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JUNE 15, 2023

Ice Dogs prepare for Perth in long awaited cross-country showdown

Ice Dogs prepare for Perth in long awaited cross-country showdown

Nick Kabiotis

The Sydney Ice Dogs will take on the Perth Thunder for the first time this season at Macquarie for a crucial Hellyer division matchup. It's been a long time coming since these two teams last crossed paths in July 2019, before the world was hit by the pandemic. 

It is a matchup that holds immense significance for both teams, as it could greatly impact their playoff hopes. The Thunder currently sit comfortably in 3rd place on the Hellyer ladder, with an 8-point lead over the Ice Dogs. However, the Dogs are eager to bridge that gap in the first of a four game series this season, and secure a vital victory to bolster their postseason aspirations. 

Taking positives from an impressive victory over Melbourne the week before, the Ice Dogs will be keen to take the momentum into tomorrow’s game. The team also continues to partner with the Black Dog Institute for mental health research through the month of June, a cause very close to the hearts of the players and staff that has given them even more to fight for. 

As the Ice Dogs hit the ice, players to watch include forward Grant Toulmin, whose remarkable skills and determination have catapulted him into the top five ‘Scoring Leaders’ in the AIHL with an impressive tally of 26. Toulmin's ability to create scoring opportunities and find the back of the net will be crucial in tilting the game in favour of the Ice Dogs.

Keep a close eye on defenceman Brandon Egli, who has been a driving force behind the Ice Dogs' success this season. His exceptional vision and ability to set up plays have made him a leader in assists. Expect Egli to orchestrate the team's defensive strategies and keep the Thunder's offense at bay, providing a solid foundation for the Ice Dogs' triumph.

One player who has been on a scoring spree lately is Dmitri Kuleshov. With five goals in the last three games, Kuleshov has been an offensive powerhouse for the Ice Dogs. His blazing speed, accurate shooting, and knack for finding scoring opportunities make him a constant threat to the opposition's defence. Kuleshov will undoubtedly be a key player to watch during this epic clash.

In anticipation of the game, Head Coach Jason Kvisle had this to say: "It's a crucial moment for our team, and we're fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead. We have a talented roster and we believe in our abilities. Our focus will be on playing disciplined hockey, executing our game plan, and seizing every opportunity that comes our way. We're determined to make a statement and come out on top."

Don’t want to miss out on the action? Make sure to grab your tickets and join us at the rink to cheer on the Ice Dogs and help raise awareness for mental health for Black Dog month. 

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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