On Sunday evening Warriors took on the Combined Armed Forces in their first game in front of their passionate fanbase this term. Whitley opted to start the game with Rory Dunn in nets and rotate several forward and defensive lines so everyone in the senior squad saw significant ice time over the course of the game. Warriors goaltender Mark Turnbull started the game in the Armed Forces goal as a guest player for the visitors.
Whitley only took 19 seconds to get on the scoresheet when Shaun Kippin tapped home following some eye catching interplay between Dean Holland and Phil Edgar. Edgar got on the scoresheet himself 3 minutes later when the young Canadian applied the finish with Ben Richards and Harry Harley picking up the assists. Alternate captain Jordan Barnes increased Warriors lead further on 7 minutes when he fired home.
Whitley continued to look dangerous going forward in the opening period of action with the forward line of Holland, Kippin and Edgar causing many a problem for the Forces d men. Edgar almost grabbed his second goal of the game when he saw his shot come back off the post later on in the period. The Forces generated some chances of their own towards the end of the first with McWilliams going close for the visitors.
The middle session of play saw Warriors continue to have the better of the contest and the home side extended their lead through Edgar, Kippin and Ben Richards before the half hour mark. Shaun Kippin then grabbed his hatrick marker with a well taken goal following some nice approach play once more from his line mates Edgar and Holland. Warriors made it 8-0 on 33 minutes when Kippin was on target once more. Warriors last goal of the second stanza came when blue liner Liam Smedley impressively netted after skating through the Forces defence.
Warriors player/coach David Longstaff and captain Dean Holland did not dress for the third period of play to allow the youngsters in the Whitley set up to see even more ice time in a competitive game. After 40 minutes of play Warriors senior goalie Richie Lawson took over from Mark Turnbull in the visitors net as a guest player for the Forces.
The third period saw plenty of grit and determination from the Forces who kept going until the final buzzer however Warriors were able to net a further six goals through Barnes, Harley, Kippin (2), Ross and Tomlinson to claim a 15-0 victory in front of a healthy crowd at Hillheads. Shaun Kippin was chosen as Warriors’ Man of the Match as reward for his six goals and two assists though a mention must also be given to netminder Rory Dunn who posted a shut out for Whitley.
Next weekend sees Warriors in league action for the first time this season when Whitley travel to Solway on Saturday evening for a clash with the Sharks before a home game at Hillheads against Blackburn Hawks on Sunday (5pm face off).