BLACKBURN Hawks’ bid to retain the NIHL Moralee Conference play-off title ended in disappointment as they were beaten 2-0 by Solway Sharks in Dumfries yesterday afternoon.
The Hawks claimed a spot in the final in dramatic fashion when they overcame Billingham Stars on penalties on Saturday but the league champions were too strong for them in the showpiece on the Sharks’ home ice.
The scores were level after the opening period of a physical final which contained plenty of excitement for the crowd.
But a goal late in the second period broke the deadlock and Solway struck again in the final period to settle the contest despite the best efforts of the Hawks players.
A large travelling contingent of around 250 Hawks fans had made the long journey north for the weekend and they were treated to a magnificent game on Saturday as the Blackburn side fought from two goals down to win their last four encounter.
Hawks trailed by two at the end of the first period but Aaron Davies struck twice in the second to even up the contest.
There were no further goals in the final period or in five minutes of overtime meaning penalties would decide the victor.
Stars missed all three of their efforts with Danny Brittle saving one for the Hawks.
That meant that Canadian Jon Adams’ miss for Hawks wasn’t felt as captain Chris Arnone and leading points scorer Adam Brittle converted to send them through.
There was good news for the Hawks though with Adam Brittle named NIHL Moralee Conference Player of the Year, an award voted for by his peers.
Brittle was also joined by his brother Danny and Hawks skipper Chris Arnone in the league’s All Star side for 2013-14.