Whitley Warriors tame Telford Tigers on Tyneside

Whitley Warriors' Jordan Barnes in action in the 9-1 win against Telford Tigers. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia
Whitley Warriors' Jordan Barnes in action in the 9-1 win against Telford Tigers. Picture by Colin Lawson - IceHockeyMedia

Whitley Warriors put nine goals past Telford Tigers at Hillheads on Sunday evening.

The home side welcomed youngster Ben Richards back into their line-up as the winger had returned to full fitness after a spell on the treatment table.

With a healthy squad to choose from, player-coach David Longstaff opted to play four forward lines and three defensive pairings throughout the game.

And they got off to a superb start and took the lead on four minutes when Shaun Kippin fired home a powerplay goal.

The home side increased their lead a minute later thanks to a goal from import Andre Payette, who started up front rather than in the defensive role he has operated in for the majority of the current campaign.

As the first period progressed, Telford netminder Sam Ellis saw plenty of action with the young netminder making several fine stops.

But Warriors were able to increase their lead late in the period when DJ Good shot into the roof of the net after being fed the puck by linemate Callum Watson.

The second stanza saw Warriors continue on the front foot and midway through the period they netted a pair of short handed goals.

The first when a Harry Harley effort from the blue line got the better of Ellis in goal before a well worked strike from Martin Crammond found the back of the net after some neat build up play from DJ Good.

With a 5-0 lead Whitley opted to give young goaltender Mark Turnbull some ice time while squad players Alan Yarrow and Phil Pritchard also played a number of shifts.

The third period saw Warriors continue to create chances and Kippinm grabbed his second of the game on 44 minutes.

Shortly afterwards Warriors got two powerplay opportunities in quick succession and their special team took advantage with goals from Adam Reynolds and Callum Watson while they had the man advantage.

Tigers grabbed a consolation through Simon Harrison on a powerplay after 50 minutes while Warriors’ young winger Kyle Ross was in the penalty box for a hooking misdemeanour.

Despite holding an 8-1 lead, Warriors continued to develop openings and with just seconds left Kippin netted his third of the evening which saw these popular number 11 claim his first hat-trick since he rejoined the club last summer.

The late goal saw the game end 9-1 in the home side’s favour.

Martin Crammond was named Warriors’ man of the match while Telford’s goalie Ellis was chosen as the visitors’ top player.

After the big win, Warriors’ alternate captain Jordan Barnes said: “I enjoyed the game, I thought we played well and got the result we needed.

“The youngsters like Kyle [Ross] and Liam [Smedley] played well, Ben [Richards] came back into the line up and he did well as he had a couple of chances in front of goal but sometimes they just don’t go in for you.

“Mark [Turnbull] also saw a little bit of ice time and he’s been playing well in practice, so that’s good.

“I’m quite happy with my own form, though I’d like a few more goals.

“I’m playing physically and I’d like to put some more points on the boards in the coming weeks in whatever role I play for the team.

“I know my role on the wing but I can also play at centre and in defence too, and if I’m needed to play in those positions in the coming weeks I’ll switch positions.

“We’ve picked up no injuries and are looking forward to next week’s games away at Solway and then at home to Sheffield.

“We feel we’ve got something to prove against Sheffield and I feel that one could be quite a feisty game.

“Callum Queenan should be back for next weekend’s games as he was missing with a knock to his ankle, but I think he should be fine in a week’s time.”

Warriors are in NIHL North Division 1 action twice next weekend with an away game in the Scottish borders on Saturday evening against Solway Sharks before a home game next Sunday when Sheffield Spartans visit Hillheads in a game that gets under way at the normal home face-off time of 5pm.