PROGRAMME ISSUE 2
CAN THE HAWKS TAME TH E
13 SEPTEMBER 2015
2 EDITORIAL REVIEW
INTRODUCTION So here we are at the start of a new season, the last was the best in the Hawks’ twenty five years long history and it will be remembered by many present with a glowing smile for a long time to come. Although admittedly it will be extremely hard to follow last seasons achievements we are right now still the team to beat, and Budzie is off to a great start with both friendlies won and now our first league game win too. Make no mistake Viikingit and Widnes were not here to make up the numbers - Viikingit beat The Steeldogs albeit a fabricated side with some Hull Pirates thrown into the mix 7-2 and our lads were as usual prepared for anything these two teams could throw at them. Then our first league game has given us a massive win with a 4 - 0 shut out Vs. the Billingham Stars, all of our players gelled well and they put on a clinical exhibition in front of a massive away crowd. Daniel Brittle made some fantastic saves and picked up a well deserved MVP and has a 100% record in all matches to date. Stand out for me was Rjay’s fantastic kneeling, spinning goal. The Hawks team were very impressed with our away support and wanted to thank all of the fans for making the effort to follow them to Billingham. Lets try to keep it up all season with as much support at home and on the road as possible, It really does make a difference to the teams performance. Thanks go to Gillian Havelock for organising the away travel. Tonight we face off against a strong, dedicated and well oiled Telford Tigers. Even though some doubted our Hawks last season, the lads delivered results again and again. When we were behind never once did a head drop, when a goal was disallowed another was scored to replace it. It was a case of keep on working hard and the rewards will come, and so they did. Great character was shown and there were no weaknesses just self belief and determination. The new season, and tonights match will be a massive test of our lads’ teamwork and dedication. Some of our ‘Invincibles’ have moved to pastures new, but their replacements have slotted straight into the team and are already proving they are a force to be reckoned with. Four goals in the Widnes game came from four of our new signings. How can we do better than last year? Who can say, but to repeat it would be fantastic wouldn’t it? So here’s how - YOU can help, scream, cheer, clap and get right behind the lads, don’t let your heads drop if we should fall behind, shout louder and give our Hawks the inspiration to win and make a statement that what we did last year can, and will be achieved again and with the team we have now, there is no reason why we can’t take the prize yet again. We have a new addition to the programmes editorial team - Chelsea Carter. Chelsea will be taking over the letters page and the new History of the Hawks articles that will be appearing from today. Chelsea is very proactive and full of good ideas so expect lots of new features and articles in the coming months. Chelsea is starting at Uni so her help will be as and when she can and any help is greatly appreciated. I would also like take this chance to thank Tony Preece (tonypreece.co.uk) for giving us permission to use the history of the Hawks information from his website freely. Other notable contributors are Paul Breeze (icehockeyreview.co.uk), who is always adding to our programme so give his website a visit for all NIHL and general Ice Hockey news. Wendy Bennison (Juniors Manager) Daniel MacKriel (Budz) for his match reviews, team updates, opposing team introductions and Hawks news, and not least Steve Pollitt for his excellent ‘A Day In The Life’ article. Please drop us a line if there is anything you would like to see covered in the Hawks match day programme. Our fans’ input is very much appreciated and valued, and this programme should be filled with what you want to read. Any feedback would also be appreciated so that we know if we are doing things right or not. Thanks for reading
4 PROGRAMME CONTENTS
A DAY IN THE LIFE
BUDZIE’S REVIEW OF THE VIIKINGIT AND WIDNES GAMES AND AN INSIGHT INTO TONIGHTS MATCH AGAINST THE TELFORD TIGERS. THERE WILL BE NO QUARTER ASKED NOR GIVEN TONIGHT SO EXPECT A LIVELY MATCH WITH LOTS OF FIREWORKS! #COYH
THIS ISSUE WE LOOK AT A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A ICE HOCKEY PLAYER’S PARENT. WHO BETTER TO ASK THAN LEE POLLITT’S DAD STEVE. HE’S ALSO AN AVID PHOTOGRAPHER. HEAD OVER TO PAGE 10 TO SEE JUST WHAT’S INVOLVED. IT’S NOT PRETTY.
CATCH UP WITH SOME OF THE LATEST
A LOOK AT THE CAREER OF HAWKS
NEWS AND GOSSIP FROM THE NEST
LEGEND JON COTTON
10. A DAY IN THE LIFE
20. LEARN TO PLAY
A SERIES OF ARTICLES THAT WILL SEE
WANT TO BE A PLAY ICE HOCKEY? IT’S A
PEOPLE WHO WORK BEHIND THE SCENES
LONG ROAD BUT WITH DETERMINATION
TO HELP MAKE ICE HOCKEY IN OUR NEST
AND LOTS OF PRACTICE YOU COULD BE
SUCH A GREAT SUCCESS
PLAYING IN NO TIME
12. TELFORD TIGERS
24. TIME OUT
A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO THE TIGERS -
PUZZLES AND LETTERS GALORE AS YOU
THEY ARE OUT TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION
HAVE A READ WHILE YOU WAIT FOR THE
THIS SEASON - CAN WE TAME THEM?
TEAMS TO ICE.
29. ICE HOCKEY REVIEW
00. OTHER ARTICLES
NETMINDERS’ AWARDS FOR THE PAST
HISTORY OF THE HAWKS 30 GRAHAM
SEASON STATS AND FIGURES
LOMAX PAGE 33. TEAM SHEET 34, NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK 28,
5 PROGRAMME CONTENTS
12 LEARN TO PLAY
WENDY BENNISON TELLS US HOW YOUR CHILD CAN BECOME A HAWK. IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES THEN HEAD TO PAGE 12 TO SEE HOW TO MAKE THE THAT FIRST STEP.
