WHITLEY Warriors suffered a heavy defeat at Billingham as the Stars won their National League game 8-1 on Sunday evening.
Warriors started netminder Richie Lawson for the first time since the goalie regained full fitness following a recent leg injury.
Youngster Harry Harley did not ice for Whitley while Alex Lawson reverted to his normal offensive role after playing at the back the previous weekend.
Billingham started the game in superb style as the home side held a two-goal lead after just under eight minutes of action.
Stephen Wallace and James Udell netting for the Stars.
James Moss increased Billingham’s lead after 13 minutes when he fired home after good play from former Warrior Adam Robinson to give Stars a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of the first session.
Warriors looked much sharper at the start of the second period and Dean Holland got Whitley’s only goal of the evening five minutes into the middle session.
Seconds after the goal Billingham’s Scott Ward got a match penalty for elbowing Holland.
This infringement gave Warriors a five-minute powerplay, however, despite putting a great deal of pressure on the Stars defence, Whitley could not find a way past James Flavell in the home side’s goal.
Billingham’s offense burst into life towards the end of the second as Michael Bowman, Paul Windridge and James Udell netted in quick succession, putting the home side 6-1 up.
Warriors player/coach Garry Dowd picked up a ten-minute misconduct penalty after he showed his displeasure with the Stars’ fifth goal, which Whitley argued had been kicked into the net.
Warriors matched Stars early in the third period as both Holland and DJ Good gave the Billingham defence problems.
But Stars continued to look dangerous in attack and they breached the Warriors defence twice in just over 30 seconds midway through the session as Paul Windridge and Callum Davies fired home in quick succession to make it 8-1 to Billingham.
Stars’ convincing lead allowed them to give some ice time to youngster Callum West late in the game while Warriors experimented with their forward lines a little once the match was lost.
Whitley’s young power forward Jordan Barnes saw an increase in his ice time in the third period and his all action style of play impressed those in attendance.
Whitley have two games this weekend as they travel to Lancashire to take on the Trafford Metros on Saturday night before hosting the Telford Titans on Sunday evening (5pm) at Hillheads.
Sunday’s contest will be Telford’s opening league game of the season as the Shropshire side have had to start their campaign late this year as their rink has been refurbished over the summer months.
The Warriors are reminding supporters that the club are hosting a Hallowe’en Ball on Friday, November 2, at the Earl of Zetland bar on the Royal Quays.
There will be a disco, buffet and raffle on the night and tickets are priced at £6 for adults and £4 for children with a £1 discount for supporters’ club members.
Whitley are hoping the event proves to be just as successful as the recent quiz and food night that took place at Hillheads.