BLACKBURN Hawks went down 9-5 at Billingham Stars on Sunday in the NIHL Moralee North One Division.

The results leaves Hawks second from bottom of the early standings in the seven-team league having won one of their opening four games.

The visitors did get their noses in front inside four minutes in the North East having peppered the Billingham net with shots.

The opening goal came from a counter attack with Petr Valusiak surging forward before giving the puck to Joe Greaves who scored.

The Stars were level almost immediately with Michael Elder shooting through traffic to score.

The hosts were then in the ascendancy and brought some fine saves from the Hawks’ Latvian netminder Niks Trapans who was in excellent form.

After two strong stops it was a case of third time lucky for Billingham though as Ben Davison went for the wrap around behind Trapans’ net and found the slim gap around his left pad.

The Stars then added a third before the end of the first period with a chaotic scene in front of the Hawks net ending with Michael Bowman converting.

At the start of the second period player-coach James Neil combined with Greaves with the latter’s effort from range kept out by Mark Turnbull.

The next goal came at the other end however as Elder added his second of the evening to make it 4-1.

The shots kept on coming on the Hawks goal and it was five as the clock passed the half hour mark, Stars working the puck around the visitors’ defensive zone with little trouble before James Moss added his name to the scoresheet despite appeals the puck had crossed the blue line.

In what was increasingly a damage limitation exercise the hosts made it six just 12 seconds later, Dan Silar on target.

Neil then could not beat Turnbull with an effort in a rare push up the ice from Hawks with a seventh goal then coming before the end of the second period.

Despite Neil’s best efforts in defence Silar pounced on a loose puck after a save from Trapans to score.

Harrison Walker entered the fray as the new Hawks netminder for the third period and was straight into the action with some

heroic saves.

Blackburn then found some joy as after Stars’ Darren Stattersfield took a two-minute penalty for interference, Greaves whipped in an accurate shot that found the back of the net for 7-2.

Shortly after Hawks had a third goal when Tom Revesz was quickest to a rebound to score.

Stars then went back on the offensive with Walker in action before Greaves brought a save from Turnbull at the other end.

A counter then proved too much for Hawks however, Stattersfield assisting Silar for his hat-trick goal.

The goals kept coming as Valusiak reduced the arrears to 8-4, controlling the puck when surrounded by three defenders before firing a straight and true shot home.

Valusiak then had a hand in the fifth, his shot bringing a save from Turnbull with James Riddoch in the right place at the right time to poke the puck home.

The last laugh went to the hosts however, Joe Walls completing the scoring to make it 9-5.

Hawks are next in action when they host Solway Sharks this Sunday, October 20.

The action gets under way at 5.30pm.