ICE HOCKEY: SOLIHULL Barons concluded their regular league season with a 6-4 home defeat against last season’s double winners Blackburn Hawks.
With both sides effectively qualified for the play-offs, Sunday’s tie served to help settle third and fourth in the table and with that the seedings for next month’s play-offs.
The first period was a scoreless scoreless affair, with both sides having opportunities but neither taking the opportunity to convert.
A scuffle involving Josh Bruce and Ryan Selwood saw the Barons facing a two minute 5 on 3 penalty kill which the home successfully defended.
It was the hosts who opened the scoring in the second period when Matt Maurice was pulled down on a breakaway, a penalty shot was awarded which the youngster happily converted.
The Hawks were however quickly back in the game, Jozef Istocy stealing the puck on a Barons powerplay to breakaway and get a short handed equaliser for the visitors.
The Barons regained the lead thanks to a shot from the slot by Joe Henry, though this was quickly cancelled out as Philip Mulcahy looped the puck over Barons’ keeper Connor Randby for the Hawks’ second.
The visitors then went ahead for the first time as Istocy and Richard Bentham played a neat passing play for the go-ahead goal.
The final period began with Mulcahy easing out a cushion for the visitors, though this would be pegged to a single goal advantage by Rich Slater, who picked up a rebound for the Barons’ third goal.
The Hawks however put the game out of reach for the Barons as Istocy notched up his second and third goals of the night. Joe Henry would see the game out with a consolation goal for the Barons to see things 6-4 in favour of the Hawks.
Preparations now begin for the play-offs which take place on April 8-9. Barons finished fourth in the table which means a difficult trip to league winners Solway Sharks lies ahead in the semi-final.