Weekend of woe for junior Sharks
Disappointment as young guns faced defeat
Solway Sharks Juniors saw three of their teams take to the road this weekend, facing opposition on both sides of the country.
Sunday saw the under-16s team head to take on Lanarkshire Lightning under16s at the Time Capsule in Hamilton.
Lanarkshire caught Solway napping, scoring after just 19 seconds to take the early lead. Undaunted, the Sharks regrouped and pushed forward, captain Scott Rae leading the way with a fine short-handed, unassisted equaliser. Lanarkshire gave no reprieve, taking the lead back less than a minute later, before Lennon McNee struck again to bring Solway back level, assisted by Rae – three goals in 90 seconds seeing the score at 2-2.
The scoring continued apace, Lanarkshire edging ahead again only for Andy Craik to equalise with a shorthanded unassisted goal. Jack Slater was next to find the net for the Sharks, putting them ahead, assisted by Noah Kidd, only to see Lanarkshire take advantage of a penalty to equalise on the powerplay. A frenetic first period finished 4-4.
Solway took to the ice in the second in determined fettle, and were delighted when McNee put them back in the lead from Corbyn Grace. Minutes later Lanarkshire snatched back the equaliser on the powerplay, only for Rae to edge Solway ahead again seconds later with another unassisted effort – Solway 6 Lanarkshire 5.
When Lanarkshire scored three more goals in the final two minutes of the period, Solway could do little to stop them, and the buzzer saw the score Lanarkshire 8, Solway 6.
Lanarkshire hit the ice fast in the third, another two goals in the first three minutes seeing the Sharks fall further behind. Digging deep, they managed to claw one back, Kyle Carruth finding the back of the net from Kidd and McNee to make it 10-7 in Lanarkshire’s favour.
Scott Rae, with his hat-trick and third unassisted goal of the morning, drew Solway back within two goals seconds later. But the Sharks ran out of steam and Lanarkshire were quick to capitalise, scoring three goals in the final four minutes of the period to finish the game 13-8 victors. Jackson Collett was man of the match for Solway.
Coach Carruth reflected: “I expected better from the team, and we will need to look to improve going forward.”
The under-12s team headed off to Kirkcaldy on Saturday, accompanied by the under-14s. The youngest Sharks were first into the fray in Fife and found themselves a goal down after five minutes of play.
The team rallied, and with some hard work all round and some great stops from Braiden Howat in nets, the score stood at 1- 0 Kirkcaldy until the first break.
Solway started the second period flying, Bailey Thomson pouncing and scoring the equaliser after a mere 15 seconds of play from Owen Rae and Ben Armstrong. Kirkcaldy were having none of it and struck back seconds later to restore their one goal lead. The wee Sharks kept their heads up and played some lovely passing hockey, making chances for themselves while keeping the Kirkcaldy forwards at bay. The second period finished with the score at Kirkcaldy 2 Solway 1.
The final period saw yet more concentrated effort from the Sharks and they were unlucky to concede another after five minutes. Showing more of their strength of character the team again found reply, this time Samuel Wojcik sending Cassie McGregor net-ward and she took her chance to make it Kirkcaldy 3 Solway 2. Despite more forays onto the Kirkcaldy net and a creditable workrate the wee Sharks could find no way past the Fife netminder, and the final buzzer saw the score unchanged. Taylor Carruth was Solway’s man of the match.
Coach Gary Carruth, said: “We were really unlucky not to take a point at least. Braiden made some big saves and kept us in the game and it could’ve gone either way in the end.”
The under-14s were next on to the ice, facing a very well-established Kirkcaldy team. The young Sharks soon found themselves swamped and facing a barrage of shots from a formidable Kirkcaldy offence.
Despite the best efforts of the team they could do little to stop onslaught and at the final buzzer the exhausted Sharks were on the wrong end of a 14-0 scoreline. Faith Coughtrie was the MVP for Solway.
Coach Carruth, said: “Kirkcaldy are a very, very good side and their under14s were just too much for us on the day. Taylor and Faith both had solid games and worked really hard for their respective teams on the big ice pad here in Fife.”
Anyone interested in playing ice hockey should contact Dumfries Ice Bowl on 01387 251300 for details of Learn to Play sessions.
Ice warriors Solway Sharks under-16s team. Picture courtesy of coppertreephotography.co.uk