Whitley Bay Warriors hosted Deeside Dragons on Sunday night for a National Ice Hockey League North game at Hillheads.

The Warriors led a dominant first period to a score of 3-1, with Phil Edgar netting two goals.

The second period was the highest scoring of the game with both sides netting two goals leaving the score at 5-3 with one period left to play.

Deeside Dragons were looking to propel themselves back into the game during the third period but ultimately came unstuck when David Longstaff bagged the game clincher with over nine minutes left to play.

The Warriors headed into the game with only one regulation defeat and three victories to their name – they have also lost one game in overtime in their previous five outings of the season.

Period One

Puck drop was at 5pm and Deeside Dragons were punished for a lazy start to the game as Phil Edgar opened the scoring just 15 seconds in. Jordan Barnes rushed the puck down the left wing and shot to the goalies right, the puck was well saved but landed perfectly for Edgar to notch his 13th goal since the start of preseason.

The Dragons though were not to be discredited so early, the side – who sat second bottom before tonight’s game – leveled almost instantly through Scott Mckenzie to silence a jubilant Warrior crowd.

The first five minutes of the game were frantic as the Warriors dominated proceedings, Deeside killed their first penalty of the game thanks to many good saves from Oliver Johnson. The wait for a third goal though ended just shy of the ten minute mark, as Phil Edgar bagged his second goal of the game as he completed a stunning run with a marvellous finish that went through the Dragon’s goalie; 2-1 Warriors.

David Longstaff was then cruelly denied by the frame of the goal at the 11 minute mark – he began celebrating a goal but the puck had actually hit the bar and not the back of the net. The Warriors killed a penalty – conceded by Kyle Ross for hooking – before notching their third of the game through DJ Good. Good was assisted by Callum Watson who haunted the Dragons defence all night with his sublime deking skills, and this goal was no exception as Watson skated past at least three players before assisting Good for an open net goal. 3-1 at the end of the first period.

Period Two

The second period did not begin with the same franticness as the first – we had to wait nearly three minutes for the Warriors to light the lamp. They did so with an exquisite shot redirection from Ben Richards. Richards sat in front of Dragons goalie Oliver Johnson and knocked a wayward slapshot from Phil Edgar into the top corner; 4-1 Warriors.

Just over two minutes later the Warriors smelt blood – and they bagged their ninth goal of the evening through the ever impressive Shaun Kippin. Kippin managed to find himself in a one on one position with the Dragons netminder and he kept his cool to dispatch a tidy finish. The Warriors led 5-1 with little sign of a Dragons comeback.

Ross Kennedy bagged a goal just before the 28 minute mark which gave Warriors fans something to worry about. Kennedy slammed a wrist shot past Mark Turnbull into the Warriors net; 5-2.

Just before the 34 minute mark of the game the Dragons set up an exciting finish to the game. Scott Mckenzie bagged his second goal of the game to complete a three-point night. Mckenzie was criminally left free in the middle of the Warriors zone before slamming a wicked wrist shot past the impressive Mark Turnbull. Immediately after the goal went in, Warriors player/coach David Longstaff called a timeout to settle his troops. 5-3 and all to play for heading into the final period.

Period Three

The opening minutes of the third period showed some of the Warriors best strengths as they won all their puck battles. The recycling game deployed by the Warriors was effective in killing off the game while presenting themselves with umpteen chances to kill the game off. Dragons goalie Oliver Johnson continually made saves to give his side a chance, while Turnbull at the other end kept the Dragons offense at bay.

The decisive moment of the third period came through a power play for the Warriors. Josh Richardson went to the box for interference as we entered the final ten minutes of the game, and just 30 seconds later the Warriors power play unit punished them. Daniel Pye fired in a magnificent shot that was somehow saved by Johnson, but the rebound fell to Longstaff who shot into the open goal. Johnson would have been so disappointed that his heroics in goal were not enough to stop the Warriors from bagging themselves a crucial victory in the hunt for early season points.

Final score at Hillheads: Whitley Bay Warriors 6-3 Deeside Dragons.

Whitley Bay are at home to Telford Tigers next Sunday and will be hoping to make it five wins from six against table topping Telford.

Three Stars

1st Star – Daniel Pye (3 assists)

2nd Star – Phil Edgar (2 goals 1 assist)

3rd Star – Oliver Johnson