In the same weekend that saw the closest games of the season in the IIHL, 2 fantastic games took place in IIHL Development Division. The Dundalk Bulls ‘B’ took on the Dublin Rams ‘B’ on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. While on Sunday the Dundalk Bulls Ladies hosted the Latvian Hawks ‘B’. This game was rescheduled from a few weeks back.
The Dundalk Bulls ‘B’ took on the Dublin Rams ‘B’ in part 2 of Dundalk v Dublin. Dublin won part 1, so it was up to the Bulls ‘B’ to restore the pride of Dundalk. Things got off to a bad start for the Bull ‘B’ with them going down 2-0 after only 5 minutes. Marian Pavlovcak got the 1st goal 51 seconds into the game followed by a goal by Tomcik Pavol. This time the Rams looked as though they were going to skate to a comfortable victory. They outplayed the Bulls ‘B’ totally in the 1st period as they stretched the play nicely with some rink wide passes from the defensemen up to the forwards. The Bulls ‘B’ were just chasing the puck around and didn’t look as though they were going to find a way back into the game.
However they came out rejuvenated after the intermission with Miroslan Husar pulling one back at 19:41 of the game. This was followed up by a goal from Klavs Ciprikis with the assist going to Dzintars Giertmanis. The teams then went into the third period tied at 2-2. The Rams got a quick one less then 2 minutes into the 3rd period from Pavlovcak assisted by Pavol. The Bulls ‘B’ were down again but they fought back by way of Husar. Husar got the second of his hat-trick at 34:07 and the 3rd at 35:13 after Avivaras Ruseckas won the face-off and the puck came to Husar. The Bulls ‘B’ finished off the scoring with a goal from Ciprikis. The game finished 5-3 with the Bulls ‘B’ getting their 2nd win of the season and keeping some pride intact for Dundalk. Credit should also be given to both goaltenders with Johannes Dramlund playing his first game for the Rams ‘B’ and stopping 8 shots and doing an excellent job. However, Sean Pepper in nets for the Bulls ‘B’ was without a doubt the pick of goal keepers. He stopped 19 shots and made some excellent saves to keep his team in the game when they were down. These included stopping a partial breakaway and making one fantastic glove save off a face-off late in the 3rd.
Sunday evening saw the Dundalk Bulls Ladies take on the Latvian Hawks ‘B’. The Bulls Ladies were hoping to get things back in order after being on the end of some very tough results including an 8-0 loss to the Ravens a few weeks previous. The Hawks were also looking to rebound after losing against the Wolves and Bulls ‘B’ in previous weeks. Things couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for the Hawks ‘B’ as they dominated the play and rarely was the puck in their defensive zone. They had 16 shots on goal in that period but Seanna Conway was in nets for the Bulls Ladies. She was in fine form and turned aside all of those shots. The 2nd period was pretty much the same story as the Hawks dominated proceedings again with 15 shots on goal. Once again, Conway stopped all of them. Although the Hawks were controlling the play, the Ladies were competing and it could be seen that they have gotten a lot better. They were covering the points and disrupting the Hawks ‘B’ play, especially in the corners by using their sticks. They were also blocking shots very well and this almost gave them some breakaways at time.
The 3rd period started with the score level at 0-0. The Hawks were getting frustrated and were liable to a counter attack from the Ladies as they were continuing to clear their zone and have one of their forwards win the puck in the neutral zone. Gabi Vlasankova, Celia Robbilard as well as Lorna Hoey all had partial breakaways. They need to learn to be stronger on the puck. Defensively, Dagmar Plasvakova, Hanna Laatio along with Angela Adams and Erica Murphy were doing their best to clear in front of the goal and they were doing a very good job too. However, the Hawks ‘B’ were pushing on and they got their reward with Kaspars Skrebs getting the opening goal with the assist coming from Jana Gerkena. They then got a shorthanded goal from Raivis Mordasovs followed by Kaspars Karkle getting the final goal at 49:14. The game finished 3-0 to the Hawks ‘B’ but it was a fantastic game. Without a doubt the best player of game was the Bulls Ladies’ Seanna Conway who stopped 47 shots out of the 50 she faced. She has definitely consolidated her place on the IIHL Development Division All-Stars team set to take on the Flyers I.H.C on March 2nd. However, credit has to be given to the Hawks ‘B’ as they kept plugging away and got the result that they deserved. They are now right back in the mix for playoff spots in the League Table as they now sit in 4th place.