Wednesday night sees student night at the Dundalk Ice Dome once again. The DkIT Ravens take on the Whalers at 8:30 p.m. in the IIHL Development Division. It’s a middle of the table clash which should prove to be a close game. Last time around the Whalers came out on top in an extremely close game that finished 4-3. The Ravens will be out for revenge especially since they lost last week in another close game. They lost 1-0 to the Eagles. The Whalers on the other hand haven’t played in a few weeks although they are coming off a recent 8-3 victory against the Dundalk Bulls B in a friendly scrimmage.
Last week the Ravens played the Eagles in one of the closest games of the season to date. The Eagles got the only goal of the game while the Ravens struggled to even get their shots on target. The play was extremely close and end to end but despite some late dominance by the Ravens, they couldn’t get too many meaningful shots away. They just could not link up in the offensive zone and seemed more like a group of individuals trying too hard. The guys who carry the team like recent 4 goals a game scorers Michael Rogan, Michael Hayes and head coach Patrick Jarratt left the game frustrated. They had tried there utmost hardest to win the game but it just wasn’t happening. I expect the Ravens, like they have numerous times to have a good hard training session this week, and rebound with confidence and play more like a team this Wednesday night.
The Whalers on the other hand have only played 4 games so far this season and are 2 for 4. They sit in 7th position but they are by far a much better team now than when they started the season. They are boasted by strong goaltending with Riley Gatensby who hails from Canada but is new to the position and is getting better every time he steps onto the ice. He along with his brother give their team a great edge. His brother James is by far the team’s best player but it’s his work ethic that is astonishing. He never gives up on a loose puck and puts his body on the line for his team. What’s even more is the fact that he has the skill set to compliment this. He can score goals and does it on a regular basis too. He will definitely be one of the players looking to move on up to the IIHL next season.
Other players on the Whalers who give them a bit of bite and skill are local players Gary Harvey and Niall McEvoy. Gary is the captain of the team and is one of the players on the team who gives his all every game. While Niall McEvoy is another one of the local kids of Dundalk who took it up last December and hasn’t looked back since. He has great skating ability and has a youthful charm about him. He just never gets fazed or frustrated no matter how bad things are going for him. He is definitely one for the future and another one who just can’t get enough.
Expect this to be a very good game but more importantly a fast paced, end-to-end game with both teams needing a win. The Ravens need the points if they want to continue to be in a playoff position. The Whalers don’t particularly need the points as they have 2 or 3 games in hand over most of their closest rivals and are only 3 points behind most of them. However, a win would put them into 5th position just behind the Ravens. They’d be behind only on goal difference with 2 games in hand. They’d be in a great position to launch an attack on the top teams, which are Kilkenny City Storm, Dublin Wolves and Dublin Rams ‘B’. A win for the Ravens brings them into 3rd. Expect things to get interesting!
The game takes place this Wednesday 12-2-2008 with face-off at 8:30 p.m. Entry is free and as of course the game takes pace at the Dundalk Ice Dome.