Weekend preview: Sydney Ice Dogs v Melbourne Mustangs

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    Canadian Ice hockey team lines up in Sydney. (Photo: Andrew Kitchener)

    The Ice Dogs return to action this weekend in a back-to-back set against the Melbourne Mustangs at O’Brien Group Arena.

    Sydney hasn’t played since a 5-3 win Saturday against the Perth Thunder. Dave Dunwoodie, Stephen Johnston and Grant Toulmin scored on the night, and Damien Ketlo made 25 saves.

    While the Ice Dogs had a successful weekend, the same cannot be said for the Mustangs, who played – and lost – Sunday night in Canberra after beating the Brave, 5-3, the previous night.

    The last time the two teams met, Sydney fell to the Mustangs in a high scoring game by a score of 7-10. Sydney has won 12 of the 22 contests against the Mustangs since the first time the two teams met on April 24th 2011.

    The Ice Dogs rank fifth in the league and a win will move them back up to fourth place.

    Back-to-back
    The Ice Dogs have posted a 2-6-0 record in back-to-back games thus far this season. In their last 122 back-to-back sets (since the start of the 2011 season), the Ice Dogs have posted a 56-65-1 record. This will be the fifth set of back-to-back games for the Ice Dogs this season.

    Winning ways
    Sydney’s seven wins in 2017 are already tied with the amount of wins the Ice Dogs had during the entirety of the 2016 season. In addition, the Ice Dogs are tied second in the AIHL in the most regulation wins this season.

    Two good
    Sydney has allowed two goals or fewer in eight of their 14 games and rank second in the fewest goals against of any team in the AIHL, at 35 in 14 games. The Melbourne Ice place first with 33 goals allowed in 12 games. The Ice Dogs also have the lowest goals against average in the league at 2.50.

    Shooting gallery
    Sydney registered 26 shots on goal in Saturday’s contest against Perth. The Ice Dogs have recorded at least 20 shots on goal in all of their 14 games this season, and at least 30 shots on goal in seven of those games.

    Toul many goals
    Grant Toulmin has registered 12 points over the past five games including nine goals and two hat tricks, the first coming against the Newcastle Northstars and again last Saturday against the Perth Thunder. He heads the Ice Dogs in goals (13) and points (21) this season and leads the AIHL in game winning goals (4).

    In addition, the forward ranks 19th in points amassed and ties third in the number of goals scored in the league this season.

    King of the net
    Damien Ketlo has posted a 7-7-0 record, along with a 2.37 GAA, a .934 SV%, and 2 SO in 14 games in 2017. He leads the AIHL in SV per cent and GAA and is the only goaltender to record two shutouts this season. Ketlo has proved himself to be one of, if not the best, goalies in the league.

    Penalty kill
    The Ice Dogs have killed 49 of the 58 penalties against them this season, with an 84.5 per cent success rate. Sydney also has four short handed goals in the 14 games the have played.

    Injuries
    Billy Cliff (indefinite) – has missed 11 games
    Dave Upton (indefinite) – has missed eight games

    Upcoming games
    After the two games this weekend, the Ice Dogs will play the Mustangs on the following dates: Aug. 12, Aug, 27.

    The next time the Ice Dogs play at home will be when they take on the Bears on the 15th of July and the Adrenaline the following night.

    The Club Roar Awards have been run and won! Olympic Gold Medallist and all-round legend Steven Bradbury has announced who's getting a share in $10,000! Check out the winners HERE!