Whitley Warriors fire 11 past Sheffield Senators

Craig Johnson in action for Whitley Warriors.
Craig Johnson in action for Whitley Warriors.

Whitley Warriors were in rampant form against Sheffield Senators at Hillheads on Sunday evening.

The North Tynesiders put 11 past their visitors from South Yorkshire to record a dominant win.

Warriors gave young netminder Mark Turnbull his first start of the season with Jordan Boyle acting as the back up goaltender.

They operated with four forward lines and three defensive pairings throughout the contest with every member of the Warriors match day roster getting significant ice time during the NIHL North Division 1 match up.

Warriors flew out the blocks and took the lead just 30 seconds in when Martin Crammond found the back of the net from close range.

The home side dominated and Scott Cooper doubled the lead on eight minutes when he slotted the puck into the roof of the net after some slick stick handling.

Just over a minute later Josh Maddock grabbed his third goal of the season when his shot from just inside the blue line evaded Senators netminder Mark Hartley.

Whitley made it 4-0 with ten minutes on the clock when Callum Watson finished from an acute angle after some pleasing approach play from both Harry Harley and DJ Good.

Warriors went on to create a number of other clear chances in the opening period, however Hartley in the visitors goal made a number of impressive saves to prevent them from increasing their lead.

The second period saw Warriors continue to create offensive opportunities and six minutes in Callum Queenan lit the lamp to make it 5-0, and seconds later skipper Jamie Tinsley almost made it six when his shot cannoned against the post.

Warriors got their first powerplay opportunity on 33 minutes when Sheffield's Jordan Martin was penalised for delaying the game when he knocked the Senators' goal off position.

Whitley's specialist team moved the puck well which resulted in Harley finding the back of the net while they had the man advantage.

Youngster Craig Johnson then grabbed an unassisted goal on 38 minutes when the teenage blue liner fired home from distance with a powerful effort.

The third period saw Senators grab a goal of their own when forward Nathan Parkes-Britton fired past Boyle, who had replaced Turnbull in the Whitley goal during the second period.

Whitley went onto claim their second powerplay goal of the game on 53 minutes when Tinsley fired home after he had been set up by line-mates David Longstaff and Queenan.

Under a minute later it was 9-1 in Warriors' favour when Crammond grabbed his second strike of the night with a cooly taken goal.

Sheffield’s short bench tired and Warriors netted a further two goals late on when import Andre Payette found the back of the net on both occasions.

Warriors young forward Kyle Ross was named as man of the match for his energetic display while Sheffield netminder Hartley, who faced over 100 shots in the game, was deservedly chosen as their top player on the night.

Warriors assistant coach Dave said: “It’s good to get back to winning ways after last week. They are a struggling team but we went out there and did what we needed to do and we played how we wanted to.

“Tonight was the ideal opportunity for us to give our younger keepers some match night practice so they can develop, and we did that by splitting the game between Mark and Jordan.

"Young Kyle Ross got man of the match and he skated hard all night, I also thought Craig Johnson played really well in defence and scored a good goal.

“We moved Andre up front tonight so some of the youngsters such as Craig could get more ice time back on the blue line. Andre was looking to get on the ice late on to get his hat-trick but it wasn’t his turn so we called him back to the bench.”

Warriors have two away games next weekend when they take on Telford Tigers on Saturday evening in Shropshire before a local derby against Billingham Stars on Teesside on Sunday evening.

Whitley’s next home game is on Sunday, December 6 (5pm face-off) when the reigning NIHL North Champions Blackburn Hawks visit Tyneside for the first clash between the two sides in the current league campaign.