The Sydney Ice Dogs recorded back-to-back victories in Adelaide over the weekend, securing six points in two days against the Adrenaline. The wins sees the Ice Dogs move to 17 points on the AIHL ladder, tying them with the Sydney Bears for fourth place at the midway point of the season.
With the Ice Dogs back in the AIHL Finals race, Coach Petrie is looking forward to the run towards September.
“We can take a lot confidence from the amount of points we’ve been able to put up with the depleted roster we’ve had,” Petrie said.
“There’s a really positive attitude in the playing group, we’ll be welcoming back key players in July, and I’m really happy with what we’ve done to get to this point of the season.”
Still seeking their first win of the season, the Adrenaline came out firing on Saturday in front of a vocal home crowd at the Adelaide Ice Arena. The early energy paid off with Adelaide forward Benjamin Gavoille scoring after a net-front scramble at 8:40 in the first period.
The Ice Dogs asserted themselves soon after, with Paul Crowder and Alec Stephenson both scoring within two minutes of the Adrenaline tally. With the Ice Dogs leading 2-1 after the first, strong play from US import goalie Garrett Bartus saw the second period remain scoreless.
Stephenson scored again in the third period, tipping a shot from Tim Crowder on the power play at 7:51. Continued strong play from Bartus kept the Adrenaline to one goal, with Paul Crowder sealing the win with an empty net goal in the dying seconds.
Saturday’s victory featured some impressive play from Ice Dogs imports Tim Crowder (4 Assists) and Garrett Bartus (.962 SV%).
“It was the battle of the goal tenders on Saturday night,: Petrie said.
“Gordichuck made some of the best saves I’ve seen in some time, but at the other end Barto was great; he made big save when we needed, which laid the platform for our offense to go to work.”
Sunday’s battle began in a similar fashion. Adelaide once again jumped out to an early lead, but the Ice Dogs responded with three goals in the last five minutes of the period. Dylan Quaile led the response, potting two goals and assisting on a Tim Crowder tally.
Quaile completed his hat trick just seconds into the second period, giving the Ice Dogs a 4-1 lead. However two quick strikes in fifteen seconds from Adelaide’s Steve Best saw the Adrenaline suddenly within one goal at the midway point of the game.
However, the Ice Dogs maintained their composure, Canadian import Grant Toulmin responding ten seconds later to put the Ice Dogs up 5-3 going into the third.
Penalty trouble and solid goaltending saw the game remain at 5-3 throughout the third, until Ellesse Carini put the game away with an empty net goal in the final minute of play.
The Ice Dogs are back on the road this Saturday June 29th to face the Northstars in Newcastle. They return to Macquarie on Sunday June 30th to play host to the Melbourne Ice.