Bears struggles continue in tough double-header

Fighting hard: the Bears were unable to notch a win this week, despite good periods of play. Photo: Injected Ideas.

Fighting hard: the Bears were unable to notch a win this week, despite good periods of play. Photo: Injected Ideas.

The Bears ran into a tough double header and came up empty against the Ice Dogs and North Stars in the Australian Ice Hockey League.

In front of a bumper Sydney Ice Arena crowd on the Saturday night, the Bears looked to put a tough season behind them.

However, it was the visitors who made all the running in an eight goal shutout of the home side, with the Dogs’ Shane Southwood slotting an incredible five goals.

The Bears conceded four goals in the opening period and a further four goals in the third, with goaltender Luke Read focussing on the positive in between.

“I don’t remember the rest of the game,” Read said after the game

“It was just the second period as far as I was concerned!”

“It was a nil all draw in that part of the game, and it’s little games within the game that we’re trying to accomplish at the moment.”

The shutout was of frustration for Bears coach Vlad Rubes, who lamented the failure to capitalise on chances and avoid a shutout.

“We had enough shots to score at least a couple of goals,” Rubes said.

“It was especially disappointing because we hit the post three times.”

Rubes, however, was still proud of the effort of the much depleted Bears outfit.

“We started the game with ten guys and finished with eight,” Rubes said.

“Probably not at the start of the game given we conceded four goals, but towards the end of the game the lack of manpower was reflected in the performance.”

The Bears came out all guns blazing the following afternoon at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium against the Newcastle NorthStars, with the final score of 6-2 betraying the effort of the Bears to stay with last year’s runners-up.

Unfortunately for the Bears, discipline was a major issue in the first period, with the Bears conceding two penalties, which both led to powerplay goals for the home side.

However, Newcastle also ran into disciplinary issues, with the Bears grabbing a powerplay goal of their own through captain Michael Schlamp to go to the first break down 2-1.

Newcastle opened the scoring in the second period via a red hot Chris Wilson, who tallied four points for the game via three goals and an assist.

However, after Wilson put the Stars up 3-1 just 6:30 into the period, the Bears responded just 21 seconds later through Brett Nelson-Bond.

The class of the NorthStars, who were battling to keep their almost extinguished playoff chances alive, shone through. 

Two more goals sent the Stars to the final intermission 5-2 up. 

Wilson’s hat trick goal in the third period, on the powerplay, confirmed the final scoreline at 6-2 in favour of Newcastle.

The Bears will enjoy next weekend off, with their final match of the season coming on Saturday, 23 August at Sydney Ice Arena, when the CBR Brave travel up the Hume Highway. Puck drop is 6pm.

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