What a game it was this July first.
Whether motivated by the Matt Clark Shield or fuelled by their losses to the Thunder the previous weekend, the Sydney Ice Dogs fought incredibly hard and played seamlessly to take down the Perth Thunder in a physical and fast paced game by a score of 5-3.
Grant Toulmin scored another three goals on the night to help give the Ice Dogs the three points they needed in the final meeting between the two teams this season. The game was complimented by a huge crowd, who by attending the game, helped to raise money for the Leukaemia foundation as proceeds from every ticket went towards the cause.
After dominating play, the Ice Dogs opened scoring at Macquarie Ice Rink, when Grant Toulmin netted one against the Thunder’s Peter Di Salvo with 11:53 remaining. The goal was made possible by Stephen Johnston and Rory Rawlyk.
Sydney headed to the penalty kill for the first time in the night a little over a minute later when Andrew White was given a minor for slashing. The Ice Dogs killed the penalty and continued to maintain possession.
With 3:09 left on the clock Andrew White was again sent to the box after being assessed a minor for high sticking. With 1:56 left, Perth’s Per Daniel Goransson was called for tripping, negating the penalty kill. The teams skated four on four for 47 seconds then the Ice Dogs headed to a shortened power play.
Although creating many opportunities, Sydney couldn’t quite find the back of the net on the power play and finished out the first 15 minutes with a 1-0 lead over the Thunder.
Sydney was awarded another power play just 37 seconds into the second period after Perth’s Jessyko Bernard was sent to the box on a holding call. Although unable to capitalise, the Ice Dogs created quality chances.
With 7:36 left on the clock Dave Dunwoodie extended Sydney’s lead when his slap shot went top shelf on Perth’s Peter Di Salvo. Another power play opportunity was given to the Dogs is the final minutes of the second period.
With just 1:36 remaining Stephen Johnston scored, with assists going to Grant Toulmin and Rory Rawlyk. Grant Toulmin was then sent to the box after the play when he was called for roughing.
The home team hit the ice fired up for the final 20 minutes. Grant Toulmin gave the Dogs a four goal lead 34 seconds into the final period on an unassisted play, after coming out of the penalty box to sneak one past Perth’s goalie.
With 18:39 left on the clock, the Ice Dogs headed to the penalty kill for four minutes, when Rory Rawlyk was assessed a double minor for tripping. Perth was able to score twice on their power play, cutting the Dogs lead in half.
The Thunder netted a third and final goal with 9:48 left on the clock. After a breakaway opportunity from Stephen Johnston and another good opportunity from Ellesse Carini, Grant Toulmin scored his third of the night with 1:39 remaining, giving the Ice Dogs the insurance they needed and securing the win.
The Ice Dogs travel to Melbourne next weekend to take on the Mustangs for the first time this season. You can see the Dogs play at home on July 16th against the Adelaide Adrenaline.