The Perth Thunder have clinched their first win with a 3-2 victory in front of a sell-out crowd at Perth Ice Arena on Sunday over the Goodall Cup Champion Newcastle Northstars.
Ben Breault scored the game-winner early in the third period on a breakaway, as the Thunder survived a late charge from the Northstars, including a disallowed goal in the final minute, to take the three points.
Andrew Cox and Tomek Sak scored the other Thunder goals, while Robert Malloy and Matt Marantz tallied for the Northstars.
In what was Dave Ruck’s coaching debut, as well as Jamie Woodman’s debut as Thunder captain, the team was content with winning the opening game of the season.
“I think our speed really surprised them tonight,” Ruck said. “We might not match up size wise against some of the teams this year, but I think with the wheels this team has, that will be the key to our success.”
Jamie Woodman admitted he was eager to get his first game as captain pencilled in as a win.
“I was really nervous at first when I got out there, but we have so many leaders in this group and there was a lot of support,” he said. “It was great to have a lot of local guys step up and start us off with a win.”
The Northstars will continue their season still hunting for their first win, but the coaching staff and players reciprocated the faith in their group.
“It’s tough to come out of your first weekend without a win, but we build off the foundations of the guys in our core group here,” Andrew Petrie said following two losses to start the season. “We still have four guys out of the line-up, and those are four big aspects to that foundation.”
The Northstars return home to face the Sydney Bears and CBR Brave next Saturday and Sunday, while the Thunder travel to Sydney to take on the Bears and ice Dogs.