As June starts coming to a close, we had four games played across Australia this afternoon & there weren't many surprises to be seen. The league standings are now starting to show the dominance of the better teams, as teams below fight out for pride & teams above jostle for playoff positions.
Sydney Bears 3-6 Adelaide
Sitting second last in the standings the Sydney Bears traveled away to face the Adelaide Adrenaline as they tried to salvage their season, having won their past three games confidence was at an all time high at the Sydney club. A close encounter throughout the opening two periods, showed a Bears team whose form was flying throughout the month of June, they had beaten the Mustangs, Knight & top of the table North Stars in recent weeks. They were hoping to continue that run this afternoon & with everything all squared up at 3-3 things were looking ominous, the home crowd were getting fairly anxious as the Bears put the pressure on. With the game on the line & third place on the line for Adelaide, the Adrenaline put the foot down & ran away with a 6-3 victory. Although the scoreline looks a little one sided, the Bears will take plenty from the match & it's a definite wake up call to the teams above them.
Newcastle 7-4 Sydney Ice Dogs
Newcastle continued their stellar season with a comfortable away victory against the fifth placed Ice Dogs, with a superb performance from Brian Bales as he put the sword to the Sydney team. Bales was in fine form for the North Stars netting 4 goals & really setting the tone as to why the North Stars are the team to beat this season, with a second period lead at 4-3 the Newcastle boys rose to the occasion & put the game beyond doubt. Newcastle's import trio were once again causing havoc on the score sheet, as Bales, Cartwright and Chwedoruk all got amongst the action. A tight affair for much of the match, the North Stars were able to lift the tempo & move into a high gear, as they showed their league leading abilities.
Gold Coast 10-3 Canberra
Gold Coast traveled to last placed Canberra in what can only be described as a disaster for the Knights, a game which was a tight tussle throughout the two opening periods, it was the Blue Tongues who reigned supreme off the back of import Matt Amado's superb 7 point effort. With the game tied up at 4-3 and the Gold Coast holding onto a slender lead, the hard skating Canberra team were looking to overtake the Tongues in the last. Although out shooting the Gold Coast team 12-8 in the final period, Canberra wasn't able to hit the lead as the sunshine coast team surged ahead to take a comfortable seven goal win and first blood in this weekends double header.
Ice 7-3 Mustangs
The final Melbourne derby for 2011 was played out at a packed Icehouse tonight & it was the defending champions who took the points, bagging rights & a 3-1 derby total for season 2011. With plenty of spark coming from the always reliable Jason Baclig, the Melbourne Ice were able to build a solid lead while keeping the Mustangs on their toes throughout the match. With the Ice raring to go they came out of the blocks quickly, gained control of the match & took a commanding 4-1 lead heading into the first intermission. A goal free second period seen the game stay in the balance, as both teams struggled to find the net, but the reigning champions showed composure as they put their foot down in the third period. With constant pressure being applied to the Mustangs goalie, the Ice were able to open the flood gates & run away with a comfortable win.
By Andrew Macdougall