The Totally Wicked Blackburn Eagles romped to a convincing 10-1 victory over the Hull Jets on Sunday night, maintaining their 3 point lead at the top of the table with 5 games left to play.
The Eagles were slow out of the blocks during the opening exchanges, and despite plenty of possession they couldn’t make the early breakthrough. Hull worked their way into the game, and had a couple of powerplay chances that came to no avail. As the period wore on the nerves began to show in the Eagles play, however these were soon settled when Aaron Jordan opened the scoring. Taking a pass from Chris Arnone, Jordan cut to the middle and fired the shot past Jets custodian Dean Bowater, who incidentally made an excellent start to the game himself. The opening goal settled the Eagles, and almost straight away it was 2-0. Aaron Jordan won the resulting restart from the 1st goal, which fell straight to Jordan Ashington. The Eagles man headed at the Hull defence at full speed chipping the puck through the gap, and then finishing on the volley, leaving Bowater with absolutely no chance. 2 goals in quick succession had put the Eagles in the ascendency, and it was about to get even better. On the powerplay opportunity, Stevie Hetherington received the puck puck in his own zone from Michal Fico, before going coast to coast, and finishing through Bowater’s five hole to make it 3-0. Chris Arnone then chipped in with less than 15 seconds left in the period to make it 4-0. After taking a pass from Stevie Hetherington, Arnone cut in from the boards, before rounding Bowater and sliding the puck into the empty net.
After the flurry of goals to finish the1st period, you would be forgiven for thinking that the 2nd period would continue in a similar vein, but it was the Jets who got on the scoreboard first and with it breaking Phil Crosby’s shut out. James Robinson converting on a early powerplay opportunity. The score remained at 4-1 until the mid point of the period when Kyle Haslam scored his first of the night off assists from Chris Arnone and Aaron Jordan. In the last minute of the period Haslam again made it 6-1 on the powerplay, converting from close range. The assists went once again to Chris Arnone and net minder Phil Crosby.
Into the 3rd and with the game in the bag, the Eagles relaxed and with it began to play some great hockey. 6 minutes in it was 7-1, when Jordan Ashington scored an unassisted goal for his 2nd and the Eagles 7th of the evening. On the half point of the period, Ashington became provider for Kyle Haslam, who made no mistake and completed his first senior hat-trick to make it 8-1. Tomas Mitirk chipped in 2 minutes later to make it 9-1, scoring from the high slot after being set up by Chris Jones. Double figures were brought up once again (The 5th time this season the Eagles have score 10 or more), when Chris Arnone rounded off a dominate performance. Michal Fico & Andrew Duxbury combined, with the latter finding Arnone on the point, and the Eagles defenceman riffled his shot past Bowater.
After the game Player/Coach Scott Barnett commented “Overall I’m very happy with our performance tonight. We did start both the first & second periods slowly, but we more than made up for that our finishing in front of goal. In recent weeks we’ve been wasteful with our scoring opportunities, but I though we were clinical tonight. It sets us up well for next weekend’s huge games against Widnes & Hull, and we’ll be looking to take maximum points once again.”
The result now leaves the Eagles 3 points clear with a game in hand, and has set up 2 title deciding games next weekend. 2 victories will see the team crowned Laider Conference Champions with 3 games to spare. It’s sure to be a great weekend of hockey no matter the results, so why not take in a game and come and push the Eagles on to the title.