FALCONS CLINCH FINALS BERTH WITH SHOOTOUT WIN OVER TIGERS
Senior B League - Round 17 - Game 1
Falcons 2 - Tigers 1 (Shoot-Out)
Justin Finlay-Smith scored what turned out to be the deciding goal in the over-time shoot out to give the Adelaide Falcons a hard fought 2 - 1 win over the Adelaide Tigers in Senior B League action Sunday night at the Ice Arena.
The victory secures the Falcons the third and final playoff spot in the four team ladder, the win giving them 14 points, a five point lead over the fourth placed Blackhawks. With one round remaining the Hawks have been eliminated from finals contention.
Both clubs skated through two scoreless periods, but then Meggie Ayris put the Falcons on the scoreboard when she took a pass from Christian Murdoch and beat the Tigers goalie Justin Ruston near the midway mark in the third.
It looked very much like the Falcons would sneak away with a one goal win until Simon Kelly scored the equaliser for the Tigers with just three minutes left on the clock.
Regulation time ended with both teams deadlocked, sending the game to an overtime shoot out, where Finlay-Smith's shot proved to be the decider on the Falcons third attempt.
The victory improved the Falcons record to 4 - 12 - 1 - 0 for 14 points and third place on the ladder, enough to qualify for the finals series against the second place Tigers, who dropped to 11 - 5 - 0 - 2 for 35 points with the setback to the Falcons.
The Tigers outshot the Falcons 28 - 25 with Justin Ruston stopping 23 shots in the loss for the Tigers, and Paul “Crackers” Cracknell ( pictured) making 27 saves to earn the win for the Falcons.
SCORING - No Scoring
PENALTIES - Falcons - 17:43 - Orville Hildebrand (Tripping): Falcons - 10:32 - Christian Murdoch (Boarding): Falcons - 2:22 - Orville Hildebrand (Roughing)
SCORING - No Scoring
PENALTIES - Falcons - 16:54 - Dave Castledine (Hooking): Falcons - 14:37 - Jacob Symonds (Charging): Tigers - 14:37 - Jeremy Klien (Roughing): Falcons - 14:37 - Jacob Symonds (Roughing): Falcons - 14:37 - Jacob Symonds (Misconduct): Falcons - 7:43 - Justin Finlay - Smith (Roughing)
SCORING - Falcons - 13:45 - Meggie Ayris (C. Murdoch): Tigers - 3:03 - Simon Kelly (M. Thurston, M. Peacock)
PENALTIES - Tigers - 7:53 Darrin Roetsch (Tripping): Falcons - 5:40 - Orville Hildebrand (Slashing)
Over Time Shoot Out
SCORING - Falcons - Justin Finlay-Smith (unassisted)
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Tigers 10 8 10 28
Falcons 6 8 10 24
GOALKEEPERS - Tigers - Justin Ruston: Falcons - Paul Cracknell
GAME OFFICIALS - Referee - Hayden Crafter: Linesmen - Ian Hunter & Mark Sunczyk
Scorer - Nicola Reese: Time Keeper - Claire Wise