IHSA Premier League - Round 8 Game 1
Blackhawks 3 - Redwings 2
Redwings' Marcel McGuiness (11) and Blackhawks' Mike Gainer (49) [Photo by Ian Thurston]
The Adelaide Blackhawks have pulled off the biggest upset of the Premier League season, winning a close fought 3-2 victory over the first place Adelaide Redwings, Wednesday night at Thebarton.
The victory was the Hawks’ first top division win over the Wings in over two seasons, and has rejuvenated the Tribe from pretenders to possible contenders as the season unfolds. Meanwhile, the defending Premiers, have now lost their last two minor round games, following a shoot out setback to the Falcons in Round 7.
“The game was played more on our terms as we are a more defensive physical team then a high scoring team so a 3 - 2 score line felt good” said a jubilant Mike Gainer, a Blackhawks stalwart over several years. “It was a great team win!”
Exciting young defenceman Zach Boyle led the Hawks with two goals, with Luke Harding adding the other Hawk tally. IHSA leading scorer Steve Best and the speedy Jake Riley notched the goals for the Wings.
The Hawks jumped to a quick two goal lead in the first period when Boyle scored an unassisted marker, and then import Casey Babineau fed Harding with a nice crisp pass, sending the lanky forward in on a breakaway where he released a nifty snap shot that beat Redwings goalie Andrew Glass up high, putting the Hawks up 2 - 0.
The Wings responded with two goals to tie the game in the middle period, only to have the Tribe regain the lead with a late goal just before the second period buzzer. Both teams battled it out in a scoreless final frame, the Wings pressing hard to equalise, but the Hawks held on to claim their biggest scalp in many moons.
The recent addition of Babineau to the lineup has given the Hawks "new life" with the smooth skating defenceman showing plenty of poise, quarterbacking the forwards with great setup passes and also anchoring the defence.
"Having Casey (Babineau) has been a great lift” added Gainer. “With most clubs having an import or two on their rosters, we needed someone of his calibre in order to be competitive with the other three Premier League teams. He is also a great guy to have in the locker room.”
Babineau hails from Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada and was recruited by the Adelaide Adrenaline to play in the Australian Ice Hockey League this season. He has previously played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League with the Rimouski Océanic, and most recently with the University of Prince Edward Island where he was a team mate of fellow Adrenaline import Cole MacMillan.
Wednesday's win improves the Hawks record to 3 - 5 and moves them into a tie for second place with the Adelaide Tigers on 9 points, although both the Falcons and Tigers have one game in hand. The Wings drop to 6 - 1- 0 - 1 but maintain a healthy 10 point lead in first place, ahead of the Tigers and Hawks in second place, while the Falcons are close behind on 8 points. The Round 8 Game 2 clash between the Falcons - Tigers had to be abandoned after one period due to poor ice conditions. The game will be replayed at a later date.
Both goalies, Glen Forbes-White for the Blackhawks, and Glass for the Wings were called upon to make several key saves during the game, with Forbes-White stopping 24 of 26 shots to record the win, while Glass blocked 22 of 25 drives for the Redwings.
Premier League action is back on again next Wednesday 31 May with the Blackhawks facing the Tigers at 7:45pm, and then the Wings facing off with the Falcons in the nightcap starting at 9:30pm.
WINGED WHEELS - Word from the Redwings is that forward Anthony Browne won't be returning for the rest of the season, after being diagnosed with a first degree strain in his ACL and LCL as well as torn meniscus which requires surgery. Canadian /Aussie Tyler Leeming is expected back in the line up next week, after missing recent action with an arm injury suffered playing lacrosse.
SCORING - Blackhawks - 7:03 - Zach Boyle (unassisted): Blackhawks - 4:32-Luke Harding (C. Babineau)
PENALTIES - Blackhawks - 8:34 - Tyson Boyd (Tripping)
SCORING - Redwings -13:58 - Steve Best (A. Grubb, M. Rivers): Redwings - 4:30 - Jake Riley (C. Carrison, M. McGuiness): Blackhawks - 0:22 - Zach Boyle (C. Babineau)
PENALTIES - No Penalties
SCORING - No Scoring
PENALTIES - Blackhawks -10:39 -Tyson Boyd (Slashing): Blackhawks - 7:21 - David Fowler (Hooking): Redwings - 7:21 - Steve Best (Slashing)
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3 rd Total
Blackhawks 8 6 11 25
Redwings 8 11 7 26
GOALKEEPERS - Blackhawks - Glen Forbes-White: Redwings - Andrew Glass
GAME OFFICIALS - Referee - Drew Maltby: Linesmen - Dave Gal & Damien Smith
Scorer - Nicola Reese: Time Keeper - Sarah Wise