Sharks Sunk By Warriors – Ice Hockey News

The Building Craftsmen Dumfries Solway Sharks welcomed NIHL table-top rivals Whitley Warriors to Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday night in the first of a home and away double fixture.

Warriors showed their intent from the start, Callum Queenan putting the visitors ahead after a mere 2 minutes.  Pinned in their defensive zone for much of the period Sharks struggled to make an impact until Whitley took a penalty and Sharks gained an extra man.  Taking full advantage Sharks camped out in front of Warriors net, moving the puck well, Iain Bowie finding Struan Tonnar who picked out Scott Crane in space, who made no mistake in striking the net for the equaliser at 8:47.   The status quo didn’t last long, as Whitley took advantage of a powerplay of their own to retake the lead at 10:29 through Harry Harley.  With the game momentum in their favour Warriors stretched their lead through Philip Edgar at 12:30, swiftly followed by Rolands Gritans at 14:54.  Sharks were not done, and when another powerplay opportunity arose they again took full advantage, smart work from Peter Gapa and Liam Stenton supplying the puck to Ewan Anderson who finished the goal at 18:08 to make the score Shark 2 Warriors 4 going into the first break.

The second period saw more even play, Sharks meeting Warriors attacks and going on the offensive themselves.  There were several chances at both ends, Gary Russell working hard in Sharks net, his counterpart Richard Lawson doing the same for Warriors.  After 6 minutes Warriors overcame the Sharks, Queenan with his second of the night.  Another 6 minutes passed and Warriors again found the net, this time courtesy of Jordan Barnes at 34:56.  Sharks had no reply, and the second period finished Sharks 2 Warriors 6.

With a mountain to climb Sharks had their work cut out to claw something back in the third, a task made harder when Ross Murray added to Warriors tally at 44:03.  Sharks kept attacking, and were rewarded when Gapa collected the puck from Russell in Sharks’ net and went flying to the Warriors net to strike home at 53:52.  No sooner was the goal recorded than Murray added another for Warriors.  The final buzzer saw the score at Sharks 3 Warriors 8.  New signing Viktor Nestrasil was man of the match for Sharks.

Sunday saw the reverse fixture, with Sharks making the journey to Whitley Bay light of a few of their squad.  Warriors again took an early lead, Philip Edgar netting after 3:35 to put them on the front foot.  Sharks worked hard all over the ice and managed to contain Warriors while mounting attacks of their own, but there was no further scoring and Warriors went into the first break with a one-goal lead.

The second saw Sharks equalise early on, a puck win in defence seeing a rush on Warriors net, Ewan Anderson passing to Scott Henderson who fed Peter Gapa coming alongside him for the finish at 24:16.  Warriors took the lead again 2 minutes later through Dean Holland. Callum Queenan added another at 33:41, before Edgar took their tally to 4 a minute later.  Sharks gathered themselves and defended hard for the remainder of the period, and there was no further scoring from either team.  The end of the second saw the score at Warriors 4 Sharks 1.

Sharks found themselves under attack again in the third, battling hard as Whitley went on the offensive.  Ross Murray found a way through at 45:18 to bring Warriors total to 5.  Queenan added his second at 54:12. Both teams changed netminders, Gary Russell making way for Calum Hepburn in Sharks net while Jordan Boyle replaced Richard Lawson for Warriors.  Both teams stepped up their attacks, Henderson finding the net for Sharks in the final few minutes only to have the goal waved off, the puck judged to have not crossed the line.  The final buzzer saw the score at Warriors 6 Sharks 1.  Liam Stenton was man of the match for Sharks.

Reflecting on the weekend coach Martin Grubb said, “We went into the weekend knowing what was at stake and had a bit of jump about us in practice but the way we were outworked for the whole weekend was a massive disappointment.  We spoke about our compete level as we knew Whitley would come hard at us and they did exactly what we expected, but our lack of desire to battle and lack of experience in these big games showed. We were beaten over the weekend by the better team and the hungrier team and this weekend was the first time we have seen the effects of losing 14 players from last season and how young our team is.  The positive is how well we have done to take the season to a title decider in February and we will now regroup and learn from this weekend and focus on improving and being ready for the rest of the season and try to show our supporters we can bounce back and play hard for them.”

Sharks are away for both games this weekend, visiting Sutton Sting and Nottingham Lions.  The next home game at Dumfries Ice Bowl is on Sunday 16 February, when Kilmarnock Thunder visit for a 5.30pm face off.

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