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Ice Hockey: Hawks aiming to swoop on a double
DOUBLE-hunting Blackburn Hawks are on the cup trial tomorrow as they look to collect two trophies before the season’s end.
Hawks have a play-off semi-final date with Billingham to look forward to next month but before then comes a league cup tie with Solway Sharks tomorrow (7.30pm) with a place in the final on offer to the winners.
Jared Owen’s side will qualify for the showpiece with a draw at the home of the league champions and venue for the play-off weekend on April 12-13.
But the Hawks coach is insisting his side will go looking for the win when they travel north of the border.
“We’ve got to go there as if we need a win,” he said. “I think whenever you try and set out not to lose a game inevitably you do so we will be going there and playing on the front foot for the victory.
“We know that a draw is enough for us but we cannot let that affect our thinking heading into the match.”
And Owen believes the clash also represents a chance to lay down a marker ahead of a possible play-off final with Solway next month.
Hawks face Billingham in the last four with league champions Solway the likely opponents in the final and with those matches taking place at the Sharks’ home ice in Dumfries, Owen believes a victory tomorrow could be crucial.
He added: “They have an advantage with the play-offs being on their ice so if we can go there and get the win then it shows them that we are good enough to go and do it again.
“We know that if we win our last five games then we will end the season with two trophies and that is a great incentive for us.”
Hawks will once again be missing a number of key players for the trip with Canadian star Jon Adams and Rhys Cairney-Witter both serving their last games of suspensions and Craig Rogers ruled out through injury. Dan Mackriel is also absent.
The two-legged final will take place on April 5-6.
Hawks return to Blackburn Arena on Sunday when they play a friendly at home to the Royal Navy (5.45pm).
“That game gives us a chance to go through a few things ahead of the cup final if we get there. If we don’t get there then it is a long break until the play-offs so it will give us a game,” added Owen.
“We will hopefully have a few of the lads coming into the side from Blackburn Eagles as well to see how they get on.
“It is also a chance for the fans to come and watch us as well and hopefully there will be a good crowd.”
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