Murrayfield Racers’ long unbeaten run in the Scottish National League (SNL) was ended as they were edged out by Solway Sharks at Dumfries Ice Bowl on Sunday.
The Racers had swept to last season’s title without losing a game and had kicked off the current league campaign with a comfortable victory over Dundee Tigers.
Tony Hand’s side had been narrowly beaten by the Sharks in their two NIHL North Cup meetings this term and travelled south hoping to make it third time lucky.
Both sides created plenty of chances during the first period, but netminders Mark McGill (Racers) and Gary Russell (Sharks) were in fine form.
The Sharks eventually broke the deadlock in the 28th minute as the prolific Peter Gapa fired home on the powerplay.
Callum Boyd quickly hit back for the Racers, bagging a short-handed marker to tie the game at 1-1.
Jakko Heiskanen restored Solway’s lead after 33 minutes, but the Racers refused to lie down and were rewarded when Ross Borwick equalised with eight minutes to play.
However, the Racers’ hopes of securing at least a point were dashed when Gapa grabbed his second of the game in the 55th minute to secure a 3-2 victory for the Sharks.
The Racers turn their attentions to the NIHL North Cup next weekend, facing Dundee Comets at Murrayfield Ice Rink on Saturday (face-off 5.30pm) before travelling to play Whitley Warriors the following day (face-off 5.00pm).
(Image permission: Racers Media)