In the second of back-to-back games at Perth Ice Arena over the weekend, the Perth Thunder finally found their first win of the season, beating the mustangs 4-2 in a tough and spirited game for both teams.
The first period saw neither team find their way onto the scoreboard, however after Saturday’s loss, the Thunder were clearly looking more motivated from the drop of the puck to put pressure on the mustangs.
The second period however saw the Mustangs find more rhythm in their game, and it was obvious that they were eager to pressure goaltender Peter Di Salvo as they tried to establish some of the dominant play that had earned them success in the previous game the day before.
Di Salvo was up to the task however, and as the Thunder lost a man to the box for two minutes, the unfolding powerplay for the Mustangs saw Ben Breault finally break away down the ice on his own and bury one past Aleksi Toivonen after the Mustangs goalie had made a big save on another breakaway attempt from Breault less than a minute prior to the goal.
The third period saw the Thunder take control of the game after Breault netted his second of the night, from that point the Thunder seemed to dominate the Mustangs, who couldn’t seem to trap the home side in their own zone as they had done in the previous game. This time it was Perth who seemed to push the pace of play and put pressure on the Mustangs defence throughout the final period.
After Jordan Kyros had given the Home side a 3-1 lead, Mitchell Humphries clawed one back for the Mustangs, breaking Di Salvo’s shutout attempt with six minutes to go on the clock.
The Momentum however was short lived, as Jonathon Bremner found a loose puck on the goal line and managed to shove the puck into the back of the net to take the Thunders lead back to three.
From that point, frustration seemed to show from the Mustangs, which boiled over with two minutes to go, resulting in a scrum in front of the Melbourne bench that saw multiple players ejected from the game with fighting majors.
Humphries managed to find the back of the net once more however in the dying minutes of play to put the final score at 4-2. Although Coach Maxime Langelier-Parent said he felt his team couldn’t find the structure and discipline that had found them winning games in the past. “We couldn’t find any structure out there today, and the Thunder forced us to play a style of game that isn’t what we need to do to have success,” He said.
Coach Dave Ruck however was obviously pleased to finally find some of the success his team has been working towards since the start of the season. “Today I really felt like there was more effort to get after it and want the puck. This win showed what we are capable of, and proved we are able to lift our game. What we saw out there today is what we need to see on a regular basis if we are going to have success down the track.” He said.
The Thunder will have another chance to prove themselves, as they face off at Home next weekend against the Sydney Ice Dogs in a double header. The Mustangs however will have Saturday off to regroup before taking on the Northstars who are yet to have found a Win this season.