After getting two wins against the Perth team last weekend in Melbourne, the Mustangs picked up another three points, this time with a 6-2 win on the road at Perth Ice Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The first period was fairly balanced between the two teams, and although a costly penalty gave Patick O’Kane the chance to put his team up 1-0, the period was even for the most part and both squads seemed to be battling at an even pace to start the game.
The second However saw the Mustangs lift the pace of play and begin to hem the Thunder in to their own zone and apply pressure on Thunder goaltender Peter Di Salvo. After another penalty put the Melbourne squad on the powerplay once more, and a shorthanded goal was waved off by the referee who deemed it had been knocked in by a high stick, the mustangs answered with a goal of their own.
With the Thunder down 2-0 mid way through the game, a big hit in the neutral zone pushed tempers over the boiling point, and a scrap between players saw the Mustangs lose a defensemen for the night, and a five minute major penalty go in favour of the Thunder to give them a chance to get back in the game. The ensuing powerplay saw the Thunder score in the early goings of the lengthy man advantage, but after they conceded another penalty themselves, they spent the rest of the five minute advantage playing with four skaters aside.
The second period ended with the Thunder clawing their way back into the game, but as the Third period got under way, Brett Ferguson had made it 3-1 just thirty second into the final frame. From that moment it was clear that the Mustangs were eager to continue to push the thunder back into their own zone as often as possible, and the Melbourne squad did a good job at clogging up the neutral zone to prevent the Thunder getting many decent chances, with most of their shots coming from outside the circles.
The thunder continued to struggle in the third as the Mustangs kept them on the back foot, unable to get many good scoring chances in the late stages of the game until a five on three powerplay finally gave them the chance they were looking for, and Pier-Olivier Grand Maison made no mistake to bury it and make it 4-2 with time running out.
With only two goals now between it the two clubs, the Perth side decided to go for a sixth attacker, pulling Di Salvo to try and even things up. However an empty net goal seemed to seal with deal for the Mustangs before Sean Jones decided to put the icing on the cake with Di Salvo back in the net to make it 6-2 and wrap things up for game one of the double header this weekend.
The Thunder now will need to battle back tomorrow night, putting more pressure on the Mustangs goaltender, and getting more bodies in front of the net if they hope to find their first Win of the season to date.