The BCD Solway Sharks rebounded immediately from Saturday’s disappointing loss to Billingham with a fine six-three road win over the Blackburn Hawks on Sunday to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the league. The importance of the league placing being that the Sharks would avoid meeting an ex-EPL team in the first round of the play-off’s if they maintain their current position.
After a bright start to the game the home side quickly opened the scoring when Steven Duncombe and Lewis Baldwin were the providers for Jozef Istocy (02:33) to score and the Hawks might have scored more but for the form of Kyle Johnston who got the start in between the pipes. Not long after the mid-way point in the period the Sharks received their first powerplay of the game on a Richard Bentham slash and Kyle Horne and Jordan Buesa were the providers for Scott Henderson (12:30 PP) to level the scores and that was how the teams were to remain until the first interval.
Solway returned to the ice in determined mood and it didn’t take long for Jordan Buesa and Joe Coulter to open up the Blackburn defence for Iain Bowie (23:02) to score his first of the night. Play remained close for much of the next ten minutes before tempers frayed a little with both Aaron Davies and Daniel Abercrombie receiving two plus ten’s for a check to the head in separate incidents. On this occasion the disruptions to play seemed to favour the Sharks as Joe Coulter and Jordan Buesa again set up Iain Bowie (36:52) to score before Struan Tonnar (38:12) converted a Kyle Horne pass to make the score three-one in Solway’s favour at the second intermission.
The Hawks started the final session on a penalty kill with Luke Boothroyd in the box for roughing but this didn’t stop Richard Bentham intercepting a loose pass and feeding Matt Viney (40:12 SH) who duly netted a short-handed goal. Worse was to come for the Sharks as Richard Bentham (42:19) then reduced the deficit to one with a well-taken unassisted goal. Blackburn sensed that a comeback was on the cards and piled forward only to be met by a well-drilled Solway defence and a determined netminder.
The Sharks responded well to Blackburn’s revival and some enterprising play from Duncan Speirs and Stevie Moore soon allowed Ross Murray (46:31) to find the net and sooth frayed nerves as he restored a two goal advantage. The home side continued to look for a way back into the game only to be met with a brick wall that they just couldn’t penetrate and with time running out they pulled their netminder for a sixth skater. Unfortunately for them they were to suffer the same fate as Solway had the night before when they lost possession allowing Kyle Horne and Iain Bowie to set up Jordan Buesa (58:41) to close out the game with an empty net goal.
The Man of the Match Awards were presented to Kyle Johnston for the Sharks and to Lewis Baldwin for the Hawks.