Whitley Warriors 2017/18 season got off to an encouraging start as David Longstaff’s side got the better of Whitley Bay Islanders by 9 goals to nil on Thursday evening at Hillheads Ice Rink in Whitley Bay. Warriors player/coach Longstatff opted not to dress for this game so that the youngsters in his roster could get some valuable ice time in a competitive game environment.
Warriors operated with 3 forward lines and 3 defensive pairings and started the game with senior goaltender Richie Lawson as their last line of defence. There were a few familiar names in the Islanders line up as they had a number of former Warriors in their ranks including the likes of netminder Calvin Khass and uncompromising d man Kevin Bucas amongst others.
Once the game got underway Warriors new import Phil Edgar was quick to make a positive impression with some slick stick handling that saw him grab the game’s opening goal with only 18 seconds on the clock. Islanders were giving a good account of themselves in the opening exchanges of the game and their netminder Khass made a smart stop to deny Ben Richards with 6 minutes on the clock.
Warriors grabbed their 2nd goal of the game shortly afterwards though when Jordan Barnes found the back of the net before Martin Crammond made it 3-0 on the 13 minute mark. Just a minute later it appeared Jordan Barnes had grabbed his 2nd goal of the game however it was washed out by the referee David Emmerson after a consultation between himself, the linesman and the goal judge. Whitley did make it 4-0 before the end of the opening period though when Phil Edgar found the top corner of the net with a sweetly timed strike.
The Islanders began the 2nd period positively and went close to getting on the scoresheet themselves with a number of opportunities however Richie Lawson in the Warriors goal stood firm and protected his net admirably. Warriors extended their lead after half an hour of play when Phil Edgar grabbed his 3rd goal of the game with a close range finish.
Warriors were now creating a number of genuine goal scoring chances with saw Lonsgtaff’s side grab a further 4 goals in a 5 minute spell thanks to strikes from Dean Holland, DJ Good, Ben Richards and Jordan Barnes. Both sides opted to change their netminders during the 2nd period of play with saw Jordan Boyle (Warriors) and Anthony Markham (Islanders) see some ice time.
The decision was then made to end the game at the 40 minute mark with the scoreline 9-0 in Warriors’ favour.