North Ayrshire go wild against the Stingrays
Solway Stingrays, the Scottish National Ice Hockey League (SNL) team from the Solway Sharks, faced their second game of the season on Saturday, welcoming North Ayrshire Wild to the Ice Bowl in their first home fixture.
In front of a healthy and expectant crowd of supporters from both teams, the Stingrays were looking to improve on their 12-2 defeat in their first game, and they took to the ice in determined fettle.
In a hard-fought, physical and penalty-littered game, Solway were on the back foot for the whole of the first period and found themselves 4-0 down at the end of the first period, Grant Scott in nets having faced a torrent of 24 shots.
The second saw the Stingrays under pressure from the forceful and dynamic Wild offence and the middle stanza saw them concede another three goals, despite some good attacking plays of their own.
Going into the final period 7-0 down, the Stingrays dug deep, skated hard and were rewarded when Euan Edgar netted on the powerplay with five minutes of the game left, assisted by Andrew Creighton.
Wild stepped up the pace and rattled another two past Douglas Carmichael who had taken over in nets for the last period and found himself under a barrage of 26 shots to make the final score Stingrays 1 Wild 9. Arran Shankland was Stingrays man of the match. Coach Craig Jackson, said: “The game today couldn’t have got off to a worse start, losing a goal within the first 30 seconds.
“From then we really struggled to get any form of a grip on the game. Our biggest downfall today was discipline, taking penalties is inevitable when you’re playing in physical game but when taking these penalties we need to ensure that we are tight at the back and not giving away chances.
“The third period saw us show more grit, determination and team spirit so hopefully we can grow on that going into next week’s double header.
“This current round of cup games is being used by the Stingrays to get the team working through the basics as many of the guys we have iced tonight have been out of SNL hockey for many years.
“We are hopeful of improving on our results as we head into the league season. We have areas that we need to work on, but I do feel that as the guys get more training ice and game time in the coming weeks we will see a vast improvement in their performances and team results.”
Stingrays are back in action at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Sunday against Paisley Pirates at 5.30pm.