INDEPENDENT NEWS

Australia Take Out Ice Hockey Championship in Style

Published: Mon 22 Aug 2011 12:17 PM
Australia Take Out Ice Hockey Championship in Style
Dunedin New Zealand (August 21, 2011) The Australian ice hockey team left no doubt tonight who deserved to take out the Ice Hockey Championship at the 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games when they beat New Zealand 4-1. Australia dominated throughout with superior skills and stick work but the Kiwis did not go down without fighting.
The Ice Blacks spent most of the first period on defence and only conceded one goal to Australia which came in the 12th minute when Scott Levitt waited patiently for the right opportunity to strike and put one past New Zealand goaltender Zac Nothling. Braden Lee had the best scoring opportunity for the Ice Blacks but could not break through goalie Matt Ezzy.
The second period saw an increase in intensity but penalties on New Zealand hurt with too much time in the penalty box providing opportunities for Australia to score three times. The Kiwi shots on goal all came in a flurry with Matt Ezzy having to make some big saves.
The score was 4 -1 heading into the third period and the Ice Blacks shot out of the box looking like they meant business and 33 seconds later Braden Lee scored New Zealand’s only goal. The rest of the period was scoreless with play often tied up on the corners.
With 6 imports in the Australian team, experience was definitely on their side and contributed to Australia’s superb control and efficient teamwork.
Both goaltenders had impressive performances making some spectacular saves. Matt Ezzy with 28 and Zac Nothling 13.
Australian Captain, Scott Stephenson, was pleased with his team’s solid win and paid tribute to the Ice Black’s performance. “It was a physical game. The Ice Blacks were always hard hitting and they never quit. It’s been great to be part of this international championship at the Winter Games”.
Following the game Ice Blacks Captain, Cory Down, announced that he was retiring from Ice Hockey after 12 years in the sport. “I feel it is a good time to go, particularly after our performance at the World Champs. There are younger guys coming through who played with intensity today against a classy team, I think ice hockey in New Zealand has a positive future.”
Goal Scorers for New Zealand were: Braden Lee
Goal Scorers for Australia were: Scott Levitt, Scott Stephenson, Peter Cartwright, Scott Corbett.
The 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games ice program me continues on Saturday August 27 at the Dunedin Ice Stadium with Speed Skating.
ends

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