Tom Parkinson’s winner with six-and-a-half minutes remaining saw Sheffield Scimitars beat Solway Sharks 7-6 to book their place in the IHUK U20s National Final at Dumfries Ice Bowl.
Solway’s Scott Henderson scored a hat-trick but it was the English champions who will now go on and face Fife Falcons in tomorrow’s final.
Sheffield raced into a four-goal lead as Cole Shudra stepped out from behind the net to score his side’s first goal (1:41).
Fin Ulrick (5:03) scored from the slot, Shudra poked the puck home on the doorstep (powerplay) at 10:24 and Lewis Jones slipped the puck under Kyle Johnston (12:34).
Callum Hepburn replaced Johnston in the Solway net and the Sharks replied almost immediately through Henderson on the doorstep (14:22).
Liam Kirk scored from the slot on a five-on-three powerplay (17:47) to see Sheffield to the first intermission with a 5-1 advantage.
The Scimitars made a netminder switch to start the second period with Angus Laing taking over from Matt Croyle.
Three goals in two-and-a-half minutes saw Solway roar back into the game.
Henderson’s shot at 20:38 (powerplay) sneaked in and 37 seconds later a blast from Duncan Spiers (21:15) made it a two-goal game.
Croyle returned in goal for Sheffield but he picked the puck out of the net soon after when Henderson completed his hat-trick (powerplay) at 22:31 moments after Ulrick was thrown out for checking to the head.
Spiers scored his second with a low blast through traffic (31:50) to tie the game at five.
Kyle Watson went top shelf at 42:58 to edge Sheffield ahead, but still Solway weren’t done and Luke Houston’s shot (powerplay) was deflected high to make it 6-6 at 49:14.
Parkinson scored the winner for Sheffield from the slot (53:23) to win a breathtaking semi-final.
Sheffield coach, Heather McDermott, said: “Our possession of the puck in the first period was fantastic.
“After the second period, which didn’t go our way, they pulled themselves together for the third period.
“Everyone stepped up the game, everyone dug deep for each other and found a way to win.”
Solway coach, Jamie Thomson, said: “All of my guys can be proud.
“After the disappointment dies down, they should have big belief in themselves and be proud of what they have achieved.”
Tomorrow’s final between Fife and Sheffield faces-off at 3pm, with an Under-11 East v West Scotland game starting at 12noon.
Match action photo credit: Kevin Sloan.