Sydney Bears V Sydney Ice Dogs
The “Local Derby” between the Sydney Bears and the Sydney Ice Dogs are a game that have the marketing potential in the next few years with the play on the ice matching the hype.
The Bears played without Michael Schlamp who was suspended for two matches after being ejected from the game against the Melbourne Ice and a range of other factors saw Brandon Stobbs, Steve Adams and Jon Bale missing from the line up.
The first period saw a great battle in the neutral zone with both teams delivering some solid hits along the boards however the Ice Dogs got first bragging rights when David Dunwoodie opened the scoring after combining with Simon Barg at 10.43 in the first period to make the score 1-0.
The Bears had a great opportunity when Tomas Landa took a great pass out of the Bears defensive zone when returning to the ice at 9.53, only to be shut down by one of Australia’s leading goal tenders, Anthony Kimlin.
With 5.48 remaining in the first period Dunwoodie and Barg swapped roles with Barg putting the Ice Dogs ahead 2-0.
The second period started and it was immediately obvious a determined Bears side had returned to the ice.
An Ice Dogs Power Play at 14.49, was effectively shut down by the Bears who had tightened up the defence and some great saves by goal tender, Ryan Lowe helped the cause.
Vlad Rubes who was having a superb game in a defensive role was leading the way. Although playing in the unusual role of a D-man, Rubes gave the Bears a solid foundation to work the puck up the ice.
An obvious bonus for the Ice Dogs was the often unnoticed defensive work of Todd and Scott Stephenson. Any shot on Anthony Kimlin had to get through the rock solid Stephenson boys which would please any coach at this time of the year.
After a scoreless second period the third gave the crowd the sense that the next 20.00 minutes would be a period where both teams gave it their all.
The Ice Dogs were working the puck up the ice and playing a great brand of hockey. One thing lacking in the game was the low amount of penalties in the game with only two going to the Bears.
The Bears had the best opportunities at 13.22 and 9.41 when Tyler Kubara won some pine time when he got back to back penalties. These Power Plays saw the Bears unable to capitalise with the score remaining at 2-0.
The Bears pulled goal tender Ryan Lowe with 0.51 remaining in the game which saw Anthony Kimlin grab an assist after Simon Barg bagged an empty netter resulting in a 3-0 win for the Ice Dogs.
In what was a much closer game than some predicted, the Bears walked away from this one with their heads held up high and the Ice Dogs again showing their fans it’s not a bad time to start looking at Hotels and Air Fares in Melbourne in September.