JON COTTON IS A LEGEND OF THE OLD BLACBURN HAWKS. PAUL BREEZE OF ICE HOCKEY REVIEW REMINISCES ON JON’S CAREER. READ ALL ABOUT JON’S HIGHLIGHTS ON PAGE 08
CAPS COLUMN EVERY WEEK CHRIS ARNONE POSTS HIS ANALYSIS AND THOUGHTS ON OUR MOST RECENT MATCHES IN THE LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH. THE PAGE IS UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY SO HEAD ON OVER THERE TO READ UP ON THE MATCH REPORT FROM OUR FIRST LEAGUE MATCH AT BILLINGHAM. CHRIS’S ARTICLE IS USUALLY POSTED QUITE QUICKLY ON OUR OFFICIAL WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, SUPPORTERS PAGE AND ON OUR TEAM APP. YOU CAN ALSO BUY THE LANCASHIRE TELEGRAPH ON TUESDAY AND READ IT THERE.
Programme design content and Cover photo of Lee Pollit by John Milton (www.eventog.uk) Letters page and Hawks history designed and edited by Chelsea Carter. Articles provided by Paul Breeze, Wendy Bennison, Daniel Mackriel, Steve Pollitt, and John Milton. Thanks go to Gillian and Ian Havelock from our supporters club for their outstanding continuing help in the background. Esther Gradwell for proof reading and spellchecking. Last but by no means least thank you to Bryan Shuttleworth for his help with my many questions.
DANIEL MACKRIEL GETS OFF TO A PERFECT START WITH THREE WINS FROM THREE GAMES. THE REAL CHALLENGE IS RIGHT HERE AND NOW THOUGH. TELFORD WILL BE ALL OUT TRYING TO CLAW AWAY AT HAWKS’ 100% RECORD. HERE ARE BUDZIE’S VIEWS ON TONIGHT’S GAME. THE TWO PRE-MATCH FRIENDLIES, AND BEATING BILLINGHAM SO CONVINCINGLY ON THEIR OWN ICE Good evening folks and welcome to the first home league game of the new season! Tonight we welcome...
TELFORD TIGERS NIHL to Blackburn in which we hope the team, officials and supporters have a safe all round journey to and from Lancashire. Telford will bring with them players that I know quite well after coaching there for a good number of years and who I have seen develop into good promising Ice Hockey Players. Add to this list a number of players who have played EPL, they will have a strong team that for me are the dark horses in the league. Anyone playing Telford should know that they will be up against a well drilled, highly talented group who will work extremely hard at both ends of the rink. Any team underestimating them will come unstuck! We completed our preseason games in a manner that saw the team play a high tempo game coming out on top again two very different set ups. I was pleased to see the players giving their all in both games and coming together nicely for a team who have undergone some major changes during the summer. Last Sunday then saw us go against the old rivals in Billingham. The games against the Stars are always a highlight for both play-
ers and supporters so having this as the season opener added to the occasion. I thought we played a good gritty road game across three periods. In the first we battled hard for the first 10 minutes and then showed our class by going three goals to the good. The second we fell in to some penalty trouble, but our PK was aggressive and killed these off. We still didn’t look under that much pressure and could have sneaked a couple of Short Handed goals. In the final period we
HUDDLE managed to come out on top again and in my opinion we fully deserved the win and should have been by a few goals more. All in all though I canâ€™t be too picky with the performance and the result especially when it was our first game with a full roster. The away support was truly magnificent and was good to see so many making the trip. The noise from the away block was inspiring and long may this continue both home and away!
We are a long way from being the finished article and with the league being so strong, we know that we need to turn up with the right attitude each week. We need to be prepared to play for the full 60 minutes and give everything to get the result we want. Enjoy the game!
