The IIHL AllStars put on an excellent display of quality hockey against the visiting HK Kurbads from Riga Latvia. The mixed squad of showcased all the talent in the IIHL top league, showing how far they have come in such a short period of time.
With limited time available to both Head Coach Tony Griffin and Assistant Coach Roy Cooper had with the team, it is quite understandable how the home team of AllStars fell behind in the opening period with a hat trick from HK Kurbads’ Martins Rostoks.
An even strength, power play and short-handed strike made the triple Kurbads goal scorer certainly unique for the visitors. The IIHL AllStars regained their composure through an opening period marker from Sebastian Wachowski.
The home team All Stars gained momentum in the second period but against the run of play, Peteris Ostosovs restored the visitor’s three-goal cushion. Christian Ajnesjo the IIHL AllStars starting goalie was replaced at the midway point of the second.
The IIHL AllStars would be determined to get back into the game and it was Kenny Remond who responded first at 35.05. Then the home squad receive a further setback as Kurbads’ sharp shooter Rostoks found his fourth goal of the game and bringing the score to 5-2 at 37.14.
If the first two periods were shaded in favour of the Riga team, the third period belonged to the completely to the AllStars. The IIHL Allstars scored three goals to tie the game at 5-5. Milosz Lubdda scored first at 45.16, followed by Sean Dooley on 46.38 and the trying score came from Michael Minarech to take the game into overtime while IIHL Allstars excellent team defence and the steady goal keeping of Sean Gibson kept their opponents scoreless.
With time dwindling down, the AllStars had a chance to win the contest in regular time through a penalty shot. Andis Znatnajs, the Kurbads goalie accidentally threw his stick whilst stopping an AllStars attack and the officials called the infringement immediately.
Milosz Lubdda beat the Kurbads ‘Man of the Match’ keeper, but sadly lost control of the puck thus allowing the Kurbads goalie to make the save much to Lubudda’s and the crowds disappointment.
Martins Rostoks was in a class of his own during the overtime period scoring the winner after nearly five minutes of extra time to the delight of the Latvian supporters who thought midway through the game the victory was in the bag.
It was a great advert for the game of hockey and the officials. Should there be more contests like the games witnessed in the Dundalk Ice Dome like this you would have great difficulty in gaining a ticket by whatever means.