|Confident Brave Battle For Road Wins In Perth
The CBR Brave have come away from a double header weekend in Perth with a pair of wins at Perth Ice Arena.
The series had its fair share of exciting moments and controversy but the end result showed why the Brave are still battling for the rights to be judged as the league’s best team, after a record-breaking season a year ago.
The pair of games both finished showing the scoreboard reading 5-1 in favour of the Canberra side. Perth Thunder head coach Dave Ruck commented on the way his team handled the reigning Goodall cup champions.
The first game saw the Thunder chasing the game early with the Brave taking a quick 1-0 lead just three minutes into the game, off the stick of Brayden Low. Before the period had ended it was 2-0, after the Thunder gave up a short-handed goal with six minutes left before heading into the second.
The second period was at least a scoreless one, with neither team registering many shots in the process before heading into the final frame. With the puck dropped in period three, the Brave took a quick 3-0 lead before a minute had transpired off the clock as Jordan Draper picked up his second of the night.
From there the Thunder just seemed to lose momentum and lacked the intensity needed to claw their way back into the game. And as the team has seen before this season, their offensive issues again continued at home as the clock wound down in the third, with the Thunder yet to score a goal at home in regulation this season.
With the score now pushed to 5-0 it was Kevin Veilleux that managed to bury Perth’s first regulation goal at home with just 14 seconds remaining in the game, with the final score at 5-1 in favour of the Brave.
Ruck said after the game he was confident in his team’s ability however, to continue to turn their season around after what has been a tough start so far at six games in.
“I still think we’ve got a good team here, but we’ve struggled so far to put a full squad together and find the chemistry to create much. You can’t make excuses, but I’ve at least seen glimpses of what we expect to see from this line-up this year.”
Unfortunately, that rebound did not come the following night for the Thunder with the result looking the same on the scoreboard, however there were times in which the team looked to be gaining traction throughout the second contest.
Once again with just under a minute to go, it would come from Hayden Dawes. And again the goal was scored in controversial fashion, as it appeared the Brave had put the puck in the net after the clock had hit zero, but the goal was awarded after a heated debate between officials and coaching staff from both sides.
The final period of the weekend saw the Brave continue to find the back of the net as Darge, Draper and Kambeitz each managed to put a nail in the Thunder coffin, giving their team the sweep over the weekend’s double header.
Head coach Rob Starke credited his team’s ability to stick to their systems and play the way they need to have success.
“Perth travel weekend is always a challenge for us, and our depth helped us out with that this weekend. Both games were tight through two periods and both games we managed to find a way to pull away,” Starke said.When asked Starke commented on the controversial goal, in which he believed had stolen the show in what was otherwise a hard fought win, from a team that clearly deserved to come away with the points.
“I think you can’t deny it made an impact on the game. Obviously when you get a call like that go your way you are on the receiving end of a gift I suppose,” Starke said.
“But regardless of the call any time you score a goal in the last minute of a period it’s definitely a shift in momentum, and we did that twice in that moment which allowed us to take on that shift and come out strong to cement the win.”
With the two games putting more of a gap between the top and bottom four teams in the standings, Canberra will hope to continue the momentum gained in a game against the Ice Dogs next weekend.
The Thunder will hope to cement their systems and find a way to start a push back as they head into a bye week to refocus.