NIHL STARS SUPPORT JUNIOR PLAYERS
On Friday a special event was held By the Junior Hawks at Blackburn Ice arena. In an attempt to bring junior and senior hockey together a mini scrimmage was organised for children from Blackburn Hawks Juniors, Deeside Dragons Juniors, Manchester Storm Academy and Salford Lions (inline hockey) along with senior players, past and present, from Blackburn Hawks, Deeside Dragons and Blackburn Eagles.
It took weeks of organising to gather a team of senior players but it culminated in the event being a roaring success. The senior line up included Ollie Lomax, Stu Ashton, Craig Lutkevitch, Carl Slater, Scott McKenzie, James Parsons, Wes Nixon, Geoff Wigglesworth, Aaron Davies, James Riddoch, Tom Helm, Wayne Slater, Jack Murray (U18) and even retired Hawks player Craig Rogers made an appearance.
The game comprised of mixed senior and junior teams facing off against each other. It was a great match with both keepers pulling off superb saves. However, on conceding a goal, Aaron Davies was heard telling Stu Ashton off and this certainly amused the crowd. The action continued with the juniors playing superbly and certainly giving the seniors a run for their money. The only way Ollie Lomax was able to outdo one particular junior was to place him on the ice and hold him there whilst the puck was played forward
It was a close fought game throughout and ended with just a couple of goals between the two teams. However, the score was not important at the end of the night. The children had an absolutely amazing time on the ice and this was echoed by the senior players who thoroughly enjoyed themselves also. It was a fantastic way to show how a family sport should be.
After the game the players and parents were invited to go up to the bar area for food and drink. This was a great opportunity for the juniors to get their commemorative programmes signed and have photographs with the senior players.
On behalf of the organiser of this fantastic event, Craig Milnes, a massive thank you goes out to the managers of the junior teams, Sarah-Lou (Deeside) and Karey (Manchester Storm Academy) for organising their players and to Paul Milnes for designing the commemorative programme. Also to the senior players for giving up their time to play with the juniors, something that they will never forget. Finally a huge thank you goes out to the referee and his assistant for the evening, Mark Whittle and Shaun from Deeside. It was not an easy game to referee with all of the antics that took place on the ice but it certainly was one to remember.