Saturday, June 10, 2017 - Submitted by Luke Worthington
The Sydney Ice Dogs have defeated the Sydney Bears 3-0 in the second Sydney Battle for 2017 in front of a huge crowd at the Macqurie Ice Rink on Saturday night.
Ice Dogs net-minder Damien Ketlo was the standout performer on the night, with a 34-saves to shut out the cross-town rivals. It was his second shutout in a row against the Bears, who have not put a puck past him in 100 minutes of play.
Lachlan Schumak scored the game-winner at 7:38 in the first period, followed by an unassisted Grant Toulmin breakaway goal in the second. Scott Stephenson sealed the game for the Ice Dogs with an empty netter in the final moments of the game.
Sydney Ice Dogs head coach Chris Blagg said he was happy with the way his team came through in a must-win situation.
"I was really happy with the way the guys went and worked hard for the win," he said.
"When you're playing the Bears, it always means a little bit more, but the main thing for us was getting back into a top four position.
"Damien [Ketlo] was outstanding in net, and it's great knowing we have a guy like that back-stopping us."
"Everyone dug deep today, but now we need to focus on Newcastle next Friday night.”
Both teams came out firing in the first period, with the Ice Dogs going on an early power play following a hooking call to Brian Funes. Halfway through the period, Lachlan Schumak collected a rebound off Anthony Kimlin following a David Dunwoodie shot to net the first goal.
Tempers flared in the second period, with Lachlan Schumak given a misconduct for checking to the head. This resulted in one of seven Bears power plays, with the Ice Dogs special teams killing off 100% of them. Grant Toulmin scored a breakaway goal while short-handed to put the Ice Dogs up 2-0.
The pace of the third period slowed down, with both teams trading chances but Damien Ketlo was solid making six crucial saves to maintain the shutout. Scott Stephenson pushed a slow roller from the Ice Dogs defensive zone to end the game with an empty net goal.
The Bears will be back in action Sunday 11 June at 5pm against the Melbourne Mustangs, and the Ice Dogs will return to Macquarie next Friday night at 8:15pm to play Newcastle.