Over­time goal ices it for WA

Melville Times - - SPORT -

THE WA men’s ice hockey team have been crowned na­tional cham­pi­ons af­ter a hard-fought com­pe­ti­tion on home ice.

Cock­burn Ice Arena hosted the an­nual Jim Brown Na­tional Cham­pi­onship last week, which saw teams from five states com­pete for the ti­tle.

WA’s tilt got off to a shaky start when they came up against reign­ing cham­pi­ons Queens­land in Wed­nes­day’s open­ing round.

The home team started strongly with the only goal in the first pe­riod cour­tesy of Chris Mof­fatt, but Queens­land scored two quick goals in the sec­ond to go 2-1 up be­fore WA were able to tie the game up in the fi­nal minute through Zane Cun­liffe.

De­spite WA’s ef­forts, pe­riod three be­longed to Queens­land, who scored an­other two goals to take out the 4-2 win.

Thurs­day’s first game went more to script for WA, who se­cured a 5-3 win against Vic­to­ria with goals to Jor­dan Grover, Kalin Njirich, Kieren Web­ster, Kaden Goulds and Cun­liffe.

Two sec­ond-pe­riod goals to WA’s Cun­liffe and Grover had them tied 2-2 with NSW at the end of reg­u­la­tion time the same day, but NSW proved to have the ac­cu­racy in front of goal late to win 3-2 in shootout.

It was Fri­day’s fi­nal round-robin game against South Aus­tralia where WA re­ally shined, smash­ing their op­po­nents 13-3.

In an all-around team ef­fort, Cun­liffe, Grover, Mof­fatt, Tomek Sak and Liam Jef­fries scored two a piece, while Goulds, Kyle MacPhail and Jaymie Mc­Don­nell also found the back of the net.

Back against the reign­ing premiers in the semi-fi­nal, WA came out of the blocks fir­ing, smoth­er­ing Queens­land in a com­pre­hen­sive 6-0 vic­tory.

Satur­day’s grand fi­nal match against NSW was the tight­est and low­est scor­ing game of the com­pe­ti­tion, with reg­u­lar time fin­ish­ing with a score­less draw.

It took some over­time hero­ics from Grover to score the game’s soli­tary goal to give the cham­pi­onship win to WA.

WA (black and gold) in their 13-3 vic­tory against SA (red).

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