To anyone who may have left the Icehouse Saturday evening immediately after the Melbourne Ice’s warm-up and cheeky pre-game chant of “Ice, Ice, baby!” (A re-appropriation of the Vanilla Ice hit from 1991) it could have been reasonably predicted that a good-natured affair in which sportsmanship and dignity in competition would ensue.
What happened instead was that the Melbourne Ice set about administering a good old-fashioned hide-tanning to the North Star-Sirens by a score of 13-0.
The slaughter began on a beautifully placed shot over the blocker-side glove by Frances McPhail at the 15:00 minute mark of the first period.
The Ice’s relentless pressure – produced by cycling down low and in the corners until a chance was created in the slot – appeared to leave the Sirens stunned and uncertain of how to attack.
The Ice found themselves on the winning side of countless odd-man rushes that hung Sirens goalie Sera Dogramaci out to dry. The result was a first period that ended with the Ice sporting a 5-0 lead and thoroughly outshooting the Sirens 17-3.
In the second period the ineffectual and uninspired play of the Sirens appeared to lull the Ice into a state of malaise as both teams seemed resigned to the inevitability of the domination that was taking place. Goals by Rylie Padjen (her second of the game), Sarah Teed, and Nicole Tritter (her second of the game) punctuated the Sirens’ hopeless situation at the hands of a team that was simply superior in every aspect of the game – save for maybe one.
Sera Dogramaci did her very best impression of a hero on Saturday facing more than 50 shots. Ironically, despite the one-sided nature of the contest, had she not been the Sirens’ best player, the score might have been even worse. In short, she stood on her head, and in this writer’s estimation was the star of the game.
Nevertheless, after two periods and 36 shots on net the Ice held a commanding 8-0 lead.
If the Sirens were expecting the third period to be a demonstration of goodwill, mercy, or benevolence on the part of the Ice they were in for a rude awakening. From start to finish the Ice displayed their speed, vision, swift puck movement, and killer instinct around the net.
Their concerted effort resulted in a further widening of the lead as one goal after the other was driven home. Nicole Tritter, who seemed to be everywhere this game, added two more markers for a total of four on the night at 10:58 and 5:57, respectively; Emily Teed picked-up two herself; and the massacre was brought to a close as Shona Green scored with zero seconds left on the clock.
Meanwhile, Frances McPhail led all scorers with a total of 5 points on the night (2 G, 3 A) and left no doubt in anyone’s mind about just how many weapons her team has available from one shift to the next.
In the end the Ice’s 13-0 drubbing of the Sirens should go a long way in announcing to the rest of the AWIHL that they are a force to be reckoned with this season. For the Sirens, Sunday afternoon brought an opportunity to redeem themselves and regain a little of the dignity that was sacrificed on Saturday.