The BCD Solway Sharks completed a very welcome four point weekend with an excellent ‘come from behind’ five-three victory over the Stars at the Billingham Forum on Sunday evening.
For the opening twelve minutes there was little to choose between the two teams and they tended to cancel each other for much of the time at centre ice. The game suddenly sprung into life when Stuart Kerr sent Stevie Moore down the left wing to set up Ross Murray (13:36) to score with a shot from a narrow angle that beat James Flavell at his near post. The Billingham response was quick and decisive as Michael Elder (14:14) fired home from the right-hand circle before Deniss Baskatovs (14:56) gave his side the lead with a neat side-step and shot from the slot.
The Stars started the second period on a powerplay after Duncan Speirs had been called for a hook at the very end of the previous session and they soon made the Sharks pay a heavier price when the unmarked Chris Sykes (20:46 PP) scored from about three yards out. The Sharks were soon on a powerplay of their own but left it until the final second to score when Connor Henderson and Stevie Moore combined to work the puck back out to James Hutchinson (23:05 PP) to net with a slapshot through traffic from the blueline.
While neither side could be faulted for effort there was to be no more scoring until the game moved into its final ten minutes when the Sharks moved up a gear to score three times without reply. First off the mark was Duncan Speirs (52:27) when he hit the target from the slot after good work on the back boards from Jordan Buesa. Thirty seconds later Solway took the lead when provider became goal scorer as Jordan Buesa (53:07) fired home a James Hutchinson pass from the high slot.
Billingham tried their best to get back into the game but found that Solway had the back door fully bolted and their luck finally ran out eighteen seconds from the end when they lost possession in Sharks territory where Marek Charvat (59:42) was on hand to fire home an empty net goal.
The Man of the Match Award for the Sharks went to James Hutchinson for an excellent and composed performance while James Flavell was the equally deserving recipient for the Stars.
A gallery of photographs from this fixture can be found by following this link.