Matt Viney taking the game to Billingham Photo John Milton (eventog.uk
10 DAYIN THE LIFE
A DAY IN THE LIFE
STEVE POLLITT: HOCKEY DAD & PHOTOGRAPHER
In our next article we have a true gentleman and one of the many unsung hero’s of ice hockey, the HOCKEY PARENT. So many players rightly put their success down to their parents selflessly giving up their own social time to taxi their Ice Hockey children all over the country for events, matches and training camps. STEVE POLLITT is also an avid Photograper and you can see him proudly taking photos of his lads at every match. His excellent photos will be appearing on the Hawks Facebook page and our official and supporters club websites very soon. Here is his story. I have known John Milton for some time now, as we both share an interest in ice hockey photography, so when my son Lee recently moved to the Hawks, and John asked me for some words about being a Hockey parent, I felt honoured to be asked. Being a hockey parent will vary considerably as they grow older. When they are younger it’s all about getting them ready to go , make sure they are fed, remembering their kit, homework is done, etc., the sort of things you would expect when they do any kind of sport after school. But when my two lads started their hockey playing in the juniors, it was clear from the outset that this sport was more professional than any football club we had ever been involved in. The coaching is serious stuff, don’t be late on the ice, no messing about, and you can’t turn up half kitted out. It takes dedication from all involved, many of the staff are volunteers, and if the players don’t take it seriously, then don’t waste their time. The training was twice during the week and as they got older, the times were later,
and with my lads being in two different age groups, I seem to spend all evening watching them train, standing in the freezing ice rink. They come off the ice sweating from all the effort, buzzing with adrenalin, and wanting to open the windows of the car at midnight on the way home when you are bordering on hypothermia. You’re tired, cold and when you have to get up at 5 am for work the next day, it takes stamina, but when I looked around at some of the coaches doing the same and not even having their own kid on the ice, it was humbling to think it goes on all around the country. Then there is game day, which can mean leaving the house at 6am to get to some far corner of the region, or leaving at a reasonable time and getting home in the early hours of the morning, with all passengers fast asleep, and running around dropping other kids at home because their parent couldn’t make the trip that day. Home games are another story, shorter journeys, but you have the off-ice official duties. Nobody wants to do them. I started with the
11 DAYIN THE LIFE penalty box, never a quiet job with the juniors, in one game there was no room left in there for me, and with the skates on they were towering above me stamping about full of venom – highly entertaining, and when asked to learn how to do a game sheet, I thought why not, it can’t be that hard. WRONG, when you have never played the game and only just started to take the rules in, then the refs seem to take delight in giving signs knowing you don’t know them, and you have to complete that sheet, it takes a sense of humour, and a stiff drink after the game. The sport is tough, we all know that, we can all see that, and as they get bigger it gets harder to watch when things get rough. I sometimes think it would have been easier and less stressful if I had played when I was younger. The transition from juniors to seniors has been the toughest to watch. The trips to A & E have become more often, taking the cage off at 18 years old to put a visor on is like a medal to
be worn. I sometimes think it’s payback for the grief I gave my parents watching me race stock cars. They are both getting older, and the constant taxiing, to training, to matches at all corners of the region, getting home at silly o’clock on a Sunday night, has eased, now that they both drive, but the smell of the kit stays, and still catches me out when I need to move one of their cars (doubt we will ever sell those cars on). As before, I have to juggle their matches, as they are almost always on conflicting days, and there is still the expense of broken sticks, skate blades etc. etc. All that being said, I wouldn’t change a thing, the sport has kept them fit, disciplined and out of trouble (off the ice at least). The lads and I have an ever expanding hockey family, and look forward to Lee’s time at the Hawks. I will be at as many Hawks games as possible, fixture conflicts with the u20s permitting; I will be the one with the camera stuck to his face that isn’t John Milton.
Lee & Craig Pollitt at Widnes on a scrimmage session. Photo courtesy of STEVE POLLITT
14 REWIND OLDSCHOOL
REWIND IS A NEW ARTICLE THAT WILL BE APPEARING REGULARLY IN THE HAWKS MAGAZINE. WE WILL BE LOOKING BACK AT THE PLAYERS THAT INSPIRED OUR HAWKS OF TODAY AND ACHIEVED SO MUCH IN THIER TIME PLAYING AT THE ARENA. WE START OFF THIS ISSUE WITH HAWKS LEGEND JON COTTON Jon Cotton joined the Hawks in November 1994 from Premier League team Bracknell Bees as part of the “Rocky Hockey Revolution” that mid-term replacement coach Rocky Saganiuk was trying to recreate at Blackburn, having previously led unlikely candidates Ayr Bruins and Peterborough Pirates to Wembley Play-Off Finals.
backed Saganiuk with funds to try and salvage the season – also installing heating in the arena to help boost the crowds. He brought in proven imports Darren Durdle and Trent Kaese, who had both starred in his Peterborough side from 1991, and Neil Morgan and Craig Britton who he had also previously coached at Peterborough - so Cotton was in good company.
Saganiuk had been ditched by Durham Wasps after a poor start to their Premier Division season and his arrival was a great boost for the Hawks, whose own season in Division One had been equally calamitous with import player Mark Stokes struggling with the coaching side of his dual role. The situation was not helped when the club’s three existing imports were all sacked after reports of a late night streaking session at the Arena.
Young British scoring sensation John Haig joined from Dumfries and experienced netminder Ian Young provided some stability at the back but team consistency was hampered by injuries and more player departures.
The rink owners Peel Holdings
Ian McDade (Hough) played on the Hawks team with Jon that season and he said of him: “Every aspect of JC’s game was solid and consistent. He was mature beyond his years and played an integral role in the infamous 95/96 squad. He was
also a lively character in the dressing room.” Rocky’s Hawks finally found their groove and finished the season with 6 wins in a row but the 9th place finish was not enough for Peel Holdings to want to extend the experiment for another year. Having survived the postRocky clear out that saw many of the previous season’s arrivals leave again, Jon played in what was arguably the Hawks best ever season - at least in overall league position - if not in terms of silverware. Former Fife Flyers import defenceman and one-time Washington Capitals draftee Ryan Kummu came in as player coach and he put together an exciting team that included former Solihull Barons’ Canadian sharpshooter Steve Chartrand and former Trafford Metros’ Ukrainian Oleg Sinkov.
Blackburn Hawks Record – Jon Cotton Season League 1994/95 BL1 1995/96 BL1 P/Offs 1998/99 EPL Totals
GP 27 51 6 1 85
G 24 27 4 0 55
A 28 26 1 1 56
Pts 52 53 5 1 111
PIMs 65 38 4 0 107
Hawks Pos 9th of 12 2nd of 16 4th of 4 3rd of 9
The Hawks led the Division One table for the early part of the season and went toe to toe with big money team Manchester Storm in a dual for the league title.
