BLACKBURN Hawks officials believe their ice was in a playable condition after their game with Nottingham Lions was abandoned on Sunday due to safety concerns.

Hawks were 4-0 up in the NIHL Moralee Conference clash after the first period but the Lions then refused to take to the pitch for the second period after deeming a crack in the ice too unsafe.

Hawks released a statement claiming that the rink was playable and that the referee had given the game the green light to continue, but the Lions were not prepared to carry on.

The visitors tweeted after the fixture was called off that both teams decided the ice was unsafe while Hawks assistant coach James Neil said the Lions had every right to not continue.

But a Hawks statement said the decision to halt the game was Nottingham’s and that the matter is now in the hands of the league management committee.

The Hawks statement read: “The NIHL North Division 1 game between Blackburn Hawks and Nottingham Lions was abandoned at the start of the second period due to Nottingham Lions refusing to continue the game due to concerns about the ice surface.

“Rink maintenance and management mended the crack to the satisfaction of the referee but after discussions with both coaches, Nottingham still refused to continue with the game hence the referee issued Nottingham Lions with a two minute bench minor penalty.

“Both the public and recreational ice hockey training sessions proceeded as per the normal schedule.

“Disappointingly, Blackburn turned in their best 20 minutes of the season and were comfortably in front by four goals.

“Further details will follow after consultation with the league management committee.”

Nottingham are bottom of the table having lost all nine fixtures while the Hawks are second bottom with four points from six games.

The Lions tweeted after the game was called off: “Game abandoned in Blackburn after both teams decided the ice was unsafe. Player safety is paramount.”

A statement on the EIHA website read: "The National League Management Group (NLMG) are investigating the events which lead to this and are taking information from all parties involved.

"A decision will be made as soon as possible once the full investigation is completed."