The Melbourne Ice secured an important three points with a 5-1 victory over the Perth Thunder in game one of their double header at Perth Ice Arena on Saturday night.
It was the first meeting between the two sides in 2017 and it didn’t take long for the high flying teams to re-establish their rivalry. The game wasdeemed to be complete by the officials with nine seconds still remaining on clock, after multiply players were penalised for roughing.
Joey Hughes extends the Melbourne Ice lead to 3 goals. Photo: Richard Sak.
The physical nature of the game meant that special teams played big roles on the night and it was the Melbourne Ice's power play unit that had the edge in the first period.
Forward Sebastian Ottosson got the visitors on the board with a power goal and the two sides went to the first break with the Ice leading by a goal.
The second period was a similar affair: Ottosson scored his second goal of the night, as both teams battled to maintain momentum. Joseph Hughes extended the visitor's lead to three goals, before the Thunder’s penalty killing unit breathed life back into the game.
With two Thunder players in the penalty box, Perth forward Jessyko Bernard scored a vital goal, giving the home crowd something to cheer for.
Perth Thunder picked up the pace in the third period. Photo: Richard Sak.
Heading into the third period and trailing 3-1, the Perth Thunder picked up the pace of the game and pressured hard for the next goal. However it was Melbourne who swung the game back in their favor, Jeremy Brown scored a shorthanded goal to give the visitors a healthy 4-1 lead before Victor Gibbs Sjodin made it 5-1 moments later, putting the game out of reach with 3:41 remaining in the final period.
Tempers flared with just nine second left on the clock after a questionable hit on Melbourne forward Gibbs Sjodin. After the ensuing scrum a total of eight players were assessed with roughing minors and the officials deemed that the game had been completed in the interest of the safety and to prevent further altercations.
After the game, Melbourne Ice Coach Charles Franzen was already looking forward to Sunday’s matchup.
“Tomorrow is a new game, we both start at zero, and we have to be ready for them to come back at us again tomorrow, so we just have to stay smart and play the right way.”
Perth Thunder Coach Dave Ruck challenged his team to bounce back in the Sunday game.
“Our guys know how to manage their own mental game, and as a coaching staff it’s up to us to challenge them to do better” He said. “And look, today they (The Ice) outplayed us with their style, and they proved that they’re one of the top teams in the league.”