Maple Leafs dominate way into AJIHL Final

The fourth-placed Maple Leafs have dismantled their Sydney rivals, the third-placed Lightning to seal a trip to Melbourne for the final of the inaugural season of the AJIHL. Andrew McMurtry reports.

 

leafs break through

 

The 7-2 win was dominant and comfortable with the Maple Leafs striking early and often, with both Scott Clemie and Tyler Kubara claiming hattricks.

It was a tough day for the Lightning who tried hard but couldn’t come up with any answers to the fast and physical Maple Leafs attack.

Kubara opened the scoring halfway through the first period after an even start to the match, latching onto a pinpoint pass from Captain Jayden Ryan after flying onto the ice from a perfect substitution.

It was quickly added to when Adrian Braun tapped in a pass from Kubara to give the Leafs a 2-0 lead at the break.

After the break, the teams seemed to be feeling each other out again for the opening five minutes, before a flurry of activity.

Kubara continued his goal scoring before the Lightning opened their account 20 seconds later.

While the Lightning goal gave some hope to the higher ranked team, it was swiftly taken away when Kubara scored his third and Clemie his first to take a 5-1 lead with three minutes left.

It may have felt like the game was all but over until Luke Zvonicek gave the Lightning some hope of a miracle, scoring just before the final break.

It was short lived with Clemie completing his hattrick quickly after the break.

The big win, and the 7-3 win for the Red Wings in Melbourne earlier on Sunday has set up a real ‘David and Goliath’ battle for the inaugural AJIHL championship.

The Maple Leafs will have a bigger mountain to climb against the top-of-the-ladder Red Wings, with Jake Burgess rarely troubled between the pipes and the team needing more outstanding performances to have any chance of knocking off the minor premiers.

Andrew McMurtry

Andrew McMurtry

Andrew was born and raised in Western Sydney and grew up on a diet of Rugby League and Cricket. However, after becoming relatively disenfranchised with both sports in the last year or so, he sought out a new favorite sport after a chance meeting with Sydney Ice Dogs and Australian National Team star Scottie Stephenson. Since then, the love for Ice Hockey has grown strong. He joined the Ice Dogs as a journalist and was getting various arrows published in local papers and at AIHL.com but with TOH, he hopes to cover more than just the matches and let the fans into the lives of the players. Andrew recently completed his Honours degree at the University of Western Sydney in October 2011 and has since found a job in journalism, writing for MediaConnect, although a little too much of his time is spent watching and following the New Jersey Devils in the NHL. In his spare time, he writes for FILMINK magazine as a contributing writer and tries to be the best man he can for his beautiful fiancée. Follow Andrew at his twitter account @andrewmcmurtry as he does his part to help Ice Hockey take it’s rightful place in the upper echelons on Australian sport.
Andrew McMurtry

@AndrewMcMurtry

Husband, father, film lover, social media analyst at @PWarehousing, writer at @filmink and editor of @AIHL. Working far too hard! All views are my own.
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