Your Full 9 Yards Sponsored Blackburn Hawks have two NIHL North Cup matches this weekend with a trip to Hull to take on the Pirates and a home match against the Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday.
After the disappointment of the abandoned game last Sunday, Hawks are raring to go and continue the great form they showed in the only period of hockey that night against the Lions.
Hull Pirates will be a very tough game and may give us a measure of progress made last weekend. Face off in Hull is at 6pm on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Steeldogs make their first visit to the nest and as always it will be a fiercely competitive game with the Sheffield outfit not renowned for taking prisoners and leaving everything on the ice.
Three Steeldogs to Watch
Dimitri Zimozdra – Netminder
Although born in Omsk in Russia, Dimi has been playing hockey in the UK since he was 15 when he played Junior Hockey in Sheffield with the Rapiers and Steel City Scorpions. He has iced in the EPIHL for Sheffield Scimitars, Spartans and Steeldogs and in the NIHL for Sutton Sting and now the Steeldogs. Last season he had a superb .945 save percentage and was recognised as the NIHL North Player of the Year
Ben Morgan – Defenceman
A product of Sheffield’s Junior Development, the Sheffield born and bred D-Man played for the Sheffield Rapiers and Steelhawks before joining the senior ranks with the Sheffield Scimitars in the EPL/EPIHL before being signed up on a two way deal with the Elite Sheffield Steelers and the Scimitars. He then had a season in the EPIHL with Manchester Phoenix before moving back across the Pennines to the Sheffield Steeldogs in 2011and he is still plying his trade at Ice Sheffield. He has held the “A” and the “C” at the Steeldogs and represented GB at the World Junior Championships at U18 and U20 levels. He is now player/coach at the Steeldogs and is thought of as one of the best D-Men in the league.
Slovakian born forward who has played at the top level in Slovakia with appearances in the Champions Hockey League with Kosice and Slovan Bratislava. He has also iced in the top Slovakian league with MHC Martin.
He moved to England in 2016 to play for the Telford Tigers, scoring 34 goals in 50 matches before moving to Sheffield last season scoring an incredible 36 goals in 35 games.
As you can see another tough weekend for our Hawks but there are definite signs of improvement and it may just be time for a shock win or two.
Face off is at the usual Sunday time of 1730hrs. This is definitely a game not to be missed as the match ups between the Hawks and the ‘Dogs are full blooded hockey games.
(Photos courtesy of Steve Pollitt)