The BCD Solway Sharks continued their run of fine form when the Whitley Warriors came to “first fit” on Saturday evening and ran out winners by seven goals to three although this result was not without its scares.
The opening exchanges between the two teams were fairly even with play flowing from end to end and Kyle Johnston, deputising in goal for the injured Calum Hepburn, made several fine blocks to keep the visitors out. Solway eventually opened the scoring in the ninth minute when Vaclav Kolarik and Connor Henderson combined to set up Ross Murray (08:30) to score from the blueline. Unfortunately for the Sharks that lead was not to last long as the Warriors immediately broke up the right and David Longstaff and Josh Maddock set up Shaun Kippin (08:55) to net from close range.
Quickly the Sharks regained the momentum and Scott Henderson (09:53) picked up a loose puck on the left before cutting in towards goal before unleashing a tremendous drive from the face-off circle that beat the Whitley keeper glove side before thumping into the net. The first powerplay of the game went to Solway when Shaun Kippin was penalised for slashing and with a man advantage the puck was passed around patiently until Kyle Horne and Connor Henderson were able to set up Marek Charvat (14:40PP) to score with a slapshot from the blueline. The Sharks underlined their dominance at this point of the game when a Connor Henderson pass allowed Vaclav Kolarik to split the defence with a pass that found Daniel Abercrombie (15:18) free in the slot and he produced the perfect finish with a deft chip over the diving netminder.
The second period, from a Solway point of view, is probably best forgotten. To the visitors credit they were quick to catch onto the Sharks seeming indifference and took the game to the home side scoring powerplay goals from Dean Holland (23:20 PP) and Sam Zajac (24:13 PP) before Solway reacted to the situation and began to fight their way back into the game.
Whatever coach Grubb said to the player during the second interval seemed to do the trick as they returned to the ice for the final period in a far more positive state of mind and it wasn’t long before that would be reflected on the scoreboards. A neat interchange of passes between Stuart Kerr and Vaclav Kolarik allowed the latter to thread a pinpoint pass across the goalmouth to Joe Coulter (49:12) who neatly shot past Jordan Boyle who had replaced Richie Lawson in the Warriors goal to give the Sharks a two goal cushion. A minute later Kolarik was again the provider with another defence-splitting pass that allowed Connor Henderson (50:29) to convert with an acrobatic shot as he was falling. With the game won and the clock running down Kolarik notched his fifth assist of the game when he redistributed Kyle Horne’s pass onto Ross Murray (56:38 PP) to score on a Solway powerplay.
Man of the Match for the Warriors was presented to Ross Douglass while Josh Grieveson picked up that honour for the Sharks.
A gallery of photographs from this match can be found by following this link.
Post match interviews with Ross Douglas (Whitley Warriors), Josh Grieveson and Martin Grubb.
Full match video courtesy of Duncan Speirs with 2nd and 3rd period commentary courtesy of Adam Mackman