Cragger to the rescue in winning weekend

From the Lancashire Telegraph

Blackburn HAWKS maintained their perfect start to the season at the weekend.

Jared Owen’s side made it three wins from three in the NIHL Moralee Conference with a 10-0 triumph at Telford Titans on Saturday.

They then won 2-1 at home to Billingham Stars on Sunday to ensure their Northern Cup campaign began on a winning note.

After four straight victories Hawks player-coach Owen admits he could not have asked for more from his players.

He said: “We did not play any games in pre-season and we are usually slow starters so I’m really pleased by the way the lads have grabbed the bull by the horns.

“We’ve got some tired legs after two double-header weekends after around four months without a game.

“But we’ve got next weekend off, so we’ll rest up, train, and then go again.”

The Hawks sit top of the Conference after they swept aside struggling Telford on Saturday.

Doing most of the damage was four-goal Daniel MacKriel.

But it was high-profile summer signing Adam Brittle who was named the MVP.

Brittle scored three goals and set-up a number of others.

It was also a proud night for Jordan Ashington as he netted his first goal for the club. Owen and Ric Hughes completed the scoring.

Owen, who was playing against his former club, said: “We were really clinical in front of goal. We may even have scored a few more but it was a great result and the lads played very well.”

The visit of Billingham to the Blackburn Arena on Sunday proved to be a much closer-fought affair.

There was just one minute and 37 seconds left in the final period when defenceman Craig Rogers collected a pass from Hughes and fired in the winner.

The Hawks had opened the scoring in the second period, when Brittle and Scott Robson combined to set up hitman MacKriel, but were pegged back soon after.

Owen said: “The lads showed a lot of character.

“We created a lot of chances again but just did enough in the end.”

Netminder Stuart Ashton took his chance to shine in Dan Brittle’s absence as he claimed the MVP award for an impressive performance.

It was a painful night for Bobby Streetly.

The defenceman spent the night in hospital and needed stitches to his face after being hit by the puck.

Owen expects Streetly, to have recovered in time for Hawks’ trip to Sheffield Spartans on Saturday week.

Owen said: “We’re very happy with the way we’ve started and now it’s all about keeping the momentum going.”

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