Warriors claim victory over Lions

David Longstaff, Ben Richards, Adam Finlinson

David Longstaff, Ben Richards, Adam Finlinson. Photo by IceHockeyMedia

Whitley Warriors travelled down to the East Midlands on Sunday evening to take on the Nottingham Lions in a NIHL North Division 1 match up. This was the second match up between these 2 sides this season as Whitley came out on top in the first encounter by a scoreline of 4 goals to 1 back in late September.

Warriors took a strong squad of players down to the National Ice Centre to take on the Lions with Mark Turnbull in nets, the likes of Harry Harley, Liam Smedley and Josh Maddock in defence and DJ Good, Callum Watson, Dean Holland and Ben Richards up front.

Warriors started the game in a positive manner and took the lead with just under 4 minutes on the clock when blue liner Harry Harley fired home a powerplay marker for Whitley with David Longstaff and Dean Holland picking up the assists. Nottingham levelled the game up on 27 minutes when Ondrej Pniok opened the scoring for the hosts. As the game progressed David Longstaff’s side continued to hold the upper hand though and after 40 minutes of play the side from North Tyneside led 3-1 with Shaun Kippin and Phil Edgar also grabbing goals for Whitley.

Lions made it a 1 goal game with 49 minutes on the clock when Ruskin Hughes grabbed a powerplay strike for the home side after Warriors Callum Watson had been penalised for slashing by referee William Hewitt.

Warriors took the game away from Nottingham late on as Adam Finlinson and Callum Watson both grabbed goals to ensure the points returned to Tyneside. Whitley netminder Mark Turnbull was once again at the top of his game as the youngster saved 28 of the 30 shots that came his way as he worked his way to 93.33% save percentage over the course of the contest.

Warriors victory consolidates their healthy mid table league position in the NIHL North Division 1 table and keeps them well placed for a play off spot come the end of the regular season. Whitley are in action twice next weekend as Whitley travel across the Pennines to Blackburn on Saturday evening before a home game against the Solway Sharks on Sunday night at Hillheads in Whitley Bay which will get underway at 5pm.