|Posted on July 22, 2014 at 4:25 AM|
The Botany Swarm put in a superb effort down in Christchurch on Saturday to take a solid 6-2 win over the Canterbury Red Devils, ending their league-leading winning streak and becoming the first team to beat the defending champs in the 2014 regular season.
The Swarm opened the scoring, with Brandon Contratto going top shelf on Michael Coleman midway through the period. The Devils equalised five minutes later, as Chris Eaden wristed the puck past Niklas Marschall from below the left wing circle. The Swarm took the lead again shortly afterwards, as Contratto picked up his second goal of the evening, stepping around a defender to take advantage of a turnover in the Devils’ zone.
Jeff Sanders scored the third goal in the dying moments of the first period, settling the puck in the slot after strong forechecking from the Swarm on a shift in the Devils’ zone and elevating it with a perfect shot into the back of the net to give the Swarm a 3-1 lead heading into the dressing room.
The only goal of the second period came from Sanders as well, capitalising on a great feed from Contratto as they crashed the net. There were last-second heroics again in the second period, with Chris Eaden taking off on a breakaway before getting tangled up with Jordan Challis who was backchecking hard and managed to negate the immediate scoring threat. The ensuing penalty meant the Devils started the third period with almost two minutes on the powerplay.
The third period featured lengthy periods of back and forth and no change in the score – despite many good chances for both sides – until about halfway through the period. The Devils got the score within two on a goal from Vitalijs Hvorostinins, who fired a bouncing puck from the blue line past Marschall to bring the score to 4-2.
The Swarm were able to answer back shortly afterward, with Oliver Hay putting the puck past Coleman in the last two minutes, before adding a second goal with just about 10s left on the clock as the puck went off Coleman’s pads to bring the final score to 6-2.