BLACKBURN Hawks secured only their fourth shut-out of the season as they won 5-0 at Sutton Sting in their final game of the regular season on Sunday.
Shut-outs are rare in ice hockey and Hawks had not prevented their opponents from scoring in 12 matches since they beat Whitley Warriors 5-0 on January 4.
Captain Chris Arnone scored a hat-trick in the Moralee Conference fixture in Nottinghamshire, with player-coach Jared Owen and Aaron Davies also on target.
Hawks had already secured second place in the table and the victory left them with a record of won 16, drawn four and lost eight in the 28-game regular season.
Defeat for Sutton hampered their hopes of securing the fourth and final play-off spot. Whitley, who are currently fourth, drew at Manchester Minotaurs and that result confirmed that Billingham will finish third and play Hawks in the play-off semi final in Dumfries on April 12.
Hawks now have a break without a match before they travel to Solway Sharks in their final group game in the NLN Cup on March 22.