Game two of the Trans-Tasman Clash between New Zealand and Australia saw the teams return to a sold-out Botany arena, with over 1,000 fans packed in the stands and around the boards.
The Australians proved from the get-go why they’re an entire division higher in the International Ice Hockey Federation global rankings, dominating play from the moment the puck dropped with 14 shots on net, to the Ice Blacks’ 5, across the 1st period. Australia was also the first to open the scoring, with #19 Kubara burying the puck from a battle in front of the net.
As if the first period wasn’t one-sided enough, the Mighty Roos took things to the next level, outshooting the Kiwis 12 to 1 in the second period and scoring short-handed within the first 21 seconds, with a two on one effort scored by #14 Todd. The Australians would add to this just a couple of minutes later, taking advantage of a high-sticking call against NZ #15 Polozov, with #15 Webster redeeming the powerplay opportunity.
The third period would be a familiar display to the sold-out crowd, with the Ice Blacks missing too many passes in the neutral zone, and the limited shooting opportunities they had were all stopped by an on-fire Mighty Roos goaltender, #20 Smart. Aussie players #4 Kubara and #5 Woodman would secure the inevitable, with one goal each, ending the game 5-0 in favour of the visitors.
While the loss cements the series win for Australia, a third and final game will be played on Sunday 12th March, with a limited number of tickets remaining. The Ice Blacks will be hoping to redeem themselves with a win, and at the very least, preventing another Australian shutout.
Images supplied by Mike Kingdon: @taking_the_mike and Jackie Kobin: @jazzmie08