...but here's the latest AIHL update. At least, the best job I can give with recovering from the party at Lizard Happy!
A rare Thursday game last week featured the Battle of Melbourne round two, and this one again went to the Ice. This time, though, it was a tight 2-1 score; Jon Olthius kept the 'Stangs in the game despite being outshot 43-27. Matt Armstrong and Mitch Humphries each had a goal and an assist in the match.
Saturday and Sunday featured a wild two-game set in Perth between the Thunder and Adelaide. Game one was a back and forth affair, with Perth's Joe Tolles putting Perth up 4-2 with his first goal and 5-3 with his second. Then came Travis Ouellette of the Ads, who scored his second, third, and fourth goals of the game in a 2:30 span of the third, all assisted by his brother Britt, to put Adelaide up 6-5. But Perth's Michael Forney tied it at 6 just 43 seconds later, and (in a recurring theme) Matt Strueby scored with 4 minutes left to give Perth the win in game one, 7-6.
Game two was much like it. The first period ended in a 3-3 tie; but the Thunder scored three straight, including Jordan Kyros' second of the game, and it was 6-4 after two. Perth made it 7-4 early in the third, but the Ads rallied again- with Travis Ouellette's second of the game and 6th of the weekend, along with Luc Blain's sixth and seventh assists in the two games, to cut it to 7-6. However, they couldn't get that last score, and Matt Strueby (again) got the last goal of the game- into an empty net with 5 seconds left- to end the game 8-6.
Round two of the Battle of Sydney was played Saturday as well, Anthony Wilson of the Ice Dogs, with an assist from Simon Bars, tied the game at 1-1 with 1:01 left; and Bars got the only score of the shootout for a 2-1 Ice Dogs win and a 2-0 lead in that series.
Finally on Saturday, Newcastle got the privilege of playing the team that never comes to play, the Canberra Knights. How else do you explain a team who gets outshot 62-15- 30-6 in the third period alone? Jeff Martens matched Travis Ouellette's feat- scoring 4 goals, three of them in just under 2 1/2 minutes!
On Sunday, the Ice Dogs took their turn, routing Canberra 6-1. Captain Robert Malloy scored 3 times as the Knights has now given up 62 goals while scoring 23- 17 fewer than anyone else.
Finally, Newcastle beats the Bears 4-2. In a game in which their were only 8 shots combined in the first period, the Bears got the first two goals, but Tim Stanger (best known for scoring ZERO points as a forward in 20 games in 2009) started off a streak of 4 unanswered goals by four different skaters.
With the Ice Dogs and North Stars each winning twice, the Ice (6-3-2, 20 points) now see themselves looking up at the Ice Dogs (7-2-4, 28 points), and Newcastle (9-2-0, 27). The Bears, Mustangs, and surprising Perth are in a second group, with the Ads and Canberra falling further and further back. Perth, in fact, has pulled within 2 points of the Ice, going 6-3 since that 13-2 beatdown by Newcastle in the beginning of May.