NIHL North round-up: Fone joins Hawks, Parsons extends Dragons stay

Blackburn Hawks have strengthened their netminding options with the signing of former Manchester Phoenix goalie Stephen Fone.

The 29-year-old backstopped Phoenix to two EPL regular season titles and one play-off crown during eight seasons with the club.

Hawks’ Player/Coach Steven Duncombe said: “”As soon as I knew ‘BT’ (Fone) was available it was too good of an opportunity to miss.

“He is an EPL-standard netminder who will in no doubt raise the level at training as well as keeping us in those tight games. I can’t wait to get him on the ice and put him through his paces here in Blackburn.

“I feel we are going in the right direction with the signings so far and the team is coming together nicely.”

Fone added: “I’m delighted to be joining up with the Hawks for this coming season.

“It’s looking like it will be a tough league, but ‘Duncs’ is building a strong team so I’m excited for the challenge ahead and the prospect of bringing some silverware back to Blackburn.

“I’ve heard great things about the organisation and the fanbase here, so it was an easy decision for me to join the club. I can’t wait to get going with the team and get back out on the ice come September.”

Deeside Dragons have confirmed captain James Parsons has agreed another season with the club.

The experienced forward grabbed the goal that helped the Dragons retain their Moralee D1 status last season and Player/Coach Scott McKenzie is delighted to have secured his services once again.

“As a coach having a James Parsons in your line-up is a dream,” said McKenzie. “First of all he is a great guy, a leader and someone that plays the game for his team and his teammates.

“He is very unselfish but, most of all, a great hockey player. I really think that James is someone that has been extremely loyal to the Dragons and Flintshire Freeze in years gone by, but could have potentially played at a higher level.

“That said, he has reached the second tier in British Ice Hockey and he is getting to play for his hometown club. I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how he would want it.”

Parsons added: “It is great to be playing for the Dragons for another season. We finished on a massive high last year so I’m looking forward to us carrying to that into the new season

“With the new teams that have been added to the league it’s going to be tough challenge, but one that we will all be looking forward to taking on.”

Ashley Calvert has agreed another season with Sheffield Steeldogs, while Macaulay Halford has left the Yorkshire side to return to Telford Tigers 1.

Dean Holland and Harry Harley have agreed a further year with Whitley Warriors.

(Image permission: Tony Sargent)

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