Another full weekend of action can turn everything on its head as the Dundalk Bulls have the weekend off. Saturday night sees the Dublin Rams take on the Flyers I.H.C. in the first of IIHL games this weekend. That is followed by the IIHL Development Division game between the Latvian Hawks and Dublin Wolves. The first game faces off at 20:00 p.m. while the second game will go straight afterwards, face off is scheduled for 22:30 p.m. The third game is on Sunday with the Latvian Hawks taking on the Belfast City Bruins. This game faces off at 16:30 p.m. and as of course all games will take place at Dundalk Ice Dome.
First up is the clash between the Rams and Flyers. The Rams are coming off an impressive 8-5 victory over the Latvian Hawks having suffered the toughest defeat of the season a few weeks earlier. In the first game back after the Christmas break, a short benched Bulls team took on a short benched Rams team. The result was 32-4 in favour of the Bulls and was described by some a “Turkey Shootout.” However, against the Hawks they had more of their players back from their Christmas breaks and looked more like the team from earlier on in the season. This week, more of those players are due to be back including Eric Tobia who is without a doubt the best goaltender in the league. The Flyers have their work cut out.
The Flyers are coming off a two week break following a heavy defeat at the hands of the Dundalk Bulls. The Flyers were short benched and down some key players but they were simply outplayed by the Bulls. The Bulls won 21-1. This week, those key players are expected to return including marksmen Sandor Szabi and Dave Donaldson. They will be needed if the Flyers have any hope of scoring against the Rams tough and physical defence and excellent netminder. Although the Flyers have shown that they are continuing to get better and better every week with some key additions to their line up. This along with the improved performances of former national team players O’Connor Lyne, Patrick McCabe and Steven Cooper. Steven was on the squad last April but all of them will be hoping to make the team this coming April.
Expect the game to be a close one with hard hits, impressive goaltending and jaw dropping skill. The Flyers need to win their three remaining games and hope other results go their way to be in with any chance of claiming 2nd place. The Rams need to win this one to ensure 2nd place is theirs ahead of both the Flyers and Bruins. The game on Sunday will also affect the final standings as the Hawks are the one team that can throw a spanner in the works of the three teams fighting for 2nd. They’ve been improving vastly since the start of the season and have been getting closer and closer to that first win. They’ve had close games with both the Rams and Flyers and would love to finish the season on a high. Expect this battle for 2nd place to be a close one over the last few weeks with everybody stepping up their game.
The second game that evening is an IIHL Development Division clash between the Latvian Hawks ‘B’ and Dublin Wolves. The Wolves sit second in the table 4 points behind the Storm with 2 games in hand. When the teams come level on games played, the Wolves are expected to overtake the Storm, albeit only by 2 points. However before that, they must take on the Hawks ‘B’ who currently sit in 6th with 6 points. A win would take them into 4th place ahead of both the Ravens and Eagles on goal difference. The Hawks ‘B’ are the underdogs but they must be up for a fight as they certainly don’t want to be in the same position as their ‘A’ team equivalent. Expect the Wolves to win with their talented squad but the Hawks ‘B’ fight and have their gems in their team as well. Also, expect the Hawks ‘B’ fans to give their team the necessary edge needed.
Both games take place in the Dundalk Ice Dome with the Dublin Rams v Flyers I.H.C. facing off at 20:00 p.m. Entry is € 8 for adults and € 5 for children under 16 years of age. The Latvian Hawks ‘B’ then take on the Dublin Wolves in the IIHL Development Division with face off scheduled for 22:30 p.m. Admission is free for this one so why not stay around and enjoy both games.
See you there!