The BCD Solway Sharks got their season off to a flying start with an excellent win over the Billingham Stars at the Shark Tank on Saturday evening.
As they found their feet the Sharks brushed aside the Stars with a three-one win that really could have been much bigger but for a tremendous display of netminding by an in-form James Flavell in the Stars nets.
Calum Hepburn got the start between the pipes for the Sharks and what a display he put up with forty-one saves from forty-two shots for a 97.62% success rate which not surprisingly won him the Man of the Match award for the home side. On the night the Sharks youngster had three breathtaking saves in a match that could have been out of sight but for the skills of Flavell at the other end.
The game started with play sweeping from end to end with chances a-plenty but with no takers. Solway finally broke the deadlock in the fifteenth minute when debutant Ben Edmonds fired home assisted by Murray and Hutchinson. Two minutes later it was two-nil with Kim Miettinen opening his account assisted by Henderson giving the sharks a deserved two goal cushion.
In the second period it was all Solway peppering the Stars net with twenty-four shots but only a solitary strike from Duncan Speirs assisted by Henderson and Moore to show for their superiority, on another night it could easily have been a six goal lead rather tan three.
Into the third period and the Stars found a bit of momentum. After pulling a goal back in the forty-sixth minute on their sixth powerplay of the night it looked like they could punish the Sharks for failing to capitalise on their second period play. However, Calum’s saves and a moment of sheer madness by Brown on the Stars bench, which gained him a match penalty for physical abuse of an official, saw the Sharks see out the game comfortably for a deserved three-one win.
The Man of the match awards were presented to James Flavell for Billingham and to Callum Hepburn for Solway.