After 3 days of great Junior Hockey it came down to two teams, the Adelaide Generals and The Perth Sharks. The Generals started as favourites after only losing one game in the minor round of the AJIHL completion to the Brisbane Blitz, who were defeated by the Sharks to make the Final!
The game started at a frantic pace with both teams having periods of control and good opportunities until the Sharks took the lead with a goal from Brock Williams, assisted by Campbell & Zhu. The Generals came back with one of their about a minute and a half later with a great goal from Ted Fabijan with the assist coming from Marcel McGuiness and Jake Riley and the game went to the break 1 - 1.
The second period started with a roughing penalty to Lyndon Lodge only half a minute in, but the Sharks managed to hold to Generals power-play off with a couple of great saves by Seb Woodlands. Jake Riley manage to put a short-handed goal past Seb at 11:21 to put the Generals in the lead and at 5:35 Folly grabbed another one assisted by Jordan Brunt and Kyle Clark to take a 3 - 1 lead to the long break.
Perth bought their intensity back after the break and played physical hockey to open the third period, with several good opportunities to score but Forbes-White made some crucial saves. Lyndon Lodge managed to put his second past the Generals Goalie with 9:22 left on the clock, bringing Perth right back into the game, then at 6:51 left Jake Riley, assisted by Zach Boyle & Remy McGuiness stretched the lead to two again! Then less than a minute later Jordan Geyer, Jake Riley & Aaron Grubb combined to grab another for the Generals and give them a handy buffer.
Perth weren’t done though and 30 seconds after the centre ice faceoff, they struck again courtesy of Jake Ruck on the assist from Alistair Punler & Lyndon Lodge making the score 5 - 3. Perth were throwing everything at the Generals when Brock Williams took a hooking penalty with 5:11 left on the clock, giving the Generals a power-play. Seb Woodland for Perth made several desperate save during Perth’s penalty kill and stopped the Generals from going further ahead, but time was now on Adelaide’s side!
The last 3 minutes of the game were intense in both directions, with both Goalies stepping up to the plate in a never say die effort from both teams, but the Generals were in control and managed to hang on to their 5 - 3 lead right up to the end. Both teams had given their all and unfortunately there can only be one winner and when the final siren sounded it was the Generals who invaded the ice, hockey gear flying everywhere in the race to embrace the Forbes-White after his epic effort on net for the Champions saving 33 shots for the game!
“The Generals came to play and left nothing on the ice except guts and determination, Perth is a big hard hitting team and played their physical style” said Coach Neil Boyle. “Our boys had the edge with their speed and agility and were able to control the game against their big defence-men down low and it showed in the score and the number of shots we had on net compared to Perth’s attack”. Boyle added “It was a great effort by the whole team, including those who didn’t hit the ice as much as others, but they are all part of the team and should be proud of their efforts!”
It’s worth mentioning that young Seb Woodlands from South Australia played in net for the Sharks after their Goalie was injured in an earlier game. Seb can hold his head high having only played one other game for the Sharks in their winning semi-final, he performed admirably taking 44 shots for the game!
I watched a lot of Hockey over the 4 days of the tournament in Adelaide and it was great to see the level of play from all teams was so high and that our sport is in great hands with youngsters of this Calibre! A big congratulations has to go to all those involved in the AJIHL for 2016 / 2017 for having the foresight to run with this concept and hopefully they will make this league bigger and better for 2017 / 2018.
SCORING 8:43 - Sharks: Goal - Brock Williams (Assist Jamie Campbell & Oscar Zhu) 7:10 - Generals: Goal - Ted Fabijan (Assist Marcel McGuiness & Jake Riley)
PENALTIES 2:44 - Sharks: Lyndon Lodge - Hooking
SCORING 11:21 - Generals: Goal - Jordan Geyer (Unassisted ) 5:35 - Generals: Goal - Ryan Foll (Assist Jordan Brunt & Kyle Clark)
PENALTIES 19:21 - Sharks: Lyndon Lodge - Roughing 11:49 Generals: Ryan Foll - Holding 2:10 Sharks: Brock Williams - Holding
SCORING 9:22 - Sharks: Goal - Lyndon Lodge ( Assist Jamie Campbell) 6:51 - Generals: Goal - Jake Riley (Assist Zach Boyle & Remy McGuiness) 6:14 - Generals: Goal - Jordan Geyer (Assist Jake Riley - Aaron Grubb) 5:46 - Sharks: Goal - Jake Ruck ( Assist Alistair Pulner & Lyndon Lodge)
PENALTIES 18:45 Generals: Ted Fabijan - Interference 5:11 Sharks: Brock Williams - Hooking
FINAL SCORE - GENERALS 4 - SABRES 1
Shots on Goal 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Generals 11/1 18/2 15/2 44/5
Sharks 10/1 11/0 14/2 35/3
Generals - Glen Forbes-White - 35 shots for 3 goals
Sharks - Seb Woodlands - 44 shots for 5 goals
Referee: David Gal Linesmen: Beth Bowshall & Mitch Kelleher
Timekeeper: Claire Wise Scorer: Nicola Reese