Deeside Dragons returned to winning ways in style with a superb 9-4 home victory over fierce rivals and faltering defending champions Blackburn Hawks.
The Dragons had stopped the rot the previous weekend with their thrilling 3-3 draw at home to high-flying Solihull Barons ending a five-match losing snap.
And, with the Hawks seemingly weary after a long trip to Scotland to take on table-topping Solway Sharks the night before, Scott McKenzie’s side pulled no punches.
Jordan Bannon, assisted by Filip Supa and Andrew Chappell, opened the scoring against his former club before player-coach McKenzie and Geoff Wigglesworth combined for Markus Kankaanranta to double the Dragons’ advantage.
And, after old boy Aaron Davies struck at the other end, McKenzie set up captain James Parsons for his first goal.
Man-of-the-match Ryan Kemp then got in on the act, following good work from Supa and Parsons, after the Hawks had halved the deficit for the second time.
Parsons then grabbed his second goal of the game, after being played in by Kankaanranta and McKenzie, as the Dragons took a 5-3 lead into the final period.
It was a final period dominated by the hosts, McKenzie providing the fourth of his six assists on the night for Kankaanranta to notch his second goal.
Kemp completed his brace shortly after, finishing off passes by Chappell and Supa, before Bannon did the same, thanks to McKenzie and Kankaanranta.
The Hawks did manage to pull a fourth and final goal back, beating the impressive Ashley Smith.
But by that stage they were losing their heads, with captain Richard Bentham being kicked off the ice early, and Wigglesworth piled on the woe after being set-up by McKenzie and Chappell.
The win moved the Dragons up to fifth in the NIHL North 1 Moralee Conference standings ahead of their tough double header this weekend.
They head to Solway on Saturday (9pm face-off) before returning to the Deeside Ice Rink on Sunday to entertain second-placed Billingham Stars (5.45pm) in their final home game of the year.