Airport Placements Limited Solihull Barons 3 Blackburn Hawks 5
English Ice Hockey Association Moralee Division
BARONS fell to defeat on Sunday evening against a re-emerging Blackburn Hawks side who are starting to show some of the flair and determination which had seen them to league and play-off championships last season.
The first period got off to a solid start for Barons as the home side generally had more of the puck, but Blackburn were keen to exploit any gaps in the Solihull defence.
It would, however, be Barons who scored first as Tom Soar and Niklas Ottosson crowded around the Hawks goal crease and the Swede fired home.
The remainder of the period was scoreless, although a Hawks breakaway looked to have generated an equaliser when the energy from the shot was not fully dissipated by Barons goalie Sam Hewitt and the puck had to be scooped off the line.
The Hawks would not have to wait long into the second period to get their equaliser as a mere 30 seconds from the puck drop Blackburn’s Finnish import Mikko Sierman poked the puck beyond the reach of Sam Hewitt for the visitors’ opener.
By the halfway point Barons found themselves on the wrong end of a major when Andy Whitehouse was sent to the dressing room for a high sticks penalty.
The resulting powerplay yielded the Hawks their second goal of the night when Steven Duncombe slotted the puck home from the blue line.
Things would get worse for Solihull a few minutes later as they fell two goals behind when Aaron Davies found a gap behind Hewitt’s left leg for the Hawks’ third goal.
The final period saw Barons slip further behind as Davies once more did the damage.
With ten minutes to go Barons tried to stage a comeback when Joe Henry shot through the legs of Hawks goalie Stuart Ashton for Solihull’s second goal, shortly before Ottosson added a third for Solihull.
A timeout by the Hawks allowed the Lancashire side to compose themselves and soon they too would strike back to recover their two-goal lead and seal victory.
Barons are back on home ice this Sunday when local rivals Telford Tigers make the short trip to Hobs Moat for the first time this season.
The two sides have met once before this season, sharing the point and goals in a tie at the Telford rink in September.
This will be Barons’ last game of 2016 and to mark the occasion the club will be supporting Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis. There will also be an opportunity for fans to skate with the Barons following the game.