The Dundalk Bulls laid claim to the IIHL Recreational Division trophy after a marathon weekend of ice hockey at the Dundalk Ice Dome. Saturday evening saw seven games take place including the Ravens’ shootout victory over the Whalers, the Storm’s 2 – 1 victory over the Blackhawks and the Bulls 6 – 0 shutout win over the Bulls Ladies as well a 5 – 0 forfeit win for the Flyers over the Ice Breakers 2 in Round One. This was to be followed by a thrilling one goal game in which the Hawks B came out victors over the Ravens to advance to the Semi-Finals. The Storm advanced to face the Hawks B in that Semi-Final when they thrashed the Flyers 5 -1. The final game of the evening saw the Ice Breakers 2 win the right to play on Sunday evening following their success over the Bulls Ladies.
Sunday evening saw six games take place due to the cancellation of the first game when the Whalers unfortunately had to forfeit to the Blackhawks. There followed an absolute cracker when the Ravens took on the Flyers. The Ravens came out 3 – 2 victors with Michael Rogan scoring the winner with less than a minute remaining. The next game unfortunately involved some controversy with the Ice Breakers 2 coming away with a 5 – 0 forfeit win over the Blackhawks. Well what goes around comes around.The first semi-final then took place with the Hawks B earning their spot in the final with a tough 3 – 0 win over the Storm. This was followed by another absolute cracker which saw the Bulls taking victory over the Ice Breakers 2 after a shootout. It took three saves from Sean Pepper and the third attempt on goal for Robert Grochowicz to finally earn victory.
The final was set and it was the Hawks B versus the Bulls. It truly was an epic game in which the Hawks B took the lead early on through Gints Ginters. However, that lead was short lived with the Bulls tying the game through Grochowicz who went on to score a hat-trick in the space of ten minutes. This gave the Bulls a two goal lead. However, the Hawks B pulled themselves to within one through Kaspars Skrebs only for Lucasz Pniewski to restore the Bulls two goal lead a minute later. The Hawks B rebounded yet again though, with scores to equalise the game through Ginters and Skrebs. It remained tied at the final buzzer and was heading to a shootout. Up stepped Robert Grochowicz who calmly slotted the puck past Szabolcs Flekenstin to give the Bulls the edge. Sean Pepper then stood tall and stopped Gints Ginters shot to give the Bulls the win!
A spelcial thank you to all those who volunteered over the weekend and to everyone who has given their time throughout the season. Thank you.
The following are the complete results from the IIHL Recreational Division Spring Tournament:
Saturday 25th April
@ 7:00 pm – Blackrock Whalers 1 – 2* DkIT Ravens (Rd 1)
@ 7:35 pm – Kilkenny City Storm 2 -1 Blackhawks (Rd 1)
@ 8:25 pm – Flyers I.H.C. 5 – 0 Drogheda Ice Breakers 2 (Rd 1)
@ 9:00 pm – Dundalk Bulls 6 – 0 Dundalk Bulls Ladies (Rd 1)
@ 9:50 pm – Hawks B 1 – 0 DkIT Ravens (Rd 2)
@ 10:25 pm – Kilkenny City Storm 5 – 1 Flyers I.H.C. (Rd 2)
@ 11:15 pm – Drogheda Ice Breakers 2 7 – 0 Dundalk Bulls Ladies (Qualifier)
Sunday 26th April
@ 7:00 pm – Blackrock Whalers 0 – 5 Blackhawks (Qualifier)
@ 7:35 pm – DkIT Ravens 3 v 2 Flyers I.H.C. (Qualifier)
@ 8:25 pm – Drogheda Ice Breakers 2 5 – 0 Blackhawks (Qualifier)
@ 9:00 pm – DkIT Ravens 1 v 3 Drogheda Ice Breakers 2 (Qualifier)
@ 9:50 pm – Kilkenny City Storm 0 v 3 Hawks B (Semi-Final)
@ 10:25 pm – Drogheda Ice Breakers 2 1 – 2* Dundalk Bulls (Semi-Final)
@ 11:00 pm – Hawks B 4 v 5* Dundalk Bulls (Final)
*Won after sudden death shootout
Photograph courtesy of Aidan McCann