Straight from the opening puck drop David Longstaff’s charges went straight onto the attack and this was to be a pattern that was to repeat itself throughout the night and, to the home side’s credit, the tactic worked. At no point in the game were the Sharks allowed to settle on the puck for any length of time and at no point were they able dominate either possession or territory. In the first period alone the Warriors accumulated a total of nineteen shots on the Solway goal and if it had not been for the excellence of netminder Kyle Johnston the home side would have scored a number of goals. However, on the day the Sharks youngster stood on his head and the teams left the ice at the first interval with the scoreboard showing zero-zero.
On returning to the ice for the second period Whitley again went on the offensive and took just under two minutes to open the scoring. With the referee, Mr Emmerson, indicating a delayed penalty call on the Sharks Ben Richards was able to feed the puck out from the back boards to Adam Finlinson (21:54) to fire home with a low shot from the slot. In the first period Duncan Speirs had looked to be the Sharks danger man on the occasions when they were able to attack but in the second period Stevie Moore was the Solway forward who caused the home defence the most problems. In defence the Sharks certainly tightened up and, while still mainly on the back foot, they actually out shot their opponents by twelve shots to ten in this period but they just couldn’t quite find a way past Richie Lawson in the Whitley goal.
The Solway travelling support hoped that things might finally swing their way in the final period and, after a more even start to the session, they got their wish with ten minutes to go in the game. Connor Henderson picked up a loose puck deep in his own half and broke strongly up centre-ice before his blocked shot found Iain Bowie on the left wing. With Mr Emmerson again indicating a delayed penalty the Solway forward looked up and saw Stevie Moore (50:20) moving into the low slot area and when the pass came his way he deftly found the back of the net to level the scores.
Unfortunately for Solway their joy was to be short lived as a minute later the home side regained their lead. DJ Good won a face-off to the right of the Sharks goal before Sam Zajac slipped the puck square for Martin Crammond (51:29) to score with a powerful low drive through traffic. The Sharks tried everything they knew to get back on level terms but each time they found that the Warriors defence had the back door well and truly bolted. With twenty seconds to play Coach Grubb pulled netminder Johnston in favour of an extra skater but when possession was lost Sam Zajac (59:54 ENG) was able to fire home Whitley’s third goal from centre-ice to settle the game in their favour.
The Man of the Match Awards were presented to Duncan Speirs for the Sharks and to Kyle Hindmarsh-Ross for the Warriors.