Mixed weekend for Solway Sharks U16 against Murrayfield and North Ayrshire

Solway Sharks U16 team had a mixed time of things from their double-header against Murrayfield and North Ayrshire last weekend.

The young Sharks were beaten 8-2 by title-chasing Murrayfield on Saturday, but bounced back to record a 5-3 victory over North Ayrshire the following day.

Liam Stenton and Joe Little were on the scoresheet against Murrayfield, while Stenton (3), Mitchell McEwan and Little grabbed the goals on Sunday.

Head coach Jamie Kerr said: “Our visit to Edinburgh was always going to be a tough match, as they’ve been the strongest team I’ve seen this season.

“To be low in personnel didn’t help, however all the players that were available did themselves proud with the extra ice time on offer.

“I think our much younger and smaller squad saw us start off a bit in awe of Murrayfield, giving them too much respect and ice to play on.

“Once we scored our first we seemed to play much more confidently and if that goal had come earlier with the good chances we made in the first period it may have given us a chance to ask a good few more questions.

“That said, the minimal squad never stopped skating to close down Murrayfield’s formidable offence as much as possible, while creating some nice counters ourselves.

“Sunday saw us welcome back six fresh bodies and allowed us to get back to rolling three lines as we’ve done all season.

“Each period offered some very different phases of play. The first was scrappy in that we worked hard, dominated the majority but weren’t clinical on the finish, and North Ayrshire had chances to counter attack

“The second we came out flying and whilst not as dominant in possession, we were more controlled and calculated and gave ourselves a comfortable goal cushion.

“The final period saw us get ahead then assume the game was won. North Ayrshire to their credit clawed their way back to 3-2, which shocked us into kicking on with two goals to seal it.

“Ice hockey is very much a game that is won and lost with momentum, and our young guys are starting to get the experience of that to underline that consistency is key.

“Whether comfortably up, down or tied, players’ output should be a constant high level in terms of what they try to produce. They can’t afford to switch off.”