Your Hercules Apparel sponsored Solway Sharks were back on home ice for the first time in over 2 weeks, as they took on the Hull Seahawks in NIHL National League action at the Dumfries Ice Bowl.

The Sharks were coming into the game off of a 3-1 loss last night to the league leading Leeds Knights, where a lone Craig Peacock goal was all the the Sharks were able to record. Meanwhile, the Hull Seahawks last game was also against the Knights, albeit the other side of Christmas, where they too, fell to defeat.

The first period saw an early chance on goal for Hull, who had battled through Storm Gerrit to make the journey from East Yorkshire to Dumfries, but the Sharks defence dealt with this easily. With 5 minutes of the period played, the action was end to end, as the Sharks edged the Seahawks with the number of chances on net.

A big opportunity for the Sharks, this time from John Dunbar, went unconverted – including the follow-up rebound with a little under 13 minutes to go in the first. However, the chance of the period followed, when a fantastic shot against Jordan McLaughlin in the Hull net went through his legs, and he lost sight of it under him. The follow up effort from the Sharks however, was dealt with by the Seahawks.

With 12:05 remaining in the period, the first of 5 penalties in the the period was assessed to the Seahawks, as Samuel Towner got a 2 minute sit in the penalty box. Further issues occurred for the visitors whilst they were dealing with the Sharks power play, and with 1:18 remaining on the initial call the Sharks went on a 5-on-3, this time with Brock Bartholomew being called for high sticks.

Despite the 2 man advantage, the Seahawks killed the penalties and with it the Sharks missed a huge opportunity to take the lead. The power play seemed to spur on the home side, and the Sharks got a rapid number of shots off against the Seahawks, with McLaughlin keeping the Sharks at bay, including squeezing tight on a slap shot at the chest, stopping it from sneaking past. 

After this big stop for the Hull netminder, the action on the ice returned to end to end play, with neither side taking the killer action to put themselves ahead.

A Sharks 2-on-1 opportunity was killed off by the visitors, but lead to a penalty kill for the home side, as Nolan Gardiner was called for tripping with 5:38 left in the first period. The Sharks, whose PK has left a lot to be desired this season, were then given an even harder task to deal with, when Calum McGill joined Gardiner in the box 59 seconds later.

However, the Sharks penalty kill unit, along with Curtis Warburton in the Sharks net, were able to pull off a double penalty kill – including a huge stop on the line from Warburton with 1 second left on the 5-on-3. With Sharks killing off their 3-on-5, they went on the break down the ice to the Seahawks defensive zone and in doing so, saw the Seahawks’ Balmer called for tripping with 2:18 left in the period.

The Seahawks penalty was killed, despite a flurry of action in front of their net, and the first period came to a goalless, albeit feisty, conclusion as neither side were able to capitalise on the five penalties before the buzzer sounded.

With 3 minutes gone in the second period, it was clear the Hull Seahawks came out the locker room much improved, as numerous saves by Warburton kept the visitors out of the net.

A break by the Sharks saw the first goal of the night, as with 16:19 remaining in the period, John Dunbar was able to pass over to Caly Robertson who went over the shoulder of the McLaughlin, to grab a home debut goal, and put the Sharks 1-0 up! 

The Sharks were then unlucky not to double their lead, when Craig Peacock had a chance on net bounce off the crossbar, before the Seahawks then once again began to pile pressure on the Sharks.

The pressure continued to build, but the Sharks defence were holding well, taking any breakaway chance they got. With 10:45 left in the period, the Sharks went on the power play as the Seahawks’ Jamie Chilcott was sent to the box for 2 minutes. The man advantage was short lived, as the Sharks’ Olivier Arseneau was called for interference, resulting in 4-on-4 play for 1:52 seconds. 

A Sharks 4-on-3 power play then followed, as the Seahawks Nathan Salem was called for for a 2 minute sit, following an altercation with Beattie with 9:46 remaining in the period. The Sharks were unable to capitalise on the man advantage as the Seahawks & the Sharks got their initial calls back.

The Seahawks were able to tie things up with a goal from Emil Svec and 7:10 left in the period, following a period of heavy pressure in front of Warburton.

A hook from the Seahawks saw Nathan Salem in the box with 4:20 left in the period. The resulting face-off saw the visitors push the puck down the other end of the rink, forcing Warburton to make the save, before the Sharks’ Robertson was able to pass over to Dunbar, who was able to slot home with 3:47 left in the period for a power play goal, putting the Sharks 2-1 up!

Following the goal the Sharks continued to apply pressure against the Seahawks, going close more than once, but there was no more goals or penalties in the period.

The third period saw an early chance for Dunbar, which was blocked by McLaughlin, the Seahawks then went the other way, and with 2 minutes exactly gone in the 3rd period the Seahawks level the game 2-2, thanks to a goal from Bobby Chamberlain.

A 1-on-1 by Young on the Sharks net was denied by Warburton, however moments later, the Seahawks put themselves ahead for the first time of the evening thanks to a Balmer goal with 3:55 played in the period. 

Tempers began to flare, with the Sharks getting frustrated. Play once again shifted to end-to-end action, with the Sharks getting the better of the chances. A huge hit behind the Sharks net, sees the Seahawks’ Salem hit the ice in pain, the resulting delay in game saw both benches exchanging ‘pleasantries’ before Salem was helped off the ice injured.

With the clock counting down, both teams push hard for another goal to add to their total, with the Seahawks going closest ringing the crossbar with a shot.

The Sharks were back on the penalty kill with Stuart Kerr sitting for hooking with 9:47 left in the period. Despite the extra man on the ice, the Seahawks were unable to take advantage, and the Sharks returned to full strength. Despite not scoring on the power play, the Seahawks were able to doubled their lead with 7:27 left in the period, when Chamberlin grabbed his second of the night, setting a huge task for the Sharks to overcome.

The Sharks continued to test McLaughlin in the Seahawks net, but with the clock in the favour of the Seahawks, they looked to tie things up at every opportunity they could.

Warburton was pulled, giving the Sharks an extra man & leaving their net empty – And the risk was well worth it, as a huge third goal for the Sharks, and second of the night for Robertson with 1:24 left to play, gave the Sharks a massive opportunity to tie the game, which they took with 37.2 seconds left in the third period, as Arseneau blasted home!

The Sharks killed off the remainder of the period, and in an unbelievable turn of events, forced a sudden death overtime against the Seahawks.

A frantic opening to the overtime period, saw John Dunbar skate coast to coast for the Sharks, ripping a slap shot into the back of the Seahawks net with just 35 seconds gone in overtime, securing the two points & a 5-4 over time win for the Solway Sharks!

The Sharks look to continue their winning ways against the Telford Tigers, who they play at home on the 30th December. Tickets are now available and can be purchased online via the Sharks website or in person at the Dumfries Ice Bowl.

MOTM Sharks – #22 John Dunbar

MOTM Seahawks – #81 Bobby Young