Full 9 Yards Sponsored Blackburn Hawks take on Sheffield Steeldogs in the NIHL Moralee Division Play-off quarter finals this weekend. They travel to Ice Sheffield on Saturday 23rd March for the first leg and meet again at the nest on Sunday 24th with face off at the usual time of 1730hrs.
Hawks’ record against the Steeldogs does not make good reading with 6 defeats out of six. However, the last two games were close affairs and the 6-5 loss in January was one of Hawks’ best performances of the season.
THREE DOGS TO WATCH
I am not going to single out three players this time as most of the team has been highlighted during the regular season.
Suffice to say, they are a well-balanced side throughout and were beaten finalists in the Cup and finished second in the league.
In net, Dimitri Zimozdra is one of the best net minders in the league and he is well supported by Ben Morgan (Player- coach) in defence. In attack Ashley Calvert, Dog’s power forward is not only a prolific scorer(46 goals), he is also the brawn in the team, never slow to show his physical side when required. On their very potent front line they also have Cameron Brownley with 25 goals and Milan Kolena with 20.
Steeldogs will be very disappointed they have been bridesmaids so far in this year’s competitions and will now be focused on the play-offs.
Hawks’ have had an injury ravaged season and have done well to finish in 7th place. Now most of the injured players have returned, they are showing what might have been, had they had a bigger squad to choose from. Their form in the last couple of months will have given them heart and, who knows, they might just upset the applecart in the play- offs.
Coach James Neil is very experienced in big play-off games and he will have the team ready to get up and at ‘em this weekend.
Hawks support has been great with noisy encouragement throughout the season, realizing the effort the players have put in, especially when short benched.
Let’s all get behind them in the most important game of the season and hopefully drive them to success.
See you at the rink