The Sydney Ice Dogs faced the Adelaide Adrenaline on Saturday in a hard fought and fast paced game at Macquarie Ice Rink.
From the beginning the Ice Dogs maintained possession of the puck and worked cohesively to dominate the game. With 13:43 remaining in the first period captain Scott Stephenson was sent to the box for tripping. Excellent work by goalie Damien Ketlo held off the Adrenaline and the Dogs were able to successfully kill the penalty.
Sydney headed to the power play for the first time in the night with 10:42 remaining in the period when Adelaide’s Casey Babineau was sent to the box. Although the team created quality chances Sydney was unable to find the back of the net.
The Dogs were given a second power play opportunity with 6:27 left on the clock when Adelaide’s Casey Babineau was sent to the box again for tripping.
The Dogs put themselves on the board with five minutes to go in the first period. Todd Stephenson beat Adrenaline goalie Pete King on a beautiful opportunity made possible by Tomas Manco and Stephen Johnston. The power play goal was Stephenson’s first of the season and was scored in his 250th career AIHL game. The goal gave the Dogs a 1-0 lead at the end of the first.
With 15 minutes in the books the teams hit the ice for the second period. The Ice Dogs took a 2-0 lead early on with a goal from Grant Toulmin. Assists on the goal went to Tomas Manco and Dave Upton. Sydney made it 3-0 soon after, when defenseman Tomas Manco scored his first of this season with a beautiful wrap around goal that beat goalie Pete King. The Dogs wrapped up the second holding a three goal lead over Adelaide.
Adelaide put themselves on the board early in the final 20 minutes of the game when Cam Critchlow was able to find the back of the net. The Dogs were given another power play opportunity with 17:36 left in the game when Adrenaline forward Greg Oddy was assessed a minor for tripping. Sydney fought hard and created good chances but were unable to score.
Dave Upton gave the Ice Dogs a 4-1 lead with 8:33 remaining, with the assist going to Grant Toulmin. Forward Ellesse Carini secured the win with 33 seconds left in the game when he scored in Adelaide’s empty net, giving the Dogs a 5-1 lead.
The team fought hard and worked cohesively to take down the Adrenaline by a score of 5-1. Sydney is back on the ice tomorrow night when they take on defending champions, the Newcastle North Stars.