Report by Travis Crickard, Botany Swarm Assistant Coach
The last two games of the season for the Botany Swarm came down to a simple concept – win and you’re in. Unfortunately, winning two games in a row against the NZIHL’s top team the SKYCITY Stampede would be no easy task.
Game 1 – Saturday 4 August
The Swarm found themselves in a hole early with two quick goals coming off the sticks of Mike McRae and Connor Harrison. As much as they tried the Swarm couldn’t seem to rebound from the early hole and find the back of the net. The Stampede proceeded to score an additional five unanswered goals en route to a 7-0 rout. Stephan Helmersson scored twice and Adam Soffer turned a hat trick for the visitors. The Stampede’s Daniel Lee stopped all 28 shots he faced for the shutout while Michael Hopkinson stopped 25 out of 32 shots for the Swarm.
As a result of the loss it officially knocked the Swarm out of playoff contention for the 2018 season.
Game 2 – Sunday 5 August
The Swarm knew that despite not being in a position to make the 2018 playoffs, they had to put their best effort forward for pride, the crest on the jersey, and their long-time fans and supporters.
While putting together a structured effort, it was not to be. Much like the day before, the Swarm could not find the back of the net. The Swarm mounted numerous offensive attacks, but Stampede goaltender Daniel Lee was razor sharp stopping all 35 shots he faced for a second consecutive shutout.
The Stampede were able to eclipse their seven goal mark they achieved the night before with eight courtesy of Mike Mcrae (2), Matthew Schneider, Stephan Helmersson, Ryan Stayer, Adam Soffer, Callum Burns, and Cameron Frear.
Colin Langham started the game for the Swarm and stopped 11 out of the 14 shots he faced while Michael Hopkinson stopped 13 out of 18 in relief.
A tough way to end the regular season for the Swarm, but one can only be optimistic about what the future holds. With the prospect of adding some younger players and new imports to the group for next season the process of building the Swarm into a NZIHL contender has already begun.
Watch both game highlights here.
Swarm’s Three Stars for Round 6 are: 1) Remy Sandoy, 2) Jamie Lawrence, 3) Stephen Mawson
Swarm fans, we want to thank you for your support during the 2018 season. It was truly a privilege to step onto the ice and compete for you each game. We look forward to seeing you all back at The Hive for the 2019 season!