Mixed fortunes for the Sharks
Solway Sharks got their league campaign underway on Saturday night, welcoming last season’s league champions Sheffield Steeldogs to Dumfries Ice Bowl.
The Sharks, sponsored by Building Craftsmen Dumfries, expected a tough test and they were not to be disappointed.
The pace, and the play, was fast, furious and physical and with the sides fairly evenly matched, it took almost the whole of the first period to break the deadlock.
Josh Grieveson found the net on the powerplay from Joe Coulter and Steven Moore, much to the delight of the home crowd and Sharks, went into the first break 1-0 ahead.
Second period play continued rapidly, the Dogs next to find the net via Nathan Salem with a shorthanded goal to even the score at 1-1.
Not to be outdone, Solway replied, Iain Bowie scoring from Lewis Baldwin and Moore to put the Sharks back in the lead.
Minutes later Ashley Calvert found the net for Steeldogs, bringing scores back even, the score remaining tied up until the end of the second period at 2-2.
The Sharks battled hard throughout the final period and remained strong and resolute until the Dogs broke through the defence and past Kyle Johnston in net on the powerplay to retake the lead through Ben Morgan; 3-2 Dogs.
The game was put out of Solway’s reach when Milan Kolena found the net with the final goal of the game.
Josh Grieveson was Solway’s man of the match.
Cup game at Blackburn
Sunday saw the team travel to take on Blackburn Hawks in the North Cup.
The Sharks looked strong from the start and took advantage of a powerplay to open the scoring, Scott Henderson finding the net from Kyle Horne and James Hutchinson.
Despite numerous Solway forays on the Hawks’ net, the score remained 1-0 to Solway going into the period break.
Another strong start saw the Sharks take the upper hand in the second period and another goal soon followed, Henderson finding Sharks man of the match against Steeldogs was Josh Grieveson and he is pictured here with young fan Aaron Lorimer. the net again, assists coming from Joe Coulter and Josh Grieveson.
Hawks managed to pull a goal back courtesy of Peta Valusiak and the end of the second stanza saw the score at Blackburn 1 Solway 2.
The final period saw Solway exert their dominance and a flurry of scoring followed, firstly Peter Gapa with a powerplay goal from James Hutchison and Lewis Baldwin, swiftly followed by Iain Bowie assisted by Liam Stenton and Joe Coulter.
With a now comfortable 4-1 lead, Solway were caught on the hop when Lee Pollitt scored another for Hawks, finding a way past Jordan McLaughlin in goal to make the score 4-2 in Solway’s favour.
Richard Bentham restored the gap from James Hutchinson and Lewis Houston. A powerplay goal from Scott Henderson saw him get his hat-trick from Ross Murray and James Hutchinson and put the result of the game in no doubt.
The final score of Hawks 2 Sharks 6 sees the Dumfries team progress in the cup campaign.
Scott Henderson was Solway’s man of the match.
Coach Martin Grubb, said: “On Saturday I thought we played really well against Steeldogs for 45 minutes and we should have been further ahead, then a few defensive lapses let us down.
“We need to be stronger in front of the net but we can work on that in training and you need to take your chances when you are on top against a quality team like Sheffield.
“Against last year’s champions I thought it was a good performance but disappointing result.
“Sunday saw us get the win on an ice surface that is tough to play our game on.
“I felt we were always in control of the game but it took us until the third period to execute on our powerplay and put the game to bed.
“It was a good result and nice to get our first win of the season.”
Solway Sharks are back in action at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Saturday at 7pm when they face Billingham Stars.