Round three of the AWIHL, saw Melbourne Ice Women host the North Star Sirens in a challenging two day double header at Medibank Icehouse with the Melbourne side taking away full points. Jessica Cannizzaro reports.
With the puck dropped, Saturday’s game saw Canadian import Frances McPhail score within the first three minutes for the home side, followed by a close-in shot by Rylie Padjen and 10 minutes into the game the scoreline already read 2-0. Firing up early, the Melbourne Ice produced continued pressure and finished the first period 5-0 with a brace to McPhail and singles to Nicole Tritter and Lucy Parrington.
With the North Star Sirens hoping to find some momentum at the start of the second period something needed to change, however it was the speed and efficiency of Melbourne’s forward line that saw Padjen and Tritter add their second goals and Sarah Teed taking her first of the game within the first 12 minutes of the 2nd period.
Despite the scoreboard reading 7-0 North Star Goalie, Sera Dogramaci held her position strong, displaying some great saves, doing her best to keep the Melbourne Ice onslaught to a minimum.
The start of the third saw both the Ice and Sirens’ defence holding strong, however just after the 6 minute mark Tritter scored herself a hat-trick then adding her fourth 5 minutes later.
Dogramaci had a tough day in the crease having over 50 shots fired in her direction and did well to stop as many as she did.
Despite the loss on the previous night, the North Star Sirens looked more determined to take their best to the Melbourne Ice on Sunday afternoon with game two the weekend kicking off.
Scoring may not have been as easy to come by compared to Saturday’s encounter however the slow start from both teams in terms of attacking was well complemented with both teams holding strong defensive lines.
It wasn’t until the last 3 minutes of the first period that saw Melbourne’s Captain Shona Green open up the scoring as she put the home side ahead. This was followed by a great last minute unassisted goal to Frances McPhail leaving the scoreboard at the end of the first period reading 2-0.
The second period saw the Sirens take their first goal of the weekend despite some confusion with a whistle being blown after the goal had been scored. After some deliberation it was great to see Sharna Godfrey put the Sirens on the scoreboard.
Determined to fight back, Godfrey scored on the very next play, levelling the scores at 2 which got the Sirens’ bench on their feet.
Not losing hope, Melbourne Ice showed their fight and with goals from McPhail and Green the scoreboard read 4-2 in favour of the home side after the second.
With the Sirens’ forwards starting to find some form up front and defence proving stronger in one on one battles, the action on the ice was more challenging at the start of the third Period.
The skills and great team work of the Melbourne women however saw the game finish 6-2. With late Goals to the Ice’s Tritter and Green, the defensive pressure of Melbourne Ice proved to be too strong for the Sirens.
Speaking to Melbourne’s Goalie Georgina Carroll after Sunday’s game, she told HSN that the phrase ‘there’s no I in TEAM’ actually has a lot of merit amongst this talented group of women.
“We have a goal that no individual stands out and we play as a whole team and its genuine in this case … our aim is to play the systems and that way we never refer to who’s doing what, it’s what position you’re playing and what job you’re doing”
North Star Sirens, Assistant Coach Andrew Reynolds also spoke to HSN post game
“Despite missing some key players from the weekends matches we were able to make do with what we had and what we tried to do, and the girls still put on a stellar performance”
Although going down heavily this weekend Reynolds was keen to reassure Sirens fans and their opposition that every team can be beaten on the day
“Everyone makes the finals and what really matters in this competition is the two games in the end and whether your there at the end and what you do at the end and no one remembers what happens right now so for us its development for those two games”
By Jessica Cannizzaro
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