The Perth Thunder have taken their second victory of the Weekend, claiming five out of an available six points after a 7-4 victory at Perth Ice Arena on Sunday.
Andrew Cox was a standout for the Perth side, scoring two goals in the teams winning effort, whilst Dylan Anderson scored a pair for the Ice in what turned out to be a closer game than the Thunder had intended after being ahead by two goals or more for the majority of the game.
Thunder Coach Dave Ruck felt relived to get the three points, but thought the game was closer than it should have been with the Thunder having a substantial lead at times. “We keep needing to address some of the momentary lapses we seem to let slide in games. We keep talking about it and they really have to get that message at some point because if they don’t it can really end of costing us in our race to finals. We’re on that home stretch now so everything we do has to be geared to performing at our best in the coming weeks.” He said.
Cox scored his first goal early, as he put the Thunder ahead just two minutes into the game before P.O Grandmaison made it 2-0 shortly after as the Thunder took an early two goal lead.
Anderson got his first goal whilst his team was shorthanded to put the Ice on the board and cut the lead in half heading into the second period.
The second however went in favour of the home team, as new import Pascal Gemperli scored his first goal for the Thunder to put their lead back to two before Cox and David Kudla added their own goals, putting the score at 5-1 as the second period neared conclusion.
The Ice however managed to cut the lead back to three goals with Nathan Cachia getting one late with just a minute remaining before the end of the second period.
The third period saw the Ice manage to fight back in a desperate attempt to collect some of the vital points available to them in order to keep their finals hopes alive.
Although Jason Mcmahon had given the thunder an early three goal lead again in the third, the Ice managed to make a game of it, with Anderson getting his second and Nate Fleming putting the score to 6-4 with six minutes still reaming and only a two-goal separation between the two teams.
After a questionable hit saw an altercation between Alastair Punler and Jeremy Chai; both of whom were ejected. The ensuing powerplay gave the Ice a final chance to get back within reach of a victory with just under five minutes remaining.
The Thunder however, were able to kill off the penalty, and Ben Breault found himself with an opportunity to seal the win for his team as he buried the puck into an empty net with the Ice going for a sixth attacker in the dying seconds of the game.
The Win puts the Thunder into third place with 31 points; only one point separating them between second and fourth on both sides as they continue to do battle with the Northstars and Ice Dogs on the ladder.“We don’t want to be over confident at the moment, as we’ve seen this year across the hole league everyone is wining hockey games and the league this season is the tightest it ever has been in the standings. You can really start to see that now in the top six teams with not much time left to find a bit of breathing room. So far we haven’t managed to put any distance between us and any other team and at this point, we just have to approach every game like it counts towards making the finals” Ruck concluded.
The Ice However are now tied with their cross town rivals, as both they and the mustangs are locked at 22 points as they fight to keep their finals hopes alive heading into the final few weeks of the 2018 season.