Sydney Ice Dogs V Newcastle North Stars
The meeting between the 2013 Australian Ice Hockey Leagues grand finalists is always a much anticipated affair but season 2014 has thrown up some irregularities.
The Sydney Ice Dogs and Newcastle North Stars were both sitting in the bottom half of the Goodall Cup leaderboard, something fans just aren’t used the seeing.
It would always be a matter of time before the North Stars and the Ice Dogs hit their straps and starting putting wins on the board and this match up would provide the opportunity for one team to start the climb.
The match opened with the Ice Dogs taking the upper hand against Newcastle and dominated the neutral zone.
The Ice Dogs opened the scoring at 14.25, when Robert Malloy and Billy Cliff provided an assist to Paul Barranzelli and a sigh of relief for the solid crowd in attendance.
Matt Taylor, one of the standout players for the North Stars this season opened the account for Newcastle at 4.11 when he equalled the score from an Adam Geric assist.
The Ice Dogs fought back and with 2.10 remaining in the first period when Robert Malloy provided his second assist for the night for a John Clewlow goal and a 2-1 lead.
The second period became an arm wrestle with both teams knowing these three points meant more than just points alone, they meant confidence and belief they were on the right track.
With 6.37 remaining in the second, the Ice Dogs pushed ahead when Malloy got the puck past Harrison May for a 3-1 lead.
A battle of interest was the contest between David Dunwoodie and John Kennedy Jr, two players that become fierce competitors when they step onto the ice.
With only 0.29 left in the second period the North Stars grabbed a late goal when John Kennedy Jr combined with Adam Geric in an attempt to stay in the game.
The third period could have been akin to a grand final match with everything on the line.
The North Stars stepped onto the ice with a positive mindset which paid off almost immediately when at 18.14 in the third, Chris Wilson John Kennedy combined.
The Ice Dogs are a team that never give up and we are used to seeing them stage fantastic third period fight backs.
The North Stars could sense a win was possible and the Imports looked like they were starting to gel.
At 11.36 Cody Danberg, gave coach Gary Dore a chance to exhale when Chris Wilson provided yet another assist to bring the score to 4-2.
With only 1.06 left in the match Chris Wilson went from Mr Assist to goal scorer to close out the match 5-2.
The game showed both teams are on track to register plenty of wins going forward and showed fans it won’t be long before that leader board tips around the right way again.