The Senior Irish National Team warmed up in a perfect way on Thursday evening with a 9 – 4 victory over the Dundalk Bulls in a friendly game. This was the team’s last warm up game before they head off to Luxembourg for the 2010 IIHF World Championship Division III A.
The Bulls had some guest players from the Charlestown Chiefs playing for them and the first period ended 1 – 2 in favour of the Bulls. The Bulls opened the scoring 1:41 into the game with Janis Kipars finding the top corner. Adam Pepper had no chance in goal for Ireland as he was screened by three players. The Bulls doubled their lead ten minutes later with a goal from Aigars Brencis. Ireland pulled one back just before the end of the period with a goal from Robbie Brown of the Belfast Giants with Ross O’Driscoll making the pass.
Some harsh words at the break from Ireland coach, Kenny Redmond, gave Ireland a spring in their step going into the second period. They rallied to take the lead 6 – 4 at the end of the period. Raimonds Karpinskis scored early in the period for the Bulls followed by a second for Brencis. However, scores from Mark Morrison, Gareth Martin, Brown and Sean Dooley gave Ireland their lead going into the last break.
It was much the same for the third period as Mark Reynolds and O’Driscoll each got their first of the night to give Ireland an 8 – 4 lead with less than five minutes to go. Brown then picked up his third of the night for his hat-trick to leave the scoring at 9 – 4 for the night.
Speaking after the game, Coach Redmond stated: “We started slow in the first 12 minutes but then we woke up and started to play as a team. A few harsh words at the first break and we got right back on track. The best part of tonight’s game for me was that the Bulls had a strong team and we came from behind to beat them.”
“Sunday evening will be our last practice before we fly out to Luxembourg and I have to say that the team looks like it is in good shape and we will be hard to beat. Tonight’s performance will instil a lot of confidence.”