Saturday, March 28, 2015 - Submitted by Emily Rebolledo
The second instalment of the 2015 Wilson Cup saw the Sydney Bears defeating the Sydney Ice Dogs 3-2 at the Liverpool Catholic Club Sports Complex on Saturday night.
With only four weeks until the beginning of the 2015 AIHL season, both teams were using the game to try to build momentum.
The Bears dominated the early exchanges, with Ice Dogs goaltender Jake Burgess being put to the test early on in the first period.
The early pressure worked as the Bears claimed two first period goals through Spencer Austin and Lee Turner to give the Bears an early 2-0 lead.
The goals provided the Ice Dogs with the motivation to get back into the game as they began to shift the momentum and turn the heat up on Bears goaltender Luke Read.
Like the Bears before them, the sustained pressure paid off with Scott Clemie putting the Ice Dogs on the board through a rebound.
The Ice Dogs continued to apply the pressure throughout the second period, tying up the score halfway through the period to make it 2-all at the final break with the game in the balance.
In a tight final period, the only thing that split the teams was a poor line change that left Burgess defenceless against the Bears’ first line.
While that was the end of the scoring, it wasn’t the end of the drama when Ice Dog Brian Costa suffered an awkward fall late during the third period and the rookie forward was carried off the ice into the change rooms.
Comments from the locker room after the match stated Costa’s injury was just a bad sprain and that will back to full fitness in no time.
Although the Bears controlled most of the game, the Ice Dogs fought hard to keep the game as close as possible.
Ice Dogs new Head Coach Anders Jespersen said that he was happy with how the team had performed regardless of how the scoreboard ended up.
“It was a good game, it was a close game and we only lost with one goal,” Jespersen said. “The players put everything into it so I can’t complain about that.”
One of the key players for the Ice Dogs was goaltender Jake Burgess and Jespersen said he was impressed with his performance, saying “he really held his own and can only get better from now on”.
Jespersen continued, saying the Ice Dogs have a lot of work to do in regards to team building with his main focus to form his players into one cohesive unit off the ice as it will translate to the on-ice performance.
“Once we get our other three imports, we are going to be whole new team which we can start to build momentum with,” he said.
The next Wilson Cup clash is between the Newcastle North Stars and the Sydney Ice Dogs on Sunday March 28 at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium. Puck drop is at 5pm.
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