The final game of the first ever ice hockey season in Ireland run by the IIHA came to a close on Sunday night with the 3rd/4th Place Game of the 2007/2008 IIHL Development Division Playoffs. The Kilkenny City Storm was going to face the DkIT Ravens. The game took place immediately following the Dublin Wolves triumph over the Whalers. Both teams were out to prove a point that they were not the whipping boys and definitely did not want to finish the playoffs in 4th place.
The game started off rather physical with both sets of players giving their all. The Storm dominated early on and went on to outshoot the Ravens 11-3 in the opening period. However, the action was closer than that statistic suggests. Once, the Ravens got the puck deep into the Storm’s zone, they battled hard especially along the boards to keep it in there. However, they were unable to capitalise on two powerplays early on in the period. Richard Bolotniks went to the box for cross checking while William Fay went to the box for holding the stick.
Failure to capitalise on these offensive opportunities would be to the Ravens detriment as they let their indiscipline get the better of them late in the period. Stephen Hayes went to the box for tripping and must have said something to the referee as he then received a 10 minute misconduct. The Storm took full advantage of this and scored with only 20 seconds left on the penalty. It was a scrappy goal in front of the Ravens net as Gary Knox put the puck in the back of the net. Following this, a few scrums took place behind the net which resulted in Michael Rogan going to the penalty box for 2 minutes. The Storm would capitalise on this too as Gary Knox got his second just before the end of the period.
The 2nd period was all about the goalkeepers as neither team scored but the action was end to end. However, most of the attacks were broken up just inside the defensive zones. The teams then went into the 3rd period with the score remaining at 2-0. The Ravens got off the mark quickly with a goal from Michael Rogan as he partially broke free in the Storm’s zone and coolly finished. The Ravens did their best to get an attack going with Michael Rogan, Stephen Hayes and Andrew Guest all having opportunities and leading the attack for the Ravens.
Unfortunately for the Ravens though, the Storm added 2 more goals in the 3rd period with Richard Bolotniks getting his name on the score sheet and William Fay getting the last goal of the season. The game finished 4-1 with the Storm outshooting the Ravens 29-9. Although the game was a lot closer than that statistic suggests. Micéal O’Neill played extremely well for the Ravens as he did the previous night while Scott Latimer put in a rather excellent performance on the night. Overall, it was an extremely entertaining game and a fantastic way to finish the inaugural season. Both teams will now be looking forward to next season.