WRAGG STYMIES TIGERS AS HAWKS CLOSE THE GAP IN RACE FOR FIRST
Senior A League - Round 13 - Game 1
Blackhawks 4 - Tigers 1
Goalkeeper Charlie Wragg (pictured) turned in one of the best goalkeeping performances of the IHSA year, stopping all but one shot to lead the Adelaide Blackhawks to a big 4 - 1 win over the Adelaide Tigers in Senior A League action Saturday night at Thebarton.
The match was initially a Round 13 match in the fixture, but had been rescheduled due to other events at the Ice Arena back in early July.
The victory moves the Hawks to within one point of the first place Tigers, while having played one less game. The latest result is the Hawks third win over the Tigers this season and has turned the Senior A League division race into a two team sprint for first.
Meanwhile the remaining three clubs, Falcons, Jokers, and Redwings are also in a hot battle for the third and last playoff spot.
Dan Ricciardi, Ryan MacLean, Dylan Collier, and Connor Oxlad scored for the Hawks, who led 1 - 0 after the first period, and 2 - 1 after two.
Ricciardi put the Hawks into the lead when he socred late in the opening period, but the real story was a series of key saves from Wragg that enabled the Tribe to keep the Tigers’ potent offense off the board.
“Chuckie stood on his head” declared teammate Mike Gainer. “The Tigers had all the play in the first period, but Wragg kept us in there. He played unbelievable”.
Wragg stopped 31 shots to earn the win and he got plenty of accolades in the dressing after the match. Down at the other end of the rink, Tigers' goalie Rusty Brewer also had a busy night stopping 28 of 32 shots fired his way.
The Tigers controlled a good portion of the play in the opening 20 minutes, with several good chances to score but the young goalie closed the door each time.
The Blackhawks then stretched their lead to two goals near the midway point in the second when McLean banged in a setup from Ricciardi and Dave Hancock.
The Tigers’ finally lit the lamp when Dave Seamans managed to grab a loose puck on a rebound in front of the goal and scored the Tigers only goal with 5:24 left in the second period.
“We got off to a slow start and the Tigers came at us strong in the first period, but Charlie really kept us in there, and that continued throughout the game.” said Hawks veteran defenceman Adrian Von Einem. (pictured)
“We're taking each game as it comes, but we believe that if we play our game we can continue winning games, giving us the top spot in the league."
Von Einem is optimistic about the Hawks turnaround after an 0 - 4 start to the season.
“Looking back we have had a very slow start to the season, but In the last two thirds of the season the guys have really gelled and the mood around the locker room is very positive “ said Von Einem
SCORING - Blackhawks - 4:14 - Dan Ricciardi (P.Joyce, I.Lauton):
PENALTIES - No Penalties
SCORING - Blackhawks - 13:48 - Ryan McLean (D.Ricciardi, D. Hancock): Tigers - 5:24 - Dave Seamans (T.Moran)
PENALTIES - Blackhawks - 17:49 - Chad Wilson (Tripping)
SCORING - Blackhawks - 9:43 - Dylan Collier (M. Gainer): Blackhawks - 1:01 - Connor Oxlad (unassisted)
PENALTIES - Tigers - 17:05 - Ryan O'Handley (Interference): Blackhawks - 15:58 - Dan Ricciardi (Holding)
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Blackhawks 9 10 13 32
Tigers 15 7 10 32
GOALKEEPERS - Blackhawks - Charlie Wragg: Tigers - Rusty Brewer
GAME OFFICIALS - Referee – Dave Gal: Linemen - Hayden Crafter & Beth Bowshall
Scorer - Nicola Reese: Time Keeper - Claire Wise