Medibank Melbourne Ice, traveled to Western Australia on the long weekend to test league hopefuls the Perth Thunder, bank some knowledge around logistics for season 2012 and give some of our younger Academy players valuable ice time as they work their way into the regular line up.
Game 1 on Saturday, was a tight, close, physical, fast paced encounter where, experience decided the result in front of a capacity crowd at Cockburn Ice Arena. ICE skated with 4 Academy players in the line up and all 4 players saw plenty of ice time, with coach Vigon mixing up the usual line combinations in an effort to find chemistry amongst the players.
The highlight of the match was Chris Wong scoring his first AIHL goal. Chris stayed with the play and went to the net hunting down a perfect pass before one timing it clean past the Thunders import goalie. We are yet to have it confirmed but Chris Wong may be the youngest player in the AIHL to score a goal. ICE skated to a 4-3 victory in front of a sell out crowd.
Game 2 on Sunday, was completely different, the ICE skated to a comfortable 3-0 lead over the first 2 periods, before waking up Thunder who romped home netting 6 goals to take the win in the final period. The crowd was deafening and there was no question that Perth Thunder had proven what many expected, they are AIHL ready. The young local players really stood out, combined with some senior experienced players and quality imports this side is dangerously fast, skilled and focused.
The Academy players again played exceptionally well and by the end of the game coach Vigon had them on the ice working as an entire forward line.
Medibank Melbourne Ice would like to thank Stan Scott and the entire Perth Thunder Club for their amazing hospitality and dedication to ensuring the weekend ran as smoothly as possible. Both on and off the ice, Perth Thunder is well organised and prepared.