They were the only team to beat Manchester on their own ice, winning 9-12 with Cotton scoring two goals. However, the team’s performances slumped in the latter half of the season and they finished a distant second - some 23 points behind champions Storm.The following season, Jon moved back to play for the Peterborough Pirates and then had spells with Invicta Dynamos and Chelmsford Chieftains in the EPL, as well as another return to Peterborough to play for the EPL Phantoms and ENL Islanders. After a 19 year senior career with over 750 senior games under his belt - in which he also passed the magical 1000 points barrier, he hung up his skates at the end of the 2007/08 season. Tony Hunter watched Jon’s development as a junior at Peterborough and later coached him as a senior Pirate: “Jon was with without a shadow of
a doubt one of the best players we ever produced in Peterborough. Always giving 110% in every game and very rarely not on the score sheet, hence his fine career as a top drawer British hockey player. For me an absolute joy to coach and have on my teams.” Later Hawks coach Bobby Haig didn’t play alongside Cotton but did face him as an opponent on many occasions. He said: “I played against him a lot. He was a good skater and he stickhandled very well. He was a physical player but always played the game fairly. He is a gentleman both on and off the ice.” Hawks teammate at the time Simon Mills said of Jon: “Jon was a great team mate, always worked hard and very committed to
Looking back at his time at Blackburn, Jon said: “I loved every minute of my time playing for the Hawks. It’s a shame that the financial side was not there the season after we finished runners up to the Storm. Blackburn had great fans and I’ll never forget the support and help Annette Wallbank gave John Haig, Craig Britton and myself.
Rocky was the biggest influence on my career but I also had a lot of time for Ryan Kummu. He was a calmer coach compared to Rocky and put together a hell of a team. Oleg Sinkov was a dream to play with and his partnership with Haig & Chartrand was a joy to watch. the team. A sharp dry sense of humour also...Top lad!” Jon’s brother Darren stopped playing in 2010 after a similarly impressive career but the family tradition continues in the shape of Jon’s son, Jake Cotton, who plays as a forward for the Peterborough Phantoms under-16s team.
My best memory with the Hawks was playing at the Nynex arena live on Sky Sports and beating the Storm. That was a massive highlight for me and I recently watched the game again a few weeks ago. Great memories!
Blackburn Hawks Saturday September 13th - Face Off: 5:45
SCORING Time Type
TONIGHTâ€™S Cian Shorrock & PERIOD SCORES HAWKS
VS Telford Tigers LeagueGame - Blackburn Ice Arena
No. Name C
20 LEARN TO PLAY
LEARN TO PLAY WE ASKED WENDY BENNISON TO TELL US ALL ABOUT THE JUNIORS POPULAR ‘LEARN TO PLAY’ PROGRAM. WE HAVE SOME GREAT PROSPECTS WHO HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE COURSES AND IT’S OPEN TO ANYONE .
s well as managing the u18s and assisting with the u20s, I also help run the LTP programme on Monday evening. Yes, I just love being at the rink!! As a club we run 3 programs which I will detail below, however to join the first program you need normally to achieve a level 2/3 NISI skate standard, this is done via the ice rink, not the Club. These are Saturd a y morning at the rink, from 9.30am, here you learn from a NISI level 1, and to reach level 3 will take you approximately 4 weeks. Also on Wednesday evening 6.15-6.45 they also offer a 4 week skating course each calendar month. The head skate coach Keith Hudson does the Saturday morning and our Learn to hockey skate program, our programs are 12 weeks each and works as follows;The 1st section is learn to hockey skate, the 1st six weeks are concentrated on specific skating to suit playing hockey, so reactive
and power skating based. Then in the 2nd six weeks we introduce the children to the core equipment, stick gloves etc. so they start to get an understanding of the equipment, but still concentrate on skating. During this period he or she will be assessed and graded and will be given a book to ensure that they are aware of the progress they are making. This continues all through the programs. After completing the 12 weeks skating they would then move to LTP 1 (Learn To Play 1) where we start with an introduction to the sport, with the base hockey skills being taught with emphasis on stick handling and puck control. The final program LTP 2, is more advanced and at this stage they will be developed to team playing standards, and here we also educate them with the rules of the game, and game time scenarios,
21 LEARN TO PLAY Each program is ÂŁ70.00 for 12 weeks, we provide all equipment required throughout, so there are no additional expenses. From my point of view Monday nights are the best night of the week. To see new kids on the ice for the first time is priceless. Until the first time they are handed a stick that is, thatâ€™s when they get the bug, they now feel like an ice hockey player not just a skater. The smiles we witness are countless, and to watch them progress is just great. They become disciplined, fitter, confident and proud of what they can do. They make new friendships which if they are placed on the same teams can continue for years (hopefully to the Hawks). Mondays are a relaxed evening. Myself and
Miek Harris (Hawks Assistant Manager) are always on hand to answer questions, fasten skates, or just for a chat. Our next programme starts on the 14th September, depending on what session they are, either 6-7 or 7-8. So come on, give it a try. If you are reading this you are at a Hawks game and if you are at a Hawks game you are already a fan. This is the next step in your hockey life. Further details can be obtained from Stewart Outram at email@example.com.
22 REMAIN CALM Ice Hockey can be a passionate sport to watch. Sometimes supporters can be taken over by the moment and can let their feelings be expressed loudly to all those around them. At the Arena we have supporters of all ages who come to our matches including many young children and we would ask that you please consider this before shouting out any vulgar language in front of supporters who do not wish to hear this. Please just enjoy the match and..
