Canterbury Red Devils take out second game 6 – 4 (Video)

There was more purpose and urgency in the Red Devils effort in the second game against the Dunedin Thunder today at the Alpine Ice Sports Centre.   The intensity was most obvious in the action packed second period in which Canterbury scored 5 of their 6 goals.

The first period started in much the same way as yesterday’s game with good attacking play by both teams stymied by vigorous defence. In the first half of the period Canterbury were often pinned down inside their blue line and when the breakouts came they were short lived without much penetration of Thunder territory.

However, a bad pass by Thunder led to a quick breakout by Canterbury which culminated in their first goal of the game scored by Kyle Nash and assisted by Bradley Apps and Dean Tonks,  just on 9 minutes into the game.   A late hooking penalty saw Canterbury take the first and only power play in the period but apart from a stinging shot that struck the top post, no strong scoring opportunities came for Canterbury.

In the second period the intensity and pace of the game picked up with both goals and penalties aplenty.  Just on the second minute of the period Canterbury won a faceoff inside the Thunder blue line, Luke Hall passed back to defenseman Robert Banks whose powerful slap shot found the back of the net.   Thunder looked a little desperate at this stage and Joseph Orr was served a minor penalty for checking to the head as well as a ten minute penalty for misconduct.  Again, Canterbury were unable to make the best of the power play. A few minutes later Juris Berzins and Paris Hyde combined in a fine rush along the right side boards which resulted in an excellent comeback goal for Thunder.  However, less than two minutes later both defensemen for Thunder were unable to stop Dean Tonks as he worked the puck across in front of the goal and scored unassisted to put Canterbury 3 – 1 up.

With half the period gone, Thunder rebounded with a good period of play with persistent pressure leading to a near miss on goal by Paris Hyde which hit the top post.  A slashing penalty on  Canterbury gave Thunder their first power play of the game which was well defended by Canterbury with only one good shot on goal but several unpopular offside calls.  A following unsuccessful  power play opportunity for Canterbury was soon forgotten as Dean Tonks scored a fine backhand goal from an assist by Chris Eaden taking Canterbury out to a 4 – 1 lead.

Thunder were rattled and a 10 minute penalty came immediately after this goal for abuse of the game officials.  A minute later another Devils goal was scored by Bradley Apps with an assist by Dean Tonks.  With the score now 5 – 1, Thunder called a timeout and replaced goalie Daniel Lee with Kane Eastbrook.   With just two minutes left in the period Canterbury took the puck behind the Thunder net before Chris Eaden scored Canterbury’s 6th goal.  There was still fight in Thunder and within a minute of the faceoff, their captain, Paris Hyde, had scored at the other end with the assist coming from Jacob Herring. The period ended with the score at 6 – 2 to the Devils.

In a more scrappy third period Canterbury seemed content to play a defensive game, making occasional flying breakouts on turnovers inside their own zone.  The late action in the game came from the Thunder’s first line of Paris Hyde, Jacob Hurring and Juris Berzins who between them scored goals in the 9th and 17th minutes of the period to bring the score to 6 – 4, giving them a sniff of the kind of upset that had occurred the day before.  Perhaps a little anxiously Canterbury called a time out to take stock, and soon after play resumed Thunder pulled their goalie – but to no avail; the score remained 6 – 4 to Canterbury.

Game report by Geoff Bland, 25th June 2017