The Building Craftsmen (Dumfries) Ltd. Solway Sharks made the long journey down to Nottingham on Sunday for a Division 1 North fixture against the Nottingham Lions and after a tough battle emerged victorious to return to the top of the league with a five-three win.
Many of the opening skirmishes went Solway’s way but from the start there were indications that the home attack were fast and dangerous when in possession of the puck. It was, however, the Sharks who struck first when Stevie Moore set up Thomas Charvat (06:55) to score with a powerful shot from long range.
That lead was to be short-lived as firstly Warren Tait (09:34) and then Ondrej Pniok (10:12) found the net in quick succession to give the home side a two-one advantage that they would hold until the first interval.
After the break the young Lions continued to constantly harass their visitors and no Shark player was ever allowed time when in possession of the puck. Understandably, through this, Solway found it difficult to get their passing game going and further disaster struck when Cameron Pywell (31:54) found the net to give the home side a three-one advantage. The Sharks responded well to adversity and before long Stevie Moore (33:41) found himself well placed to reduce the deficit to one after good build-up play from Ross Murray and Kyle Horne.
During the second interval kit man Scott Houston was dispatched to the team bus for Coach Grubb’s hairdryer and, thankfully for the Solway travelling support, that seemed to pay immediate dividends when the teams returned to the ice for the third period. With just twenty-eight seconds on the clock Stuart Kerr and Stevie Moore combined well to create a scoring opportunity for Iain Bowie (40:28) to net his thirteenth goal of this very young season. The Sharks continued to press and for a while Nottingham were forced very much onto the back foot and it was of no real surprise when Connor Henderson (44:24) gave them a four-three advantage from the left-hand side of the slot with assists on the play going to Daniel Abercrombie and Scott Henderson.
It would have been understandable if some Lions heads went down after this but if anything the opposite was the case as they continued to battle for possession all over the ice pad and Calum Hepburn was called into action on several occasions to preserve Solway’s lead. As the game came to its final minute the home side called a time-out and immediately on resumption pulled netminder Thomas Hovell in favour of an extra skater but it was to be the Sharks who sealed victory when Joe Coulter (59:40 ENG) slammed home Connor Henderson’s pass to score an empty net goal.