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JUNE 28, 2023

Ice Dogs close out Black Dog month with 5-2 home victory over Adrenaline

Ice Dogs close out Black Dog month with 5-2 home victory over Adrenaline

Nick Kabiotis

In a strong showing on their home ice, the Sydney Ice Dogs secured a resounding 5-2 win against the Adelaide Adrenaline in their the final installment of Black Dog month, a month-long partnership with the Black Dog Institute to raise funds for mental health research.

This triumph came as a crucial bounce-back performance following a challenging defeat against inter-divisional rivals Perth Thunder the previous week. Despite missing their top point scorer, Grant Toulmin, due to an injury sustained in the previous game, the Ice Dogs exhibited their grit and rallied together as a cohesive unit, delivering an outstanding performance.

Making the most of their first power play chance, the Ice Dogs struck first with Strat Allen finding the back of the net, aided by the combined efforts of import Brady Heppner and captain Daniel Pataky. After defending well against three of the Adrenaline’s own power play chances, the Dogs would go into the locker room feeling positive about their play so far.  

The second period had no shortage of special teams play on both sides, with a total of 18 minutes of penalties across the period. It would be the Adrenaline to score next, capitalising on a power-play opportunity of their own to equalise the score. However, it wasn’t long before some great puck movement led to a go-ahead goal by Brady Heppner, putting the Ice Dogs ahead 2-1. 

Amongst the deluge of penalties, the Ice Dogs held strong on the penalty kill, while mounting pressure while on the power play. They would eventually extend their lead as Strat Allen, screening the opposing goaltender, redirected a shot from Shannon McGregor at the blue line to extend the Ice Dogs' lead to 3-1 before the period concluded.

The third period began with the Adrenaline on the power play due to a post-siren incident at the end of the second period, landing Heppner in the box. However, it wasn’t until after ten minutes into the period that the Adrenaline would score the next goal of the game to bring the game back within one goal.

With the game hanging in the balance, the Ice Dogs would not drop their intensity and after continued offensive effort, Dmitri Kuleshov would score a pivotal goal to reinstate a two-goal cushion for the Ice Dogs.

With less than two minutes left on the clock, the Ice Dogs faced an untimely charging penalty, granting the Adrenaline a 6-on-4 opportunity after pulling their goaltender in a desperate attempt to level the score. However, the Ice Dogs once again displayed exceptional defensive play during this disadvantage, and while shorthanded, Kuleshov struck again, securing his 10th goal of the season with a well-executed breakaway pass from Cameron Todd.

With a final score of 5-2 in favour of the Ice Dogs, the triumph marked their second win against the Adelaide Adrenaline this season, and provided a fitting conclusion to the Black Dog month initiative. The Ice Dogs will take confidence from the victory as they begin a tough July schedule with back-to-back road games next weekend against Newcastle and Central Coast.

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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