WINGS DEFEAT FALCONS IN FINALS PREVIEW

Premier League - Round 17 - Game 2

Redwings - 8 Falcons 5

Premier League scoring leader Tyler Leeming (pictured) shot two goals and added three assists as the Adelaide Redwings held off the Adelaide Falcons 8 - 5 in Round 17 PL action last Wednesday at the Ice Arena.

The game last week could prove to be a preview of this seasons’ grand final as the IHSA season heads toward finals time. The John Botterill coached Falcons have proven to be the Wings’ biggest opposition this season having beaten the defending premiers twice (one of those wins was in a shoot-out).

Aaron Grubb, Tom Tait, Adam Wise, Steve Best, Marcel McGuiness, and Dave Gal all fired single goals to complete the scoring for the Wings, who improved their first place season mark to 13 - 2 - 0 - 1 for 40 points. The Falcons drop to 7 - 8 - 1 - 0 for 23 points, only two in front of the third place Adelaide Tigers.

Joe Rezek led the Falcons with two goals, while Ales Kratoska, Cole MacMillan, and Dylan Pope added one each.

The Wings led 5 - 2 after the opening period and looked like taking control, but the Falcons played tough, trading single goals with the Wings in the second, the score 6 - 3 after two.

The Falcons tested the Wings in the final period, however it wasn’t until the dying minutes when all the scoring took place. Pope and Rezek bought the Falcons bench alive when they scored with less than three minutes to go to set up an exciting finish.

Leeming however scored at the 1:31 mark to blow out the candle for Big Blue, with Dave Gal adding the eight goal with only seconds left on the clock.

For Leeming the win at this end of the season is exactly what he says the entire team has been aiming for all seasons.

“Heading into the year our goal was always to get back to the championship and win,” he said.

“Clinching first guarantees we’ll be back in the championship, however it also comes with the added danger of picking up bad habits with our last few games and having time off while other teams are battling and playing playoff hockey. We need to focus on the little things and be ready to go in the championship”

His five points against the Falcons moved him into first place in the IHSA Premier League scoring race, with 29 goals and 28 assists for 57 points at an point per game average of 4.38, but still he is only three points in front of team mate Dave Gal (20 - 34 - 54 pointsts). The Falcons’ Cole MacMillan (22 - 16 - 38 points) sit back in third place.

The amazing point to consider about Leeming’s totals is that he missed five weeks of action through injury from Round 6 in mid May until his return in Round 10 on the 7 June.

“I don't think the scoring race is really something our guys think about. After missing a month or so with injury I'm just glad to be back and healthy. I don't get many unassisted points so when I'm scoring it's from a great pass from a teammate.

Obviously you can't get an assist if your teammate doesn't score so I'm lucky to be playing with a lot of great guys who can finish.

“As far as my personal performance goes, my goal heading into the year was always to get back to the championship and win.” he said

The Falcons outshot the Redwings 40 - 24. Andrew Glass was called upon to make several big saves to stop the Falcon’s drive. Seb Woodlands stopped 16 of 24 in the Falcons goal.

Both sides return to action next Wednesday 16 August for Round 18, the Wings final game of the Minor Round, when they play the Tigers in a late 9:30pm match. The Falcons will meet the Blackhawks in the final game of the season for the Hawks in the early 7:30pm start.

GAME SUMMARY

1st PERIOD

SCORING - Redwings - 13:48 - Aaron Grubb (R. McGuiness, A. Wise): Redwings - 9:14 - Tom Tait (M. McGuiness, R. McGuiness): Falcons - 7:59 - Joe Rezek (C. Smith): Redwings - 6:05 - Adam Wise (T. Leeming): Falcons - 4:32 - Ales Kratoska (C. Smith): Redwings - 3:23 - Steve Best (D. Gal, T. Leeming): Redwings - 0:52 - Tyler Leeming (S. Best, A. Wise)

PENALTIES - Redwings - 8:18 - Adam Wise (Slashing): Falcons - 8:18 - Andrew Zolotarev (Slashing): Redwings - 0:28 - Marcel McGuiness (Slashing)

2nd PERIOD

SCORING - Redwings - 10:43 - Marcel McGuiness (A. Wise, M. McNeill): Falcons - 0:03 - Cole MacMillan (Unassisted)

PENALTIES - Falcons - 12:12 - Henry Keane (Hooking): Falcons - 11:35 -Jayson James (Hooking): Falcons - 10:43 - Joe Rezek (Tripping): Redwings - 1:30 - Chris Carrison (Interference)

3rd PERIOD

SCORING - Falcons - 3:03 - Dylan Pope (J. James): Falcons - 1:57 - Joe Rezek (A. Zolotarev, A. Kratoska): Redwings - 1:31 - Tyler Leeming (S. Best, M. McNeill): Redwings - 0:16 - Dave Gal (T. Leeming, R. McGuiness)

PENALTIES - Falcons - 8:11 - Henry Schiansky (Slashing): Redwings - 7:44 - Dave Gal (Hooking): Redwings - 5:34 - Remy McGuiness (Hooking): Falcons - 2:51 - Ambrose Foster (Hooking): Redwings - 0:04 - Aaron Grubb (Slashing)

SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total

Redwings 8 9 7 24

Falcons 15 12 13 40

GOALKEEPERS - Redwings - Andrew Glass: Falcons - Seb Woodlands

GAME OFFICIALS - Referee - Damian Smith, Ian Hunter: Linesmen - Mark Sunczyk & P. Cunningham

Scorer - Claire Wise: Time Keeper - Nicola Reese

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