The Blackburn HAWKS will seal their place at the NIHL Moralee Conference Playoff Weekend with two wins in the league this weekend.

The Hawks face the Telford Titans on home ice this afternoon, before travelling to the North East to face the Whitley Warriors.

Hawks will be without defenceman Reece Cairney-Witter, who is serving a four game ban for an accumulation of penalty points. They will also miss goaltender Danny Brittle who picked up a one game ban for an altercation after the final whistle in Sheffield last season. Back-up netminder Stuart Ashton is expected to start in Brittle’s place.

The East Lancashire side currently sit in second place heading into their last four games, but will no longer be able to overhaul the first placed Solway Sharks who secured the league top spot last weekend.

But Hawks coach Jared Owen is now targeting second spot, and a slightly easier play-off tie.

He said: “We want to make sure of the play-offs this weekend and then go on and get second place.

“Finishing second or third means we will avoid Solway in the semi-finals and that gives us an easier chance but the first thing is to twin these two games and I am confident we can.”

It would be a major surprise if the Hawks were beaten by a Telford side yet to win a game this season but Owen is refusing to take the fixture for granted.

“We won’t be taking them lightly,” he said. “They are starting to pick up and we will be professional.”

Of the task at Whitley, who sit fourth in the table, Owen added: “We have had a couple of good results against them already this season and I am confident we can go there and win.”

However, the Hawks will be without defenceman Ollie Lomax (absent), Scott Robson (called up by Hull) and Chris Butler (injury).

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