Solway Sharks Ladies 0 – 2 Coventry Phoenix

Solway Sharks Ladies suffered another narrow defeat at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday with Coventry Phoenix coming out on top of a tight Women’s Division 1 North fixture. With two of the league’s top netminders at opposite ends of the rink, a low scoring affair was anticipated, and with both goalies in good form it was always going to take something special, a mistake or a stroke of luck to light the lamp. Unfortunately, the luck was not in favour of the Dumfries side last weekend.

The game started reasonably positively for the Solway Ladies, with Ragan Smith (sponsored by Mozolowski & Murray) finding herself open in front of the net on two occasions. Smith was unlucky to fan her first attempt but the home bench were up in anticipation when she connected perfectly with her second, only to see Phoenix netminder Tam Donaghue reach out her glove and prevent the puck from finding the top corner. This was to be the first of many big saves from Donaghue, who turned away chance after chance on her way to recording her second shutout of the season.

At the other end of the ice, Sarah Gibson (sponsored by William Kennedy Plumbers) also played her part in keeping the score down as her saves, combined with some determined defensive play from the Sharks, caused frustration amongst Coventry’s usually dangerous forwards. The breakthrough finally came, unfortunately for Solway, with 3 minutes remaining in the first period when Coventry’s Captain and Player of the Game Rosanne Adey caught the Sharks defence up high, breaking free to fire a perfect shot off the post and high into the net.

The Sharks had more of the game in the second period but still could not get the goal they needed to get back into the game. Even when Captain Amanda Murdoch (sponsored by Cold Blooded Sports) had Donaghue on her back with a clever drop pass from behind the goal, no attacking players were able to capitalise upon the half empty net. Sharks’ main threat was often from the back with Beth Milne (sponsored by Suzanne & Sandy Milne) bursting forward and creating chances in addition to her strong defensive work, a combination which earned her the home side’s Player of the Game award. Coventry kept pressing throughout and were eventually able to seal the victory 13 minutes from time when a rebounded shot from Sarah Charles somehow found it’s way past Gibson.

Next up for female ice hockey in Dumfries it’s the turn of the Solway Sharks Girls Under 16s team who take on Sheffield Shadows next weekend. Sheffield are the only team to ever have defeated the fledgling Solway U16 girls but the young Sharks will be optimistic of another strong performance on home ice after defeating Kingston Diamonds 6-2 last time out, with 5 goals coming from Captain Aimee Headland and the other from Kaitlyn Morrison.

Faceoff is 4pm next Saturday, March 19th, at Dumfries Ice Bowl. Entry is by donation.
For further information see www.solwaysharksladies.uk or follow Solway Sharks Ladies on Facebook or Twitter.

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