Report by Travis Crickard, Botany Swarm Assistant Coach
The final road trip of the season saw the Botany Swarm remain in Auckland but head West to face the Admirals at Paradice Avondale. With two games slated for Saturday and Sunday night and playoff implications for both clubs, there were bound to be some fireworks.
Game 1 – Saturday 28 July
The Swarm were looking to take advantage of a banged up Admirals squad who were short staffed as a result of injuries and match suspensions. In the opening period, Max Vesper found the back of the net early on a redirected puck from below the goal line. Ondrej Kozak replied for the Swarm with a highlight reel breakaway goal. Dale Harrop finished the first period scoring to give the Admirals a 2-1 lead.
In the second period, Shaun Harrison scored twice and Dale Harrop scored his second of the game in flurry of three Admiral goals that occurred within five minutes. Down 5-1, KC Ball provided some life to the Swarm with a goal that took exceptional effort to beat two defenders and put it top shelf of the net, ending the period 5-2.
In the third period it was Ball again, scoring his second of the game to make it 5-3. Unfortunately, that was all the Swarm could muster as Dale Harrop scored his hat trick goal on a Swarm empty net to preserve a 6-3 victory for the Admirals.
For his efforts Ondrej Kozak was named Swarm’s hardest working player. Michael Hopkinson started in goal for the Swarm and stopped 15 out of 19 shots. Joel Rindelaub, in relief made 17 saves on 18 shots. Rick Parry, for the Admirals, replied with 42 saves on 45 shots.
Watch Game 1 highlights here
Game 2 – Sunday 29 July
The Swarm, who despite putting in a great effort the night before, were looking for some much needed points in the NZIHL standings.
Unfortunately, it was not to be as the Swarm struggled to find the back of net. It was all Admirals as Frazer Ellis, Shaun Harrison, Gareth McLeish, George Coslett (2) and Andrew Spiller scored for the Admirals to finish the game 6-0.
Csaba Kercso-Magos pitched a shutout for the Admirals with 39 saves. Joel Rindelaub made 14 saves on 18 shots before being ejected due to a second period altercation that ensued between Admirals and Swarm players. Michael Hopkinson made 14 saves on 16 shots in relief.
A tough weekend for the Swarm who were hoping to secure some points in the NZIHL standings and make a push for the playoffs. Now it comes down to one last weekend of hockey in which the Swarm must win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Watch Game 2 highlights here
Swarm’s Three Stars for Round 6 are: 1) Ondrej Kozak 2) KC Ball 3) Robin Vortanov
The Swarm’s next games are against the SKYCITY Stampede at the Hive on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August. Both games are scheduled to start at 4:45pm. Fans, we urge you to bring as many friends and family as you can to back the Swarm as they will need your support! We will also have some special guests from the Sancta Maria College in attendance at the Saturday game to sing the National anthem and cheer on our Botany Swarm boys.