Blackburn Hawks went into the Remembrance Sunday fixture with a full bench following the recent signings of Sam Warnock from Billingham, Solomon Smith from Widnes Wild and Cade King from Altrincham Aces. With the Solway Sharks riding high in the NIHL North 1 league, Hawks went into the fixture hoping to cause an upset.
After a minutes silence, impeccably observed by all, and a the laying of the poppy wreath at centre ice by Hawks captain James Royds, Solway’s Lewis Houston opened the scoring firing the puck past young netminder Harrison Walker for the only goal of the first period as both sides were well matched with a fiery tempo to the game.
The pace was lifted a notch in a feisty second period which saw Hawks’ Craig Lutkevitch receiving a 2+2 penalty for fighting with Sharks’ Iain Bowie who also served the same time in the penalty box.
Solway peppered Harrison’s net with shots with goals coming from Iain Bowie, Lewis Houston, Peter Gapa, Captain Struan Tonnar and Scott Henderson. Hawks replied with a goal from Joe Greaves who was injured in the process and was no longer able to continue in the game. Tempers also flared between Solway’s Jaakko Heiskanen who received 2 minutes for cross checking and Hawks’ Lee Pollitt who received 2 minutes for charging, 2 for roughing and a 10 minute misconduct penalty.
The Hawks had the edge on the final period with goals from Aaron Davies, Jared Dickinson, Petr Valusiak and Lee Pollitt. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to make up the deficit as Solway netted 3 further goals from Heiskanen, Houston and Kyle Horne.
Solomon Smith remained under Solway’s skin throughout, bagging an assist and MVP in the process on a very promising debut.
Hawks make the journey across the M62 this weekend to play the Sutton Sting at Ice Sheffield, before hosting the League encounter on Sunday at Planet Ice Blackburn against the Billingham Stars.
See you there!
Photos courtesy of Thomas Foy.