The Sydney Ice Dogs faced the Thunder in back-back games in Perth this weekend, splitting the six points on offer. The action packed games exceeded many expectations, as the Ice Dogs first took home a 3-1 win on Saturday but ultimately fell to the same team 8-4 the following night.
The Ice Dogs took the lead late into the first period on Saturday when Todd Stephenson continued his point streak by scoring his fourth goal of the season, assisted by David Dunwoodie and Nathan Chiarlitti. The period ended tied at one however the Ice Dogs were able to regain the lead in the second when defenseman David Dunwoodie scored his first of the season, on the powerplay. The goal was assisted by Geordie Wudrick and Grant Toulmin. A second goal from Todd Stephenson with 2:29 remaining in the period, assisted by Nathan Chiarlitti and Aiden Sillato, gave the away team a 3-1 lead which they maintained for the remainder of the game, ultimately taking home the three points on offer.
Despite a strong start to Sunday’s game, which began with a short handed goal from Strat Allen, assisted by Jonatan Ruth, the team ultimately dropped to the Thunder 8-4. The Ice Dogs allowed five goals on 10 shots in the second period in which the Thunder took a 7-1 lead. A push in the third period saw the Dogs regain some of the momentum from the previous night, with Grant Toulmin scoring two goals and Ellesse Carini scoring the final Ice Dogs goal. Head Coach Andrew Petrie comments “The second period in game two crushed us… Five goals on 10 shots doesn’t allow any team to compete at this level. We have to be better and we will be.”
On Sunday’s game, Ice Dogs captain Scott Stephenson has to say “I felt we did everything right from a preparation standpoint going into Sunday and the boys were feeling good. However we strayed away from our game in the second [period] and you can’t afford to lapse in this league. I’m proud of our effort to recover in the third. We will take the lesson and move forward.”
Despite the tough game, Petrie says he is “proud of the effort in the third period on Sunday. We won the period 3-1 and got back to playing our strengths. It was a tale of two games for sure… The guys will be keen to play their next game to put things right”.
The Ice Dogs next play against the Sydney Bears at Macquarie Ice Rink on the 26th of May followed by the Melbourne Mustangs on the 10th of June.