23 BE ALERT
FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PUCK AT ALL TIMES
THE PUCK CAN AND WILL LEAVE THE ICE AND FLYING PUCKS CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS
TIME OUT SCRABBLE WORDS
Pencil drawing Hawks Vs, Tigers by Chelsea Carter
Interview by Chelsea Carter Fans thoughts: Bryan Shuttleworth CHELSEA: When did you become a fan and what brought you to your first game? BRYAN: I don’t recall exactly as I was rather young and frankly paid not all that much attention to the details at the time, but I believe it was the 2001/02 season and we played against the Flintshire Freeze and me and two old friends of mine Robert and Michael decided to try it out and go to a game. I was just really excited to be at a hockey game, a sport I had never really encountered before that point, so I was just on a buzz from that. I remember us winning the game, and I remember there being a fight and a broken stick, because I managed to be given the blade of the broken stick by a guy from the bench! From there I just watched the odd games sporadically as I could, I bought NHL HITZ 2002 on my Xbox and fell in love with it but didn’t get to games all that often due to money. I only really started following full time in the 13/14 season, work no longer filled my weekends so I decided to go and now I try and see every single game!
CHELSEA: Reflecting on the success of last season how you feel about the game play over both games last weekend?
attacks. Drakeley and Dunn are two brilliant additions there. Ben Simister has some great hands and potential to put up plenty of points and Lee Pollitt looked very much the same
way over the past weekend. Of course we all know the ability that Bentham is capable of, another excellent player. On paper we have an outstanding squad.
BRYAN: I thought the overall play was excellent. The whole squad has seemed to gel really well, there was a much faster pace to the play and you could tell that Budzie has put his stamp on the team with the way the play moved. Lots of fast transitions from Defence to Attack, lots of clever drop passes and zone movement. There was definitely a mind set in place that has been worked on in training and it looked strong, but the overall pace and structure to the game was lightning quick and rock solid. We are in for a hell of a season if they play like that each week!
Caitlyn Mitchell Hartley sent Harry this drawing of the Hawks logo with a tribute to Jon Adams
CHELSEA: Thoughts and feelings about the new signings BRYAN: The new signings from what I saw were excellent. Obviously a good number of them I already knew about, but the new imports were very strong. Kim skates fantastically and can make a play really well, and RJay has some great hands and reads the play brilliantly. Beyond that I think the D core is extremely solid and will hold off the majority of the oppositions
If you have ever tried to create something in Minecraft then you may appreciate the work that has gone into this submission from Heather Hall. It’s her version of the Blackburn Arena. Well done Heather, keep them coming.
We first opened for business in 2005, and have been serving Blackburn, and the North West of England, ever since. As the business grew we moved into our new much larger showroom in the heart of a popular retail area in Mill Hill, Blackburn We offer a full range of services, ranging from small local projects to major national work, and everything in between. We can offer you a no obligation quote now, so contact us for more information.
NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Several new players have joined us for the new seasons campaign. It will take time for them to settle in and for us to get used to all of the new faces but we will try to introduce them here over time. They are already making a big impact with the fans and we think that the nets will take a heavy bashing throughout the season with our exsisting Hawks adding extra pressure in the opponents crease. Cory Stones has already scored three goals and Lee Pollitt two with some of the other new players getting on the scoresheet too. Reece Cariney-Witter, a previous Hawks D-man also got on the score sheet in the match vs. Widnes. At this point we would like to extend special thanks to Graham Smith of Riverside Garden Centre for his massive contribution in arranging for RJay and Kim to come over and play for us this season. Graham has been instrumental with the organisation, funding and also kitting the lads out with new gear. He has also given them both jobs while they are here which has also helped immensely. Give him a little Hawks fans appreciation if you pass him on match day.
Kim & RJay settling into their new jobs at Riverside Garden Centre. Switching their hockey sticks for fence sticks, now who has a spare puck?
OUR NEW ARRIVALS #13 Andrew Dunn (D) #44 Max Drakeley (D) #47 Kim Miettinen (D) #67 Ben Simister (F) #91 Richard Bentham (F/D) #96 RJay Berra (F/D) #70 Lee Pollitt (F) No confirmation as yet on Reece Cairney-Witter (D) Cory Stones (F)
Taking a well earned rest. Lets hope they have some energy left for the match this evening!
Two special awards have been presented to celebrate the achievements last season of two of the NIHL North’s top shot stoppers. Blackburn netminder Daniel Brittle picked up 4 shut-outs during the Hawks’ Moralee Conference championship season but only finished in 4th place in the overall netminder standings which are calculated on Save %, for which he got 92.16. Stuart Ashton picked up 1 shut-out and came second in the overall table with his 92.75 Save %, just shy of the Moralee’s top “saver” Billingham’s James Flavell who stopped 93.83% of the shots that he faced. It just so happens that statistics can say almost whatever you want them to say because, if you calculated the overall standings using Goals per Game Average (like they used to a long time ago), then Stuart Ashton would have come out top, followed by Brittle in second and Solway’s Gary Russell in 3rd place. Ironically, it is because the Hawks played so well as a team last season and dominated so many of their games, that Dan and Stu’s Sa% records are a little inferior to Flavell’s – whose team obviously had a worse season. Both Blackburn netminders faced considerably fewer shots per game than other netminders in the league and their Sa% was
skewed accordingly. In the Laidler Conference, Telford NIHL Tigers’ Denis Bell picked up an amazing 5 shut outs and came second overall on Sa% and GAA to Solihull Barons’ netminder Josh Nicholls –who was the Laidler top stopper for the second season in a row. Unfortunately the playing records in the Laidler Conference were greatly affected by the fact that some games were played for double points, meaning that only a few teams played all 36 of their games while some only actually played 28. While the results counted for double points, the individual players’ points totals did not so we ended up with different overall figures for the Laidler Conference than we might have had if all teams had played the same number of games. These new awards were devised by Paul Breeze – Editor of the “Ice Hockey Review” NIHL Yearbook and website, who also presents them tonight. He said: “I have admired the way that the Pro Hockey News awards have helped to shine a light on the Moralee Conference in recent years and have been keen to set up some complementary awards via Ice Hockey Review. With tonight’s game bringing together the two netminders with the highest number of shut outs in both NIHL North Conferences from last season; this seems like a pretty good place to start.”
