Warriors Bounce Back to Beat Barons

Matty McDonald with a cross ice pass

Matty McDonald with a cross ice pass. Photo by IceHockeyMedia.

Whitley Warriors achieved a 4-2 road win against Solihull Barons at Hobs Moat Road on Sunday evening.

Making the trip with sixteen skaters and starting netminder Josh Crane, Whitley took to the ice without an import in their line-up, although forwards Jordan Barnes, Adam Finlinson and Callum Queenan were available for this clash after missing out on last weekend’s road trip to Nottingham. Meanwhile, Solihull had fourteen skaters and two netminders at their disposal, with top points scoring Swedish import Niklas Ottosson, top goal scorer Thomas Soar and sturdy shot stopper Sam Hewitt in their ranks.

Whilst battling with the Barons for possession in the early stages of the game, the Warriors picked up their first penalty of the contest as Queenan was sidelined for high sticks on 4:48. After working hard on the penalty kill, the Warriors continued to find themselves up against some strong opposition in the Barons with neither team able to break the deadlock as play progressed. A holding penalty for Alternate Captain Barnes followed on 14:19 to see Whitley go shorthanded once more but again Solihull could not take full advantage of their power play to leave the score line unchanged. Fifty nine seconds later, Barnes was back in the penalty box, incitement his misdemeanour on this occasion, but shot stopper Crane withstood the Barons’ pressure to keep the score line at 0-0 at the first interval.

Twenty eight seconds into the second stanza, Barons’ Captain Marcus Maynard was sinbinned for interference but Whitley’s power play proved to be short lived as versatile Warrior Kyle Ross joined him just twenty five seconds later following a holding offence to even the playing field. Approximately three minutes after these penalties terminated, utility player Steven Chalmers opened the scoring for the Warriors on 25:55, defenceman Matty McDonald and forward Callum Watson with the assists. It took the home team around nine minutes to find an equaliser as James Smith beat Crane on 34:24 courtesy of fellow forward Philip Mulcahy and defenceman Kieran Papps. Moments later, a penalty of 2+2 for Watson on 36:27 for hooking and abuse of an official left Whitley shorthanded and Solihull did not waste time in capitalising on this occasion, forward Andrew Whitehouse immediately giving his team a 2-1 lead assisted by blue liners Maynard and Bailey Challans. Though the Warriors returned to full strength in the final minute of the period, they could not equalise to find themselves with a one-goal deficit at the second break.

Returning for the final twenty minutes of play, Whitley sought to recover lost ground but this did not prove to be an easy task, the Warriors toiling for an equaliser whilst Solihull remained resolute in defence to guard their narrow lead. Whitley’s persistence eventually paid off however, Finlinson levelling the scoring just past the midpoint of the period after some neat work from Queenan and defenceman Dylan Hehir in the build-up. Seventy seconds later, the Warriors edged ahead of the Barons, Hehir again involved as he paired up with forward Ross Douglass to support Jamie Ord’s successful effort on goal which restored Whitley’s lead on 52:49. This goal prompted a timeout from Solihull but the Warriors were focused on securing both points and continued to test Hewitt. Outshooting the Barons by a total of 17 efforts to the home team’s 5 attempts on net in this period, the Warriors strove to widen the margin between themselves and their opposition but it was only in the final two minutes when Solihull pulled Hewitt in place of the additional skater that Whitley were able to hit the target for a fourth time; Watson executing an empty net goal on 59:11 after Kippin linked up with utility player Adam Wood to pick out the forward. This goal making it 4-2, Whitley saw out the remaining seconds of the game comfortably to head home contented with two points from their hard-fought road victory.


Shots on goal
Barons:      22
Warriors:   36

James Smith (1+0), Andrew Whitehouse (1+0), Philip Mulcahy (0+1), Kieran Papps (0+1), Bailey Challans (0+1), Marcus Maynard (0+1)

Callum Watson (1+1), Steven Chalmers (1+0), Adam Finlinson (1+0), Jamie Ord (1+0), Dylan Hehir (0+2), Matty McDonald (0+1), Shaun Kippin (0+1), Ross Douglass (0+1), Adam Wood (0+1), Callum Queenan (0+1)

Penalty minutes
Barons:      2
Warriors:  12

Man of the Match
Barons:     Andrew Whitehouse
Warriors:  Josh Crane