JARED Owen hopes Ivo Dimitrijevs can have a similar impact as their previous star import Sami Narkia – after the Latvian got his Blackburn Hawks career off to a flying start.
Narkia was a key force in Hawks’ play-off push last season and, after his summer return to Finland, Hawks’ coach Owen is hoping Dimitrijevs can fill his shoes.
‘Ivo’ made his debut in Saturday’s 2-1 victory at Trafford Metros, after a few weeks of training at the Arena, as Owen’s side bounced back from the previous weekend’s 7-0 drubbing to Solway Sharks.
Great Britain under-18 star Myles Dacres hit Hawks’ winner on Saturday, after Trafford had taken an early lead in the third meeting of the sides this season. Ollie Lomax scored Hawks’ equaliser.
Owen said: “Ivo did fine on Saturday. It was a difficult situation because it wasn’t confirmed until the afternoon he would be playing.
“We rotated him in to get him on the ice. He scored a goal that was disallowed and as the match went on he looked much more comfortable.
“He is a different type of player to Sami. Ivo is more of an inside the blue line type of player, with good hands and a good shot. Sami could go and pick the puck up and had exceptional speed.
“Hopefully though he can have a similar impact, as we are really hoping Ivo can be a good offensive weapon for us.”
He continued: “Myles played really well, over the last couple of weeks he has been coming into his own. He looks confident at this level, he is big and strong and caused Trafford a lot of problems.
“We want him to use his size and speed to create chances for us. The new lads have come in this season and have added some strength in depth for us.
“Myles and Ivo are just a couple of the new lads with Reece Cairney-Witter also settling in well after signing from Bradford.”
Owen had challenged his Hawks side to respond to their 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Solway and he admits the weekend’s display answered a few questions.
He said: “After last week’s horror show, we showed our character. We bounced back really well and I am pleased with the guys’ attitude. You could tell they wanted to put things right.
“Our strength last season was the way we recovered from set backs and it is great to see the new lads have bought into that concept. There is a real team ethic at the moment.”