Sean Jones #51 scores his first of many goals for the afternoon. Photo: Phil Taylor.
The Melbourne Mustangs managed to pull off an impressive victory over Perth Thunder on home ice at O’Brien Group Arena on Sunday.
Sean Jones was the standout for the Mustangs, picking up a hat-trick before the first period had even finished.
The Thunder however did manage to battle there way back as the game entered the second period after the Mustangs we’re already up 3-0. From there it was the Perth side who seemed to dominate play in the second as they went on to score three goals of their own to make a game of it before the final period was underway.
Jonathon Bremner was the first goal scorer to get the Thunder on the board as he set up a play off the face-off and rifled one in from the point.
With the Thunder then given a man advantage opportunity, Landon Oslanksi managed to find the back of the net for the first time in his AIHL career, and put his team within a goal at just over the half way mark of regulation.
It was only three minutes later with 6:33 still left in the second period where Andrew Cox managed to get his second goal of the weekend, this time putting a bit more finish on the goal as he picked up a rebound and blasted it into the back of the Mustangs net.
The rest of the period remained scoreless and as the third period was about to get underway the teams were level and the Thunder had every chance to clinch their first victory of the 2018 season.
However the Mustangs managed to pick up their pace of play, and it wasn’t long before the team had picked up the lead once more. This time it was Brett Ferguson who buried a goal on the powerplay for his team after Tomek Sak was given the gate for high sticking in the early goings of the final frame.
With the momentum now in favour of the Melbourne side, they continued to push back against the Thunder, and less than two minutes later, with 16:32 left to play it was Patrick O’Kane who gave the Mustangs a two goal lead and put the Thunder on the back foot once more.
As fatigue seemed to set in for the Perth squad, who were in the midst of back to back games to start their season, the Mustangs took the opportunity to jump on the slight lack of pace in the Thunders game as they gave themselves a three goal lead with Troy Robertson sealing the win for his team with 2:29 remaining in regulation.
With the score now at 6-3 and not much time on the clock, the three points were all but in the bag as the Mustangs went on to take what looked to be a convincing win from the Thunder.
The game however was somewhat closer than the scores would lead you to believe, with the Thunder just failing to find the energy in the final period to take on the Melbourne side who seemed more eager to clinch the win in the final twenty minutes of play.
The Thunder however will get a chance to redeem themselves as they move on to Home ice to take on the Melbourne squad once more in a back to back at Perth Ice Arena next weekend where they will continue to chase their first wins of the 2018 AIHL season.