|Posted on July 16, 2013 at 7:35 AM|
Thanks to Ice Fern Libby-Jean Hay for providing the following match report!
It was a very exciting and nail-biting start to the weekend against the Dunedin Thunder, but unfortunately it went down to the last moment with the Thunder winning in overtime. Notably, it was also Joshua Hay's 100th NZIHL game with 99 points, so there was no little pressure at all for him to gain his 100th point to mark the occasion.
Michael Hopkinson started in net, with Zak Nothing as back up, as Nothling stepped in for regular backup Jacob Dix who is currently in America for the inline world champs.
The first period started off very close and fast-paced, with the Swarm getting a great first goal scored by KC Ball, and assisted by Evan Mackintosh and Richard Idoine on the powerplay. This got the Swarm off to a positive start, but unfortunately shortly after the Thunder were quick to answer back scoring their first goal two minutes later, scored by Remy Sandoy and assisted by Benjamin Gavoille.
The Swarm were given a couple of penalties and the Thunder managed to use this to their advantage getting their second goal, scored on a power play by Tristan Darling and assisted by Remy Sandoy. The end of the 1st period finished with the Thunder leading 2-1, keeping it a tight game.
The second period started off a bit messy where the Thunder managed to put the puck in the net short handed at 15:02, a shot from half way managed to slip through. This lead to a goalie change for the Swarm, as Zak Nothling took the ice showing grit and determination. The Swarm turned around and got a great powerplay goal, scored at 14:07 by Evan Mackintosh to make the score 3-2. A brilliant snipe from Mackintosh!
The Swarm started to get into a bit of trouble with penalties again, starting off with Josh Hay taking 2 minutes for roughing and what looked like he was sticking up for his lil bro Ollie Hay. This rolled onto a couple more penalties with three of the Swarm players in the box at once. With a 3-on-5 for a short amount of time the Swarm managed to keep the puck out of the net, doing some great penalty killing and Nothling facing a huge amount of shots but not letting any in any time soon.
A couple more penalties for the Swarm seemed to be putting them off their game, as it became quite messy and all over the place, yet the Thunder failed to score. With just 9 seconds left in the second period Scott Randall - who had just returned from a foot injury - got a nice tip-in goal, assisted by a lovely pass from Contratto. This put the score as 3 all at the end of the period. Swarm winning the period on goals 2-1, although the amount of penalties clearly set the Swarm back from their full potential.
The third period started off great with some amazing plays, passes and shots, showing the Swarm upping their game from the previous period. The Swarm did a good job attacking and defending the Thunder for a good 10 and a half minutes but the Thunder scored their fourth goal at 9:30. Scored by Ben Roth unassisted, this was due to an unlucky play in the Swarm’s attacking zone, with Roth gaining a breakaway goal in one-on-one against Nothling. This didn’t dampen the Swarm, coming right back 25 seconds later to get their fourth goal from Evan Mackintosh, unassisted, making it his second goal of the game.
This period was incredibly tense with no penalties during the period as the Swarm looked incredibly determined and focused the whole period. Nothling was once again facing lots of shots, but without any score. With 47 seconds to go in the game, Swarm coach Andy Kaisser called a time-out. The teams kept the score 4 all till the last buzzer, making the last part of the game incredibly nail-biting for the crowd. End of the third period and all could have not got any more intense, with Thunder having a good run in the Swarm end getting shot after shot. This called for a 5 minute over-time to settle the score, and there is something about the Swarm playing the Thunder and over-time…
It was a good start to the over-time, with Mackintosh getting a great shot on net, the Thunder goalie was incredibly lucky not having been scored against. Contratto had a great slapshot from the corner with 2:30 to go, but similarly no success. The game ended at 1:57 with the Thunder getting the winning goal, scored by Mitch Frear and assisted by Paris Heyd. Unlucky for the Swarm, and it could have gone either way, it was that close. The Swarm did gain a point from the game as it resulted in overtime.