Skycity emerged the victors (Video)

Coming off a split weekend with one loss and one win in Dunedin, Skycity Stampede were looking to make a statement win against visitors Botany Swarm to open up this weekend’s round. After a rough first period, they tightened up their game and managed just that, defeating the Swarm 6-2.

The Swarm opened up scoring in P1 courtesy of a quick little goal from NZIHL veteran Robin Vortanov. That quick goal seemed to rattle Skycity some as they spent a whopping ten minutes shorthanded in the first. However, around the halfway mark of the period tempers flared and Botany spent their fair share of time in the box as well, leading to a late power play goal for the Stampede. Skycity leading goal scorer Colin McIntosh nabbed the goal. The Swarm, who looked strong to start the period, seemed to just lose cohesion for the final two minutes of play, and the period closed out with some flying end-to-end hockey. With a second left on the clock, Mike McRae snuck one past Swarm goaltender Alain Giauque.

Despite looking sluggish for the first ten minutes of play and taking five penalties, the Stampede went into the locker room at the P1 break up 2-1.

The second period saw the Stampede come out swinging, and they looked a completely different squad compared to when they first took the ice. Harley Anderson notched his first goal of the season, a beauty of a power play goal early on. The Stampede outshot the Swarm 25 to 5 this period, playing with dominance for long stretches. Botany got an opportunity to get themselves back in the game when an incidental collision near centre ice resulted in Stampede’s Mike McRae taking a double minor. Stampede took another penalty right after, giving Botany a coveted 5-on-3 opportunity which they capitalised on. However, despite Alex Mitsionis’ power play goal and that extended Swarm power play, the period ended on a high note for the home team.

As the period wound down, Stampede Captain Matt Schneider collected the puck off a turnover and skated uncontested into the Botany zone, calmly carrying the puck in and patiently outwaiting Giauque. He tucked it in past Giauque’s pad and put Skycity up 5-2 shorthanded.

The final period of play resembled the second moreso than the first. Skycity snatched up an early goal courtesy of a hard-working shift from McRae and McIntosh, which put the home team up 6-2. There were stretches of play where Botany seemed determined to get themselves back into it, but a series of penalties kept them from generating much momentum as well as standout defensive work from Frear, Helmersson, and Argyle. Skycity controlled the flow of the game right up until the final minutes, where tempers threatened to boil over.

Tempers or no, Skycity emerged the victors, 6-2 holding as the final score.

Alain Giauque faced an astounding 51 shots, Aston Brookes facing only 21.

Three stars of the game:

  1. Colin McIntosh: 2G 1A
  2. Mike McRae: 1G 2A
  3. Alain Giauque: 45 save