Toe to Toe with the league leaders - 2nd Aug 2015

Toe to Toe with the league leaders The gallant young Thunder side went toe to toe with league leaders Southern Stampede today and showed they are not far away, eventually losing 8-6

The Thunder roared into the game with goals to Bradley Apps and Luke Pickering to take an early lead and dominate the start of the first period.

Portwood replied immediately to bring the Stampede back into the game. Unfortunately as has happened all season, the tiniest mistake or lapse of concentration has been the Thunders achilles heel all year and were punished again tonight as the Stampede scored 3 unanswered goals to McRae, Schneider and Haines in 2 minutes at the end of the first period to take a handy lead 4-2.

Unlike other games the Thunder didn’t buckle under the pressure and traded goals with the Stampede, Schneider 2 and Portwood for the Stampede and Paris Heyd, Matt Enright and Joe Orr for the Thunder in a thoroughly entertaining 2nd period as both teams tried to gain dominance over each other.

The last period saw goals to Heyd for the Thunder and Mitch Frear for the Stampede but unfortunately the Thunder were unable close the gap.

This was a game dominated by the Stampede imports especially on the power play, as they played 5 imports on their first line power play, resting them for a short shift and throwing them back out onto the ice. This was particularly difficult for the young Thunder to combat, something the Red Devils will have to combat in the finals.

A special thank you must go out to Jaden Pine-Murphy who helped out this weekend in our hour of need, his services where greatly appreciated by the team and management of Dunedin Thunder. Over the weekend Jaden showed his class with his tidy glove work and his amazing shot stopping ability. We would like to wish him all the best for the rest of the season at the Melbourne Ice.

It’s been a tough season for the Thunder as players and supporters. Results have been hard to find, Injuries to key players in a squad light on experience have not helped and with young players comes inconsistent performances, brilliant one week, costly mistakes the next but with 10 players under 21 and at least half of them playing in the top two lines each week they have gained a huge amount of experience over this season. This should see them much more competitive next year if we can keep them together.

Bradley Apps, who the Red Devils hardly used last year has had a brilliant season for the Thunder on the first line scoring 7 goals this season also Joe Orr has bagged 4 goals. Jacob Hurring who has worked tirelessly throughout the season has been rewarded this weekend with his first goal for the season.

The emergence of Tristan Darling, a converted forward, as a solid, no nonsense first line defender has been particularly good to see along with good performances from George Coslett and Dylan Devlin as 2nd and 3rd line defenders means there is much better things to come from this team in the future I’m sure.

Report written by Graeme Darling
Photo - Aitken Photographic

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