A BUSY weekend saw Solihull Barons claim maximum points against Sheffield Spartans and Blackburn Hawks and move up to third in the NIHL North 1 (Moralee) league.
The Barons began with a trip to Sheffield on Saturday in what would emerge as a low scoring but highly competitive game.
With Sam Hewitt in the Barons net and his opposite number Brandon Stones for Sheffield setting out their stalls early on, it was clear the forwards would need to work hard for their goals.
It took until the 23rd minute for the hosts to take the lead with Nicholas Manning finally finding a way past Hewitt, but by the middle of the period the Barons had levelled things up thanks to Joe Henry who found a route for the puck into the Spartans net to set up a winner takes all final period.
The last 20 minutes of the period saw the Barons go all out for the win but they would leave it late with Joe Henry getting the winner with only four minutes to go.
On Sunday the Barons welcomed high-flying Blackburn to Solihull and the first period demonstrated how pumped up the home side were.
Niklas Ottosson opened scoring for the Barons by snatching a miscued Hawks offensive zone pass to race up the ice for a shorthanded goal after only a minute. The Hawks would draw back level but Joe Henry ensured the Barons would lead after 20 minutes with his own powerplay goal.
The second period would continue with the Barons continuing to pile pressure on the Hawks and this would be rewarded with a pair of goals from Ed Eaton and a sweet backhand from Josh Bruce to give the Barons 4-1 lead.
In the final minute of the period the Hawks signalled their intention to stay in the game with a powerplay goal to cut the Barons advantage to a single goal.
But in the final period would open with the Barons more or less scoring at will against a bemused Hawks side.
Scott McKenzie, Tom Soar, Andy Whitehouse and Josh Bruce all found the net and the visitor’s only answer was a goal from Rjay Berra but it would not be until the final ten minutes that the Hawks began to exert any sort of pressure on Solihull, with Aaron Davies scoring a powerplay goal.
After a busy weekend the Barons have a break before welcoming Scotland’s Solway Sharks to Solihull February 7.