The Solway Sharks began their debut 23/24 NIHL season against the Telford Tigers at the Shark Tank on Saturday night, with Calum Hepburn starting between the pipes.

Tigers pounce first to take lead.

In the first period of the game, both sides had a lot of puck possession and were creating chances. There were chances for John Dunbar and Nolan Gardiner, but Tigers netminder Bradley Day held them off to put the Sharks at bay.

The Tigers scored the game’s first goal when Vladimr Luka finished after being found by Scott McKenzie and putting the puck beyond Calum Hepburn.

The Sharks were not discouraged despite being a goal down and continued to create momentum with two powerplays in the latter sections of the period but were unable to get an equalising goal.

Sharks strike back..but so do Tigers.

The Sharks began the second period by killing off the remaining penalty for Nolan Gardiner, but they held firm and didn’t allow the Tigers to produce many chances on Calum Hepburn.

Both teams had numerous opportunities as the period wore on, but it was the Sharks who lit the lamp and scored the equaliser at the Shark Tank. Nolan Gardiner scores a goal similar to the one he scored last week against the Knights, and Mason Alderson providing the assist again.

It was the Tigers who got the next goal, as the Sharks were coming back to full strength from the penalty. The tigers persistence in the Sharks Zone had Jesse Sutton find Harry Ferguson to make it 1-2 in the second period.

Sharks comeback but Tigers back twice to the points.

The Tigers put Calum Hepburn to the test early in the third period, but he kept them at bay while putting his body on the line to keep it 1-2.

After dealing with early Tigers pressure, the Sharks battled and began to exert pressure, resulting in the puck being picked up by Ross Murray, who had time and room to send a rocket past Bradley Day to make it 2-2.

As both teams battled for the winner, both netminders continued to frustrate and stop whatever thrown at them. As the game neared its conclusion, it was the Tigers who scored the third goal, Zaine McKenzie assisted by Sam Watkins.

With only a few minutes left, the Sharks pulled Calum Hepburn to the bench in an effort to tie the score and add pressure with the extra skater. However, the Tigers scored an empty-net goal from Harry Ferguson, bringing the score to 2-4.

Sharks MoM – Olivier Arseneau
Tigers MoM – Rhodes Mitchell-King