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Blackburn Hawks column: All the aches and pains are worth it
YOU know hockey’s back when you wake up on a Monday morning and everything aches.
But the pain is more bearable after a four-point weekend.
Historically the Hawks are slow starters. I can’t remember the last time we won the first two games.
I was surprised at how well we played considering we’ve only been together as a group for four weeks and we hadn’t had any pre-season games.
But luckily we’ve kicked on from where we left off last season, and as I said to player-coach Jared Owen after Sunday night’s 6-0 win over Sheffield Spartans, it’s amazing what winning something actually does. It gives you a bit more belief.
In the past we’ve always been there or thereabouts and never won the play-offs. But when you win one you want to win more.
I thought we might have got a bit carried away and a bit too confident, but we seem to be fairly grounded and kept our heads, which is good because its only going to get harder from here, playing bigger and better opposition.
Saturday was exactly what we expected. We know what Manchester are about, they’re a hard working team. We were behind going into the third period but we were always confident we could take it – it’s happened a few times before against them and we’ve got strength in depth now.
It was good to be back at home on Sunday, in front of a good crowd too – they were as loud as ever – and we started well against Sheffield. We might have taken our foot off the gas towards the end but we were never in any danger of losing it.
The new lads have clearly settled in well. Rick Hughes and Adam Brittle got a goal, Scott Robson got a couple of assists. Danny Brittle got a shut-out, and I got a goal, so it was good to start where I left off.
In fact I almost got two. That doesn’t happen often – I usually get a nosebleed when I go that far up! – but I couldn’t sneak it in.
If only Dan Mackriel could have got a goal too after about 800 shots.
But I’m pleased for Adam that he got off the mark on Sunday after having a few chances in the first game. I think we’ll be seeing quite a few more from him now.
We turn our attentions to cup action next weekend with the visit of Billingham.
It’s going to be a tough game for us as I would imagine they’ll be out for revenge after we beat them in the play-offs.
We took the competition more seriously last season and it was key for momentum. Billingham are always tough to beat, but we’re confident we can do what it takes.
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