A DEPLETED Solihull Barons began their new Morlaee campaign with an impressive 6-3 victory over Sutton Sting despite being without a number of key players.
The Barons showed great character to hold off the threat of Sutton and pull off what was in the end a convincing opening day win.
Matt Maurice opened the scoring for the Barons with five minutes on the clock after a breakaway through the neutral zone saw the puck fall nicely for the Baron’s man who calmly slotted under the Sutton netminder.
Within a minute the Barons had doubled their lead as Paul Davies got his first league goal for the Barons with a shot through traffic.
The visitors continued to have the upper hand for the remainder of the period but failed to capitalise sending the sides to the dressing room with a scoreline of 2-0 to Solihull.
The second period saw the Barons quickly pegged back as Sutton’s James Spurr found Barons netminder Sam Hewitt exposed to give the visitors their first goal of the night.
But Phil Knight restored the two goal lead with a close in powerplay effort in the 33rd minute, though this buffer would last little over a minute before the Sting fought back with their own powerplay goal – Mark Turner doing the damage for the Sheffield-based side.
By the 38th minute the Sting would set things up with all to play for in the final period as Lloyd Gibson found Scott Morris in acres of space for a well taken equaliser.
Come the third period it was the Barons who broke the deadlock mid-period as Kieran Papps fired through a crowded defensive zone from the blue line for Solihull’s fourth goal.
Two minutes later Ed Eaton gave the Barons the comfort of a two goal cushion after scoring a nicely lofted shot which beat Dmitri Zimozdra in the Sutton goal.
With two minutes to go Andy Whitehouse rounded off the scoring and get Baron’s 2016/17 season off to winning start.
The Barons now face two road weekends with a short nip up the road to the Telford Tigers this Saturday before taking the long trip north to Whitley for a clash with the Warriors on September 18.
The team returns to home ice on the September 25 when they take on the Deeside Dragons.