Monday, July 4, 2011

Match recap: July 3

Two games on Sunday rounded out the first weekend of July, Melbourne once again faced the Adrenaline in a rematch from the previous night. And we had the Blue Tongues traveling to Penrith as they finished their all NSW weekend, with the Bears ready to cause some misery on a playoff chasing Gold Coast team.

Melbourne 2-3 Adelaide (OT)

It what was a case of deja vu for the Melbourne Ice, they once again succumbed to the Adrenaline in a shootout, the Ice just couldn't get on top of Adelaide & deliver the killer blow. Adelaide put the jets on early in the first period, taking control of the match & constantly peppering the Ice goal, but to no avail. Melbourne Ice goaltender Stu Denman was instrumental in keeping the Ice alive early, getting gloves, sticks or anything he could find to put in the way of the approaching puck. 

As Melbourne settled into a rhythm they were able to open the scoring, when Perrault pushed one past Olivier Martin after a scramble behind the Adelaide net. As the first period drew to a close, Adelaide captain Greg Oddy was able to tie the game up, scoring with only twenty five seconds left in the period. A lovely piece of play from the Adrenaline had Oddy surging up the middle, a quick flick outside to a waiting Rezek, only to have it played back in perfectly to Oddy for the put away.

As Adelaide seen star forward Cass Delsar leave the ice, in what was later diagnosed as an ankle sprain, it looked as though the Adrenaline would be crushed by the news. 

With the loss of such a key skater, the Ice looked to take control of the match. They started dominating possession which created an opening for Perrault to notch up his second, in what can only be described as a scrappy goal, the Ice were able to keep digging away and eventually got the puck past Martin, it gave the Ice a 2-1 lead heading into the intermission. As the third period got under way the Ice looked to be in command, but captain Oddy wasn't going to let this game slip away. With the puck being controlled wide right by Mike Werner, Oddy drifted across the Ice defenders to receive a pass & slot it away nicely. With both teams pushing forward throughout the third period, neither side were able to get that critical goal, as the game eventually went into another shootout. 

Once again the star of the show was Olivier Martin, as he produced a range of saves to deny Jason Baclig & Joe Hughes. Adelaide were then able to get the job done, Dean Peterson & captain Oddy were able to do enough to get the puck around Stu Denman & give Adelaide a 2-0 weekend sweep against the traveling Melbourne Ice.

Gold Coast 7-5 Sydney Bears

A game that was always tipped to produce a Gold Coast win, delivered in spades yesterday afternoon. Empathic performances from Tobias Falk & Matt Amado, was enough to give the Blue Tongues a much needed win as they keep their playoff hopes alive.

As the game got underway it was Gold Coast who took first blood, Matt Amado continuing his outstanding form with a nicely placed effort which cruised past Sheldon Baerg. With the Coasters seemingly controlling most of the opening play, it wasn't long before the Bears turned it up & really pressured the Blue Tongues net. 

As Gold Coast took 1-0 lead into the second period, the Bears were looking to get things all evened up and that's exactly what they did. Czech born Vlad Rubes gave the Bears a much needed lifeline as he was able to deliver the Sydney team their first for the afternoon, it stayed 1-1 for much of the second period until Alex Boyd delivered for the traveling team. Only 53 seconds left in the period & with Tony Demelinne in the box for roughing, the Blue Tongues pounced on the power play, it gave them the lead and a 2-1 advantage heading into the third.

With both teams keep things fairly even throughout the opening two periods, the third was an absolute cracker. Both teams putting away chances in what was a very entertaining and attacking period of hockey, 12-13 was the shot count as the Bears tried to bring the game back to a level playing field. With Demelinne back on the ice it was the spark the Bears needed, a beautifully placed pass setup Rubes & he didn't disappoint, getting his second of the night while bringing the game back to 2-2. The game went back & forth as both teams tried to get the killer blow, the Bears briefly took the lead, but it was quickly stamped out by a determined Blue Tongues roster. 

As the game came down to the wire, Tobias Falk stepped up in a big way. Bringing Gold Coast back on level terms at 3-3, then pushing on a power play to give the Blue Tongues the lead. Amado & Falk were now starting to hit full speed, skating up & down the ice looking for every opportunity to finish off the game. The final nail in the coffin came when Falk skated clear to score unassisted with only two minutes to go. His third of the night in what was a superb performance from Falk aided by some lovely work by Matt Amado, who also finished the night with a hat trick. 

Gold Coast get a much needed win on the road to last placed Bears,who continue to struggle this season. Gold Coast will continue their push for playoff hockey, sitting in fifth place behind the Sydney Ice Dogs it's going to be an uphill battle, but one i am sure they are ready for.

By Andrew Macdougall

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