Warriors roar to beat the Lions in home win

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Whitley Warriors achieved an 11-2 home win against Nottingham Lions on Sunday evening, writes Emma Hill.

The Warriors immediately tested netminder Miles Finney. Roughing penalties for captain Dean Holland and Lion Thomas Palmer did not hinder the home team as the Warriors opened the scoring, alternate captain Sam Zajac firing from the blue line. A delayed penalty for the Lions then followed to allow forward Jordan Barnes to lift the puck over Nottingham’s outstretched netminder Finney on 6:21.

As Whitley dominated, it was unsurprising when the outfit added a third goal as Latvian Rolands Gritāns’ superb shot hit forward Callum Watson’s stick to find its way into the net on 13:21. Moments later, Palmer’s high sticks penalty saw the Warriors capitalise with seven seconds of their advantage remaining as left winger Ben Campbell zipped a long range effort beyond Finney. Whitley then went shorthanded themselves on 18:05 when Ryan Sample was sinbinned for tripping but, undeterred, the side bagged a 5-0 lead, this time Campbell netting as he fell to the ice.

The Warriors were startled by a goal from Lions’ top points scorer Ruskin Hughes just six seconds into the second period but Watson responded, releasing a shot into the top right of Finney’s net on 21:51. A hooking penalty for ‘D’ man Jordan Wright then provided Whitley with a power play which saw Holland curve the puck around Finney from the goal line to make it 7-1.

Watson was sinbinned for hooking but this did not affect the Warriors as Campbell completed his hat-trick with an unassisted effort. This goal prompting a timeout and a change of netminder for the Lions, Whitley soon introduced backup shot stopper Rory Dunn to the game in place of Jordan Boyle and, though going on the penalty kill, the Warriors filed in with their 8-1 lead intact.

Despite two minor penalties for Whitley in the early stages of the third period, the Warriors added to their tally when forward Shaun Kippin’s swift shot beat Massimo Agostini.

Harley claimed a shorthanded goal of his own just 14 seconds later to make it 10-1. Subsequently, Nottingham’s discipline slipped as Raynor vented his feelings to incur two game misconduct penalties and a match penalty.

Though a penalty kill ensued for the Lions, Whitley could not bury their chances and instead the Lions found the target moments later when youngster Jack Crowston achieved his team’s second goal.

As the Warriors continued to attack even after losing defenceman Lawson Glasby to the sin bin, the side wrapped up their victory just two seconds from the end of play when Gary Walker netted.