The BCD Solway Sharks fell to an eight-five defeat against the title-chasing Hull Pirates at the Shark Tank on Saturday night in what turned out to be a very entertaining match-up, for two periods at least.
After the opening skirmishes Hull gradually started to take control of the match and went ahead in somewhat controversial circumstances when Lee Bonner’s (05:56) shot beat Kyle Johnston and appeared to drop on the goal line after striking the crossbar. However, the goal judge put the light on and the referee, Mr Emmerson, gave the goal. Undaunted Solway hit back and within ninety seconds they were on level terms when Iain Bowie (07:21) fired home the rebound after Adam Long had blocked Connor Henderson’s shot.
The visitors gradually regained control of the game and a measure of their dominance can be seen in the shot count which went in their favour seventeen to six. The fact that the Pirates were only to score one further time in the session was largely due to the form of netminder Kyle Johnston who was only beaten when James Archer (17:30) scored after a superb end to end attack that also involved Lee Bonner and Sam Towner.
The second period began badly for the Sharks as they constantly found themselves on the back foot against a pacey and skillful opponent and is not really a surprise when they took a four-one advantage with goals from James Archer (22:04) and Jordan Fisher (25:11). With six minutes remaining in the period play became a little tasty on the ice with some strong challenges from both teams but it seemed to fire up the Sharks more than their opponents.
Firstly Duncan Speirs (34:44) collected a Stevie Moore pass and shot home from the slot to get the Sharks moving and reduce the deficit to two. Next Iain Bowie (35:58) collected a Connor Henderson pass on the left and cut inside to the slot before firing home a delightful wrist shot for Solway’s third goal. Better was yet to come for the Sharks fans as, with Hull in disarray, Iain Bowie and Joe Coulter worked the puck to Lewis Houston (36:36) who shot home from the face-off circle to level the scores.
Then in quick succession Scott Henderson took a high stick to the mouth which went unpunished before Marek Charvat was given a two plus ten for an alleged check to the head. However, the Sharks had their tails up and before the penalty kill had ended their play had forced the Pirates into conceding two penalties of their own to leave the home side with a five on three advantage. Patiently Kyle Horne and Duncan Speirs worked the puck around to Stevie Moore (39:12 PP) to score from a very narrow angle on the right wing and Solway had taken the lead five-four.
Unfortunately for the Sharks the least said about the final period the better, the second interval had come at exactly the wrong time for them, their moment was broken. Hull returned to the ice and killed off the remainder of the penalty without any real trouble then they went on the attack. In the final period the Pirates scored four goals without reply courtesy of Thomas Stubley (46:51), Lee Bonner (49:47), Sam Towner (52:20) and Matthew Davies (53:16). On the night Hull were worthy winners but the Sharks did give them a very real scare in the second period. A testament to the visitors attacking play was the fact that over the game they outshot the Sharks by fifty-two shots to twenty-three which very rarely happens in the Shark Tank.
Man of the Match for the Hull Pirates was presented to Lee Bonner and to Lewis Houston for the Sharks.
Full match video courtesy of Duncan Speirs Snr. Thank you Duncan.
Post match interview with our mascot for the game, five year old Aaron Lorimer
Post match interview with Hull Pirate’s Chris Wilcox
Post match interview with Sharks head coach Martin Grubb