Saturday – Hawks v Sutton Sting (League)
Again, lots more schools were in attendance at the rink thanks to the club’s Hawks in the Community programme. Massive thanks to Joe Jones and Anthony Kinder.
The Sutton Sting sprang out of the blocks straight from the puck drop and quickly got the upper hand, drawing first blood and claiming the first goal by Charlie Saunders. The Blackburn Hawks soon stepped up though and a fierce battle ensued with the home side equalising through Aaron Davies. They soon after took the lead with a powerplay goal from Petr Valusiak while Sutton Sting import Stanislav Lascek sat out a 2 minute penalty for slashing but Sutton levelled with an even handed goal from Lloyd Gibson. Hawks again took the lead with a cracking goal from head coach James Neil but Sutton just wouldn’t let the home side get away with it and notched up another goal courtesy of Lascek, but it was Blackburn who took the lead into the second period with Valusiak’s second goal of the evening.
End of 1st Period – BLACKBURN HAWKS 4-3 SUTTON STING
The game remained fiercely fought in the second period as both sides were fairly evenly matched. Both teams played attacking hockey keeping both net minders busy but it was only the away side that managed to break through the last line of Hawks’ defence square up the score line with a powerplay goal from Thomas Relf leaving all to play for in the third period.
End of 2nd Period – BLACKBURN HAWKS 4-4 SUTTON STING
In keeping with the first period, the final 20 minutes of play was high scoring seeing another 7 goals. The Sutton Sting pushed on from their second period form and made a trio of successful shots on goal by Adrian Palak (2) and Andrew Hirst with no reply from the Hawks. The Blackburn Hawks pinched one back with Petr Valusiak’s hat-trick goal but the Sting continue to be solid in defence and fast on the break to claim a further brace of goals from Cameron Glasby and Lascek while denying the home side any more.
End of 3rd Period – BLACKBURN HAWKS 6-9 SUTTON STING
Sunday – Nottingham Lions v Hawks (League)
A very short benched Blackburn Hawks side travelled to Nottingham for their next NIHL North 1 (Moralee) game on Sunday looking to pick themselves up from their last 2 results.
There were some feelings of deja-vu from the last Nottingham Lions vs Blackburn Hawks game as the home side went 2-nil up against the Hawks in just under 4 minutes as Louie Newell scored a brace of goals in quick succession. With only 11 out skaters the Hawks did extremely well to keep composed, and defended a 4 minute penalty kill due to a 2+2 penalty for cross checking. They kept going til the buzzer, pinching two goals back in the last two minutes of the period, thanks to Aaron Davies and Petr Valusiak, to even the score board. The Lions were clearly rattled as a fight ensued resulting in penalties for Hawks’ James Riddoch and Lee Pollitt, and Lions’ Luke Thomas and Thomas Palmer.
End of first period – NOTTINGHAM LIONS 2-2 BLACKBURN HAWKS
There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides in the second period as the home side fought for their first league win of the season and the Hawks put in an incredible showing being so short benched. It was a period of two halves as three goals were scored in the first ten minutes, by Hawks’ Neil and Riddoch and Lions’ Owen Davis, with the second 10 minutes goal-less. The game could still at this point have gone either way with the Hawks having to battle fatigue as well as the Lions in the third period
End of second period – NOTTINGHAM LIONS 3-4 BLACKBURN HAWKS
The final 20 minutes of play made for an entertaining period of hockey to complete an action-packed game with numerous chances at both ends of the ice. The Lions were unable to convert any of their chances though in the face of some great defending and net minding at the back for the Blackburn Hawks. It was a different story at the other goal-line as Hawks crossed it twice with the puck extending their lead and sealing the win thanks to a powerplay goal from Aaron Davies after the Lions went down to 3 men, and an even handed goal from Petr Valusiak, ensuring that the Hawks and their proud faithful fans made the journey back to Lancashire with the 2 points.
NOTTINGHAM LIONS 3-6 BLACKBURN HAWKS
Being just one point behind the Billingham Stars but with 3 games in hand, the Hawks face tough opposition next weekend travelling to Dumfries on Saturday for their league encounter with the Solway Sharks, before being back on home ice on Sunday with a Nottingham side hoping for revenge for their defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.