Mixed start to season for Junior Sharks

The Junior Sharks took to the ice for their first games of the season recently, testing out their new team formations after the summer break.

First up was a journey to face North Ayrshire in Auchenharvie, both the U14 and U16 teams making the trip.  U16s were on the ice first, and despite their best efforts they were soon overrun by a fast and physical opposition.  With one of the Solway players having to leave the game through injury in the first few minutes there was a shuffling of lines, but Solway dug their heels in and did their best to halt North Ayrshire’s prolific attack force.  With further injury meaning a change of netminder for Solway there was more personnel shuffling, and more defensive play.  At the end of a fast-paced and frantic game the Sharks found themselves on the wrong end of an 8-0 scoreline.  Man of the match for Solway was Robbie Gordon.

U14s followed their older counterparts onto the Auchenharvie ice, and faced a tough N Ayrshire team.  Straight onto the attack Solway opened the scoring at 06:13, Tomas Vyrostek finding the net from Kyle Carruth.   Carruth added an unassisted goal of his own at 08:44 to widen the gap, before repeating the feat at 11:51 to put the Sharks 3 goals clear.  Solway pushed on, Cassie McGregor making it 4-0 just before the period break, assist coming from Vyrostek.  After the break N Ayrshire set about redressing the balance, pulling one back in the first minute, before Vyrostek  restored the 4-goal gap seconds later.  With the bit between their teeth N Ayrshire added another at 19 minutes, before scoring again just before the end of the second period – the score now N Ayr 3 Solway 5.  A disappointing final period for Solway saw two more goals against, but the Sharks dug deep and defended hard to keep the score down, and the buzzer saw the final score at 5 – 5.  U14s man of the match was Logan Reid.

The following weekend saw the Sharks back on home ice in Dumfries, welcoming Kilmarnock to the Shark Tank.  Solway U14s set about their business fast, Kyle Carruth scoring within 10 seconds from Bailey Thomson to lay down a marker.  More goals followed in rapid succession, Abileigh Turner, Thomson, Carruth (2) and Ajay Turner all netting in the first, with assists coming from Finlay Smeaton, Reigan Bissett, Tony Ho, and Cassie McGregor.  Solway went into the second with a comfortable 6-0 lead, and their pacy play continued to overpower Kimarnock, Tomas Vyrostek , Ajay Turner and Thomson (2) adding to the scoreline before Kilmarnock managed to find a goal at 26 minutes. The whistle for the end of the second saw Sharks with an unassailable 10-1 lead.  McGregor added another at the start of the third, and was followed by Ajay Turner (2) and Kyle Carruth, and added another of own to the 15-1 final score.  There were further assists spread throughout the team, Owen Rae amongst those weighing in with points.  Taylor Carruth was man of the match for Solway.

The U16s were next to face Kilmarnock, and it was another tough test for the developing team.  Kilmarnock piled on the pressure early, scoring a total of 9 goals in a first-period rampage, Solway unable to reply to the barrage of shots.  The second period was more even, Cassie McGregor opening Solway’s scoring from Kyle Carruth and Ajay Turner, before Kilmarnock added another two in quick succession.  Kilmarnock were first to score in the third, but Kyle Carruth made the final goal of the game Solway’s, scoring in the dying seconds from Scott Kirkpatrick and McGregor.  Faith Coughtrie was Solway’s player of the game.

Solway Juniors’ Chair Leanne Thomson commented, “It’s good for our teams to get started in competitive games after the long summer break, and the players are aware that games and results are not always going to go their way.  The test of their character is that they keep going and play for the jersey even if they are far behind, and they have all risen to the challenge and shown they are willing to go out again and again for the team and each other.  We are all about developing players and finding new talent, and facing mixed results is all part of the learning process.  I expect the teams and the players to improve as the season goes on, and game experience can only help that.”

Anyone wishing to play ice hockey should contact Dumfries Ice Bowl for details of learn to play sessions, either through facebook or on 01387 251300.

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