Hillheads was buzzing with people on Sunday night with around 700 in attendance

Whitley Warriors welcomed Telford Tigers to Hillheads on Sunday night for a NIHL North Division 1 match in which the visitors came away with the points to maintain their 100% record.

Special teams ruled the day for the visitors as they managed to kill seven Warriors penalties and score three powerplay goals to eventually win 6-3.

The Warriors led 2-0 early in the first period but were tied by two goals late in the first period.

The hosts then went ahead again in the second period, but again the Tigers were able to bounce back to give us a well poised game heading into the third period.

Both sides battled hard, but eventually the Tigers managed to run away with proceedings and take a 6-3 victory to extend their league lead to six points.

Period One

Whitley Bay started the brighter of the two sides and were peppering the Tigers goaltender Sam Hewitt with shots early on. With less than two minutes played in the contest Warriors took the lead through Craig Johnson, who fired a wrist shot past the Tigers goalie.

One goal quickly became two for the Warriors. Tigers player/coach Tom Watkins took a double minor for slashing and misconduct which gave the hosts a four minute powerplay.

Fortunately for Watkins his penalty kill was on fire so he came out the box with his team still down by one. However, the Warriors penalty pressure paid off when Joe Miller looped a harmless looking shot through the Tigers goalie.

Warriors coach David Longstaff will have been desperate for his side to hold onto their two goal advantage before the first intermission ;but it was not to be.

Liam Smedley of the Warriors went to the penalty box with 4:58 left on the clock which allowed the Tigers a way back into the game. Adam Taylor fired a slapshot from the blueline through Warriors goaltender Mark Turnbull – giving the young goalie no chance as the puck flew into the top corner.

Just as it looked like the Warriors were going to at least head into the second period with a lead, the Tigers showed their league leading abilities to tie the game; again on the powerplay. The second Tigers goal was much like the first with Danny Rose firing a shot from the blueline through the Warriors goalie Turnbull. This prompted Warriors head coach Longstaff to swap goalies to give Richie Lawson a chance to stop the Tigers onslaught.

Period Two

After a quiet beginning to the second period, we eventually saw the Warriors retake the lead against the run of play. Shaun Kippin bagged his 13th goal of the season after being played through by Longstaff. Kippin showed his killer instinct to fire the puck past the goalie to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead.

The Tigers were then given a chance on the powerplay to equalise, but goaltender Lawson was in no mood to give away the Warriors lead.

However there was nothing Lawson could do when Taylor bagged his second goal of the game through a break away. Taylor slotted the puck past Lawson who had played ever so well to this point. We headed into second intermission with the game perfectly poised at three all.

Period Three

Special teams again came to the forefront of everything positive the visitors were doing. After killing numerous penalties effectively the Tigers bagged themselves another powerplay goal through Coach Watkins, who fired a wicked shot into the top corner.

Jed Moreland of the Tigers somehow missed an open net after eight minutes of the third period, a miss he would surely regret if the hosts could manage to get themselves back into the game.

Moreland though would be mightily relieved as the Tigers penalty kill came up big – with goalie Hewitt saving six shots as the clock wore down to just 2:19.

Captain Jason Silverthorn would kill the game off on 2:07 after he fired into an open goal after some terrific Tigers counter attack play.

And as the Warriors pulled goaltender Lawson to try and find a way back into the game, they would be hit with an empty-net goal scored by Silverthorn again.

Whitley Bay Warriors have now fallen to sixth place, with a record of 3-2-1. While Telford Tigers continued their perfect record of 8-0-0.

Three Stars

1st Star – Sam Hewitt

2nd Star – Tom Watkins

3rd Star – Richie Lawson

Warriors are next away at Billingham Stars next Sunday, faceoff is at 6:30pm.