The Botany Swarm suffered a narrow loss in the shootout Saturday evening at Paradice Botany, going down 6-5 to the visiting Canterbury Red Devils.
Belying the final score, the Swarm had the majority of the chances and zone time through the whole game, with 67 shots attempted to the Devils’ 28.
The Swarm applied plenty of pressure and got a fair number of chances, but had more than a few pucks that were unlucky to not go in through a maze of sticks and bodies in front of the opposition net. The Red Devils also did an impressive job of clogging up shooting lanes and collapsing in to defend their goal.
The Swarm took an early lead in the first, scoring at the end of an extended period of offensive zone pressure during the Swarm’s lone powerplay of the period, just after returning to even strength. Alex Mitsionis made a great move, wrapping the puck around the post and in from below the goal line.
Early in the second, the Red Devils tied it up, before the Swarm regained their lead with two goals in 10s from Ondrej Kozak and Max Hadraschek, the results of consistent pressure in the offensive zone. The Swarm appeared to have the majority of chances in this period in particular, and were noticeable in their success at puck retrieval and forcing turnovers.
In what seemed to be the pattern for the evening, this lead was not safe as the Devils first got within one with a powerplay goal from Christoph Hechtl, and then tied it up again at 3-3 a few minutes later on a shot from the veteran Chris Eaden.
The Swarm went ahead with 2 minutes remaining in the second on a second goal from Mitsionis, squeaking through Canterbury goaltender Damien King’s pads, and they had a flurry of further chances to finish out the period.
The third period was an exciting one, with the Devils tying it up at four a piece before Mitsionis scored a spectacular goal to make it 5-4 and notch the hat-trick, with just 2 minutes left in regulation. The Swarm fans’s exuberance in response was short-lived, though, as the Devils went the other way off the next faceoff to tie it up once again.
The 3-on-3 overtime proceeded with no change in the score, despite some solid chances for the home team. The shootout saw goals from Eaden, Mitsionis and Hechtl, which gave the 2-1 edge and winning margin to the Devils.
The two sides will meet again tomorrow at Botany with puck drop again at 4.55pm.