PERTH THUNDER (3-1-2) at SYDNEY BEARS (1-2-2-2)
Despite a relentless barrage of shots on the Adrenaline net last night, the Bears conceded a late goal before going down in a shootout. A regulation win would’ve seen the team climb into the top four on the ladder, but it wasn’t to be. They’ll need to do better than a shootout this time round, which may prove a challenge, as every game against the Thunder so far this season has ended this way.
Perth will be hoping to maintain momentum from a 4-1 win at Newcastle. Their final period against the Northstars saw them score three goals and that’s exactly the kind of performance they’ll be hoping to bring from the get-go at Macquarie Ice Rink.
BEARS’ KEYS TO VICTORY
FORECHECK: The Bears have proven strong when on the forecheck this season; tonight is another chance to make use of their bigger bodies against what appears to be a physically smaller team. An aggressive forecheck has been key to the Bears’ entering the zone successfully all season.
CONTINUE TO SHOOT: Sydney ran into a hot debuting Adelaide goaltender last night, and with Perth’s Peter Di Salvo proving that he is anything but a pushover, it will be vital that the Bears continue to shoot regardless of last night’s result. They can’t let the loss knock their confidence. Getting shots on net, after all, are the only way to score goals.
LIMIT TIME ON THE PENALTY KILL: In Perth, against the Thunder, the Bears were guilty of giving up penalties and spending a little too much time having to kill them. It’s vital for their game that they maintain five men on the ice and don’t take silly calls.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Cameron Todd (Forward) – Cameron returned to Australia from his University studies in the United States recently. Since then, he has shown exactly why he’s been a national team representative for the Mighty Roos in the past, with two goals and an assist in his three games for the Bears thus far this year. He has slotted back into the side like he was never away and his continued form will be vital as the team looks to start scoring some regulation wins.
LAST TIME OUT
May 14 – Bears 2 at Thunder 3 (SO)
The second game of the Perth road trip saw the Bears enter with a bit of momentum following a late comeback win, ending 5-4 following a shootout the previous night. Simon Kudla put the Thunder ahead late in the second period as the Bears got bogged down in penalty calls through the first two periods. Robert Haselhurst scored the second for Perth early in the third period before Sydney steamed back with goals from Tomas Landa and Jackson Brewer. Benjamin Breault was the sole scorer in the shootout that followed, giving the home side their first victory over the Bears this season.
Perth has been impressive on the defence this year, conceding only thirteen goals across six games, for the second best goals against record in the league. Offensively, they haven’t been as strong but as the saying goes; the best offence is a good defence.
The latest import signing for Perth, Christian Ouellet (2G) opened his account for the team impressively last night, whilst Benjamin Breault (3G, 6A) continues his fine form. Beyond that pair, Jessyko Bernard (2G, 2A), Robert Haselhurst (2G, 2A) and Per Daniel Göransson (1G, 3A) have all shown their ability to deliver points this year.
This series could quite easily end split right down the middle, with two shootout wins apiece if previous encounters are anything to go by. This would be the first time a whole series has been decided solely by shootouts for the Sydney Bears and Perth Thunder.
Photo Credit: Richard Sak
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