Sunday, August 5, 2012 - Submitted by www.bluetongues.comu
GAME 1: Friday August 3rd, 2012
The Melbourne Mustangs visited the Sunshine State for a double header match up against the Gold Coast Blue Tongues over the weekend.
The first of 3 remaining home games on the Blue Tongues’ 2012 schedule was played on Friday night at 10.30pm, with the first period going penalty and goal free. Some excellent opportunities presented for the Blue Tongues, and some solid shots from the visiting team, however neither team could convert in the first stanza.
The second period opened with some fast a furious end to end action, both teams knowing they now only had 30 minutes to put together a favourable outcome. Two and half minutes into the period, Blue Tongues top scorer and 3 year veteran import Mike McRae opened the scoring, with a hard snap shot out wide just inside the blue line finding its way past Mustangs net minder Michael James. Once the scoring account was opened for the night, the 2nd period proved to be where the majority of the game’s goals would be tallied.
Just a minute and a half after the McRae goal, an odd man rush saw a beautiful saucer pass from Adam Geric perfectly tipped into the net by junior Blue Tongues rookie, 15 year old Anthony Barnes. The crowd erupted with pleasure, seeing this young up and comer put away his second goal of his first season with the Tongues. 3 minutes later, the Mustangs had an answer for the 2-0 lead that the Blue Tongues were holding, when Matt Anderson roofed the puck past Blue Tongues net minder Anthony Kimlin after an outside feed by Brendan McDowell through a Blue Tongues defenseman . Both teams skating hard and some big hits were registered in the following few minutes of the period, before another 2 quick goals were tallied by the Blue Tongues, firstly Jeremy Brucker from Etienne Du Toit, then shortly after Etienne Du Toit from Jeremy Brucker. It looked as though the score would be 4-1 to the Blue Tongues going into the dressing rooms at the end of the second, however Mustangs forward Matt Stringer broke free of his opposing defender in front of the net and connected with a loose puck that made its way past Kimlin with 42 seconds left in the period.
With the scores at 4-2 to the Blue Tongues going into the 3rd period, the Blue Tongues aimed to both protect their lead and extend it if possible, to cement the win. At 10.55 remaining, Mustangs import Jack Ebner ripped an impressive shot past Kimlin to bring the visitors to within 1 goal of tying the scores. However the 2 goal lead was regained by the Blue Tongues at 6.50 to go in the third, with Alex Hall picking up a beautiful pass from behind the net, threaded by Adam Geric, to make it 5-3. This would be the final score for the game, The Blue Tongues securing the win for game 1 of 2 for the weekend, and in what would almost certainly have to be a first for the AIHL this year, the game went without a single penalty called on either team.
GAME 2: Saturday August 4th, 2012
Game 2 between the Melbourne Mustangs and the Gold Coast Blue Tongues started a little differently to Friday night’s game, Mustangs had a goaltender change and started with import Oliver Wren, who did not dress the night before for reasons unknown. Mustangs were first to score, a battle for the puck in front of the Blue Tongues net spat out a low knuckle puck which found it’s way under Anthony Kimlin’s pads to put the Mustangs up 1-0. The score would remain the same for the remainder of the first. The second period saw both teams skating hard and the Blue Tongues pushing hard to tally an equaliser. A breakaway attempt by Blue Tongues import James Sanford was foiled by a Mustangs defenseman who was subsequently called for tripping from behind and Sanford was awarded a penalty shot. This was the opportunity the Blue Tongues needed to level the scores. Sanford’s deke was poked checked and shut down by Mustangs goalie Oliver Wren and the score remained 1-0 Mustangs. Towards the end of the second another fantastic equalising opportunity presented from Blue Tongues Import Mike McRae who beat Oliver Wren with a blistering snap shot, only to be denied by the goal post. Mustangs the capitalised on the first power play of the weekend, putting their second puck past Kimlin to extend the lead to 2-0 at the end of the second. The with the third period starting and only 15 minutes left in the game, the Blue Tongues put in a valiant effort to convert some opportunities and get the equaliser. Blue Tongues then had their turn at the power play, and Blue Tongues captain Adam Geric produced a hard earned goal after powering around the outside of the Mustangs the defenseman and sliding the puck through the 5 hole of Oliver Wren. Blue Tongues closed the gap to 1 goal, and continued to push for another as the clock wound down. With a minute and half left in the final period, the Blue Tongues looking solid but running out of time to equalise, pulled goaltender Anthony Kimlin and opted for an extra skater, controlling the puck well in the Mustangs zone, until an intercepted pass resulted in the Mustangs scoring an empty net goal and locking in a 3-1 win.
The BarterCard Gold Coast Blue Tongues will this weekend travel to Perth for the first and only time this season to match up against the Perth Thunder in another double header. Both games being extremely important in the Blue Tongues' continuing efforts to crack a playoff spot by the end of August and the Finals weekend on Saturday and Sunday September 1st and 2nd at Newcastle. The Blue Tongues’ final home game of the season is Friday August 17th against the Sydney Ice Dogs. Game time is 10.30pm and tickets are $10 at the door, $20 for families and $5 for students. Get down and support your BarterCard Gold Coast Blue Tongues!!