The highlight of the IIHA (Irish Ice Hockey League) this weekend was the clash between the two unbeaten teams in the new league. The visiting Dublin Rams vs. the host team the Dundalk Bulls.
In a feisty opening period the Bulls seemed to be more interested in physically punishing the Rams than playing hockey and the score remained tied at 0-0.
The Rams Eric Tobia brilliantly saved a breakaway when it looked more likely that the Bulls Bill McKiernan would open the score for the home team. Certainly The Rams goalie Tobia was the difference between the two teams making save after saves to keep the Rams in the hunt.
The second period saw the Bulls finally hitting the mark. Two goals in quick succession the first Bill McKiernan after four minutes into the period and the second only 13 seconds later by Robert Grochowicz broke the ice for the home team. Captain Kenny Redmond scored his first and the Bulls third goal of the night.
It then seemed open season on the brilliant goalie Eric Tobia with first Bill McKiernan, embarrassingly shutout by Tobia on three clear breakaways, who finally got lucky with the Bulls fourth goal.
David Clarke and the Bulls “Man of the Match” Robert Grochowicz getting his hat trick on 37.49 on the middle stanza to leave the score 6-0 at the end of the period.
The final period continued as the middle stanza finished with the Bulls barging the Rams nets with scores from Kenny Redman, and Vytautas Lukoseuicius to take the Bulls into a commanding 8-0.
The game continued at a furious pace with both teams not asking or giving any quarter. The Bulls Vytautas Lukoseuicius decided to mix it up with anyone that he could get a piece of including the referees who he scuffled with in the melee.
The Bulls had the last shout with Eric Hogberg netting their ninth of the evening to a home crowd rapturous cheer. Then the game continued in a downward spiral of bad temper with the Bulls who clearly had the game won with the score line of 9-0.
The home team then unceremoniously decided to take revenge on their Dublin visitors for reasons best known to themselves. The Rams continued to play disciplined hockey entertaining the crowd with their developing and improving skills whilst the Bulls tended more towards sin bin hockey.