Whitley Warriors were beaten by reigning NIHL North champions Blackburn Hawks on Sunday night in Lancashire.
The North Tynesiders went into the game five points clear at the top of this year’s standings having beaten the Hawks on home ice the previous weekend.
Hawks started the game on the front foot and held a 3-0 lead at the conclusion of the first period of play.
Warriors got a goal back in the middle stanza though the home side did also grab another goal in that period.
The final period saw Warriors stage a superb comeback as David Longstaff’s side netted three strikes to come right back into the game, however, Hawks were able to hold on and take the points on offer thanks to a narrow 5-4 victory.
Warriors face Blackburn on Tyneside on Sunday (5pm face-off) in what should be another scintillating game of NIHL North hockey between the top two sides in the division.