SOLIHULL Barons dropped two points in the NIHL North 1 (Moralee) after losing 6-4 at home to mid-table rivals Billingham Stars
It was the visitors who showed no signs of cramp legs from the long trip down from Teeside and who were quickly warmed up with some hard skating early on. With significant pressure on the Barons net in the first few minutes of the game, it was the Stars’ Dennis Bostrum who opened the scoring after five minutes.
The Stars pressure continued and they pulled out a three-goal lead thanks to a brace of goals from Michael Elder.
Crucially the Barons did not dwell on the sudden gap beginning to open on the scoreboard and almost immediately pulled a goal back to bring Barons into the game – Dave Rogers with an effort from just outside the netminder’s crease.
Within a further two minutes the sides were once more square, this time Tom Soar lofted a rebounded shot over a sprawled James Flavell in the Billingham net for Solihull’s second, while a minute later Joe Henry would get the equaliser.
By the start of the second period the momentum had started to swing back toward the Stars.
An early spell by Billingham had Solihull penned in their own end and when the puck was finally cleared and the tired Barons line made their way to the benches, the visitors created space down the left wing to allow Billingham clear space to reassert their lead and Bostrum got his second goal of the night.
A few minutes later the Stars’ Callum Davies further extended their lead, although this would be countered just shy of the half hour mark with Josh Bruce tapping in for the Barons off a Joe Henry shot.
The period closed with the Barons dropping back to two goals down as Bostrum made the most of a powerplay opportunity for his hat trick and the Stars sixth goal.
While the Barons would have spells which pushed the Stars in the final period, Billingham were largely able to keep them at bay with no more scoring for either side to give the visitors the two points to take back up the road with them.
This weekend will be a quiet one for Barons with no games but they return to action on January 23 and 24. On the Saturday the team head to Sheffield to play the Spartans before returning to Solihull the following evening as they welcome league leaders the Blackburn Hawks.