David Miekle scored twice as Blackburn Hawks held their nerve to stretch their unbeaten run to eight games with a 4-2 win over a well-drilled Sheffield Spartans.
The Hawks had to come from behind to claim a crucial English National Ice Hockey North Two win that sees them move to within three points of second-placed Whitley Warriors.
Hawks couldn’t have asked for a better star as a defensive slip allowed Jordan Bannon to take possession of the puck and he worked space behind the Spartans goal, before spotting Chris Arnone, who fired into the bottom corner.
The visitors didn’t have to wait long to be back on level terms after Tom King gave the puck away on his own blue-line.
At the halfway point, Sheffield went ahead. Nick Manning beat the retreating Bobby Streetly with some intricate stick-work, before lifting a backhand shot high into the Hawks net.
This stunned the vociferous Arena crowd into silence, as they contemplated the possibility of a rare defeat.
However, their concern was short lived, as two goals in four minutes turned the game on its head.
Rick Ravey deflected shot beat the keeper into back of the net and then Miekle grabbed the Hawks’ 100th league goal of the season.
Two minutes from time, the result was put beyond doubt, as Miekle took full advantage of some scrappy play in centre ice and steadied himself to fire a drive past the stranded keeper, to send the crowd into raptures.
Team manager Graham Lomax said: “We showed a lot of character in every department, so we’re ticking all the right boxes.
“We’ve got three away games on the bounce but not something that fazes us, as our form on our travels has also been good.”
n Lancashire Raptors crashed to a 10-1 loss at Flintshire Freeze on Sunday, 24 hours after losing 11-0 to Fylde Flyers in English National League North Two.