Last Sunday the BCD Solway Sharks travelled to the North East to face a Whitley side that was almost invincible in their own barn last season but not this year as the Sharks produced a devastating performance to blow away the Warriors nine-two. The result was doubly satisfying as the match was played as both a league and cup fixture. Two weeks into the season the Sharks sit proudly on top of both leagues with a 100% record.
With a boisterous crowd behind them the Warriors exploded from the start but Solways’ defence stood firm. Sharks first attack saw Connor Henderson fire them into the lead on the two minute mark but that lead was short-lived as Whitley were level within thirty seconds.
Solway soon went on a powerplay which became a five on three advantage on the four minute mark and they took full advantage of the extra men to take the lead thirty seconds later when Bentham scored assisted by Coulter. With the home side back to five skaters the Sharks continued to press and ninety seconds later Coulter and Fowley combined to allow Speirs to make the score three-one. The frantic pace gradually settled down and it looked like the scoring was over until Senko rifled home a shot that Lawson in the home goal never saw. A dream period for the sharks and a three goal lead.
Into the second period and Duncan Speirs took the wind out of any Whitley sails with an early goal at 21:30 assisted by Senko. Warriors finally got going midway through the period and after some sustained pressure they reduced the Sharks advantage to three with a goal at 33:29. But within a minute Richard Bentham restored the four goal cushion assisted by Coulter and Miettinen.
In the third period Solway shut the door and, as Warriors frustrations grew, they hit them with a quick double at 47:27 and 50:02 from Bentham and Scott Henderson with assists going to Speirs, Coulter, Andrews and Moore. Eight-two was too much for Whitley and out came the rough stuff. Two quick powerplays allowed the Sharks to control the puck and Abercrombie put the icing on the cake with an unassisted powerplay goal with four minutes remaining to make the final score-nine two in the Sharks favour.
Match report by L Maxwell.