Hawks travelled to Nottingham hoping to take maximum points from the Lions, knowing full well they’d have a close fight on their hands if last week’s game was anything to go by.
James Riddoch opened the Hawks account for the match with a powerplay goal, very shortly followed by Jacob Lutwyche, then in the moment Hawks fans had been waiting for, Reece Cairney-Witter dropped his gloves to go head to head with Hayman meaning both players were given 10 minute misconduct penalties under the new Covid protocols.
The Lions pulled a goal back during a powerplay while Richard Bentham sat out 2 mins for holding but after a period of pressure from the Lions, the Hawks broke away and Sam Dunford fired a superb shot to restore the 2 goal advantage with 6 mins of the first period left!
With both teams on 4 skaters, Jared Dickinson deflected the puck into the back of the net and with just short of 2 mins left of the first period, Cade King fired a shot from the blue line taking Hawks into the break 4 goals to the good.
It wasnt long into the second period when Archie Hazeldine scored his debut goal half way into the period for the Lions as play is end to end. The Lions stepped up the pressure on the Hawks and with an assist from James Neil, Vladimir Luka scored, after the puck took an unlucky (for the Hawks) deflection from Nik’s Trapans’ shoulder. Hawks fired up on all cylinders and a couple of minutes later, Finlay Ulrick fires home but seconds later Luka tapped the puck in at the left post past Traps to decrease Hawks’ lead at the end of the second to 2 goals.
The third period started with end to end play with a superb save from Luca Sheldon, but a couple of minutes later Declan Balmer poked the puck home to entend the lead to 3. Both sides went down to 4 skaters as Callum Ruddick and Bailey Challans each sat a 2 minute penalty for slashing but seconds after leaving the box Challans knocked the puck home as the intensity ramped up.
Just seconds later when Lions’ alternate captain Joe Wightman fired the puck home leaving Hawks completely shellshocked and clinging on to a one goal lead with 6 minutes to go. Vladimir Luka made a break and seemed almost certain to score but Traps made a peach of a save to keep Hawks in the lead.
With a nailbiting end to the game that seemed to go on forever for the Hawks faithful, ions pulled their netminder but with 3 seconds to go Finlay Ulrick scored an empty net goal to bring the 2 points back to Blackburn and make Hawks level on points with Widnes.