The New Zealand Ice Blacks played host to Australia’s Mighty Roos, in the first of a 3 game Trans-Tasman Clash on Friday night.
As the first time the two countries have played in New Zealand since 2019, the opening night was destined to be a showstopping display of the New Zealand-Australia rivarly, and a sold out crowd at Paradice Botany were treated to exactly that.
The first period would see conservative play by the New Zealanders, resulting in only 8 shots on net, whereas the Mighty Roos came out strong, dominating play with 15 shots on net. Neither team would reach the back of the net though, with the period ending 0-0.
The second period would again see the visitors putting on the pressure, outshooting the New Zealanders and eventually opening the scoring thanks to #19 Casey Kubara at 5:07. The Mighty Roos followed up with their second goal of the night by #8 Malloy, and with New Zealand needing to slow things down and make it their game, #15 Polozov answered with the home team’s first goal scored at 16:27. Ice Blacks Captain #24 Cox would add to this just 36 seconds later, tying up the game 2:2.
The third and final period began on Australia’s terms, with #9 Darge scoring at 1:40 and #24 Landa just two minutes later. They would add one more to their tally, ending the game 5-2 with a late goal by #17 Caruana.
The teams return to the ice for game 2 tomorrow night, Saturday 11th March at a sold out Paradice Botany.