Whitley Warriors take on the Sheffield Spartans in their 3rd game of the 2014/15 season this Saturday in a fixture that faces off at 4.30pm at Ice Sheffield. Warriors are boosted by the news that Head Coach Simon Leach is able to include Martin Crammond and Callum Queenan in the squad after both players missed the victory over the Sutton Sting last weekend.
Whitley are without a number of players for this match up though as Rob Wilson (back) and Adam Reynolds (broken ankle) are both sidelined due to injury. Reynolds will be out for a number of months due to the injury he suffered last Sunday against Sutton however it is hoped Wilson be back in action a lot sooner if his back problem improves.
Warriors are also without skipper Jamie Tinsley, Callum Watson and Jordan Barnes who are all unavailable for the trip to Sheffield. Whitley Coach Simon Leach will make best use of his large squad of players and youngsters such as Ben Richards, Liam Smedley, Kyle H Ross and Callum Queenan are all eager to earn as much ice time as possible for the Warriors in NIHL North hockey.
So far this term Sheffield have only played in 1 competitive game in which they lost out 7-5 against the Billingham Stars despite the fact that Spartans outshot their opponents. Sheffield have a solid home record over the last couple of campaigns and Warriors will be looking to improve on their form at Ice Sheffield as Whitley were not able to record a victory there in the last campaign.
Spartans roster this term looks very similar to their line up from the last campaign with club stalwart Ollie Barron as skipper and the likes of Stuart Brittle, Will Barron and Jonathan Kirk their leading players. Promising netminder Brandon Stones is likely to be Sheffield’s last line of defence and he will be a tough goalie to get the better of as his statistics from last season demonstrate as the youngster recorded a save percentage of almost 90% and goals against average of under 4 goals per game last year.
Warriors fans unable to travel down to Sheffield this weekend are reminded that the club are in action twice next weekend as Whitley travel up to Scotland to play the Solway Sharks in a St Andrews Cup game on Saturday (confirmed face off 7pm) before taking on Sheffield in a NIHL North match on Sunday on home ice at Hillheads when the face off is at 5pm.