After last weekends less than convincing win against the mighty Sheffield, the Tomahawks were looking for a much improved display today against lowly Manchester, to keep their hopes of reaching the National Finals alive.
Manchester arrive at Whitley today having gained their first win, and their first points of the season last week against bottom club Solihull. Right from the first whistle the Tomahawks piled the pressure on the visitors net, Callum Read seeing his effort from the blue line fly just wide of the post in the opening seconds. The visitors #14 Sheldon Cassidy was called for holding at 0.56 as they struggled with the onslaught, putting his team on the penalty kill, and the home side took full advantage when Harry Harleys shot from the blue line was tipped past Patrick King in the Manchester net by Ben Richards. Whitley then had a player of their own sent to the penalty box at 5.11 when Connor Chekotay was called for hooking, but almost doubled their lead while shorthanded when Richards raced clear of the Manchester defence after a turnover in front of the Whitley goal, only to see his shot saved by King. King then saved his side again without knowing much about it, when another shot from Read cannoned off his helmet. Whitley ran into more trouble with the ref when Natasha Crozier was called for tripping at 8.24, but despite this had 2 great chances to increase their lead through Dale Sharp and Harley, but both were denied by King. However the second goal did eventually come at 9.34 and with Whitley shorthanded, Richards again with a breakaway opportunity, and this time he made no mistake, rounding King and firing into the empty net for his second of the period. Richards then completed his first period hat-trick at 11.06, this time tipping another Harley shot past the unsighted King. That was the last of the scoring in a one sided period that saw 32 shots on the visitors goal and only 2 on the home net.
Whitley were soon on the power play again in the 2nd period when Manchesters Jonathan Parker was called for elbowing at 18.01, and twelve seconds later Harley punished them with his first goal of the game, Richards this time turning provider. The same two players combined for Whitleys 5th goal only a minute later, Richards winning the face off in front of the Manchester goal and Harley firing past the startled keeper. At this point in the match, both teams decided to give their back-up net minders a run out, with recent signing Jordan Boyle taking over from the under worked Mark Turnbull in the Tomahawks net. Boyle was called into action almost immediately, twice in quick succession blocking Manchester breakaways. Harley then completed his 2nd period hat-trick when Richards found him unmarked on the doorstep for the easiest goal he will ever score at 27.44. As the period drew to a close, Sharp was allowed to walk in unchallenged to fire a low shot past back up net minder Andrew Underwood and make the score 7-0 at the second interval.
Manchester had a great chance to get on the score sheet early in the third period when Lee Pollit went coast to coast past the whole Whitley team, only for Boyle to deny him with a fine glove save. Richards then scored his 4th goal of the game at 36.39, again being left unmarked in front of goal to make the score 8-0. The Tomahawks were reduced to 3 skaters when Richards was called for slashing at 36.39 and Jack Davies was given 2 minutes for slashing and another 2 minutes for roughing at 38.08, but Manchesters Cade King joined Davies at the same time for hooking leaving the visitors with the odd man advantage. However, Whitley increased their lead with another shorthanded goal at 38.19 when Harley raced clear and scored after rounding the keeper for his 4th goal of the game and his teams 9th. Harley didn`t have to wait very long for his 5th of the game when at 39.51 Read had a shot dropped by the keeper, the puck fell to Callum Queenan who passed it to Harley in front of the Manchester net for goal number 10. The final goal of the game was scored at 43.33, after a scramble in front of the visitors net Underwood saved a close range effort from Crozier only to see the puck fall to the stick of Sharp and he made no mistake with his 2nd goal of the game to make the final score 11-0 to the Tomahawks.
Spirit of the Game; #7 Sean Bamling
Goals; Harry Harley 5+4, Ben Richards 4+3, Dale Sharp2+1, Natasha Crozier 0+1, Callum Queenan 0+1, Sean Bamling 0+1.
PIMs; Whitley 12, Manchester 14.
Shots Faced; Mark Turnbull 9, Jordan Boyle 2( Whitley )
Patrick King 42, Andrew Underwood 39( Manchester )