VENUE & DATE: Iceworld Acacia Ridge , Saturday 30th June 2012
LAST TIME: 29/04/12 Blue Tongues def. Bears 7-2 at Sydney Ice Arena
WHAT’S WHAT: Both teams will be coming of consecutive losses when they meet on Saturday evening and so early goals will be vital in restoring confidence and taking an early advantage.
When both teams perform at their best, they have proven that they can take it to the title favourites on any sheet of ice in the country. If both teams can bring this sort of hockey to Acacia Ridge on Saturday, the Brisbane crowd will be in for a treat.
Either side can still make a large impact on the way that the 2012 AIHL Finals will be shaped and themselves, still mathematically in with a shot at the half way point will be keen to begin their run towards the end of the regular season.
The road ahead sees some winnable games for the Sydney side as it does for the Gold Coast franchise who have a very busy month August to prepare for.
WHO’S HOT: For the travelling Bears, the hottest players on their team are also those with the greatest amount of experience. Schlamp, Landa and Rubes are three of the more experience players not just in the Bears lineup but in the league as a whole and at the moment, the trio are on fire.
Landa Schlamp and Rubes sit 8th, 12th and 15th respectively in the overall point scoring standings. The only other teams with three or more players in the top 20 of scoring are the North Stars and Ice.
For the Blue Tongues scoring seems to fall on the shoulders of a tired few and with a heavy schedule ahead, the boys from the sunny state are in for some hard work if they are to feature in the post season. Mike McRae has been doing a lot of the heavy lifting since the departure of ‘Swiss Sensation’ Andreas Camenzind who still sits second on the Blue Tongues scoring charts despite not being recognised by theaihl.com official statistics.
WE THINK: Both teams are going to need wins soon or else risk the fate of becoming irrelevant as far as Goodall Cup calculations go. Finding their rhythm at home has been somewhat troublesome for the Blue Tongues and in this one I can’t see it changing. With the forwards not yet clicking and goalies who can be inconsistent the Blue Tongues are going to struggle. If the Bears can control the neutral ice and keep applying the pressure up front, they take the points. Bears by 2 goals.
by Andrew Hewitt
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