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Bears came to play

28 Jun 2011

Bears came to play Image

After a big Melbourne derby the night before, where the Melbourne Ice made relatively light work of the Mustangs, it was a different story on June 26 when the Sydney Bears came to town.

Fresh from a physical game in Adelaide where they went down 6-3, the Bears came out with a point to prove in front of what in the beginning was a somewhat subdued crowd at the Icehouse.

The Ice dominated play for the majority of the first period but failed to capitalise on their chances.

If the crowd were quiet early they were stunned when Melbourne’s Kevin Darcy was put in the box for a 2 and 10 for what was a crude check from behind.

As before, no further invite was needed for the Bears and with 1:45 remaining, the Bears again made the most of the power play and Kurtis Dulle turning on the lights with another well-taken goal.

The second period started scrappily from both sides with missed passes and loss of possession from both teams, then with nine minutes remaining in the period Matt Armstrong from the Ice seemingly pulled a goal back for the hosts with a laser beam of a shot that seemed to disturb the net and come back out, but none of the officials saw it that way and play was allowed to continue despite loud protests from the Ice bench. The protests from the Ice were silenced only 30 seconds later when Jason Baclig rounded the goalie and snuck the puck in after being put through by Jacques Pereault and Tommy Powell, making the score 2-1 to the Bears.

The third period started with the Ice on a power play but it seemed like someone forgot to tell them with the puck only making brief appearances over the Ice blue line.

Eventually the Ice regained the momentum and poured the pressure on with wave after wave of attacks being repelled by the Bears and continued saves from Baerg in goal.

Stu Denman in the Ice goal was not to be outdone however and was forced to make two important one-on-one saves after mistakes from the Ice defence.

Yet another horrible check from behind, this time from the Bears, seemed to give the Ice a boost even with Ice captain Vinnie Hughes also going into the box making it four a side, and, with 1:53 on the clock Powell from the Ice tied the score.

The Bears soaked up more pressure and seemed to do enough to sneak a shootout, however in a remarkable finish Melbourne got the win they deserved after Baclig scored with only two seconds left on the clock giving the Ice a stunning 3-2 victory.

The crowd could hardly believe it and nearly melted the ice with noise.

It was a fitting result for the Ice who clearly dominated possession and shots on goal but one could feel for Baerg in the Bears goal who put in a super-human performance. At the end of the weekend the Bears went home winless and the Ice now sits atop the table and ready to defend the Goodall Cup.

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