Warriors 7 Dragons 5
Dragons made a superb start to the game as the visitors held a 2-0 after 3 minutes of play thanks to goals from their import duo of Filip Supa and Markus Kankaanranta. Following the 2 early goals Warriors brought netminder Rory Dunn into the action. Deeside’s player/coach Scott McKenzie extended his side’s lead on 12 minutes when he fired home a powerplay marker.
Warriors grabbed their first goal of the game late on in the opening period of action when the lively Ben Richards grabbed a powerplay goal for Whitley after being set up nicely by DJ Good and David Longstaff.
The middle session of play saw Dragons go 4-1 ahead when Ryan Jones netted an unassisted marker for the visitors before Warriors got themselves back into the game thanks to strikes from skipper Dean Holland and player/coach David Longstaff. Warriors got a powerplay opportunity late in the 2nd period when Dragons captain James Parsons was sent to the sin bin for interference however Deeside were able to grab a short handed goal through Filip Supa which saw the Welsh side hold a 5-3 lead after 40 minutes of NIHL North action. Warriors opted to swap their netminders at the 2nd intermission which saw Richie Lawson ice for the 3rd period as Whitley looked to take a positive result from the game.
Just 2 minutes into the 3rd stanza of action Harry Harley grabbed a sweetly struck powerplay strike for Whitley after some nice build up play which saw both Dean Holland and David Longstaff orchestrating Warriors powerplay to reduce the home side’s deficit and make the contest a 1 goal game.
Callum Watson went close for Warriors shortly afterwards however the game tieing goal did not take long to come as the industrious Jordan Barnes lit the lamp from close range with 47 minutes on the clock. Warriors were generating many forward opportunities and Deeside’s young goalie Jonah Armstrong looked a little rattled after his goal almost fell on him after a coming together behind his net.
Barnes grabbed his 2nd goal of the game to fire Warriors into the lead for the first time with 53 minutes on the clock after a superb move from Whitley on the delayed penalty whistle which saw the Tynesiders launch a swift counter attack which resulted in the Hillheads crowd almost lifting the roof off the old rink as David Longstaff’s side took a 6-5 lead.
Whitley were now looking extremely dangerous every time they went forward and skipper Dean Holland fired home late on to seal the victory for Warriors which saw the Tynesiders superb comeback confirmed. Ben Richards was named as Warriors Man of the Match while Filip Supa was chosen as the Dragons top player.
Match report courtesy of Whitley Warriors