Moralee Conference – Most Shut Outs 2014/15 Daniel Brittle James Flavell Mark Watson Stuart Ashton Gary Russell Dimitri Zimozdra Richard Lawson
Team Blackburn Billingham Billingham Blackburn Solway Sutton Whitley
GP 13 14 11 12 13 22 13
Shut Outs 4 2 2 1 1 1 1
GAA 1.98 2.72 2.71 1.77 2.66 3.26 4.07
Sa% 92.16 93.83 92.27 92.75 92.72 91.55 89.85
HISTORY OF THE HAWKS The Blackburn Blackhawks played their first ever game, away to Oxford City Stars, on October 28 1990. The non-import challenge game saw the Blackhawks clinch a 6-3 victory over the Stars, ultimately the start of a long journey ahead. The newly built Blackburn Arena was still without a roof and so all games at this point were scheduled away until their first home game on January 26th, 1991, coincidentally resulting in another 6-3 victory against Oxford City. The first goal to ever be scored in the newly built arena was by no other than Blackhawks’ Dan Holden, an offensive defence man who totalled 116 points over the season. Other notable players during the season were Gary Shearman, Trevor Foster, Georgie Powell, Paul Fleury and of course Fred Perlini, the highest points scored during the 1990-91 season. Acquiring 132 points (83 goals and 49 assists) within 21 games. Manager Keith Purvis and Coach Pete Murray aided the Blackhawks to a respectable fourth place finish in the English League Division One, and received promotion due to the collapse of Solihull in the Heineken League. The Blackhawks now looked ahead to next season where they would face off competing against the ‘big boys’, their success also tempted Doug McKay, ex coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs, to hop over the pond to take over. However, financial issues surrounding the team had McKay on the next plane home before you could contemplate saying ‘nightmare of a season’. Understandably, the Blackhawks were managerless and in much need of a rebuild and so plummeted back to the English League Division One. That rebuild came in the presence of player-coach Glenn Knight. Despite their respectable fourth place finish, the Blackhawks first ‘real’ season was marked in 1992, the newly named Blackburn Hawks welcomed the arrival of much acclaimed Steve Moria, whose experience, silky skills, influential play and high standards proved a force to be reckoned with. The new season also welcomed a new, stable financial state for the Hawks after a buy out by Peel Holdings, the firm which owned the site where the arena has been built. Following the changes to the Hawks came the addition of freshly faced imports in the form of Tom Diceman, Brad Penner and centre Mark Stokes from Chelmsford. The British youngsters had an inspirational season with Elliot Andrews, Russ Plant and Simon Ferry. Ari-Pekka Mikkola joined this season to replace Penner and soon became a firm favourite with the fans. George Powell and Gary Shearman were all that was left of the Blackhawks ruins. The Hawks continued to compete well and fought hard until the final weekend of play, where they just missed out on a play-off spot. The early season demolition of the Milton Keynes Kings was not only the greatest shock defeat of the season but made the Hawks a feared and well recognised team. It was a tremendous season which no doubt will go down in the Hawks history books, known as the true starting season of the Hawks where the dream of competitive hockey in Blackburn was finally alive. The sudden departure of Steve Moria to the Swindon Wildcats saw the Hawks return to turmoil just before the beginning of the 1994-95 season, forward Mark Stokes volunteered to carry on as player-coach, but a lack of experience and resources soon proved to be his undoing. This year also saw four new imports join the club, although Sverre Sears, Matt Zilinskas and Jeff Winstanley were fresh faces for the club, it was Canadian favourite Troy Kennedy who impressed and lived up to the club’s expectations. 1994 proved to be the Hawks’ most disastrous B&H Cup campaign so far. With six successive defeats the Hawks were headlining for other reasons, BIHA bans were imposed on the indecent Sears, ZIlinskas and Winstanley after hitting front page news of the Lancashire Evening Telegraph with a late
31 IT’S THE HISTORY night skating session in the nude! Expectedly, they were out on their ears and another new start was needed. This time it came in the form of ex Maple-Leaf a Rocky Saganiuk, who came with a promise of a top six spot, but understandably the fans stood with a ‘like to see you try’ attitude after the recent years false promises. Again, cue the imports! From Milton Keynes came hard-hitting Trent Casey, Darren ‘Doc’ Durdle and Tony Cimellaro alongside our forever strong attack John Haig who was the most successful British player that season. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for a somewhat poor defence, resulting in relegation to Division Two come the end of the season. However, a last minute restructure of the league had the Hawks back up in to Division One within weeks. Before the 1995-96 campaign began, it became apparent that Saganiuk was not to return, electing to stay in Canada. Hawks manager Mike Cockayne’s lifesaving actions kept the Hawks from folding, the Thwaites Beer sponsored, a new look red, black and yellow jersey, and the Hawks now owned one of the most exciting partnerships that Division One had ever seen in Steve Chartrand and former Trafford star, Oleg Sinkov. Player-Coach Ryan Kummu, a much acclaimed defence man from Fife made an immediate impact on the team with his commitment and leadership skills. For the first time, the Hawks took top place in the table after their famous 9-12 trounce at the Storm Shelter, home of the newly formed Manchester Storm. A crowd of a then record-breaking 9,500 spectators watched that match, along with millions on Sky TV in what was the first ‘live’ UK hockey match to ever be shown on satellite television. It was a two-horse race for the remainder of the season, with Manchester eventually victorious. Chartrand ended as the league’s top scorer, Powell returned from the ashes, and Lee