Full 9 yards sponsored Blackburn Hawks travelled to Nottingham on Sunday to take on the Nottingham Lions in a Moralee Division league game.
Missing injured players Bobby Streetly and Rich Ravey and with Niks Trapans as starting netminder, they were looking to make it 2 wins in a row after their superb victory in Billingham.
The first 10 minutes belonged to Blackburn but the Lions looked dangerous on the break. Hawks’ fans had their hearts in their mouths when player coach Steve Duncombe blocked a shot and took the puck on the chin/neck area. Last thing they needed was another injury. However, their palpitations were eased when he returned to the ice. Hawks were put under pressure at the end of the 1st when Aaron Davies and Ollie Lomax took minor penalties, putting the Lions on a 5 on 3 power play. The defence stood strong till the end of the period and went to the locker room with the score at 0-0.
The period ended with a minor skirmish with handbags drawn but the referee Matthews decided not to take any action.
Lions took the lead on 21.16 with a power play goal as Steve Duncombe sat out a 2 minute minor for roughing. Goal was scored by Jakub Klima, assisted by Cameron Pywell and Marc Levers. Hawks responded well on 24.05 when Petr Valusiak found Adam Barnes at the back post with a great pass and the youngster made no mistake. 1-1. The game was getting very chippy and words exchanged during a bit of Lion’s pressure. Slightly against the run of play, Blackburn took the lead on 28.05 when Adam Barnes, after being tripped , managed to drop a pass to Petr Valusiak, who found the back of the net for 1-2 Hawks. The feistiness continued with Danny Nomanovas and Lions’ Kieron Raynor heading for the penalty box on roughing calls. Lions were in no mood to give up this game and equalised on 33.27 with a goal from Harry Hopkins, assisted by Ruskin Hughes and Cameron Pywell. A good even game reached the end of the 2nd period without a goal and both teams went for a cup of tea at 2-2 and all to play for in the 3rd.
Hawks started the 3rd with the upper hand but Alan Levers in the Lions’ net stood tall to keep the scores level. Lions then turned the game on its head on 46.50 with a second power play goal as Craig Lutkevitch was harshly penalised for holding. Goal scored by Ruskin Hughes assisted by Jakub Klima and Luke Thomas.
Hawks found themselves on the penalty kill again as Steve Duncombe sat in the box on a tripping penalty but it was Hawks this time who gained the advantage with a short handed goal. The Valusiak/Barnes combination worked again as Petr slotted home a rebound off an Adam Barnes’ shot. Timed at 50.59 seconds. 9 minutes left and anybody’s game. Hawks were finishing the stronger of the two teams and a superb solo goal by Adam Barnes gave Hawks the lead on 58.32 when he skated into the Lions’ zone to hit a top shelfer off his own rebound. Lions pulled the netminder and went with the extra out skater but Hawks held out for a great road win.
The Beers went to Niks Trapans for our Hawks and Jordan Wright for the home side.
Coach Duncombe said after the game, “We probably didn’t hit the heights of last week’s win but the team worked their socks off to bring home the points. Things are on the up and two wins in a row is a good feeling.”
Many thanks to Shona for the game updates and information to enable this report to be written.
Photos courtesy of Thomas Foy