Saturday night saw a thrilling encounter between the Charlestown Chiefs and the Dundalk Bulls at the Dundalk Ice Dome. In what was the first game played in the IIHL since December, the Bulls toppled the Chiefs who had previously looked as though they would go unbeaten in the IIHL. The Bulls were first on the score sheet with Mats Ajnesjo scoring unassisted. However, the lead was short lived as the Chiefs pulled it back less than a minute later through Aigars Brencis with Janis Kipars picking up the assist. The action was back up the other end of the ice soon after and the Bulls regained their lead through Vladimir Polacek with Matej Radusovsky picking up the assist. Things were level for the next ten minutes in the 1st period before the Bulls doubled their lead when Polacek and Radusovsky combined again. This time, it was Radusovsky who put the puck in the net with Polacek getting the assist. However, the Chiefs were back attacking the Bulls net again less than a minute later and they were rewarded when Kipars scored off a feed from Brencis. The 1st period finished 3 – 2 in favour of the Bulls with the Bulls out shooting the Chiefs 15 – 10.
The 2nd period was slightly more even with the Chiefs out shooting the Bulls 11 – 9. Adam Pepper of the Bulls and Deniss Kurealass of the Chiefs did their best to keep the score down. However, it was the Bulls who extended their lead with Mike Minarech scoring five minutes into the period with Sean Dooley picking up the assist. The only other action of the period saw the Bulls kill of 4 consecutive power plays including two of the penalties overlapping. This created a two man advantage for the Chiefs for twenty five seconds. Nonetheless, the Bulls were resilient when Radusovsky went for tripping, Steven Ewen went for cross checking, John Carney went for interference and the final penalty of the period went to Mike Minarech for hooking. The Chiefs would no doubt rue missed opportunities as the period left the score 4 – 2 in favour of the Bulls.
Unfortunately for the Chiefs, it was much the same for the 3rd period as the Bulls scored two more goals to the Chiefs one to give a final score of 6 – 3 in favour of the Bulls. The Bulls fifth goal of the night came through Gareth Roberts five minutes into the period. Minarech picked up the assist. They scored their sixth and final goal of the night through Joakim Lundin with Radusovsky picking up the assist and his third point of the night. However, the Chiefs were not finished just yet and Aleksandrs Fjodorovs picked scored unassisted to pull one back for them with ten minutes remaining in the game. However, the Bulls held onto their three goal lead with Adam Pepper even stopping a penalty shot with 20 seconds remaining in the game. An excellent game and it no doubts shakes things up at the top of the IIHL.
A huge thank you to Jana Gerkena (Game Manager & Scorekeeper) and Mark Pepper (Timekeeper) who volunteered their time at the game.
Final Score: 3 – 6 (2 – 3, 0 -1, 1 – 2)
PIM: 28 – 38 (8 – 14, 2 – 8, 8 – 16)
SOG: 29 – 36 (10 – 15, 11 – 9, 8 – 12)
Saves: Kurelass (30/36) – Pepper (26/29)