The Botany Swarm and West Auckland Admirals hosted one another over the weekend in a cross-town clash of epic proportions.
The two Auckland teams set a record for the number of penalty minutes accrued in a weekend so far this season, minutes which proved to be crucial to the outcome of the games.
In game one on Saturday night, the Botany Swarm hosted the West Auckland Admirals at The Hive, with a near sellout crowd present to watch the two teams battle it out.
The cross-town clash certainly lived up to its name, with a total of 75 penalty minutes being awarded in the game; 65 to the Botany Swarm and 10 to the West Auckland Admirals. Both teams would use the seemingly unending power plays to their advantage, with the Swarm scoring once and Admirals scoring twice under the extra man advantage. Final score of game one was 3:2 in favour of the West Auckland Admirals.
Whatever conversation the Botany Swarm coaching staff had with their team after game one, about playing with more discipline obviously worked, as the team showed a marked improvement in their ability to appease the officials’ calls for a cleaner game.
Though the West Auckland Admirals were playing to a packed home crowd, early momentum was in the favour of the Botany Swarm, who held the Admirals to zero shots on goal for the first 18 minutes of the 1st period.
With Botany Swarm forward Michael Attwell, scoring the only goal of period one, the team took advantage of a 5 on 3 powerplay in the second period to extend their lead to 2:0. With less than a minute remaining in the second period, the West Auckland Admirals added a goal to their name, ending the period 2:1. However, a comeback for the Admirals wasn’t meant to be, with the third period ending goalless, the and the Botany Swarm securing the victory 2:1.
The 3 points awarded to the Botany Swarm from their victory puts them in third place on the NZIHL standings, ousting the Phoenix Thunder from semi-final contention at time of writing.