Premier League - Round 11 Game 2
Redwings 7 - Blackhawks 4
Australian ice hockey great Trevor Walsh stepped up with his biggest game of the season as the Adelaide Redwings increased their first place lead with a 7 - 4 win over the Adelaide Blackhawks in Premier League action last Wednesday at Thebarton.
Walshy scored three goals and assisted on a fourth as the Wings improved their record to 8 - 2 - 0 - 1 for 25 points, nine points (three wins) clear of the second place Falcons. The win is the second in as many weeks for the Wings, who went through a chain of three losses in late May, early June.
Tyler Leeming scored two goals and assisted on three others, while young guns Marcel McGuiness and Jake Riley scored single goals to round out the Redwings’ scoring ledger.
Blackhawks’ whizz-kid Zach Boyle fired three goals for the Tribe, giving him a season total of 15, while team mate Mathew Lothian added the fourth goal for the Hawks who with the loss drop to 4 - 7 for 12 points and deadlocked in the third finals spot with the Tigers.
This season Walsh shifted to defense, in an effort both to strengthen the back lines, but also to allow young skaters like McGuiness, Riley, and Grubb, the opportunity to get regular line time in the top division. As expected Walsh’s offensive numbers are down over previous seasons, leaving some to grumble he’s nearing the end of his career.
"Bull dust” said the fiery Wings captain following the win over the Hawks, who in true Reggie Dunlop persona, then fired back at his critics. “I've always been a well-rounded versatile player throughout my playing career. Even at 46 years of age it's still good to show some of the young punks in this league that I'm still Boss!”
Show biz aside, you can love or loath Walsh but you have to hand it to him, he came back to hockey two years ago after being away from the sport for several years and he has lead the Wings to two consecutive South Australian Premierships. Now he's boasting the Wings can “three peat” in September.
“ We're coming down the back stretch of the schedule, and we’re committed to finishing strong. Our young players are coming on and starting to become established players, and that’s always a good thing for both the club and the sport. I'm also happy to see in recent games that our goalie (Andrew Glass) is finally pulling his finger out and finding his game at the right point of the season."
Glass pulled off some key saves to keep the Wings focused, stopping 32 of 36 shots to get the win, while Glen Forbes-White blocked 24 of 31 in the loss.
Walsh, a naturalised Australian formally from Canada is known for his grit and competitiveness. He played three years of Major Junior with both the London Knights and Windsor Spitfires in Canada and 11 years in the Australian National League with the Adelaide Avalanche and one year with the Gold Coast. He also played in two World Championships with the Australian National Team. He was one of the most prolific goal scorers in AIHL history.
He’s a seasoned competitor on and off the ice, who hates to lose (at anything). “I don’t even like losing at trivial pursuit, cards, snakes and ladders, or anything” he said laughing, but regardless of the results on the scoreboard Walshy is optimistic about the future - and the present.
The Redwings will be hoping their recent change of fortunes continue in Premier League when they play the Adelaide Falcons next Wednesday 21 June in the opening 7:45pm match, with the Tigers meeting the Blackhawks in the nightcap 9:30 pm game.
SCORING - Redwings - 8:07-Trevor Walsh (T. Leeming): Redwings - 3:46 - Trevor Walsh (T.Leeming): Blackhawks -1:13 - Zach Boyle (T. Fabijan)
PENALTIES - Blackhawks - 6:53 - Zach Boyle (Elbowing): Blackhawks - 4:08 - Andrew Kowalczuk (Boarding): Redwings - 0:11 - Morgan MacNeil (Hooking)
SCORING - Redwings - 11:58 - Tyler Leeming (D. Gal): Redwings - 9:31 - Trevor Walsh (T. Leeming): Blackhawks - 7:41 - Zach Boyle (J. McDonnell): Redwings - 6:58 - Tyler Leeming (T. Walsh): Blackhawks - 4:13 - Mathew Lothian ( T. Boyd)
PENALTIES - No Penalties
SCORING - Redwings - 11:32 - Marcel McGuiness (unassisted): Blackhawks - 2:26 - Zach Boyle (unassisted):Redwings - 1:33 - Jake Riley (A. Grubb, M. McGuiness)
PENALTIES - Redwings - 6:45 - Aaron Grubb (Roughing): Redwings - 0:46 - Tom Tait (Tripping)
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Redwings 7 12 17 36
Blackhawks 8 14 9 31
GOALKEEPERS - Redwings - Andrew Glass: Blackhawks - Glen Forbes-White
GAME OFFICIALS - Referee - P. Cunningham: Linesmen - Mark Suncyzk & Beth Bowshall
Scorer - Sarah Wise: Time Keeper - Nicola Reese