What a crazy night of action in the Australian Ice Hockey League. The Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs both came out victorious to keep the standings in a tight race.
The Ice played at home to a crowd of 1100 on Friday in the first of their two game set with the Perth Thunder. 1st period was kept close until Perth opened up the scoring with .26 seconds left to go. It was a lot of the same in the second period but both team’s were becoming antsy as the penalty box started to fill up. Melbourne killed off 4 penalties which allowed Todd Graham to score the equalizer on the powerplay of their own.
By the time the third came around however, all hell broke less. Jason Balcig and Glen Mayer notched two quick goals for the Ice as tensions started to mount. With the score now 3-1 in favour of the Ice, Andrew Erzen headed to the box as he was given 2 minutes and a 10 minute misconduct for a check to the head and Chris Frank followed suit with given a 20 minute misconduct. It seemed that everything was going in Perth’s favour. That wasn’t the case however as Melbourne stormed back with two more goals. The final ended 5-3.
The Mustangs were in a tight game of their own as well and earned a win in the crucial road for 4th place. Andrew Fitzgerald opened up the scoring for Melbourne in the first period and Newcastle equalized it on the powerplay from Jeff Martens. All was quite in the second period except for trips to the box.
The third period was much of the same as both teams battled back and forth evenly. Both goaltenders put on a show to keep the crowd on it’s feet. It looked like we were heading to overtime until Brendan McDowell’s powerplay goal with 29 seconds left sealed the deal for the Mustangs.
In other action Friday night, the Sydney Ice Bears downed the Adelaide Adrenaline 6-4. What a great night of hockey down under.