The Perth Thunder travelled to the nation’s capital over the weekend for a double header against the CBR Brave at the Phillip’s Swimming and Ice Skating Centre in Canberra. The boys from the west swept the weekend with a big 6-2 win on Saturday and a tight 7-6 victory on Sunday.
The Thunder imports shone in their first road trip with the squad, with Ben Breault tallying six goals for the weekend, including a huge four goal effort on Sunday. Jessyko Bernard took home two goals in Saturday’s game and Michael Dorr nabbed one goal in each game to open his scoring account with the Thunder.
Dubbed as a hitout between the #1 offensive team in the Brave versus the #1 defensive team in the Thunder, the West Australians hit the scoreboard early on the Saturday with Bernard opening the scoring five minutes in. Some fast passages of play and some terrific end to end hockey set up the physicality and pace of the game early on.
Brave import Neal Prokop recorded his eighth goal for the season early in the second as the momentum shifted in favour of the home team. In his first game back for CBR, Tyler Kubara hit the scoreboard before a deflection from the Thunder’s Bernard tied the game up at 2-2 after two periods of play.
The third period was all Thunder with goals coming from New Zealand national player Andrew Cox, two from Breault and the sealer coming from Dorr. The result was in no doubt as the Thunder surged to a 6-2 victory after a huge third period.
Looking to build on Saturday’s momentum, the Brave and Thunder went at it again on Sunday. A fast start from the Thunder saw first period goals to Breault, Dorr and Kieran Webster as the visitors bolted to a 3-0 lead after the first.
Another goal to Breault early in the second resulted in a very subdued ‘Brave Cave’. However, the Thunder’s penalty kill stats took a battering in the second period and CBR put their foot on the gas with goals (including two on the power play) to Casey Kubara, Neal Prokop and Mathieu Guertin. The completion of Breault’s hat-trick put the West Australian’s up 5-3 at the end of the second.
The third period saw a flurry of scoring from both sides as the Brave made a solid attempt to steal victory from the jaws of defeat and the Thunder aimed to take six points from the weekend’s road trip. The Brave and Thunder traded goals early with the Brave’s Neal Prokop completing a hat-trick with two goals and speedy Thunder defenceman Rob Haselhurst getting in on the action with one of his own on the power play.
A fourth goal from Breault seemed to put the result beyond a doubt before a late Brave surge and goal to Zach Boyle with ten seconds remaining in the game. However, the Thunder went on to claim the spoils with a tightly contested 7-6 victory.
The Thunder took all six available points from the weekend’s road trip in what was a high scoring double header. The boys from the west will hit the road again next weekend for a two game series against the Adelaide Adrenaline at the newly refurbished IceArena in Adelaide.