The Sydney Ice Dogs made it a winning weekend, with a 7-5 win over the Perth Thunder on Saturday night to keep their slim Finals hopes alive. In front of a vocal home crowd, the Ice Dogs held off the fast finishing Thunder to secure a regulation win with an empty net goal.
Despite only having three import players available for the game, the Ice Dogs were boosted by the return of locals Cameron Todd and Dave Dunwoodie. Both players logged significant minutes for the under manned Ice Dogs in crucial situations.
Defenceman Lachlan Fahmy also had a game to remember, scoring a power play goal in the second period, which would prove to be the eventual game winner, and picking up a pair of assists, for his first ever multi-point AIHL game.
The home side jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in first period, thanks to goals from Manco, Todd and Crowder. The second period was all Ice Dogs, as they doubled their goal total to head into the final period with a 6-2 lead.
The Thunder clawed their way back into the game in the third period, three goals in the space of 5 minutes put the Ice Dogs on their heels and silenced the home crowd.
With time slipping away, the Thunder pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, however forward Grant Toulmin managed to pick off a wayward pass, skate free and slide the puck into the empty net.
With just seven games remaining, the maximum competition points the Ice Dogs can finish on is 48, if they win all games in regulation. The Ice Dogs will also need other results to go there way if there any chance of playing finals. If the Ice Dogs can beat the Melbourne Mustangs this weekend, they’ll move into fifth spot on the AIHL Ladder.
“Whether it’s for the finals or not – we always play hard against those guys (Mustangs), we’ve defiantly got a rivalry with them,” said forward Grant Toulmin.
“They don’t like us and we don’t like them, now we put all the marbles on it for a finals spot, it’s going to be a heated match up!”