|Posted on June 25, 2016 at 5:30 AM|
The Swarm suffered a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Canterbury Red Devils Saturday night in Botany, as a closely matched back-and-forth game ended in favour of the visitors.
The Devils were first on the board in P1, with a goal coming off a rush. Swarm goaltender Alain Giauque warded off the first couple of shots, but a rebound was collected by Liam Dallimore and he squeezed it in between Giauque’s skate and the post.
The Swarm tied things up with a beauty of a short-handed goal, as they forced a turnover, springing Teemu Rantanen and Michael Attwell on an odd-man rush. A tape-to-tape pass from Attwell to Rantanen got Devils goaltender Michael Coleman moving laterally, and Rantanen fired the puck in to a roar of approval from the crowd.
The Swarm then killed off the remainder of the penalty in good form, with a couple more short-handed chances as well. The Swarm appeared to have a slight edge in possession through the whole game, most notably in the first and third periods, but were not able to convert on many of their chances.
The Swarm took the lead early in the second period with their own goal off the rush, as Sami Saastamoinen went end to end with blistering speed, deked around a couple of defenders and then sent the puck into Coleman’s feet, where David Lindgren fished it out and put it home to give the Swarm a 2-1 lead.
The Swarm appeared to have scored another goal about 20s later, with Polozov slotting it over Coleman’s pads, but after some discussion the officials waved it off.
The Swarm continued to press hard, forechecking effectively and taking on the Devils in board battles and behind their net. Unfortunately it was a missed pass on the entry to the offensive zone during a 4-on-4 which saw the Devils get an odd-man rush, from which Matt Puntureri put the puck home to tie it at 2-2.
The home side took the lead again early in the third, as Saastamoinen scored the second short-handed goal of the night, racing in and wristing the puck in a shot that went in and out so quickly that a lengthy conversation between refs and goal judge was required to sort out if it was a goal or not. The decision came down in the Swarm’s favour, but they only held the lead for about a minute before Chris Eaden was able to take advantage of the Swarm’s difficulty in clearing their own zone to tie it up.
Three minutes later, Tayler Kennedy scored the go-ahead goal, which would eventually stand as the game-winner on a powerplay due to a Too Many Men penalty against the Swarm.
Fast and furious action followed as the Swarm strove to tie it up again, including their first and only powerplay of the night with 2 minutes left in regulation, but the Swarm were unable to find the net again, and the Red Devils’ Ciaran Long iced it with an empty-netter with 10s remaining.
The two sides will face off again on Sunday with the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio challenge trophy on the line.
The archived stream of this game is available on NZIHL.tv.