GAME REPORT ICE VS BEARS. CANADA DAY CLASSIC 30TH JUNE 2018
Thursday, July 5, 2018 - Submitted by Rachel Danderfield
After the drought breaking excitement of the derby, the Melbourne Ice were out to back up their efforts against visitors, the Sydney Bears. The boys were suited up in their one off Canada Day jerseys ready to defend the Canada Cup they secured in last years clash.
The crowd eagerly awaiting with stuffed toys in hand, for the annual teddy toss didn’t have to wait long. Like with most of their games so far, the Ice started off with a bang, with Scott Corbett hitting the net within the first 2 minutes (assisted by fellow local Todd Graham). Stuffed animals littered the ice to be collected by volunteers and donated to the Alannah & Madeline Foundation. The boys would go into a power play twice in the next 13 minutes after penalties to Michael Burns (cross checking at 8:59) and Ryan Lough (hooking at 6:09) but Sydney goalie and crowd favourite Anthony Kimlin held strong in net. The period ended with a 1-0 lead to the Ice.
The next period was a chance for the goalies to shine. Anthony Kimlin proved why he was selected as Australia’s goalie in the World Championships earlier this year, and James Downie took the opportunity to show why the Ice had selected him as their number 1. With both men blocking everything that came their way, it was in the last minute that Ryan Lough caught Downie off guard and unassisted to tie the game at 1-1. Ice fans watched on nervously as the seconds counted down, however the goal celebrations had barely finished when Ice captain Lliam Webster retaliated with 12 seconds to go (assisted by Nate Flemming and Dillon Lawrence). The Ice would take a 2-1 lead into the final period.
The goalies continued to steal the show in the third, with James Downie continuing to wow those around him. The Bears hit him with everything but the kitchen sink (including 18 shots) in the third period, yet he remained calm and collected. A penalty kill with just over two minutes to go, left Ice fans nervous, but their fears were alieviatyed when the siren finally sounded. The Ice would take away 6 points from the weekend for the first time this season, and maintain a glimmer of hope for finals.
The Ice head up to NSW this weekend to face the Bears once again on Saturday 7 July and the Newcastle Northstars on Sunday 8 July