|Posted on June 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM|
Swarm restore some honour
Swarm went it tonight’s game with vivid memories of last night’s 6-2 defeat, and minus the magical skills of Aleksandr Polozov. The Estonian suffered a major injury his right knee in the opening minutes of last nights game which will probably side-line him for several weeks. Stampede were not without their problems; Conner Harrison and Nic Fabbri were forced to sit the game due to judicial issues. “We are disappointed to be without Conner and Nic” said Southern Stampede Coach Stephen Reid, “but still confident we can continue where we left off.”
But it was the Botany Swarm who dominated, particularly in the first and third periods and came away thankful victors 4-2. Swarm Coach Phil Lyle was much happier. “That was a lot better” he quipped. “We played much more like a team. The guys made a huge effort” he said.
The game started in typical frantic style and both teams striving to dominate. And with 10 minutes gone, Swarm drew first blood with a nice goal to KC Ball in front of the goal. The Stampede responded 8 minutes later when Mitchell Freer skated the puck up the left side to fire a powerful shot that skimmed Zak Nothlings pads and level the scores.
The second period was one of frustration for the Swam. On attack Swarm struggled to lose their the Stampede Defender, and were denied many chances to get decent shots on goal. Conversely the Stampede forwards were frequently able to weave their way through a stilted Botany defence and were unlucky to not progress their score. Zak Nothling was outstanding in goal and at times was more peppered than an Alabama road sign. But with 6 minutes of the period remaining, and with Botany on defence, Jordan Challis pounced on a loose puck and attacked an isolated Ashton Brooks in goal. After three attempts, Brooks finally yielded and the puck finally found the back of the net.
The final period saw both teams much tougher and unrelenting, with the defence much tighter. Josh Hay helped the Swarm’s cause when he skated up the left side, circled behind the net and found an unmarked Jordan Challis who slotted the goal. Then with 10 minutes remaining the Swarm took another step with a slick goal to Patrick Bishop, assisted by Sam Bonniface. Stampede coach Stephen Reid then called a time-out to settle his troops but without success. A series of penalties reduced the players to a 3 on 3 situation but the uncluttered ice still did not reward the Southerners. However in the last minute of the game, the Stampede scored a late gaol to finish the game on the wrong side of 4 – 2.
The Southern Stampede leave Auckland buoyed by their weekend’s efforts, especially from their younger players, who made some big checks and contested every puck. The Swarms can be well pleased by the final score but have much work to do if they are to repeat pervious years success.
AIHA Marketing Director