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Warriors down the Hawks

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Blackburn Hawks 2-4 Whitley Warriors

Whitley Warriors began their weekend with a 6-2 road defeat to Sheffield Steeldogs before claiming maximum points in Sunday’s 4-2 away win against Blackburn Hawks.

Facing off against Blackburn, Whitley were disappointed to be trailing after just 49 seconds when Hawks’ two-way player Adam Barnes pounced to fire the puck top shelf.

Subsequently, a crosscheck from Czech forward Petr Valusiak allowed Whitley a power play but it was only eight seconds after the Hawks’ penalty was terminated that Warrior Jordan Barnes equalised, slotting the puck beneath young netminder Harrison Walker following a pass from Player-Coach David Longstaff to make it 1-1.

However, Blackburn regained their lead just over three minutes later when forward Adam Barnes netted, prompting a change of netminder for Whitley as backup Jordan Boyle took Turnbull’s place.

After a slip in discipline, the Hawks were awarded a power play when Kyle Ross was sinbinned for roughing. Unwavering on the penalty kill, Whitley scrambled for possession in front of their net and sturdy netminding from Boyle prevented Blackburn from establishing a two-goal lead late in the period.

Starting strongly, the Warriors set out to cause problems for the Hawks in the second stanza. A holding penalty for defenceman Craig Lutkevitch handed Whitley a power play on 34:24 and the Warriors hit the bar.

Both teams then lost a man to the sin bin as Warrior Anthony Wetherell and Hawk Rick Ravey were sidelined for roughing but there was little that either could do to alter the 2-1 score line.

A tripping penalty for Blackburn’s forward James Riddoch in the final period resulted in another failed power play for David Longstaff’s men but the Warriors drew level shortly afterwards when Campbell’s slap shot rocketed past Walker to make it 2-2.

Just 40 seconds later, Hawks’ Captain Luke Boothroyd made way for delaying the game and the Warriors took the lead as Campbell teamed up with Longstaff to assist defenceman Zajac.

Whitley then reaped the rewards of their momentum on 53:23 when Kippin carved out an opportunity for Campbell who fired the puck beyond Walker to make it 4-2.

Though losing Campbell to the sin bin subsequent to this goal, the Warriors prevented the Hawks from scoring before Valusiak received a hooking penalty of 2+10 in the final stages of the game which meant that Whitley could finish with the upper hand to claim two points.