7 minutes, despite the best attempts of young Braiden Howat who was kept busy in the Solway goal.   The young sharks were soon overwhelmed, and another North Ayr goal followed, before Solway defence stepped up their game and stood firm for the rest of the period in the face of a relentless attack.

The second period saw another 2 quick goals against Solway, before the home team rallied, and started to look more positive, with repeated forays towards the Ayr goal.  There were numerous shots, but nobody could find a way past the on-form Ayrshire netminder.  The defensive strategy of coach Jackson started to take effect at the other end, and the score remained 6 nil to Ayr until the end of the second period.

Some words from the coach and a quick drink later, the wee Sharks took to the ice re-energised, and their determination and attacking play was quickly rewarded when captain Lewis Gibson scored a splendid solo goal.  This inspired and lifted the team, and Cameron Stevenson was next on the board, taking a well-placed Niall Duignan pass straight to the back of the net.  North Ayr were quick to reply, and after another flurry of shots managed to score another two goals in rapid succession.  Undeterred, Solway struck again, with Bailey Thomson netting their third from Ewan Duignan and Scott Kirkpatrick.  As the home team tired the visitors took further advantage, and scored again to make the final score 10-3 to North Ayrshire.

After the game coach Craig Jackson commented, “Today saw North Ayr visit Solway for an u12’s clash.  We got off to a really slow start today and the team looked sluggish and played like a group of individuals for the first two periods.  After a chat at the end of the second period we started to combine passes, which resulted in us picking up some goals courtesy of Lewis Gibson, Cameron Stevenson and Bailey Thomson.  Some of our younger players also played extremely well, none more than Ewan Duignan who picked up the man of the match trophy for his efforts.  North Ayr visit us again in two weeks time to when we will be looking to improve on today’s score and be more competitive.”

Delight and dismay for Junior Sharks

The Jardine Motors sponsored Solway Sharks under 20s team headed off to Dundee on Saturday to play their Scottish Cup game extremely short-benched due to a combination of work commitments and illness.  The game didn’t get off to the best start, with Dundee scoring after only a minute of play.  Undaunted, Solway got themselves in gear and regrouped, working hard from Kyle Johnston in goal right up the ice to the forward line, and after 13 minutes their hard work and fortitude was rewarded when Scott Henderson scored a fine unassisted goal to bring the score level.  Dundee were not going to give up their lead easily, and some rapid end-to-end play ensued, before Dundee managed to break through to score again with 5 seconds left in the period; 2-1 to Dundee.

The second period opened at the same frenetic pace, with a Kieran Hair goal from Henderson within the first minute bringing the score even.  Another Henderson unassisted goal pushed Solway into the lead 2 minutes later, before Dundee managed to pull one back mere seconds later; 3 all after 23 minutes of play.  The Sharks settled down and started to take control of the game, with some good quality passing play, involving, amongst others, Lewis McEwan and Vicky Carson.  The end of the period was fast approaching when Struan Duff netted again for Solway from Henderson, swiftly followed by Hair with a great solo effort.  Solway finished the period with a 2 goal cushion, 5 goals to 2 ahead.

Solway were again dominant in the third period, despite Dundee far outnumbering them, and took control of the game.  With Luke Houston, Conor Caven and the Chambers brothers Evan and Aaron staying strong in defence and Kyle Johnston in great form between the pipes, the forwards were free to keep pushing forward and pepper the Dundee goal with shots.  8 minutes of the period had passed before Solway struck again, with another unassisted Henderson goal, swiftly followed by another from Henderson from an Aaron Chambers pass.  The score now 7 – 3, Solway were happy to ride out the rest of the game and the score remained until the final whistle, to the delight of the happy but exhausted team.  Scott Henderson was man of the match for Solway.

After the game coach Jamie Thomson said, “Tonight there was great team effort and spirit shown to win a game with such a short bench. Everyone worked together and played as a team, showing what can be achieved when players stick together, despite the odds being against us.  This is a great achievement that has put us through into the Semi Finals of the Scottish Cup.”

After a short night’s sleep it was straight back into action for the team, with a few more players available on Sunday morning to make up the numbers.  The opponents in this game were league-leaders Kirkcaldy, and the visitors were quick to make their mark, scoring after only 3 minutes.  Solway rose to meet the challenge, battling hard to keep their opponents at bay, and making their own forays towards the Kirkcaldy goal in what was a fast-paced and physical game.  Their dogged determination paid off in the last minute of the period when Daniel Abercrombie found the net from Scott Henderson to even the score, which stood until the end of the period.

The second period didn’t go Solway’s way, with their attacks thwarted and their defence overwhelmed by Kirkcaldy’s constant attacks.  There were goals for Kirkcaldy after 2, 4 and 7 minutes, bringing the score to 4-1 against Solway.  The Sharks gathered themselves, dug deep and rallied, standing firm at the back and once again pushing forward to shoot on the Kirkcaldy goal.  Their efforts were unsuccessful, and their despair deepened in the last minute of the period when Kirkcaldy scored again to bring the score to 5-1 in their favour.

There was a more positive start to the third period, and the team was delighted when Kieran Hair netted from Scott Henderson after 2 minutes to claw one back.  The goal was only just on the board when Kirkcaldy stepped up the pace and again showed their domination, with another 2 goals in the next 4 minutes to stretch their lead to 7-2.  Despite the score Solway kept plugging away in attack, and were rewarded when Arran Shankland scored from Lewis Houston after almost 15 minutes to narrow the gap a bit to 7-3.  The Sharks were feeling the pace by now, and in the final three minutes of the period and the game Kirkcaldy managed to score another 3 goals to seal their victory and deepen Solway’s disappointment.  Man of the match for Solway was Conor Caven.

Coach Thomson commented, “We went straight from delight to dismay.  We were handed an absolute lesson on how to play this game.  We didn’t take anything on board, and played as individuals. Frankly this was far from our best performance.  W

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