Sutton Sting ice hockey coach Matt Darlow has warned heads will roll if he sees a lack of intensity again this season after being less than impressed by his team’s application in a 5-1 home defeat by Solway Sharks last weekend.
Ahead of this weekend’s double header with Billingham Stars, he said: “We made life very easy for Solway and, apart from two spells in the game where we changed our line up and showed the urgency needed to win pucks, we were poor from beginning to end’
“It’s no excuse, but unfortunately this is sometimes what happens when you have a roster of guys with full time jobs and several with new additions to their families, both of which are energy-sapping. But we have to take this season seriously, prepare correctly and bring intensity to every game which we certainly did not do tonight.
“On the plus side of things we have had great performances from both Mark Turner and our Slovak Ivo Celar who proved that they can play anywhere on the ice and bring added value to our roster no matter the situation.”
He added: “Having spoken with our assistants, we are all of the opinion that our on ice leaders need to lead better than they did at the weekend and when things aren’t going our way we need to pull together and make them go our way for the good of our club.”
Solway Sharks came to town smelling blood and rightly so as a terrible performance showed frailties Darlow had previously alluded to.
The 5-1 loss was all the more worrying as after a lacklustre first period saw the Sting head to the locker room two goals down from sloppy play and a seemingly roster-wide lack of fire.
They then kicked into life and came back to within one only for the momentum to be halted by penalties and for the Sharks to run out comfortable winners.
It was in stark contrast to the previous weekend when an 8-1 win at Manchester Minotaurs saw Sutton leave their trans-Pennine neighbours tied for a play-off spot at this early stage of the season.
Sting now face a busy double header weekend against title-contending Billingham Stars starting at home on Saturday at 3.30pm with the rivalry continuing the following day away in Billingham.