6.00pm on Saturday 20th July @ Sydney Ice Arena
This weekend sees the battle of the Harbour City between the Bears and the Ice Dogs. The Ice Dogs have been one of the form teams of the competition and the Bears have struggled in recent weeks.
The Bears should have settled on a Goal Tender by the weekend and it was good to see Luke Reed guarding the pipes for the Bears in Melbourne. Reed who comes out of the East Coast Super League is a talented young man more than capable of doing the job.
The Bears have good consistent scorers in Tomas Landa, Michael Schlamp, Vlad Rubes and Branden Stobbs however they have a range of other players who can grab a sneaky goal if you focus on the main players. The likes of Cameron Todd and Slavomir Boris have the ability to control the neutral zone and put points on the board.
The Ice Dogs have been the most impressive team of 2013. The combination of goal scoring ability, low penalty minutes and the addition of Anthony Kimlin have seen them solid all over the ice.
Matt Puntereri and Simon Barg are scoring plenty of goals but one player who has impressed in 2013 is Robert Malloy. The Ice Dogs have right mix of imports, experience and local youth and it would be a game man to bet against them being in Melbourne in September.
A wounded Bear is a dangerous commodity and as we saw last week in Melbourne the Bears will be out to play aggressive hockey and aim to get under the skin of the Ice Dogs. The Ice Dogs should get away with a win but not as much as some people think.
By Craig Tonks