Stampede keep the pressure on to take second game 11 to 3

Photography by Kate Harrison

Playing their last game at home,  the Red Devils were looking to give their fans some positives to take away for the season and to generate some confidence  that the team will be back stronger next season.  There was indeed some hope half way into the second period when the Devils scored three quick goals to tie the score at 3 all,  but as the game wore on the Stampede pulled out all stops to give them another dominant win, with the final score at 11 to 3,  and shots on goal 59 to 25.

From the beginning of the first period the Devils played with greater intent.  Both the Devils and the Stampede had power plays in the first 9 minutes with a number of good shots on goal, but almost as soon as the Stampede had  5 men on the ice Haines made a short breakaway and scored the opening goal.  This was followed by two quick goals, both by Schneider assisted on the first by McCrae and on the second by Mulder and McCrae to give the Stampede a 3 – 0 lead in the 12th minute.  This was the score at the end of the period, but the Stampede finished with two players in the penalty box for slashing.

The Red Devils opened the third period with a 5 on 3 power play, and the Stampede surprisingly changed goalies putting Swirtz in the net.  With the two man advantage Tonks scored a tight goal from the right side of the net, opening the scoring for Canterbury.  When play resumed, the Stampede gave up another penalty and the Devils continued with a 2 man advantage and were able to capitalize with Eaden scoring their 2nd goal assisted by Banks and Lane.  Less than a minute later a turnover on the blue line saw Apps race down the ice and score a fine breakaway goal to even the score at 3 – 3.  A short time later,  the Stampede called a time out as both the partisan crowd and the Devils sensed an upset in the making.  Four minutes of power play to the Red Devils saw a lot of pressure from the Devils and some good shots on goal, but better tending by Swirtz left the Devils unrewarded.  Now it was the Devils who gave up two penalties to give Stampede a 5 on 3 advantage and Schneider picked up a rebound in front of goal to make his hat trick for the game, and give Stampede a 1 goal lead.  Another hooking penalty gave Stampede a further period of 5 on 3 play which resulted in Helmersson  sending a big shot almost from the blue line over the goalies left shoulder quickly taking the score to 5 – 3 to Stampede.  The Devils fight-back was well and truly stymied as Schneider scored his 4th and 5th goals, assisted by Mulder and McCrae respectively, to give Stampede a 7 – 3 scoreline at the end of the period.

The third period opened with some spirited play from Canterbury but it was eventually all one way traffic on the scoreboard.  Adam Soffer scored two goals in the 9th minute off a rebound, and in the 12th minute off a slick pass by Mulder.  In the 16th minute Schneider scored his 6th goal of the game off a deflection on a shot by McCrae, and Frear topped off the scoring in the 57th minute with a similar deflection from a shot by Haines.

Two strong wins this weekend sees the Stampede heading  back to Queenstown in great shape for the first home final against the West Auckland Admirals.  For Canterbury, two games yet to be played against the Dunedin Thunder will be a last chance to find a little more rhythm and achieve a little personal redemption for the season.

Game report by Geoff Bland