In the Melbourne AJIHL Semi Final the Red Wings knocked off their local rivals the Blackhawks 7-3 to cement their spot in the inaugural AJIHL Final. Andrew Hewitt with more.
In a matchup that would have been deserving of the AJIHL Final, the Red Wings entered the Semi Final against the Blackhawks as the top team in the league boasting an impressive record against their home town rivals.
It would be a case of the usual suspects when the AJIHL’s leading scorer Brendan McDowell got the Red Wings off to the perfect start when he latched onto a string of assists from Matt Stringer and Chris Fahy just after the ten minute mark. Not without their own firepower, the Blackhawks hit back four minutes later when Jack Carpenter slotted one passed Red Wings goalie Robert Summons.
Carpenter gave the Blackhawks the lead early in the second when he scored on the Power Play following a Matt Stringer roughing penalty. The celebrations were short lived however as the Stringer/McDowell combination once again came through for the Red Wings when they levelled at two and then took a 3-2 lead that they would carry into the final period.
As he had done so many times throughout the AJIHL season, Brendan McDowell took control of the game adding his hattrick goal early on in the final stanza giving the Wings a handy two goal buffer.
Despite a Paul Lazzarotto Power Play goal, the third period belonged to the Red Wings who added three more goals before the final siren sounded including a fourth for Brendan McDowell.
The Blackhawks improved in many areas including their discipline which has been known to be a problem throughout the AJIHL season however McDowell and Stringer’s six point games were too much to deal with.
With the 7-3 result, the Red Wings will be the representatives from Melbourne in the two leg AJIHL Final to be played on the 9th and 10th of March at Melbourne’s Medibank Icehouse.