The Solway Sharks u16s have had a fantastic season, playing teams the length and breadth of the country as well as a trip over the Irish Sea to Belfast. Recording 17 wins and just 1 defeat saw this team crowned league champions against Lanarkshire Lightening which took place on Thursday 23rd March in front of their home fans. Owen Rae picked up the Scottish U16s League Winners cup on behalf of his teammates who celebrated this momentous success.
Thoughts then turned to the Scottish Cup semi-final which was being played on Good Friday against rivals North Ayr. The game was a hotly contested affair which saw the young Sharks secure a 5-2 win and book their place in the u16 Scottish Cup final, the following weekend.
The Sharks made the long trip up to Aberdeen Lynx arena to face Kirkcaldy u16s, formidable opponents and the only team to have beaten the Sharks this season.
With their travelling supporters in the stands, the lights dimmed, and the announcer introduced the teams. The Solway Sharks captained by Owen Rae and alternate captains Bailey Thomson and Tomas Vyorstek skated on to the ice pad.
There was a nervous energy in the arena, both teams knew what was at stake and that if they both played to their capabilities it would take something special to win. In the first period both teams demonstrated fantastic offensive skills with Sharks players, Cassie McGregor, Lucas Campion, Taylor Carruth, Thomson and Vyorstek all having opportunities on net and our own Logan Reid holding firm in nets. The period ending 0-0.
The second period continued in the same vein as the first, with players showing grit and determination and the talented Solway defencemen Ewan Duignan, Sam Stoodley, Samuel Wojick and Owen Rae, continuing to thwart the Kirkcaldy offensive play. This Sharks team are short on numbers but not on hard work and talent, fighting for every puck. The second period ended 0-0.
With just 15 minutes of regulation time remaining and both teams battling for the puck, it was end to end play, fantastic displays of hockey for the neutrals in the crowd.
With 7 minutes 36 seconds of the period remaining, defenceman Owen Rae won the puck in his own end before skating through to the Kirkcaldy offensive zone. Rae struck the puck sweetly, seeing it go in off the post, past Cameron Kenny in the Kirkcaldy goal, Sharks took the lead 1-0. The players celebrated, the crowd were cheering, and it was time for coach Jamie Thomson to settle his team, he called for composure and discipline to see the game out and this team did not disappoint. Kirkcaldy took a penalty, and the Sharks went on the power play. As the clock ticked down the Kirkcaldy bench pulled their goalie.
As the puck broke it landed at the stick of Bailey Thomson who skated to the net and tapped the puck home, 2-0 the final score.
The handshake at the end showed the respect these teams have for each other, fierce opponents on the ice, friends off it.
As the Solway Sharks u16s were called up to collect their individual medals, Bailey Thomson lifted the trophy on behalf of his team to celebrate with them.
U16’s Head Coach Ross Murray said..
it’s been a pleasure to coach this group of players this season. Their hard work and dedication is a testament to themselves and the club, it’s been a great achievement, one they should all be proud of, with most of this team moving up to u19’s next season, Im excited to see what’s to come for them. The future is bright.
Solway sharks head coach Martin Grubb said…
This year has been an amazing year for this group of players and winning 1 trophy is nice but winning both the league and cup shows how good they have been. The players bought in to the coaches systems from early in the season and as a group they have grown not only a players but young people and that is something to be proud off. They all deserve massive credit and it shows how much our player pathway works when the majority have came through our program. Congratulations to everyone involved in the success and long may it continue.
The club would like to say a massive thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers, parents and players. A fantastic end to the season.
Anyone interested in playing ice hockey should contact Dumfries ice Bowl 01387 251300 or Solway Sharks Junior Ice Hockey club @ [email protected].