This coming weekend your Full 9 Yards Sponsored Blackburn Hawks return to a 2 -game weekend.
On Saturday they make the long journey up to Dumfries to take on the Solway Sharks in the North Cup Qualifiers. Solway, like Blackburn had a mixed weekend when they comfortably beat Solihull Barons on the Saturday before losing, surprisingly, to Billingham Stars on Sunday. Both these games were in the North Cup and they currently sit in 4th place just 1 point above Blackburn having played a game more. The table is wide open and a win for the Hawks will boost their chances of reaching the knockout round.
Back home on Sunday Hawks have a league match against Whitley Warriors, who have only one victory from 7 games in the league. Blackburn won comfortably two weeks ago with a 5-2 result after an excellent four goal third period and a hat trick from Adam Barnes.
Face off is at the usual Sunday time of 1730hrs with doors opening at 1645.
Whitley Warriors three to watch
Sam Zajac – Defender – A feisty, committed D man who has experience in the EIHL with Newcastle Vipers and Braehead Clan, EPL icing for Telford Tigers and the NIHL with Swindon Wildcats. Now back in the North East with Whitley Warriors, his home town, Sam is an accomplished Defenceman who will also drop the gloves if required.
David Longstaff – Forward. The much- travelled senior statesman of British Ice Hockey has iced in over 1200 games in just about every level of professional hockey in this country as well as a season in Switzerland and in Sweden. He has also served his country with distinction in the World Championships, gaining a Bronze and a silver medal.
Dean Holland – Forward. Another product of the North East system, Dean has over 200 games in the Elite League with his hometown Newcastle Vipers and Dundee Stars. Also many appearances in the EPL with Manchester Phoenix, Telford Tigers and Guildford Flames. His NIHL experience comes from 5 seasons with the Whitley Warriors, the last three as club captain. Not a prolific goalscorer, Dean is a power forward who works hard at both ends of the ice.
After a mixed performance last weekend, Hawks will be out to make their mark on the league and cup and bring the points home to Lancashire.
Head coach Steve Duncombe commented, “We have had a good talk in the dressing room after last week’s defeat and all are itching to get back on the bus with a couple of victories”.