This weekend your Full 9 Yards Blackburn Hawks have another pair of North Cup fixtures.
Starting off with a home match against Billingham Stars on Saturday, face off 6pm, and rounding off the weekend with an away fixture at Telford Tigers. Face off on Sunday will also be 6.pm.
Last weekend saw the Hawks lose both their games. Sheffield were too strong for a short benched Hawks side and won 7-1. Sunday was a different story with the Hawks spurred on by a crowd of over 1000, gave their all, only to lose by the odd goal in 9.
Billingham Stars THREE TO WATCH
Richard Thornton – Defender
Hartlepool born defender, probably now classed at the veteran stage of his career, started off in Billingham with the Eagles in 1997 at u-18 level and with the Billingham Wolves at u-19. He also represented England at u-20 and Great Britain at u-18 and u-20 at the World Junior Championships. After moving south to the Isle of Wight Raiders for a season in 2001, he came back up north to ice for the Newcastle Vipers in the BNL. A season in Hull was followed by a return up the A1 to the Vipers again for a couple of seasons. Billingham Bombers and Whitley Warriors were his next port of call before settling with the Billingham Stars in 2011-12 and has stayed ever since and as player coach since 2013.
Chris Sykes – Forward
Chris is a product of the Sheffield Junior Academy and played all his junior career with Sheffield teams. He has iced for the Sheffield Spartans, Scimitars and Steeldogs in the ENL/EPIHL and the Hull Stingrays in the Elite League. It was on to Sutton Sting before he signed for the Stars in 2014. His best season to date was last year when he scored 41 goals and 30 assists in 33 games. This year to date he has 6 goals and 9 assists in 9 games.
Edgar Protcenko – Defender
21 year old Lithuanian defender was born in the capital city of Vilnius and played his junior hockey there until he moved to Iserlohn in Germany in the DEL Youth League. Back home in 2014 for a season with Zalgiris Vilnius then it was off over the pond. There, he played in the Greater Metro Junior A Hockey League for South Muskoka Shield from Port Carling in Ontario. The much travelled youngster then returned home to play for Elektrenai in the Belarus 2nd division and their second team in Lithuania. Off he went again, this time to Kitzbuehl(better known for its skiing) in the Alpine League. He signed this season for the Stars and has 3 goals and 3 assists in 9 games. Edgar has represented his country in 45 junior international games and last season lined up with our own Danny Nomanovas in the first team at the World Championships Division 1B.
With little or no chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, coach Duncombe will want to get the team on another winning run as we head towards the half way point in the season.
Coach Steve Duncombe said,” We had a mixed weekend last time out and I thought we were unlucky not to take something from the Barons game. We are coming out of an horrendous injury run and with the guys getting back to fitness, now is the time to step up our game and start challenging the top four.”
The support from the fans was fantastic last week and quite a few players mentioned it in their social media sites. Let’s all be loud and proud again this weekend.
See you at the rink