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JUNE 7, 2023

Dogs fight hard in double header, but come up short in Melbourne

Dogs fight hard in double header, but come up short in Melbourne

Nicholas Kabiotis

Embarking on their first back-to-back away trip of the season, the Ice Dogs flew to Melbourne over the weekend to take on the Ice and Mustangs.

First up the Ice Dogs took on the Melbourne Ice in the second match-up between the two teams this season. Import player Brady Heppner made his debut for the Ice Dogs, ready to show his skills despite having only arrived in Australia the day before.

It was a rough start for the visiting Dogs as the Ice quickly raced to a 5-1 lead to finish the first period. Despite falling behind the Ice Dogs put up a strong fight, managing to find the back of the net multiple times through D.Kuleshov (2), Egli, Toulmin and Heppner–who scored his first goal as an Ice Dog. However, ultimately they were unable to close the gap with the Ice taking a 9-5 win.

Despite the tough defeat, the Ice Dogs did not let it dampen their spirits. The following day, they took on the Melbourne Mustangs. With a determination to bounce back, it was the Dogs who struck first, opening the scoring with a 2-0 lead through Egli and Toulmin, who would each finish the game with two goals. 

The game was closely contested from start to finish, as both teams pushed each other to the limit. The teams went back and forth exchanging goals in one of the highest scoring match-ups in recent memory. 

The Ice Dogs fought valiantly, highlighted by a strong power play performance where Todd, Allen and Ivanic all capitalised with the man advantage. This set up a dramatic finish when, with just over three minutes remaining and down 7-8, the Dogs found themselves once again on the power play, where Kuleshov scored an equaliser sending the game into overtime. 

However, it was the Melbourne Mustangs who ultimately emerged victorious with a power-play goal just over three minutes into the extra period, resulting in a narrow 9-8 win for the home team. 

Despite the back-to-back losses, the Ice Dogs demonstrated their fighting spirit and determination throughout the away trip, proving their ability to compete against tough opponents and showing their resilience as a team. 

They will look to build on their performance, as they look ahead to a rematch against the Melbourne Ice on Sunday, where the Ice Dogs will have a shot at redemption on their home turf.

Bears 26 21 5 0 0 -3 60
Mustangs 26 17 7 2 0 0 55
Thunder 26 17 8 0 1 0 52
Ice 26 10 16 0 0 0 30
Ice Dogs 26 7 17 0 2 0 23

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