Building Craftsmen Dumfries-sponsored Solway Sharks were made to work till the very last minute last Saturday, but work they did and secured a 3-1 win over Solihull Barons to maintain their lead atop the NIHL Division 1 North.
The Sharks players rebounded from the previous weekend’s ‘rollercoaster’ Cup games to put on a solid, professional performance and make it four wins from four in league play this season.
Icing a full strength roster, Sharks jumped to a 2-0 lead for the second Saturday in succession. First captain Struan Tonnar was put through by Connor Henderson’s defence-splitting pass and the Sharks #51 made no mistake to open the scoring at 3.26.
Five minutes later, Kim Miettinen fired through traffic from the blueline to beat Sam Hewitt to put Sharks two goals up on the Barons.
A rare defensive lapse gave Solihull an odd-man break. Josh Bruce drew the covering defender before passing to Matthew Maurice and he shot past Kieran Hobbins in the Sharks’ net.
A one-goal game at the first interval remained so through the middle session, though Sharks doubled their visitors shot count 16-8 neither side was able to add to their tally.
The final frame brought a rare powerplay chance for the home side, and it also brought a moment of magic from Juraj Senko.
The blueliner picked up the puck in his own zone before embarking on a mazy skate up the ice past several Solihull players before rifling a shot past Hewitt for the insurance marker at 3-1 with 13 minutes to play.
Solway controlled the play for long periods and were full value for their win, but were made to work for the full sixty minutes – a fact which pleased coach Martin Grubb.
“I thought we were always in control but Solihull kept going and we had to match that – it was good to show our solid defensive qualities and battle to the end,” he said.
“We needed that third goal to be sure but I felt we were comfortable all night, we were still creating chances and but for some wayward finishing and good goaltending the margin could have been wider.”
|1st October 2016||7:00 pm||NIHL (North) D1, Moralee Conference||2016/17|
|Dumfries Ice Bowl|