Solihull Barons 5
Sheffield Spartans 3
WITH newly promoted Solihull Barons looking forward to their first season in the upper tier of National Ice Hockey, Sunday’s pre-season tie against league mainstay Sheffield Spartans gave Perry Doyle’s men a chance to weigh up the season ahead.
The first period went scoreless but was high tempo and physical with both sides playing hard and fast and despite two powerplays apiece the scoring deadlock was unbroken as the teams headed off the ice after the first 20 minutes.
Five minutes into the second period and the Barons were first to register on the scoreboard. A shorthanded breakaway by Ryan Selwood was crossed to a chasing Joe Henry who found the net.
The joy of the Barons support was quickly dampened as they too were the victims of a breakaway, Spartans captain Ollie Baron doing the damage within a minute.
The Barons would be back on top by the period end, Tom Soar threading the puck through traffic from the left hand half boards into the Sheffield net, to give the Barons a slender 2-1 lead heading into the final period.
Five minutes into the final period and with tension rising, the Barons’ Perry Doyle and Senator, Stephen Weeks, went toe to toe, the latter going down to the ice within a few seconds.
Shortly after the restart and Niklas Ottosson took a carefully aimed shot to the Sheffield netminders stick-side to take the Barons tally to three.
Within a minute or so the Senators brought the margin back to a single goal, Scott Morris seeing his shot bounce over Baron’s netminder Josh Nicholls stick. It would not take long for the Barons to regain their two goal cushion, Tom Soar finding the net for the second time of the night.
The Barons pushed their margin to three goals, Ryan Selwood with a slap shot from the blue line off of a Joe Henry face-off but this was to be pegged back quickly – Will Barron with a counter for the Spartans to conclude the evening’s scoring.
The Barons have two further pre-season games this weekend when they travel to Laidler Division side Widnes Wild on Saturday before hosting the same side on Sunday.
This game will support and mark the launch of Baron’s captain Rob Eley’s testimonial 19 for 19 campaign in aid of the Ward 19 Heartlands Hospital charity campaign.