FLINTSHIRE Freeze sent out a warning to the rest of the ENHL Southern Conference at the weekend with back-to-back away victories.
The four points gleaned from Saturday's 8-5 win over Invicta Mustangs and Sunday's 7-3 success against title rivals Chelmsford Chieftains sent the Freeze within touching distance of the top.
Delighted player-coach Mark Stokes, who helped himself to nine goals over the two matches, said: 'Everything seemed to click into place and the whole team were just awesome.
'All the other sides in the league will sit up and take notice. Chelmsford are real title contenders and to go and beat them on their home rink in front of 1,000 fans is unbelievable. I'd say it's one of the best away results this club has ever had.'
Before disposing of the Chieftains, Freeze faced the task of overcoming more modest opposition in Kent-based Mustangs.
Phil Brook and Stokes (2) put the Freeze 3-1 up in the first period, and, although Pete Founds and Stokes were on the mark again in the second, Mustangs netted four times to make it 5-5.
But Stokes continued his one-man show in the third period with a hat-trick that took his tally for the night to six and made it 8-5.
The Freeze took a while to get going in Chelmsford 24 hours later, but it was one-way traffic after the Chieftains made it 2-2 mid-way through the second period, cancelling out goals from Founds and Stokes.
Dave Costello grabbed a crucial third before Brook (2) and Stokes (2) netted unanswered goals to send the Freeze into a 7-2 lead.
The humbled home side hit a consolation in the dying minutes but they had been completely outplayed.