Cowmeadow donned a Hawks’ shirt for the second time. What a season. This team defied all the odds and will always be the champions in the fans eyes, they overachieved beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and had truly hit the big-time! The 1996-97 season gave the Hawks yet another new coach, a new set of imports and a new set of problems. Following the departure of player-coach Kummu, Jim Pennycook, one of the most experienced players in the British game took charge of the coaching duties in the season that saw the start of the new British Super league, where the teams with the most money fought out a well-televised campaign with a non-spoken 3 Brits per team rule. The teams outside of this new league were in discussions throughout the summer trying to decide on a new league format, and eventually the teams were split into two sections; the Northern (Premier) League, with a three import rule, and now format of the Hawks, and the Southern Premier League with different import rules and a bid to imitate that of the Super league. The Hawks’ difficulties began right at the start of the season; a loss of three imports before the end of November welcomed replacements Patrik Ferlander and Ismo Rokala, the Flying Finn. Coach Pennycook played through injury throughout the season and suffered a very sparse and depleted roster after the Christmas period, occasionally having only eight players available for games. Before the transfer deadline the Hawks made quick new signings including British Canadian, Todd Bidner to improve the roster and hopefully put an end to shorthanded benches. Given the situation, the Hawks’ fighting spirit and dedicated players clenched them a mid-table finish. For the 1997-98 season another name change was introduced, much to the disgust of many fans, although the aim behind the change being to promote the team across the county, thus the Lancashire Hawks were born. Unfortunately for management, attendances failed to improve at all, and the Hawks found themselves back across the pond to Canada for imports Jeff Daniels and Adrian Lomanaco, who left just before the end of the season. The league’s leading scorer before Christmas and a fans favourite, the Canadian cited personal reasons for leaving the club with the promise to return for the playoffs; he didn’t show. The Hawks welcomed back Ismo Rokala as a replacement
32 IT’S THE HISTORY import, and Daniels then took over as the Hawks’ leading forward and continued to work hard all season. As far as summaries go it was a disappointing season all round, with Pennycook and Neil Able missing most of the season through injuries and many other players taking time out for treatment, Hawks finished bottom of the league and bottom of the play-offs. We start the 1998-99 season and the Hawks are finding themselves competing in yet another new league, the English League Premier Division. This was a league set up for teams that wanted to compete effectively but on a smaller budget than those in the British National League, as the Hawks found themselves competing against the likes of Solihull, Swindon and Milton Keynes once again. The new campaign however, brought back the Blackburn Hawks as the management pressured for the team name change at the annual supporters club meeting. In a bid to bring back the Hawks former glory, experienced Scotsman and brother of former Hawk John, Bobby Haig aided the team to a convincing 13-1 victory against the Wightlink Raiders, who played away from the Isle of Wight. Tom Burridge scooped the MVP, and notable trio of imports Andrew Dickinson, Brian Smith and James Beale all impressed and stepped up to the plate with their exceptional game play. Controversy reined by Christmas when Dickinson went AWOL and signed with Germany’s Deutsch League, although short lived when he returned to the nest with an apology to his fans and teammates. The success of 1998 was soon overlooked in 1999 when it became apparent the three times their seasons budget had been spent by Christmas. Chad Brandimore and club captain Simon Mills were among the five which were released from their contracts in an attempt to ease the financial burden of the club. The Hawks were hotly being tipped for possible league success within the media, however by midMarch it became clear that the team could not win the league and in fact would not be taking part in the end of season play-offs due to their financial problems. This didn’t deter the players on the ice, nor the fans who continued to pack the Arena to watch the exciting 10-9 victory over Chelmsford and a close 7-6 defeat to the hands of Milton Keynes to close the league campaign. The victory over Chelmsford meant that this season’s team had won more home games than any previous year since the team’s formation in 1991, however the financial problems at the end of the season triggered the obvious worries and rumours over the clubs future. Some feared that Blackburn wouldn’t have a hockey team come the start of the 1999-2000 campaign, where other sections of the press were reporting that they had been threatened with expulsion from the league for refusing to take part in the play-offs. They did however take the summer break as an opportunity to reflect on past mistakes and rethink their strategy for hockey altogether. It was decided to drop into English League Division One again which stirred a mixed reaction coming from the fans, some of whom refusing to return to the Arena if there was no import hockey taking place, and others who stood beside their team in the hope that this time the powers that be had made were the correct decision. To boost the number of games that the team played they also signed up for the Border League, consisting of teams from Scotland and northern England, and whilst still under the leadership of Bobby Haig, the Hawks just missed out on a play-off place at the end of the season, although their young and somewhat inexperienced team ended on a high with some enthusiastic, crowd pleasing performance. Next time we will continue to look at the roller coaster ride that has been our...
