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West Auckland Admirals | New Zealand Ice Hockey League

Two wins keep Admirals Alive

An incredible performance by the Admirals over the weekend see two wins, (a full six points) and the second consecutive defence of the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio vs. the reigning champions Skycity Stampede.


The West Auckland Admirals pulled off a big win tonight against the Southern Stampede.  It was a very entertaining game that resulted in a 6-3 win for the Admirals, bringing them one step closer to getting into the finals.

The first period was a pretty spirited affair with the Admirals putting a lot of pressure on the Stampede for the first half of the first period.   Robbie Chamberlain put the Admirals on the board at the 13:24 mark with a spin-o-rama shot that beat Matt Swirtz putting the Admirals ahead 1-0.   The Admirals pick up a penalty soon after but Rick Parry was more than up to the task with a number of great saves.   The Stampede pick up a penalty at the 7 minute mark and Andy Hart comes close but no cigar.  Mario Mjelleli picks up his first of the evening with only 39 seconds left in the period to make it a 2-0 game at the end of the first period.

The second period began much like the first with good solid play on both sides with the Stampede holding a slight edge.  The Admirals defense cough up the puck in the slot and the Stampede make them pay with White putting the Stampede on the board.   The Admiral’s Ratcliffe made just a beautiful play to feed Mario Mjelleli’s second of the game to put the Admirals up 3-1 at 12:40.  The Stampede respond a few minutes later at 9:33, bringing the score to 3-2.   Dylan Dickson picks up a bad angle goal at 3:41 to bring the score to 4-2.  Just to make things interesting, Justin Daigle picked up a delay of game penalty by shooting the puck over the glass with 30 seconds left in the second period.  The Admirals manage to kill the penalty to close out the period ahead 4-2.

The Admirals manage to kill off the rest of the Daigle penalty to start the third period and the Stampede continued to pressure after the penalty was over.  The Stampede pick up a holding penalty at the 13 minute mark putting the Admirals on the powerplay.  The Stampede pick up two break aways while killing off this penalty and Rick Parry stoned them both times to keep the score 4-2.  The Stampede make it 4-3 at 6:54 on a goal by Argyle.  The Admirals waste little time in re-establishing their 2 goal cushion with a goal by goal by Andy Hart at 5:36, making the score 5-3.  Robbie Chamberlain picked up an interference penalty at 3:27 of the 3rd period giving the Stampede an opportunity to tie things up.  After some good penalty killing Andy Hart manages to get the puck in the Stampede zone, controlling the puck for an extended period of time before feeding Mario Mjelleli to give him his hat trick – 6-3 Admirals at the 1:44 mark of the 3rd period.  The Admirals manage to finish off the period and seal the deal for a 6-3 final score.

The three Admirals stars for the night were:

1. Mario Mjelleli

2. Andy Hart

3. Nick Craig

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The West Auckland Admirals had another big game tonight overcoming a very strong effort on the part of the Southern Stampede, taking home a 5-3 win and locking up the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio trophy. This puts the Admirals in control of their own destiny – 2 wins next weekend in Dunedin will put them in the finals.


The Stampede came out strong and determined and the Admirals managed to survive the initial onslaught with some solid play and a little luck. There were some big hits delivered – in particular, Dylan Dickson put a hard hit on Bert Haines leaving him looking a bit worse for wear. The Admirals got another lucky break at the 12 minute mark when a shot beat Csaba Kercso-Magos Jr but not the post. AJ Spiller put the Admirals on the board at the 9:14 mark rolling in from the point and putting one past Volpe, 1-0 Admirals. Mario Mjelleli made a beautiful pass to Nick Henderson who quickly put the puck past Volpe to put the Admirals up 2-0 a the 6:32 mark. The rest of the period was hard fought but when the buzzer went it was still 2-0 Admirals.


The second period also started out with some very strong play on both sides with opportunities for both teams. The officials decided to get more involved in the game in the last half of the second period, resulting in a number of players basking in the glory of the Avondale penalty box. Some confusion on an delayed penalty call against the Stampede led to Volpe almost getting caught out as he raced to the bench for another man. Nick Henderson managed to beat the Stampede goalie but not the post, still 2-0 Admirals. Despite a number of chances and both teams getting power play opportunities, no goals scored in the second period. Still 2-0 Admirals.


The third period saw the Stampede begin to push the issue with the Admirals more aggressively. Mcrae made it a 2-1 game at the 17:01 mark on a rebound after a bit of a scramble. The Stampede continued to press but the Admirals responded with more pressure of their own. After some period of back and forth, the Admirals scored on the power play, Nick Henderson from AJ Spiller and Justin Daigle, making the score 3-1.   Less than a minute later, the Stampede capitalise on some confusion behind the Admirals net making the score 3-2 Admirals at the 11:16. The Admirals responded 30 seconds later with Mario picking up a nice backhand pass from Nick Henderson making the score 4-2.   Csaba Jr makes a massive glove save at the 8 minute mark to preserve the 2 goal lead for the Admirals. The Admirals looked like they had scored to make it 5-2 but the goal was waved off by the officials. The Stampede continue to press and Admirals pick up a delay of game call at the 4:18 mark and with only 17 seconds left in the penalty the officials decide to get involved again calling a roughing call putting the Stampede onto a 5 on 3 powerplay. The Stampede manage to score before the first penalty is over making the score 4-3. The Stampede pulled their goalie to put them on a 6 on 4 powerplay and there was a lot of action going on. With only a few seconds left to play Mario gets the puck out of the Admirals zone and feeds Jake Ratcliffe for the empty net goal. Time expires with the Admirals winning 5-3.


The three Admirals stars for the night were:

1. Nick Henderson (on his 100th Admirals game)

2. Mario Mjelleli

3. AJ Spiller

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If the Admirals can take both games in Dunedin next weekend that will put them into the finals against the Southern Stampede.


Reports by SHAWN HENRY