Premier League - Round 12 Game 1
Redwings 13 - Falcons 11
Adelaide Red Wings forward Dave Gal recently got his hair cut and his new look paid immediate dividends for the Massachusetts native, as he collected three goals and added four assists, leading the Wings to a wild 13 - 11 win over the Falcons in Premier League action last Wednesday at Thebarton.
Fans could always point out Gal at first glance because of his distinctive dreadlocks, fraying out from under his helmet, whether he was playing for the Wings, or blowing his whistle as Referee in Chief for Ice Hockey South Australia. His new image certainly had his teammates talking before and after last weeks Premier League game, and now his opponents will need to do a double take.
In addition to Gal’s seven point night, Tyler Leeming had 2 goals (4 assists), and Trevor Walsh 2 goals (3 assists) for the Wings. Max Rivers picked up his second goal of the season, with Aaron Grubb, Jeff Pellerin, Jake Riley, Marcel McGuiness, and Chris Carrison also adding single tallies.
"The win was great; but it was ugly” said Gal, “but I’ll take an ugly win over a loss every time. Every win is important, but this one over the Falcons was big because we suffered a huge loss (8 - 2 Falcons win, 31- May) to these guys in our last game, so this was a statement to ourselves more than anything”.
The Falcons’ imports Cole MacMillan 4 goals (1 assist), Ales Kratoska 3 goals (2 assists), and Cameron Critchlow 2 goals (4 assists) accounted for most of the offense for Big Blue, with locals Dylan Pope, and Matt Wegener scoring one goal each to round out the scoring.
In a wild opening period both teams came out firing, the Wings out-shooting the Falcons 18 - 14 but the Falcons lit the red lamp six times, and headed to the first intermission with a 6 - 5 lead.
The Wings reversed the tempo in the middle period firing 22 shots at the Falcons young goalie Seb Woodlands, scoring five goals, giving the defending champs a three goal advantage after two periods..
The Falcons refused to cave in, and took the play back at the Wings in the final period, pulling to within one goal as the clock ticked down. Head coach John Botterill elected to pull the goalie for an extra attacker in an effort to equalise, but Walsh took a pass from Leeming and Gal and dumped it into the empty net to seal the win for the Wings.
Gal has moved into the lead in the Premier League scoring ladder, with 14 goals, and 23 assists for 37 points, four points more than team mates Tyler Leeming 17 - 16 - 33, and Steve Best, 16 - 14 - 30, suggesting that maybe there is a personal rivalry within the ranks.
“There is a rivalry to some degree, but at the same time there isn’t” indicated Gal.
“I wasn’t aware of my points totals compared to others on the team, so in that sense there isn’t a rivalry, but there is a competitive spirit on the team to generate the next goal, either by assisting, or scoring.”
“Our offense is a strong asset, and we’re all contribute to the scoreboard in some way. A key element to our success is our team harmony; giving well deserved recognition to players who may not show up on the scoresheet, but who contribute by making a big play either on D, back checking, fore checking, or a good hit”.
“The three other clubs also deserve credit for stepping up this season by improving their line-ups in a bid to beat us. Each team can win on any given night, so our biggest opponent right now is ourselves. That puts pressure on all of us to play better, or suffer the consequences of losing”.
Both goalies had nights they probably wish they could forget, with the Wings Andrew Glass stopping 31 of 41 shots, while Woodlands stopped 34 of 46 shots for the Falcons.
The Wings and Falcons will be back in action on Wednesday 28 June, when the Wings meet the Tigers in a 7:45pm match, and the Falcons facing the Blackhawks in the 9:30pm nightcap.
SCORING - Redwings - 12:36 - Trevor Walsh (T. Leeming, D. Gal): Falcons - 11:20 - Ales Kratoska (A. Zolotarev): Falcons - 7:09 - Cole MacMillan (A. Kratoska, C. Critchlow): Falcons - 6:31 - Cameron Critchlow (R. Melis, C. MacMillan): Redwings - 5:02 - Tyler Leeming (M. MacNeill, A. Wise): Falcons - 4:04 - Cole MacMillan (J. James): Falcons - 3:14 - Dylan Pope (J. James, C. Critchlow): Redwings - 2:46 - Max Rivers (Remy McGuiness): Redwings - 2:26 - Dave Gal (T. Walsh, T. Leeming): Redwings - 2:01- Dave Gal (T. Leeming, T. Walsh): Falcons - 0:25 - Cole MacMillan (A. Kratoska, J.Sinko)
PENALTIES - Falcons - 9:25 - Henry Keene (Holding)
SCORING - Redwings -12:51 - Aaron Grubb (M. Rivers, C. Carrison): Redwings -11:35 - Jeff Pellerin (C. Carrison, J. Riley): Falcons - 9:03 - Ales Kratoska (A. Zolotarev, J. Sinko): Redwings - 4:54 - Jake Riley (A. Pellerin, A. Wise): Redwings - 3:57 - Dave Gal (T. Walsh, M. MacNeill): Redwings - 0:05 -Marcell McGuiness (D. Gal)
PENALTIES - No Penalties
SCORING - Falcons - 9:50 - Matt Wegener (C. Critchlow): Redwings - 6:26 - Tyler Leeming (T. Tait): Redwings - 5:27 - Chris Carrison (D. Gal, A. Wise): Falcons - 3:33 - Cole MacMillan (C. Critchlow, A. Zolotarev): Falcons - 3:14 - Cameron Critchlow (unassisted): Falcons - 1:12 - Ales Kratoska (J. Chester, J. James): Redwings - 0:04 - Trevor Walsh (D.Gal, T. Leeming)
PENALTIES - Falcons -10:33 - Ales Kratoska (Roughing): Falcons - 9:59 - Seb Woodlands (Roughing): Redwings - 5:45 - Remy McGuiness (Holding): Falcons - 5:45 - Matt Wegener (Holding)
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Redwings 18 22 7 47
Falcons 14 12 15 41
GOALKEEPERS - Redwings - Andrew Glass: Falcons - Seb Woodlands
GAME OFFICIALS - Referee - Damien Smith: Linesmen - Jamie Holland & Mark Sunczyk
Scorer - Nicola Reese: Time Keeper - Sarah Wise