The Bears, backing up from a heartbreaking 2-1 loss in the M7 derby against the Ice Dogs on Saturday night, opened the scoring at 6:44 in the first, defenceman Jan Bejcek nabbing his first for the season.
Perth took until 2:06 in the second to respond via a powerplay goal to Corey Toy, but the Bears were back in front just three minutes later with a powerplay goal of their own to Adrian Esposito.
Bears alternate captain Ben DiMarco said the goals from defence were a feature of the game the Bears had been working on.
“We’ve been working on giving the puck to the defence and getting them shooting the puck a lot more on net and down low to create some rebound chances, and a few of those went in,” DiMarco said.
“Tonight, we just continued our momentum from last night and it was good.”
Perth levelled the game at 9:01, Justin Fox potting the second powerplay goal for Perth on the night.
That, however, was the final goal the Bears conceded on the powerplay, despite another three penalties going to the Bears, the improvement pleasing Bears assistant coach Steve Austin.
“The penalty kill did get better, but it’s part of my job to get the right personnel out on the ice, and I made a couple of bad calls in the second period,” a relieved Austin said after the game.
“In the end, they hung in there and it’s a good win for everybody.”
The opening five minutes of the third period netted five goals, with the Bears nabbing two in ten seconds thanks to defenceman Steve Adams and then an intercept and breakaway for Ben DiMarco.
“The rebound on to my stick with an open net was easy, and it’s always nice when you intercept the pass and get out on a breakaway,” DiMarco said.
“It’s been coming for a long time, it was tough at the end but we all stuck together and we knew we had to win it.”
The Bears got out to 6-4 at 9:19 courtesy of Adrian Espositio before Perth notched their fifth with just under five minutes remaining, but the Bears held on in front of a small but vocal crowd.
The Bears face two trips to Melbourne with a visit to Liverpool across the next three weeks, and Steve Austin believes the Bears can make the most of their road trip.
“We’re going to get a few systems in place at training on Tuesday, but we always play well in Melbourne, whether it be the Ice or the Mustangs,” Austin said.
“I feel we play much better on the road in our white uniform!
“I don’t know why we have a hard time at home, but on the road the guys seem to bond a lot better, and the main thing is to get two wins down there.”
The Bears will return to the Sydney Ice Arena on July 19 to face the Thunder at 6pm, before backing up against the Adelaide Adrenaline on July 20 at 3.30pm.