The Tomahawks travelled to lowly Manchester for their first game of a double header weekend, with the perfect opportunity to bounce back from their cruel loss at the hands of Bradford in their previous game. Manchester go into the game looking for their first point of the season. Whitley should have had Jack Davies back in the line-up for this game after he had finished his 2 match ban, but he is now out injured, but making his debut for the Tomahawks today is Czech import Robert Miker.
Whitley were fast out of the blocks, with the home netminder making 2 saves in the opening minute from Harry Harley and Dean Kerr before Billy Nicholson opened the scoring at 1.34 with a back handed shot from close range. Matty Campbell was close to doubling Whitleys advantage when he rattled the pipes with a one timer from the point that the goalie didn’t even see. Whitley were given a bench penalty for changing the lines on an icing call, but increased their lead with a short handed goal when Harley found Ben Richards in front of goal and he made no mistake with his finish. Whitley were denied a third goal late in the period when Harley won a face-off in his own zone, skated the length of the ice with the puck, only for the goalie to thwart him with a good block with his pads.
Whitley did get a third goal early in the 2nd period when Richards won a battle for the puck behind the Manchester net, and as the home defence were drawn to him he picked out Callum Read skating unchallenged into the high slot and the defender drilled a low shot past the exposed home goalie. Debut boy Miker was next on the score sheet with a great individual effort, picking up the puck just left of centre in his own half, drifting out right, down the boards, before cutting in along the goal line and lifting his shot over the keepers shoulder at the near post. At this point, with the game slipping away from them, Manchester became a bit niggly, trying to goad the Tomahawks into taking penalties only to fall foul of the referee themselves. The Tomahawks scored their 5th at 22.19 when Harley fired in from close range after more unselfish work by Richards. The goals were coming thick and fast now, and when Read found Miker unmarked next to goal he put it on a plate for Richards to score his 2nd of the game. Whitley ended the period with 2 further goals in the space of a minute, firstly when Read found Dale Sharp with a pass out wide on the right, he fired in his shot and it somehow found its way into the goal off a couple of boots, then Miker grabbed his second of the game when he tapped in the rebound after the keeper saved a Sean Bamling shot from the blue line. The period ended with Whitley playing well within themselves and leading 8-0.
The 3rd period started just as the 2nd had finished, with the Tomahawks adding a 9th goal through Richards 11 seconds in. Four more goals were added in the period, the first by Harley and 3 more from Sharp before Whitley keeper Mark Turnbull had to make his first save of any note with 90 seconds of the game remaining.
Final score Manchester 0 Whitley 13.
Spirit of the Game; #90 Sam Bradshaw
Goals; Dale Sharp 4+1, Ben Richards 3+4, Harry Harley 2+4, Robert Miker 2+2, Callum Read 1+2, Connor Chekotay 1+0, Sean Bambling 0+1
PIM; Whitley 16, Manchester 22
Shots Faced; Mark Turnbull 8, Manchester 77