On Sunday evening David Longstaff and his squad of players made the journey down to South Yorkshire to take on the Sheffield Steeldogs at their Ice Sheffield base. This was to be the first ever game between Warriors and Steeldogs following Sheffield’s move from the now defunct EPL into the NIHL North set up.
In form goaltender Richie Lawson was in between the posts for Warriors who were also able to name the likes of Dean Holland, DJ Good, Jordan Barnes and Martin Crammond in their line up. Sheffield’s roster also looked packed full of talent as Steeldogs squad included names such as Ben Morgan, Adrian Palak, Jamie Spurr and Brandon Stones.
Warriors acquitted themselves well against the league leaders in the opening exchanges of the contest however Steeldogs opened the scoring after 16 minutes when Sheffield import Palak fired home a powerplay marker. Steeldogs quickly grabbed their 2nd goal of the contest when Milan Kolena netted for the home side 2 minutes later which saw Sheffield hold a 2-0 advantage after 20 minutes of hockey.
The middle session of play saw Warriors find a way back into the contest when Jordan Barnes grabbed a goal for Whitley with 33 minutes on the clock with the assists being credited to Kyle Ross and David Longstaff. However Sheffield were able to restore their 2nd goal lead 4 minutes later when Jamie Spurr got the better of Lawson in the Whitley goal.
Spurr picked up his 2nd goal of the evening 5 minutes into the 3rd period when he made it 4-1 to the home side, Warriors continued to give their all and David Longstaff grabbed a goal back for the visitors with just over 10 minutes left in the match up. Warriors were penalised late on by the officials on duty on a delay of the game penalty and Steeldogs made the most of their 1 man advantage when Andrew Hirst found the back of the net to ensure the points went to the home side thanks to a 5-2 victory.
DJ Good was named as Warriors Man of the Match for a hard working display however goaltender Richie Lawson must also be given a mention as he faced a total of 50 shots in the match up and was able to record an impressive save percentage of 90%.
Warriors are back in action next weekend when they host the Deeside Dragons on Saturday evening at Hillheads in a game that faces off at 5pm before a trip down to Shropshire on the Sunday to take on the powerful Telford Tigers.