Whitley Warriors achieved an 11-3 away win over Sutton Sting on Saturday evening.
Though without defenceman Liam Smedley and suspended forward Ryan Sample, Whitley Warriors travelled to Ice Sheffield with four more skaters than that of Sutton Sting whose line-up included experienced Slovakian forward Stanislav Lašček, Captain Scott Morris and forward George Crawshaw.
Following a positive start from both outfits as the first period unfolded at speed, Canadian forward Phil Edgar came closest to scoring after cutting in from the wing to fire at netminder Warren Gilfoyle. Shortly afterwards, forward Callum Watson fired low to force a pad save from Gilfoyle but the netminder could not prevent Captain Dean Holland from opening the scoring moments later, the Warrior screening the shot stopper before netting on 6:54 following assists from defenceman Martin Crammond and Alternate Captain Sam Zajac. Thirty eight seconds later, Sutton levelled the scoring as forward George Crawshaw went top corner to beat netminder Jordan Boyle with support from Captain Scott Morris. Motivated by this goal, ‘D’ man James Goodman set his sights on Boyle’s net but it was not long after that he collided with Holland along the boards to earn himself a tripping penalty on 9:46. Making quick line changes on the power play, the Warriors sought their second goal but to no avail, Zajac firing into traffic only for Gilfoyle to make the save. Returning to full strength with a view to get ahead in the game, Sutton continued to try their luck against Boyle who successfully kept the side at bay to ensure the teams headed in with no more than a goal apiece at the first interval.
With the Sting appearing particularly lively at the start of the second period, young forward Brady Doxey fired at Boyle in an attempt to take his team into the lead. However, the Warriors were first to convert their possession as hardworking forward Kyle Hindmarsh-Ross buried the puck courtesy of Holland and Edgar to make it 2-1 on 22:30. Some neat passing play between Player-Coach David Longstaff and left winger Ben Campbell brought Whitley no closer to extending their lead and the side soon lost Latvian defenceman Rolands Gritāns to the sin bin when dealt a bench minor for too many men. Though initially under pressure on the penalty kill, the Warriors were quick to achieve a breakaway goal as Campbell claimed possession to execute a clinical shorthanded shot which beat Gilfoyle on 24:58. On his return to the ice, Gritāns received the puck from defenceman Ross Connolly before striking to make it 4-1 which prompted a time out from the Sting. Allowing forward Niall Ryder some ice time, the Warriors came close to scoring again when Holland set his sights on goal but his rebounded shot also trickled away. Countering, youngster Jordan Griffin then saw his attempt closed down by Boyle and Whitley were placed under further pressure when Gritāns was sidelined for interference on 34:08. The Warriors’ penalty kill lasted all of twenty seconds however, as Goodman was punished for hooking. With the second break fast approaching, blue liner Harry Harley fired home in the final minute of the period to send his team in with a four-goal lead.
Whilst the Warriors were hit with a shot from Lašček early in the third stanza, Edgar responded by dancing through Sutton’s defence to make it 6-1 on 41:07. Holland then linked up with Zajac to see the alternate captain find the net before DJ Good’s innovative play presented Watson with the chance to square a pass to Campbell who accomplished his second goal of the evening, causing Sutton to switch Gilfoyle for backup netminder Nicholas Winters. With Doxey’s speed and skill provoking a hooking offence from Zajac, Sutton were awarded a power play but Campbell delivered a second shorthanded goal to complete his hat-trick on 49:07. This goal was the first of three scored in the space of forty seven seconds for Whitley as Harley swiftly added a tenth to his team’s tally before Zajac returned to the ice to slip the puck behind Winters on 49:54. Finding themselves with a ten-goal lead, the Warriors allowed backup netminder Mark Turnbull some ice time and the home team were quick to test him as forward Dominic Martin bagged his side’s second goal on 51:50, Morris assisting alongside defenceman Steven Duncombe on this occasion. Encouraged, Sutton found a third less than three minutes later when Lašček hit the target assisted by defenceman Peter Tóth and hardworking forward Crawshaw. A clean hit from forward Ross Douglass against Griffin then caused the youngster to retaliate, placing Whitley on the power play. Trying to make their efforts count, the Warriors were faced with Sutton’s resolute defence which ensured the score line was no more than 11-3 when the final buzzer sounded.
Shots on goal
George Crawshaw (1+1),Dominic Martin (1+0), Stanislav Lašček (1+0), Scott Morris (0+2), Peter Tóth (0+1), Steven Duncombe (0+1)
Ben Campbell (3+0), Sam Zajac (2+2), Harry Harley (2+0), Dean Holland (1+5),Kyle Hindmarsh-Ross (1+1), Phil Edgar(1+1), Rolands Gritāns (1+0), Callum Watson (0+2), DJ Good (0+2), Ross Connolly (0+1), Martin Crammond (0+1), Josh Maddock (0+1)
Man of the Match
Sting: George Crawshaw
Warriors: Ben Campbell