A sucessful 1998 was followed by even more contraversy at the beginning of 1999 when it emerged that the team had spent three times their seasons budget by Christmas. Five players were released from their contracts at this point to try to ease the financial burdon on the club, including import Chad Brandimore and club captian Simon Mills. The HawksGraham were hotlyLomax being tipped for new possible leaguePublic sucessRelations in some parts of the media, however by mid march it became is the Hawks and Media Manager. He clear that the team could not win the league and in fact would not be taking part in the end of season play-offs due to their financial problems. Thisthoughts didn’t deteron thethe players on therecent ice, norsuccessful the fans. Almost packing the Arena to watch an excitshares his Hawks first1,500 outing to Billingham. ing 10-9 victory over Chelmsford and a close 7-6 defeat to the hands of Milton Keynes to close the league campaign. The victory over Chelmsford meant that this season’s team had won more home games than any previous year since the teams formation in 1991. With the financial problems at the end of the season came the obvious worries and rumours over the Why do Summers seem so hopes pinned on “Dennis”. comes when I don’t recognise clubs future. Some feared that Blackburn wouldn’t have a hockey team come the start of the 1999-2000 campaingn, other short and Winters seem to last someone. Believe you me this sections of the press were reporting that they had been threatened with expulsion from the league for refusing to take part forever? I kept thinking oh, No Feathers were ruffled and happened a lot on Sunday as I in the play-off’s. Hockey’s weeks away yet and no Budgies were bashed… had to ask Gillian Havelock who then all of a sudden it jumped I’d spoken to a couple of their certain individuals are, which They did however take the summer break as an opportunity to reflect on past mistakes and re-think the stratagy for hockey out on us from nowhere and supporters before the game is good - means we are doing in the town. It was decided to drop into English League Division One again. A mixed reaction coming from the fans, some before we knew it we were sat and they did seem optimistic. something right! of whom refusing to return to the Arena if there was no import hockey taking place, others who stood besides their team once again in the Lions Den I had counted however that in in the hope that this time the powers that be had made the correct decision. To boost the number of games that the team in the land of the Smoggie. my opinion we had recruited I’ve recently been offered the played they also signed up for the Border League, consisting of teams from Scotland and northern England. Under the However it is handy these days well and things looked good role of Hawks PR and Media leadership of Bobby Haig, the Hawks just missed out on a play-off place at the end of the season, although their young and when you turn up mob handed, early doors, I was proved Manager, one that I’m happy somewhat inexperianced team ended on a high with some entusiastic, crowd pleasing performances. and just in case, I’m sat behind right!!! to do, the fact of the matter is Big Chris anyway. I’ve never really been away, I’ve Next time we will have the up’s and downs of the last few years of Hawks history. I was sat on the balcony always been there at the end of One headline caught my eye prior to the teams warming up, the phone with contacts, or just last week and it read “We are talking to Oz as he sat setting advice in general. ready to ruffle some feathers!”, up the Radio Coverage, when I’d seen that our sworn enemy all of a sudden “That Smell” I see myself as Hawks version had signed a new Swede and came wafting up, you know, of Ray Donovan, I fix things, everyone seemed to be going the one of drying equipment. that’s what I do, that’s what I’ve overboard a tad with Swedish I’d not missed that over the always done, and that’s what Flags and Yellow and Blue Summer I can tell you! As the I’ll always do for the club that Balloons on display - very nice game set off I turned and had means so much to me. touch, but how could this Mara good look around, I have to quee player be the difference say I was mightily impressed Yours……………..G (or Ray, if between winning and losing, with the turn out of the Hawks you wish) they seemed to have all their Faithful, the litmus test always
Tired of main stream sports? Why not send your child to a MR DODGEBALL session. We pride ourselves on the fun, safe environment we provide. MR DODGEBALL has clubs running throughout Blackburn & the surrounding area. Dodgeball is an inexpensive, fun sport to play. We also cater for stag & hen do’s plus birthday parties (for children & adults). For more information take a look at our website. www.mrdodgeball.com firstname.lastname@example.org FACEBOOK-MR DODGEBALL TWITTER-@DODGEBALLGM CALL-CHRIS RILEY ON 07740 367 425
Billingham Blackburn Blackburn Senators Blackburn Spartans Blackburn Solway Blackburn Blackburn Blackburn Sutton Whitley Telford Blackburn Whitley Solihull Blackburn Spartans Blackburn Solway Blackburn Solihull Telford Blackburn Senators Blackburn Sutton Blackburn Blackburn Blackburn Billingham
Blackburn Telford Sutton Blackburn Spartans Blackburn Solway Blackburn Senators Solihull Billingham Blackburn Blackburn Blackburn Whitley Blackburn Blackburn Sutton Blackburn Whitley Blackburn Billingham Blackburn Blackburn Spartans Blackburn Senators Blackburn Solway Telford Solihull Blackburn
06-Sep 13-Sep 20-Sep 03-Oct 04-Oct 10-Oct 11-Oct 17-Oct 01-Nov 22-Nov 28-Nov 29-Nov 06-Dec 12-Dec 13-Dec 20-Dec 27-Dec 03-Jan 09-Jan 10-Jan 16-Jan 23-Jan 24-Jan 30-Jan 31-Jan 06-Feb 07-Feb 14-Feb 21-Feb 13-Mar 26-Mar 27-Mar
18:30 17:45 17:45 16:30 17:45 13:30 17:45 19:00 17:45 17:45 17:45 16:15 17:00 17:30 17:45 17:00 18:00 17:45 15:45 17:45 19:00 17:45 18:00 17:30 17:45 18:30 17:45 16:15 17:45 17:45 17:45 18:30
Issue 2 of the Blackburn Hawks match day programme