Blackburn Hawks 7 Peterborough Pirates 4; Blackburn Hawks 12 Bracknell Bees 5

IT may be early season and Ryan Kummu probably won't thank me for saying it, but there is a real feeling of promotion in the air at Blackburn Arena writes Paul Agnew.

The unstoppable Hawks pushed themselves even higher in the British League First Division table with that man Oleg Sinkov leading the way.

Bracknell Bees didn't have O-leg to stand on last night as a bigger than average crowd wallowed in another super show from the local ice hockey stars.

Thrilling, skilful, entertaining - yes, it was all three, particularly during the second period when Hawks ran riot.

They had suffered a real shocker early on with the Bees stinging them with two quick goals to take the first period 2-0.

But when Kummu's men get focused there is little to stop them and an 8-1 period two scoreline emphasised the comeback.

It was marvellous stuff to watch with Hawks dancing their way to glory and Sinkov revelling in the freedom.

The Russian wingman helped himself to a grand total of five goals and there was a hat-trick too for the hard-working skipper John Haig. Even net-minder Ian Young got in on the act...with an assist in a great Steve Chartrand goal.

Little wonder then that the crowd were at fever pitch.

Scoresheet: Steve Chartrand 2 + 4, John Haig 3 + 1, Oleg Sinkov 5 + 2, Robin Davison 1 + 1, Ryan Kummu 1 + 3, John Coton 0 + 1, Ian Young 0 + 1, Jim Pennycook 0 + 1.

It was never quite as exciting on Saturday, but Hawks deserved their reward for a rugged display against the Pirates.

Only a slight hiccup in period two prevented a more convincing victory with the three super striker Chartrand, Sinkov and Haig again leading from the front in every respect.

Hawks took period one 2-0, slipped up to go down 1-2 in the second, but roared back to take the third 4-2.

Scoresheet: Chartrand 3 + 1, Sinkov 2 + 3, Haig 2 + 0, Kummu 0 + 1.

Kummu fell foul of too much penalty time, but there was little else to concern the big Canadian player-coach who really has got his men buzzing. "Things are going really well," under-stated manager Mike Cockayne. "Our display in the second period last night was something special. There was no way we were going to make the mistake of easing off which cost us the previous Sunday against Swindon.

"Everyone is so fired up we feel we can give any team a run for their money right now."

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