Home | Blackburn Hawks 19/09/21

Match Result

Blackburn Hawks


Solway Sharks

Date: 19/09/2021
Time: 6.00pm
Away Game
Location: Planet Ice Blackburn Arena

Match Report

Sharks Double Delight

Sunday saw the Building Craftsmen Solway Sharks head to Blackburn to take on the Hawks in their second league game of the season.

In recent games Sharks have come out on top against Hawks, but after the long Covid layoff and new signings for both teams they made a cagey start as they attempted to size up the opposition.  Hawks made a determined start and immediately put the Sharks and McLaughlin in net under pressure, and it was the home team who took the lead at 5:29, James Parsons scoring from Jacob Lutwyche.  Sharks kept playing, Kieran Hair winning the puck and heading over the Hawks blue line at speed, before passing to Gordon Horne who skipped past the Hawks defence and shot low past netminder Ashley Smith to even the score 1–1 at 9:06.  There were spells of good possession for Sharks, but Hawks maintained their pressure, and Sharks had to work hard to keep them at bay.  The period break saw the score even, McLaughlin in Sharks net working hard, having made 24 saves.

Hawks took the lead again early in the second, Parsons again with the goal at 24:15, assisted this time by Petr Valusiak.  Now a goal down Sharks struggled to make headway, forced to work hard to try to contain Hawks.  As the end of the second approached Parsons struck for his hattrick goal at 38:57, assists coming from Lutwyche and Reece Cairney-Witter, Sharks now two goals adrift.  With the buzzer imminent Bowie passed the puck along Hawks blue line to Christian Johnson, his shot was saved by Smith but Scott Henderson was in the perfect position to collect the rebound and send it to the back of the net and reduce the deficit.  Mere seconds later Sharks Captain Struan Tonnar equalised, Bowie and Henderson combining to work the puck to him in space, and he rocketed it home with 10 seconds of the period left to make it 3–3,  two Sharks goals in the final minute.

The travelling Sharks support were on the edge of their seats for the third period, and after 8 minutes of play they were delighted when Sharks managed to take the lead for the first time, a well-worked powerplay seeing Bowie feed the puck to Tonnar who shot a rocket from the blue line right in front of goal past Smith at 48:20.   Hawks responded quickly, Jared Dickinson drawing them back even at 51:27, assisted by Lutwyche.  Minutes later Sharks had a great chance when Scott Henderson was slashed when on a clear-cut scoring opportunity and awarded a penalty shot, but Smith stood tall and made the save to deny him.  There was end to end play, and the prospect of overtime loomed as the end of the game approached with the score still 4-4.  The final minute of the game saw Sharks with the man advantage as Hawks took a penalty, and with 2 seconds left the puck fell to Liam Stenton from the face off, he fed the puck from the right corner to Rick Bentham on the blue line, who shot up and over Smith into the net for the winning goal in the nick of time at 59:58.  Sharks faced off and the final buzzer sounded, a narrow 5–4 victory seeing them grab two valuable league points.  Gordon Horne was man of the match for Sharks.

Coach Martin Grubb told us, “We knew coming into the weekend we had two difficult games and they would both be very different and that proved to be the case. On Saturday we faced a very strong Whitley team and once again we stuck brilliantly to our game plan despite again being short on bodies and the boys were fantastic. I thought we needed 10 minutes or so to get the speed of the game and once we made the adjustments needed especially after the first period we played really well. We were disappointed with our powerplay in the 3rd but that will improve and we still scored 2 PP goals and deserved to win.

Sunday was another team playing their home opener so they were always going to come out with more jump and try and capitalise on our tough Saturday, but we stuck to our task and showed good character to come from behind and eventually get the win. It wasn’t our best performance especially with the high standards we havebut the players were asked to find a way to win and that is exactly what they did against an extremely hard working Hawks team. Overall we need to be happy with our weekends work and start to the season but we know we need to continue to work hard to improve on certain areas of our game and will do that ahead of the Dundee game.”

Solway Sharks MoM Gordon Horne. Photo credit: Steve Pollitt.






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