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Ice Hockey: Flintshire Freeze suffer defeat at Blackburn Hawks

Blackburn Hawks 14Flintshire Freeze 3

THE Northern League took the Flintshire Freeze on the road to face a vengeful Blackburn Hawks at the Blackburn Ice Arena.

In this parallel competition to the EIHL league, which mixes teams of varying abilities in league competition, the Flintshire Freeze of North Two already had a shock victory under their belts over North One rivals the Hawks.

But this time Blackburn, as with previous Northern League opponents Fife Flyers before them, had too much firepower as they overwhelmed the Freeze.

The Hawks raced into an early two-goal lead before the home side had their first real chance.

In the eighth minute Andrew Chappell scored for the Freeze on a power play when the Hawks were down by a man due to a penalty.

But two quick-fire goals from the Hawks left the Freeze reeling before they grabbed a second when the Hawks were back to full strength.

But an upset never seemed on the cards as in the second period it was all Blackburn.

They fired four more in the second and despite Chappell scoring his second, with a well-taken backhand effort, the game was over before the final period.

Phil Crosby in the Freeze goal never gave up but he couldn’t hold the Hawks at bay under the amount of pressure they exerted and in that final 20 minutes he conceded another six goals.

It was a bitty, frustrating game for the Freeze, who went into the contest believing they could get something out of it.

But a succession of foul calls for acts of frustration didn’t help them overcome those initial setbacks.

Mike Jones was given three penalties, for slashing, roughing and holding, while Dave Swanston picked up two for charging and elbows.

A bench penalty for abuse of officials was also handed to the Freeze as they struggled to get to grips with their rivals.

This Sunday the Freeze will welcome their historic rivals Whitley Bay Warriors to the Deeside Ice Rink for another Northern League clash (6.30pm face-off).

The Warriors now reside in North One but there have been some explosive meetings between the sides over the years.