Whitley Warriors batter Blackburn Hawks after road defeat

Whitley Warriors' Andre Payette and Blackburn Hawks' Reece Cairney-Witter trade blows before being sent to the sin bin. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia
Whitley Warriors' Andre Payette and Blackburn Hawks' Reece Cairney-Witter trade blows before being sent to the sin bin. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia

Warriors were in action twice last weekend, taking on Solway Sharks in Scotland on Saturday evening before facing Blackburn Hawks on home ice the following night.

Whitley lost out to the table topping Sharks 6-3 with DJ Good, Harry Harley and Callum Watson getting on the scoresheet.

Whitley Warriors' DJ Good in action against Blackburn Hawks. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia

Whitley Warriors' DJ Good in action against Blackburn Hawks. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia

Sunday night’s home game saw Blackburn visit North Tyneside for the second Sunday in succession.

Hawks started well and grabbed an early goal when Nick Oliver found the back of the net with a shot from distance.

Warriors levelled with seven minutes on the clock when DJ Good fired home after being nicely set up by Callum Watson.

Towards the end of the opening period, Warriors’ Andre Payette and Hawks’ Reece Cairney-Witter traded blows and were sent to the sin bin by Referee Emmerson. In the final minute of the 1st period Hawks took the lead through Nick Oliver once again before DJ Good popped up to level the scores just 14 seconds later.

Five minutes into the second period Warriors took the lead when Dean Holland slotted home a powerplay marker while Blackburn player-coach Steve Duncombe was serving a roughing penalty.

As the period progressed, Whitley continued to create scoring opportunities and player-coach David Longstaff went close with a wrap-around effort which Hawks netminder Stuart Ashton just managed to keep out.

Warriors made it 4-2 with 30 minutes on the clock when Dan Pye blasted home from just inside the blue line, with credit going to forward Jordan Barnes who expertly screened Ashton in the Blackburn goal.

The third period saw Warriors take control as Longstaff’s side netted three goals in a four-minute spell, with Watson, Barnes and Holland all on target.

Hawks opted to change their netminder and take a time out late on, however, the tactics failed to inspire the visitors as Whitley added an eighth goal through youngster Lawson Glasby to claim an impressive 8-2 victory over last season’s NIHL North Champions.

Warriors assistant coach Dave Holland said: “It was a great result and performance against Blackburn, and we competed well against Solway as well on Saturday night.

“Everyone got ice time against Blackburn other than young Jordan Boyle in goal, however, he got some ice time against Solway towards the end of that game.

“Harry [Harley] being back in our squad makes a big difference to us, we went to Solway with 3 ‘D’ men and against Blackburn we had six defencemen, so that makes a big difference as well.

“The youngsters saw some ice time late in the game against Blackburn, which is always a positive, and Lawson Glasby grabbed a goal just like he did last week, so he’s doing well.

“Anthony Wetherall and Ross Douglass did well for us on Saturday night in Solway and Ross was impressive as he was hitting players, which is good for a youngster in senior hockey.

“We are delighted to have taken six points against Blackburn in our recent games against them. They were league champions last year, they are a different squad this year but it’s still a great achievement. We’ve got the series against them now as well, which is pleasing.

“Next week we play Deeside, who we haven’t played for a long time, they’ve got imports and they play on big ice, so it’s not going to be an easy game for us on the road.”

Man of the match for Warriors was DJ Good, who put in a superb all round display, while enforcer Reece Cairney-Witter was chosen as Hawks’ top performer.

Warriors face the Deeside Dragons on the road next weekend before their next home game against the Sutton Sting on November 13, face-off 5pm at Hillheads Ice Rink in Whitley Bay.