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Game Reports: Swarm vs Red Devils at home, 27th and 28th July 2013

Posted on July 29, 2013 at 5:00 AM

With the hunt for the playoffs heating up in the last few weeks of the season, the final two home games of the Swarm's season were crucial for their chances of making the Grand Final.


The Swarm took an important regulation win over the Canterbury Red Devils on Saturday evening, ending the game with 10 goals to the Devils’ 3.


 

The action was fast and furious from the beginning of the game, with plenty of shots and chances, but the Swarm were able to take advantage of their edge in puck possession to get the first goal on the board, as Evan Mackintosh collected a tape-to-tape pass from Brandon Contratto to wire it into the back of the net. Alex Polozov picked up the second goal for the Swarm, converting unassisted on a short-handed break.


 

The Devils bounced back right away, collecting a powerplay goal 20s later, as Takumi Ledbetter pounced on a rebound, and scored, with an assist from Hayden Argyle. Mickey Rhodes picked up the Swarm’s third goal to regain their two goal lead.


 

A five minute major and game misconduct for Nikita Vasilenko meant the Devils had a lengthy PK to defend, playing the last three minutes of the first period and the first two of the second down a man, but they were able to stand firm against the Swarm’s attack and defended well.


 

The Swarm were once again first on the board in the second period, as Contratto picked up his first of the night. Rhodes scored his second of the match halfway through, and thirty seconds later Jordan Challis scored to bring the Swarm out to a commanding lead. The Devils rallied towards the end of the period, and some more sustained pressure in the Swarm’s zone paid off as Ed Commons scored for the Devils, leaving the score 6-2 after 40 minutes.


 

The third period was more of the same, with a quiet first few minutes, followed by a flurry of goals for the Swarm. Mackintosh picked up a second goal to open things up, and Contratto scored two less than a minute apart to make up his hattrick for the night. The Devils were able to claw one last one back, as Marcus Bengtsson banged one in from just outside the crease, but the Swarm had the last word, with Contratto scoring his fourth in the final two minutes.


 

 

The Botany Swarm took an important regulation win over the Canterbury Red Devils in Botany on Saturday evening, ending the game with 10 goals to the Devils' 5. With the top four teams so close on the points table, every game left in the season is critical.


 

The action was fast and furious from the beginning of the game, with plenty of shots and chances, but the Swarm were able to take advantage of their edge in puck possession to get the first goal on the board, as Evan Mackintosh collected a tape-to-tape pass from Brandon Contratto to wire it into the back of the net. Alex Polozov picked up the second goal for the Swarm, converting unassisted on a short-handed break.


 

The Devils bounced back right away, collecting a powerplay goal 20s later, as Takumi Ledbetter pounced on a rebound, and scored, with an assist from Hayden Argyle. Mickey Rhodes picked up the Swarm's third goal to regain their two goal lead.


 

A five minute major and game misconduct for Nikita Vasilenko meant the Devils had a lengthy PK to defend, playing the last three minutes of the first period and the first two of the second down a man, but they were able to stand firm against the Swarm's attack and defended well.


 

The Swarm were once again first on the board in the second period, as Contratto picked up his first of the night. Rhodes scored his second of the match halfway through, and thirty seconds later Jordan Challis scored to bring the Swarm out to a commanding lead. The Devils rallied towards the end of the period, and some more sustained pressure in the Swarm's zone paid off as Ed Commons scored for the Devils, leaving the score 6-2 after 40 minutes.


 

The third period was more of the same, with a quiet first few minutes, followed by a flurry of goals for the Swarm. Mackintosh picked up a second goal to open things up, and Contratto scored two less than a minute apart to make up his hattrick for the night. The Devils were able to claw one last one back, as Marcus Bengtsson banged one in from just outside the crease, but the Swarm had the last word, with Contratto scoring his fourth in the final two minutes.


 

After the decisive Swarm victory the night before, the Red Devils came out of the gate on Sunday eager to make a better showing, and that they did, scoring their first goal of the night just three minutes into the first period. Takumi Ledbetter followed up on a strong first game of the weekend to pick up an even strength goal, and five minutes later the Devils stretched that out to a 2-0 lead off a powerplay goal from Marcus Bengtsson.


 

The Swarm answered back towards the end of the period, as Brandon Contratto picked up two goals in less than a minute to tie the scores up heading into the break.


 

The Swarm broke the deadlock first, as Jordan Challis scored his second of the weekend to put the home side ahead 3-2, but a penalty shortly afterwards gave the Devils' powerplay a chance to get rolling once more, and they tied the game as Bengtsson picked up his second of the night.


 

That tie held for much of the remainder of the period, with the two sides appearing evenly matched and no decisive advantage obvious, but a good play from Bradley Apps for the Devils with just a minute remaining in the second put them ahead, and that goal would serve as the eventual game winner.


 

Both sides jockeyed for possession through the third, with the Swarm pushing hard to equalise, but the Devils were able to keep a strong defense around their crease. With no change in the score in the final twenty minutes, the Devils were able to run the clock down to take a regulation win and three points back to Christchurch.


With the weekend's points split evenly between all four teams that were playing, the logjam at the top of the points table remains essentially unchanged, and which teams do make the Final will depend on the results of the final two weeks' worth of games.


The Swarm will close out their season with away games at the Avondale rink against the West Auckland Admirals on the 3rd and 4th of August, so if you're in Auckland make sure you head over to support your Botany Swarm for two must-win games!



[An earlier version of this report was also posted to NZIHL.com and is reproduced with permission.]

 

 

 

Categories: 2013, Game Reports

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