ICE HOCKEY: SOLIHULL Barons proved they are the in-form Division One side after brushing aside Blackburn Hawks 6-2.
Barons have now dropped just one point from their last eight games – and their run has seen them shoot from the bottom of the table to a solid mid-table position.
An unusual start to the game saw Barons a man down immediately and on the penalty kill as a result of a two-minute minor for a delayed face-off.
Despite the minor setback, it was Barons that got on the scoresheet first as Niklas Ottosson stole the puck before lighting the lamp with a tidy backhander from close range.
Hawks had chances to equalise while the remainder of Barons’ efforts in the opening period resulted in no joy.
Hawks’ pressure eventually told when Aaron Davies’ shot was parried by Barons’ netminder Josh Nicholls. The puck looped over his head and landed in the goal as Blackburn equalised before the buzzer for the end of the first period.
Ottosson bagged his second shorthanded goal of the night midway through the second period with a tap in while down on the ice as Barons regained their one-goal lead.
Blackburn were gradually producing more sustained attacks of their own though – and this was rewarded when a James Riddoch shot rolled off Josh Nicholls’ leg pads to bring the sides level once more.
Man of the moment Ottosson bagged his hat-trick to gift Barons the lead once more though. His breakaway effort earned Solihull the lead just before the second period closed.
Though the game had been closely fought, the game was snatched out of Hawks’ grasp when Adam Brittle and Phil Mulcahy found the net to gift Barons a three-goal lead with 15 minutes remaining.
A short-benched Hawks side condeded once more when Andy Whitehouse’s late effort found the back of the net to end the game 6-2.
Barons now have a rare weekend off before returning to home ice on December 3 where they face Solway Sharks.
Face-off is at 6pm.
Andy Whitehouse gets the Barons’ winner. Picture: Steve Crampton.