The development league continued as the Dublin Rams ‘B’ took on the Kilkenny City Storm. The Rams were still in with a shout to make the playoffs, but they needed results from their end of season games. As for the Storm, they have been near the top all season, and could retake top spot with a win.
The beginning of the game started end-to-end, and there were opportunities for both teams. It was Kilkenny who scored first after 7:20 after Richard Bolotniks fed a pass to Gary Knox on a two on one, and slotted it home courtesy of the post. The Rams didn’t take long to respond, and evened the game thanks to a slight deflection, scored by Pavol Tomcik. This evened the score at 1-1.
As the game wore on, the Rams’ discipline got the better of them, but Kilkenny failed to capitalise as the first period ended even and it was an excellent game. Both teams were playing well defensively, with very few clear chances at either end.
Kilkenny flew out of the blocks early in the second as Ice Dome resident Roman Grobarcik who fed a nice saucer pass to Bolotniks. Bolotniks put the puck in the back of the net and put the Storm ahead. Both goalies weren’t too busy in the game, but were alert enough to each make two nice saves in the second, one from the Kilkenny keeper, Rebeka Burke, flashing some leather to save a partial breakaway keeping her team in the lead.
Kilkenny scored again after Nizjolko finished a Shermer pass, with a bunch of delections beating the Rams goalie. Kilkenny’s Bolotniks took a bad hooking penalty which the Rams failed to take advantage of when they needed to. The Rams goalie, Johannes Granlund, then got in on the action with an even more impressive glove save, keeping the Rams in reach, and the score 3-1.
After Bolotniks got out of the box early in the third, his next shift made up for his earlier penalty. He had two shots blocked, gathered the rebound both times, and went five-hole on his third attempt. This made the score 4-1, 1:05 into the third. The Storm made it five, after a nice point shot through traffic scored by Shermer, getting his second point of the night. After the goal, the game started to gain a physical edge, both teams getting stuck in, and the game was highly entertaining.
The Storm tagged on two more, Nizjolko picking up his second on a rebound went top shelf and Bolotniks picking off a pass and scoring backhanded, putting the game out of reach. But the goal of the game was scored by Vladimir Cuchta who stick-handled through the slot, smoking a defender with a toe-drag and beating Kilkenny’s Burke top shelf.
The Rams had a lot of pressure late in the game, and picked up another goal, making it 7-3. After a mix-up from the Kilkenny defense down low in their zone, Tomcik was on hand to score his second of the night, and it finished at that.
For Kilkenny, they keep marching on, but the Rams have a lot of work as they play the Bulls Ladies on Sunday (20/4). Also they play the DkIT Ravens in a crucial battle on Wednesday to decide the last playoff spot, provided they get a result against the Ladies. The Latvian Hawks and Dundalk Bulls B are also in with a shout of making that fourth place, with the Storm, Wolves and Whalers all looking forward to the post season.