Warriors make their first point

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Travelling to Hobs Moat Road on Saturday evening, Whitley Warriors achieved their first point from a 4-3 overtime loss against Solihull Barons, before recording a 5-2 home defeat to Blackburn Hawks on Sunday.

Following up fast offensive work against the Hawks with a successful penalty kill, Whitley gained enough momentum to take the lead after returning to full strength; forward Callum Watson burying the puck after left winger Ben Campbell outwitted his opposition with his speed and skill to assist on 4:31.

Though the Warriors continually tested Blackburn’s 16-year-old netminder Harrison Walker, successive interference penalties meant that Whitley were placed on the back foot for a considerable length of time. Despite this, the Warriors were happy with their progress in the opening stanza and ended with a power play as Hawks’ two-way player Adam Barnes was shown to the sin bin for slashing on 18:44.

The game became increasingly competitive with both teams earning minor penalties, the most significant placing Blackburn on a 5-on-3 power play. Capitalising, Hawks’ forward Barnes beat netminder Richie Lawson on 34:44 to make it 1-1, Player-Assistant Coach James Neil and Alternate Captain James Royds with the assists.

Subsequent, Blackburn incurred two penalties just one second apart to allow Whitley their own 5-on-3 power play but, unlike the Hawks, the Warriors could not find the target and instead went shorthanded before the break as forward DJ Good headed to the sin bin for high sticks.

Although the points were all to play for, Whitley conceded just twenty seconds after a positive penalty kill when Hawk James Riddoch netted courtesy of Royds. Less than two minutes later, Blackburn’s forward Barnes achieved his second of the game to make it 3-1 and, whilst it took just thirty two seconds for the Warriors to hit back through Watson, the Hawks immediately retaliated, Lithuanian Danielius Nomanovas finding the net with support from Royds. The score line 4-2, the visitors added a fifth to their tally when Barnes completed his hat trick on 45:01 to dishearten Whitley.