Spartans Put Sharks to Sword
Spartans were missing the injured Andy Cook and Nick Whyatt along with Tom Parkinson but welcomed back Dave Pyatt from injury. Defenceman Richard Evans made his Spartans debut with Brad Day starting in goal backed by Brandon Stones. Charlie Thompson, Matty Piggott & Cam Brownley did not dress/ice.
Spartans were looking in good form and in control when we conceded a bit of a howler when we failed to clear the puck as it trickled over the line for Sharks to take the lead on 6.55. Ross Murray scored for Sharks, assisted Craig Mitchell & Pavol Melichercik. From that point until the end of the period it was Sharks that were the better team but they struggled to break down a well organised & determined Spartans defence who ensured there was just the one goal difference between the teams.
The second period saw Spartans as the more dominant side and in fairness deserved their equalising goal scored by Jonathon Kirk assisted Stuart Brittle & Scott Morris. A powerplay goal timed at 24.30. Solway started to adopt a more physical approach to which Spartans stood up to well to take the lead after good work from Ross Jordan & Stuart Brittle found Scott Morris to score a well taken goal on 32.12. Sharks immediately tried to hit back by putting Spartans under some intense pressure with some good hockey but yet again Spartans defence stood firm to deny Solway. It was a relief when Spartans managed a breakaway with some nice play and passing from Jonathon Kirk & Stuart Brittle to find Sam Jones to score on 37.03. Both teams had a good chance to add to the score line but the netminders did their job to see the period end Spartans 3 Sharks 1.
Both teams created some great opportunities to score, the best arguably falling to Sharks but even though they were marginally the better team they didnâ€™t look as comfortable on the puck as Spartans did who also seemed more prepared to battle for the points than Solway did. As the period progressed Solway looked more threatening and did eventually break down Spartans rear-guard on 56.09 through Juraj Senko, assisted Iain Bowie & Struan Tonnar. This set up a close finish, especially when a harsh penalty call on Will Barron left Sharks on the powerplay with 1.58 left on the clock. Despite the numerical advantage which included Sharks pulling their netminder, Spartans hung on to claim a hard fought but deserved victory. Will Barron was awarded Spartans Man of the Match whilst Pavol Melichercik won it for Sharks.
Final Score: Spartans 3 – Solway Sharks 2