|Posted on May 11, 2015 at 3:45 AM|
The Botany Swarm played a tight match, with an eventual 7-6 OT win over the visiting Southern Stampede on their final Saturday night game of the 2014 season.
The Swarm were first on the board, with Michael Attwell scoring after some great offensive pressure from his line. The Stampede equalised a few minutes later, Mike McRae getting a tap-in on an open net after Swarm goalie Michael Hopkinson was able to save Matt Schneider’s original shot. The Stampede picked up the go-ahead goal a few minutes later, with Schneider getting clear in the slot to bat the puck in. The Stampede added a third goal in the final minute of the period, as McRae fished the puck out of a mass of bodies in front of the crease and dented the the back of the net, giving the visitors a 3-1 lead as they headed back to the dressing room.
The Swarm were first on the board in the second period as well, and once again the goal came from Attwell, who picked up the puck off a rebound just in front of the goal and was able to fire it past Stampede goalie Aston Brookes to bring the Swarm within one. The Swarm had a few short-handed chances during a penalty midway through the period, but neither they nor the Stampede was able to score during it.
The Stampede scored shortly after both sides returned to even strength, with Jacoby Stubbert firing the puck from just below the right wing circle. The Swarm got it right back, however, with Jeff Sanders picking up the puck in the neutral zone after a turnover and scoring off the rush. Another nail-biting penalty kill followed, and the Swarm were able to score again 10s after that ended, forcing a turnover to start a rush going back the other way that saw Sanders pick up his second of the evening off a great pass from Keegan Harnett.
The third period was always going to be exciting with the score tied and the teams seeming so well-matched, and it was all that and more. The Stampede leapt out to an early lead, with Schneider picking up his second just over a minute into the final frame. Multiple penalties for both sides followed this, giving the Swarm a momentary 5-on-3, then a 4-on-3, and eventually saw some 3-on-3 action for about 30s as well. Sanders appeared to have a goal towards the end of the later 4-on-3, but it was waved off and both sides returned to even strength. With about 14 minutes remaining, Jacoby Stubbert extended the Stampede’s lead, going bar-down on a perfectly aimed shot that gave Hopkinson no chance. Stubbert appeared to score again a few seconds later, but this goal too was waved off.
A few more penalties saw the sides back to 4-on-4, at which point the Swarm were able to get back within one, as Jordan Challis picked up the puck on a break away and out-waited Stampede goalie Aston Brookes to fire the puck five-hole. Two minutes later Sanders scored again, picking up his hat-trick unequivocably, and tying the game. The final seven minutes of regulation saw chances for both sides, and fast, furious action, but no further change in the score.
A late penalty for the Stampede carried over into the overtime period, but the visitors were able to kill it off, leaving the majority of the OT time as 4-on-4. Brandon Contratto scored the game-winner for the Swarm just over halfway through the OT, picking his spot high-glove and lasering the puck in to take the win.