VENUE & DATE
Sunday August 3 – 5 pm @ Liverpool Catholic Club, Liverpool, Sydney
With the season winding down for the Knights, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Having been out of the running for quite a few weeks and now on a 15-game losing streak, you would think it would be all the Ice Dogs way. However, the Knights will be hungry to grab a win or two by the end of the season. It’s a danger game for the Ice Dogs, who can’t afford to become complacent against the cellar dwellers, especially as Canberra regularly step up against the Sydney-siders. And the Knights have been holding their own against the Ice, Thunder, Adrenaline and even early against the North Stars last month, even though scores have varied, due mostly to the Knights short benches on the road. Meanwhile, the Dogs are still in the running for first and will want to take this game to either, stay in touch if they lose to the North Stars in Newcastle on Saturday, or to better their position at the head of the ladder should they win.
The Knights have relied on Chris Slauenwhite all year and will have to do so again. The Ice Dogs attack hasn’t been having as many shots as usual so this might make the match closer if the Knights can get plenty of shots on goal. Slauenwhite will do his job, as he has done all year, but it’s up to the defencemen to stand up and the offence to get on the board.
The Ice Dogs have uncovered a reasonably unlikely combination that has the opportunity to turn the competition on its head. Import Simon Barg has been hooking up with Dogs veterans David Dunwoodie and Todd Stephenson to team up in some combination to score 8 out of 16 goals in the Dogs last four games. With these guys playing so aggressively, the Knights will have to watch out.
Although the Knights will be keen for a win, the season is already gone and it wouldn’t be surprising if the Knights again bring a short bench up to Sydney. The Ice Dogs on the other hand are riding high and will want a strong August to be ready for the finals in Melbourne. If the Ice Dogs don’t underestimate the wounded Knights, the home team should come away with a big win which will help their points differential and provide some offensive confidence with September in sight.
By Andrew McMurtry
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