BULLDOGS’ youngsters returned to action in impressive style on home ice at the weekend with the Under-14s and Under-18s overcoming Whitley Bay in back-to-back games.
Birthday boy Daragh Spawforth celebrated turning 13 in style on Saturday with a seven-goal haul as the 14s took to the ice first against their North East opponents, building up a healthy 4-1 first period lead before eventually running out 12-3 winners.
Danny Harrison also made an impression with three goals and an assist, while Jake Wigginton (1+2) and Frank O’Sullivan (1+1) also got in on the act. Kieran Smith, Will Durgan and Charlie Barker weighed in with an assist apiece.
Oliver Jardine (2) and Max Torre were the Whitley players to find a way past returning netminder Jacob Mardell, who impressed in between the pipes for the hosts, making 28 saves on his way to picking up the Spirit of the Game Award.
Shortly after, it was the Under-18s’ turn to take to the ice and, like the 14s before them, they dominated the first period, building up a 3-0 lead through strikes from Damarni James, Malachi Budd and Logan Jean-Jacques.
The second period was a more even affair with Whitley hitting back on the power play through Matt Bentham before Budd grabbed his second at 36.52.
James doubled his tally early in the third to give the hosts a four-goal cushion, although Whitley refused to lie down when pulling it back to 5-3 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
But the Bulldogs struck three times in as many minutes to put paid to any hopes of a comeback. James struck twice more for an impressive four-goal haul – one of them on the PP – with Jean-Jacques completing the scoring with his second of the game at 57.09.