Melbourne Ice stick to their systems to deliver 3rd Derby win
Monday, June 26, 2017 - Submitted by Tania Chalmers
The Melbourne Mustangs hosted the Melbourne Ice for the third Melbourne Derby of the season on Sunday, with the Ice coming away with a 6-2 win.
Photo: Tania Chalmers.
The well known cross-town rival storyline had added interest before the puck dropped, with forward Mitch Humphries swapping his Ice kit for the Mustangs’ orange mid-season. It was also Mustangs import goalie, James Krueger first game in front the Melbourne corwd.
The first period displayed all the emotion expected of a Melbourne Derby. A scuffle in front of Ice’s goaltender Jaden Pine-Murphy with six minutes left in the period eventually lead to an Ice power play and the opening goal of the game. Forward Kristoffer Backman made it 1-0, assisted by Viktor Gibbs.
Joey Hughes doubled the lead with help from Tommy Powell and Tom Graham on the power play, to slot one past Krueger and end the period 2-0 to the Ice.
The high intensity continued into the second period with Todd Graham picking up a misconduct for checking to the head (for a total of 12 PIMs out of 42 given throughout the game). In all, only the Ice was able to improve the scoreboard with goals to Christopher Wong (short-handed) and Sebastian Ottosson.
Both teams brought their physical capacity to bear. Photo: Tania Chalmers.
Starting the 3rd period 4-0 down the Mustangs came out motivated and found reprieve in Patrick O'Kane’s goal (assists by Matthew Beattie and Jamie Bourke).
While both teams exchanged control of the puck it was Ice’s defence that denied the Mustangs. Two follow up goals by the Ice’s Graham and Matt Armstrong pushed their lead out further 6-1. A late consolation goal by Matt Beattie in the last four minutes, was not enough to catch the run away Ice..
A hotly contested game with a final result of 6-2 sees the Melbourne Ice claim their third straight Melbourne Derby victory in 2017.
Melbourne Ice Head Coach Charles Franzen maintained his team’s focus was on their own game.
“We had 8 wins and one loss before weekend and we know that we are a good team,” said Franzen.
“Speed and moving the puck was something we talked about and that we should be focused on. After two periods the message was to keep working hard and trust that everyone does their job.”
From here both teams take on double-header weekends: the Mustangs will travel to the nation’s capital to face top of the table CBR Brave, while the Ice will host the Sydney Bears at O’Brien Group Arena.