Wolves vs Jokers @ Maximum Skate Arena, NARELLAN.
This game was the clash of the leaders. Both teams needing the win to climb to the summit of the X-League before the playoffs. The win would guarantee the top spot. For the Jokers, this game would give them revenge over the last time they clashed, losing the game 4-2, and a chance to claim first spot in the X-League.
The game started right where it left off from the previous clash head to head. Fast, focused and full of passion from both teams. It would be the Wolves to strike first through Ken Taylor. Taking the puck and streaking through the Jokers defense and beating goaltender David Haynes for an early shock to the game. Jokers regathered their defense and went on the attack, taking it to the Wolves and placing them on the back foot. They could not solve Dennis in the first period and it ended 1-0 Wolves. Jokers outshooting the Wolves 8-6.
Wolves seemed to realise the threat from the Jokers and they doubled their efforts early in the second period. Piling the shots on David Haynes, the defense stood tall and withheld the onslaught until finally the Wolves solved the puzzle. Simon Kirkman picked up the puck in the right corner, skated behind the net and saw Gavin Asher sitting on the point. The pass was given and Gavin took a slap shot from the point through traffic and scored to give the Wolves a two nothing lead. Momentum was on their side as the Wolves surged for a third and it came quickly in the form of Ken Taylor’s second of the night. Wrist shot coming from the left side, lifting it up and over on the glove side. This wouldn’t silence the Jokers team who took charge and answered back with their first of the game Michael Peterson walking down the slot unchecked and beating Dennis. 3-1 Wolves at the end of the second. Shots 15 to the Wolves and 14 to the Jokers.
Both teams looked to tire in the third period. The Wolves known for losing some speed and momentum going into this period of play usually didn’t look like it this time. They would score two goals on four shots in the third to take a four goal lead. Goal came from Daniel Bowyer first. Taking the puck across the red line before cutting across to the right side of the rink and firing a wrist shot across goal and beating the goaltender. The next goal would come from a set play. Captain Aaron Brookes taking the puck from his defensive zone across the red line, dropping it to Simon Kirkman who cut behind him, skating forward cutting around the back of the net and finding Ken Novak in the high slot who shot it home. The Jokers never say die attitude showed later in the period. Vince Chung and Michael Petterson creating opportunities with the Wolves defense breaking down. Nervous moments showing how fragile the Wolves can be on ‘D’.
The Jokers carried their momentum into the fourth, piling pressure on and outshooting their opponent six to three in the fourth stanza. Ross Adams and Lee White both setting up plays for big chances from Andrew Reynolds and Vince Chung only to find Dennis standing tall. Their goal would come from Lee White who took a lead pass from Vince Chung and calmly snapping it home to get their second goal of the night. The game would end at 5-2 in the favour of the Wolves.
Simon Says Game Summary:
Both teams fought hard and attacked well. There were moments from both teams when they’d hold possession of the puck for minutes at a time. Both goalies stood out and played exceptionally well under pressure when they needed to come up with big saves. Look to see both teams step it up again in the playoffs starting Tuesday week. The Jokers defense was certainly working hard in the game, the addition of Andrew Reynolds on their ‘D” has bolstered their point, teaming with Michael Petterson, they have become a solid one, two punch on the line to compliment the already strong duo of Michael Barker and Phil Midgley.
Simon Says Stats:
Gavin Asher continued his goal streak to 3 in as many games. Finding his spot on the point now.
Daniel Bowyer continues his impressive goal streak. he is averaging 1.5 goals a game currently.
Both Vince Chung and Lee White have been playing well with both players continuing their personal streaks also. Look out for these two in the playoffs.
Simon Says 3 Stars:
- Dennis Niklayev finished 2 from 25 shots. Coming up with big saves in key moments to keep the Jokers caged.
- Ken Taylor – 2G, 0A, +2 rating, GWG. His teams first shot as well as his own was the difference in this game.
- Simon Kirkman – 0G, 2A, +1 rating. Setting up two goals when needed from his team.