Premier League - Semi Final - Game 1
Tigers 10 - Falcons 7
The Adelaide Tigers have drawn first blood in the Premier League Semi Final Series, coming away with a stunning 10 - 7 triumph over the highly favoured Adelaide Falcons Wednesday night at the Ice Arena.
The Tigers take a one game lead in the Best of Three Series into Game 2 slated for Sunday evening at Thebarton.
The Falcons came into Game One as heavy favourites, but some last minute scratches, namly scoring machine Cam Critchlow (interstate), along with Czech stars Ales Kratoska (injured) and Joey Rezek (personal), meant the Tigers had an opportunity to cash in on their rivals.
Both sides got off to a somewhat sloppy defensive start in the opening period, with both teams scoring four goals each to end the first deadlocked and the fans looking for more in the second.
Jamie Holland (pictured) and Ryan Foll led the Tigers attack with three goals each, with Holland adding three assists to his six point tally.
Andrew Stapleton also had a big night adding two goals and an assist, with Kayne Fedor, one goal and three assists, and Matt Turner a single goal.
Cole MacMillan was the top shooter for the Falcons, scoring four goals, with Quenton Tombleson contributing two goals and an assist, and Corey Smith a single marker.
“We did what we needed to do to stay in the game” said Holland, “ we knew if we stayed in there early and matched it with them, we’d have a chance to win.”
“We always seem to play our best hockey at finals time and I think that comes down to the overall amount of experience on the team. We (Tigers) have played in the last seven Grand Finals, so we know what’s needed”.
"I was happy with my game, it’s always nice to contribute, but the important thing is the team won, so I’m happy overall, but it's only one out of a potential six finals games, so we have to be ready for the games ahead, starting this Sunday.”
As always, the Falcons played a tough style game, although they were without the services of international guns Critchlow, Kratoska, and Rezek, whose presence on the ice no doubt would have made things tougher on the Tigers. Team officials expect all three back in the lineup for Sunday's game.
The Tigers turned on the pressure in the second and third periods, outscoring the Falcons 3 - 2 in the middle frame and finishing off outscoring Big Blue three goals to one in the final 20 minutes.
The Tigers outshot the Falcons 47 - 26 with Rusty Brewer blocking 21 shots to record the win in goals for the Gold n' Black, while Falcons puck stopper Ian Hunter made 37 stops in his end of the rink.
“I felt really good out there tonight” replied Ryan Foll (pictured), “ it was nice to get a full team together for the semi, we have a good core bunch of players when everyone shows up and it was a complete team effort tonight”.
“I've started to find the back of the net more towards the end of the season and I came into tonight with a lot of confidence. I was creating a lot more space for my self in the open areas of ice and it was nice to put a few in the net”
“We took a lot more shots than in previous games , but tonight we had over 40 something and ofcourse that helps improve your chances of scoring” continued Foll, the 2016-17 Australian Junior Ice Hockey League scoring champion.
“Everyone showed up for the biggest game of the year so far, and we’re ready to continue the hard work on Sunday.”
Game Two of the Best of Three Premier League Semi Final Series is Sunday 3 September at 3:45pm. Reserve your seats!
SCORING - Falcons - 14:33 - Cole MacMillan (Q. Tombleson, J. Geyer): Tigers - 11:18 - Kayne Fedor (R. Foll, J. Keane): Falcons - 9:58 - Corey Smith (unassisted): Tigers - 8:57 - Jamie Holland (unassisted): Falcons - 8:23 - Cole MacMillan (unassisted): Tigers - 6:12 - Ryan Foll (unassisted): Falcons - 4:39 - Quenton Tombleson (R. Melis): Tigers - 4:18 - Jamie Holland (L. Jenning)
PENALTIES - Falcons - 12:53 - Matt Wegener (Unsportsmanlike)
SCORING - Falcons - 8:33 - Cole MacMillan (J. James): Tigers - 3:59 - Ryan Foll (K. Fedor): Tigers - 3:21 - Ryan Foll (J. Holland, K. Fedor): Falcons - 1:31 - Quenton Tombleson (C. MacMillan): Tigers - 0:32 - Andrew Stapleton (J. Holland)
PENALTIES - Tigers - 13:46 - Glen Foll (Roughing): Falcons - 13:46 - Ian Hunter (Roughing): Falcons - 2:05 - Corey Smith (Tripping): Falcons - 0:13 - Jayson James (Interference)
SCORING - Tigers - 13:53 - Andrew Stapleton (J. Holland, K. Fedor): Tigers - 12:59 - Jamie Holland (J. Keane, A. Stapleton): Tigers - 9:08 - Matt Turner (J. Keane): Falcons - 4:33 - Cole MacMillan (J. James)
PENALTIES - Falcons - 1:12 Tigers - 1:12
SHOTS ON GOAL 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Falcons 10 10 6 26
Blackhawks 14 14 19 47
GOALKEEPERS - Falcons - Ian Hunter: Tigers - Rusty Brewer
GAME OFFICIALS - Referees - Sunczyk & Mike Gainer: Linemen - Hayden Crafter & Dave Gal
Scorer - Nicola Reese: Time Keeper - Claire Wise