Goaltender showcase in Adelaide as Brave stay secure in third
Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Submitted by Mitch Mann
The CBR Brave defeated the Adelaide Adrenaline 4-1 in another strong road performance at the Adelaide IceArenA on Sunday night which proved a showcase for goaltending talent.
CBR Brave Head Coach Rob Starke was pleased with the result.
“Tonight’s game capped off a great weekend for us. We came here to get six points and we achieved that, so I’m very proud of the guys. I think we played a good brand of hockey and we had a terrific third period”.
With Aleksi Toivonen (pictured) and Matt Murphy delivering strong performances between the pipes for their teams, the game featured bouts of deadlocks in the first and second periods. Photo: Katrina Chenoweth.
The first period came and went with plenty of end-to-end action and some good chances for both sides, particularly the CBR Brave who saw the puck rattle the irons on a number of occasions. Both Aleksi Toivonen and Matt Murphy in nets made a number of key saves to keep the scores tied at nil-all at the end of the first period.
The second period felt like history repeating with both Murphy and Toivonen standing tall. However, the deadlock didn’t last long, as Darren Corstens capitalised on a deflected puck from behind the net to score a scrappy goal and give the Adrenaline a 1-0 lead with 13:51 left in the second period.
The Brave were quick to respond through Stephen Blunden, who made the most of a great pass from behind the net that gave him an almost empty net to shoot at from point. Blunden buried his shot to bring the Brave back to 1-1 with just over nine minutes left.
The Brave's Stephen Blunden takes a shot on Adrenaline's Matt Murphy. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
The remainder of the second period continued to highlight the quality of the goaltenders Murphy and Toivonen keeping the scores locked at 1-1 heading into the second intermission, despite several golden chances.
Adelaide Adrenaline Head Coach Sami Mantere lamented the missed opportunities saying “I think we played better today, a much more defensively responsible game. We got our chances again but couldn’t capitalise”.
The Brave returned to the ice for the third period with purpose to impose their will quickly on the scoreboard. Shutting the door on the Adrenaline, with a slick breakout pass from Wehebe Darge which found Blunden and Dominic Jalbert for an odd man rush. As Blunden squared up with Mruphy, he passed across the goal face for Jalbert to tap it home at close range and give the visitors a 2-1 lead with 19:13 left in the game.
The Brave continued to pressure a noticeably weary Adrenaline, but the home team continued to withstand the onslaught thanks to the outstanding efforts of Murphy in goals.
Scoring chances opened up more in the third period with both teams battling for possession. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
With slick cross-ice passing Dominic Jalbert connected with a wide open Geordie Wudrick who wristed a top shelf sniper from the slot to extend the lead to 3-1. Despite a valiant retort by the Adrenaline, Wudrick would again find the back of the net, this time with an empty net to close the game with just 0:26 left of on the clock.
The win cements the CBR Brave in 3rd position on the AIHL Ladder behind the Melbourne Ice in first and the Perth Thunder second, while the loss for the Adrenaline all but rules them out of contention for the AIHL Finals in 2017.