Weekend Preview

Steeldogs and Billingham for Hawks this Weekend

Your Full 9 Yards Blackburn Hawks are in league action this week with a home game against Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night, face off 1800hrs and a trip to Billingham on Sunday with their usual face off at 1830hrs.

Although losing twice last weekend against top sides Sheffield Steeldogs and Telford Tigers, the team showed plenty of spirit and determination under assistant coach James Neil. This will have cheered the loyal Hawks fans and the good news of the signing of Robin Kovar will have given everybody a buzz going into the weekend fixtures.

Steeldogs are on a roll and recorded two wins last weekend, scoring 18 goals to go top of the league. They have scored 329 league goals in 23 games this season and our defence will have their work cut out to stem that flow.

The Billingham game is a must win as they are only 3 points behind us in the race for a play off slot.

THREE STEELDOGS TO WATCH

DIMITRI ZIMOZDRA

30yr old netminder Dimi was born in Omsk in Russia but trained in Sheffield from 2003 and has played for Sheffield Rapiers (u-16), Scorpions (u-19, Scimitars (EPIHL), Spartans(ENL), Steelhawks (u-19). Steeldogs (EPIHL and NIHL) and Sutton Sting ( NIHL). A truly adopted Sheffield lad. He has won the ENL North League and Cup in 2006-7, elected to the NIHL North First All Star Team in 2016-17 and last season, the NIHL North Championship medal and NIHL north Player of the Year. Averaging over .900 as a save percentage, Dimi is without a doubt one of the best netminders in the NIHL.

ADRIAN PALAK

26 year old Slovakian import  born in Trencin, Adrian came up through the Trencin junior ranks and made his debut for the senior side Dukla Trencin in 2010. He went to Finland in 2011 to play for Lamarit in Junior A hockey and for their seniors in the Finnish 3rd league. Back to Trencin in 2013 before a 25 game stint in Romania for Dunarea Galati where he scored 38 goals and 37 assists in 25 games. His first season in Great Britain was in 2014-15 for Deeside Dragons in NIHL2 where he ripped up the league, netting 61 times and 35 assists in a stellar season. This got the attention of the Steeldogs and he moved to Sheffield in 2016-17.

LEWIS BELL

Lewis, 27 year old defenceman was born in Nuneaton but came through the Sheffield system in 2005 with the Sheffield Greyhounds at u-16, the Raptors (u-16) and the Scorpions(u-19) before he made his senior debut with the Spartan in 2007 in the ENL. He represented GB in the World Junior Championships in 2008 and joined the Scimitars. The newly formed Steeldogs were next and he has been an ever present since then and also guested for the Edinburgh Capitals in 2011. Given the “A” in 2016, Lewis became the Captain in 2017 when Ben Morgan became player coach. Lewis has iced over 450 games for the Steelers.

And for this week only,

ONE TO WATCH FOR THE HAWKS

ROBIN KOVAR

 

34 year old Robin started his career in Vsetin in the Czech Republic in 1990, icing for their u-18 and u-20 teams. An exciting prospect, he moved to Vancouver Giants in the WHL and was drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in round 4 of the 2002 draft. He stayed in the WHL for 3 seasons, the last of which was with the Regina Pats.

Back home in 2004 he played for various teams in the Czech 1st and 2nd leagues before moving to Slovakia and then to Holland with Eindhoven.

Manchester Phoenix signed him in 2013 and he was a sensation in the EPIHL, scoring 117 goals and 183 assists in 3 and a half seasons. When Phoenix folded he played 15 games for the Swindon Wildcats scoring 14 goals and 11 assists. Last season was spent in Kazakhstan and he had 8 games in Budapest this season.

Welcome to the Hawks Robin

James commented, “ Despite the losses, we had a fairly good weekend and I was pleased with the attitude and effort of the team as they tried out a few different plays. The signing of Robin will be a big boost for the team and we are looking to get points out of this weekend.”

Saturday looks like a game not to be missed, see you at the rink