On Sunday evening Whitley Warriors took on the Deeside Dragons on home ice at Hillheads in Whitley Bay. Warriors were able to name a strong roster of players including the likes of DJ Good, Callum Watson, Harry Harley and Shaun Kippin who were skippered by uncompromising d man Dan Pye. Warriors in form forward Shaun Kippin was coming up against his former side for the 2nd time in 2 weeks following his 7 point haul in North Wales recently.
Whitley started the game on the front foot and grabbed the game’s opening goal just 15 seconds into proceedings when Phil Edgar edged the puck past visitors netminder Oliver Johnson after some nice interplay between Jordan Barnes and Adam Finlinson.
Dragons took only 27 seconds to level the game up though when their player/coach Scott McKenzie found the top corner of the net for Deeside with a sweet strike.
As the game progressed Warriors were creating many forward opportunities and with 7 minutes on the clock Phil Edgar almost restored Whitley’s lead however Johnson in the Dragons goal was able to thwart the Canadian on this occasion. Just 2 minutes later Edgar did grab his 2nd goal of the game with a well taken finish after being nicely set up by his line mate Jordan Barnes.
Everyone inside of Hillheads thought Warriors had their 3rd goal of the game through Harry Harley on 11 minutes however referee Farren did not believe the puck had entered the goal meaning play continued and Dragons launched a counter attack that saw Warriors Kyle Ross penalised for hooking. Warriors were able to kill off the penalty and DJ Good ensured Warriors led 3-1 at the 1st intermission when the experienced forward fired home after a little confusion in the Deeside defence.
Warriors extended their lead 2 minutes into the middle stanza when Ben Richards fired home and shortly afterwards David Longstaff netted to make it 5-1 in the home sides favour.
Dragons were still more than in the game though and Ross Kennedy pulled a goal back for the visitors with 27 minutes on the clock. Deeside got within 2 goals of Warriors 6 minutes later when Scott McKenzie grabbed his 2nd goal of the game. Whitley player/coach David Longstaff opted to call a time out at this point so he could re-organise his roster this saw Warriors go onto keep Dragons at bay for the remainder of the period.
The 3rd period saw Deeside continue to look for a way back into the game with Scott McKenzie leading his side from the front however it was Warriors who grabbed the games next goal when David Longstaff fired home on the powerplay to make it 6-3 to the home side. Whitley almost grabbed a 7th goal late on when Callum Watson and Martin Crammond broke away from the Dragons defence however goaltender Johnson was able to deflect the shot wide. Young d man Liam Smedley was selected as Warriors Man of the Match for a solid display back on the blue line while Deeside netminder Oliver Johnson for chosen as the Dragons best player during the 60 minutes of action.
Next weekend sees Warriors take on the Telford Tigers on Sunday evening in Whitley Bay at the conventional face off time of 5pm. Tigers have started the season in superb form and Whitley will have to be at their best to come out on top against Tom Watkins Tigers.