BLACKBURN Hawks produced a final period goal frenzy to thrash Sheffield Spartans 5-0 and keep pace with the teams at the top of the English National Ice Hockey League.

Hawks scored five unanswered goals in the third period to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games.

After 40 minutes of goalless hockey, David Meikle eventually made the breakthrough to fire the town team in front.

Finnish import Sami Narkia added the all-important second, before further goals from Tom King, Chris Arnone and Rick Ravey secured the points.

Team manager Graham Lomax said: “Sheffield is always a difficult place to go, but I thought we played really well.

“They had a very strong side out and for 40 minutes it was very tight. At this level of hockey, to be 0-0 after two periods is a rarity.

“I always felt that whoever got that go-ahead goal would go on and win it. The goal came at a good time and Sami’s second was the killer. I felt that he put the fear of God in them all night.”

Hawks have won eight and drawn one of their last nine games and are the division’s form team.

Lomax added: “The key to our success is that we’re now consistently turning up with a deep bench and churning out three lines.

“It was because of this that we were able to grind out the victory.”