The IIHL Development Division took centre stage Saturday night once the IIHL was over. The Belfast Eagles hosted the Kilkenny City Storm at the Dundalk Ice Dome. The game was as most are on a Saturday night a little behind schedule. However, once it got going, things were great. Things couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Kilkenny either as they found themselves up a goal after 2:35 of play. Vladimers Nizjolko got the go ahead goal. They then furthered their lead with a goal from Harry Maharaj with the assist going to the zamboni driver, Roman Grobarcik.
The Storm had a 3rd goal before the end of the 1st period with Richard Bolotniks getting his first. The Storm had dominated that 1st period and were getting break after break. They were the better team. The Eagles on the other hand were struggling to find their feet. The 2nd period was a similar one to the 1st. The Storm controlled much of the play and the Eagles were struggling to gain the offensive zone. The Storm found a 4th goal through Harry Maharaj. This was his 2nd of the night and it pretty much prevented any chance of a comeback from the Eagles.
It could be seen from the eagles that with every goal that went in against them, their heads were dropping. However, credit has to be given to them as they did their best and after the 1st period they competed with Kilkenny. They just failed to string any real attacks together. Kilkenny were playing well and anytime they went forward, they looked like scoring. In the last 35 minutes of play, however, they only scored 2. This was due to an Eagles defence that stepped up in the 2 latter periods as well as some strong goaltending.
Kilkenny finished off the scoring with Richard Bolotniks getting his second of the night at 46:28. The game finished 5-0 and the win puts Kilkenny a top of the league table again. They go one point ahead of the Dublin Wolves. The Wolves have a game in hand of Kilkenny but the pressure is back on the Wolves. For the Eagles however, they probably needed the result. They just consolidated their position in 7th place now. They are still part of that group which has 9 points but their goal difference is even worse now, it’s minus 20. They need a couple of big wins, not only points but for goals as well.
Anyway, the next game of the IIHL Development Division is this Wednesday 27th of February at 8:30 p.m. The Latvian Hawks ‘B’ take on the Dundalk Bulls ‘B’ at the Dundalk Ice Dome. Both teams are coming off big wins and everyone needs the points in the standings to get themselves into the playoffs. The next game after that is this Saturday night 1st of March at 10:30 p.m. following 2 IIHL games again at the Dundalk Ice Dome. The Dundalk Bulls ‘B’ take on the Belfast Eagles.