Whitley Warriors recorded an agonising 6-5 defeat to Solihull Barons on Saturday before suffering a 6-4 loss to Solway Sharks on home ice.
Despite pinging a long range shot off netminder Jordan McLaughlin’s post in the opening moments, Warriors were lacking their usual intensity so it was no surprise when Solway’s Ross Murray fired his side into the lead on 3:12.
After failing to capitalise during a 5-on-3 situation, Whitley were then punished when Warrior Ryan Sample was sidelined for high sticks which allowed Solway’s captain Struan Tonnar to hustle the puck into the net on 11:40.
The Warriors hit back just 45 seconds later to make it 2-1 as Zajac netted from close range.
The Warriors found themselves further adrift in the second period when Murray slotted home with ease on 24:43. Whitley began to endure increasing pressure from the Sharks and paid the price when Murray completed his hat-trick.
Phil Edgar and captain Dean Holland then engaged in skilled play before linking up with left winger Ben Campbell who coolly netted to make it 4-2 on 38:45.
The Warriors were pleased to gain a power play in the third period, and making their advantage count, Harley fired home to take his side within a goal of the opposition.
Whitley’s offensive play took its toll on McLaughlin once more as Holland’s backhanded shot stunned the netminder to make it 4-4. Solway regained their lead just 59 seconds later, this time Slovakian Peter Gápa slicing the puck into the top left of Lawson’s net.
The Warriors’ defeat was confirmed on 58:26 when Sharks’ forward Scott Henderson snatched a sixth for his side. Calling a timeout with 54 seconds left on the clock, the Warriors pulled Lawson from his net to ice an additional skater but Whitley could not find a goal.
It was only then that the simmering tension of the game boiled over to result in a bench clearance and a melee. No sooner was this fight over than a greater brawl broke out in which several blows were exchanged amongst players from both sides.