Whitley Warriors hit Sheffield Spartans for six in an excellent win at Hillheads at the weekend.
Warriors were without a number of regulars such as Josh Maddock, Scott Cooper and Alex Lawson.
However, youngster Craig Johnson was back in the Whitley line up after injury while former Warrior blue liner Phil Pritchard also returned to the roster.
Warriors started the game on the front foot and just 80 seconds into the contest Shaun Kippin netted a wraparound goal to the delight of the large crowd in attendance.
Warriors thought they had grabbed their second goal of the game after four minutes of play.
However, referee Wardell chalked off David Longstaff’s effort after a discussion with his linesman.
Whitley scored seconds later, though, when Harry Harley found the back of the net with a fine strike.
Warriors were now looking dangerous every time they went forward, and DJ Good fired past Spartans goalie Brandon Stones from a tight angle with only five minutes on the clock.
A minute later, Callum Queenan lit the lamp with a well-taken strike after Jamie Tinsley had sent the youngster through on goal with a precise pass to take the Sheffield blue liners out of the game.
The game’s next goal came on 23 minutes when David Longstaff fired home after the Sheffield netminder Stones had made a smart save from a Craig Johnson shot.
Warriors then ran into a little penalty trouble as Whitley picked up four minor penalties.
However, the Warriors penalty killing unit were at the top of their game to prevent Spartans from getting on the scoresheet.
The final period of play saw Warriors net their sixth goal of the game when skipper Jamie Tinsley fired home after some pleasing play from player/coach Longstaff with 43 minutes played.
Late in the match up tempers frayed and Alan Yarrow of Whitley and Stevie Weekes of Sheffield were sent to the sin bin for fighting.
Callum Queenan was selected as Warriors man-of-the-match for an energetic display, while Brandon Stones, the Spartan’s netminder, was chosen as the visitor’s top performer.
Warriors victory sees them join Blackburn Hawks at the top of the NIHL North standings as both teams are tied on 18 points.
Warriors assistant coach Dave Holland said.
“A really good performance and result. We went at them hard front the start and it worked well for us.
“In previous seasons results between us and Spartans have always been tight so to get a result like that against them is really pleasing.
“We gave everyone ice time tonight as well, Liam Smedley did excellently for us upfront, he’s played as a forward in the juniors and he could well get more ice time in that position.
“Callum Queenan had a good game as well though no one on our roster had a bad game at all.
“Dean (Holland) played two periods tonight as he gets back to fitness, we rested him for the third period and gave some of our other players more ice time.”
This weekend sees Warriors travel to Sheffield to take on the Spartans on Sunday evening at Ice Sheffield in a game that faces off at 6.15pm. Whitley’s next home game is on Sunday,November 22 when Sheffield Senators visit Hillheads for a NIHL North Division 1 match up that will get underway at Warriors normal 5pm face off time.