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Southern Hotshots in line for AHL semifinals
04 Mar 2008 13:57
 

A thrilling come from behind victory by the Southern Hotshots has put them in line for a semifinal berth after they defeated the MIA Tassie Tigers in extra time today in Round 6 AHL action.

Despite being two goals down at half time the Hotshots were in great form in the second half and managed to push the game to extra time where veteran Grant Schubert sealed the victory.

The win means the Hotshots have taken fourth place on the AHL ladder away from the Tigers as both sides are on the same amount of points but the Hotshots have a greater goal difference ratio.

Results round 6:

Canberra Labor Club Lakers - Northpharm NT Stingers 4-2 (2-2)
Southern Hotshots - MIA Tassie Tigers 4-3 (after extra time) (1-3)
Victorian Vikings - NSW Waratahs 1-0 (0-0)
OAMPS Queensland Blades - SmokeFree WA Thundersticks 3-2 (after extra time) (0-1)

At the other end of the scale, the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks have suffered straight extra time defeat, going down to defending champions the OAMPS Queensland Blades despite being a goal up at half time.

Although they are currently in third position (12 points), the loss leaves them vulnerable to drop out of the top four with one round of AHL action left to play prior to the finals, with the Southern Hotshots (10 points), MIA Tassie Tigers (10 points) and Canberra Labor Club Lakers (8 points) all capable of overtaking them should results not go their way.

In other Round 6 action, the Victorian Vikings almost dropped a game to the winless NSW Waratahs, scoring a goal in the last minute of the match to secure the win.

The win was crucial for the Vikings as they look to regain some form leading into the AHL finals after their disappointing loss to the OAMPS Queensland Blades.

Once again Luke Doerner continued his good AHL tournament form to get the Vikings out of trouble with his penalty corner conversion. However on the other side it was sheer devastation for the Waratahs who once again came close, but couldn't secure the win.

The other match of the day saw a highly competitive Northpharm NT Stingers side take on the Canberra Lakers.

Unfortunately for the Stingers they couldn't secure the win despite scoring two goals in the first half, but they continue to get better each match and will no doubt be pleased with their efforts.

The win was crucial for the Lakers, with the victory still keeping them in semi final contention.

With one round of AHL action left to be played tomorrow there are two spots in the semi up for grabs with four teams looking to claim those spots, so victories on in the final round will be crucial.

Only The OAMPS Queensland Blades and the Victorian Vikings are guaranteed spots in the semi final, while the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks, Southern Hotshots, MIA Tassie Tigers and Canberra Lakers are fighting it out for positions three and four.

The first match of round 7 action will set the tone for the rest of the day when the Victorian Vikings take on the Southern Hotshots. For the Vikings, an outright win will secure a spot in the top two and provide some much needed confidence.

While on the other hand the Hotshots will need to walk away with some points to stay in semi final contention.

The second match of round 7 will see either the NSW Waratahs or the Northpharm NT Stingers record their first win of the tournament. Both teams have been unlucky on several occasions throughout the tournament and will be looking to end their run on a positive.

The third match between the SmokeFree WA Thundersticks and the Canberra Lakers looms as the match of the round with both teams desperately needing a win.

For the Lakers the equation is simple, an outright win will give them a semi final berth if other results go their way. For the Thundersticks, a win will mean they can not be knocked out of the top four.

The last match of the round will see the MIA Tassie Tigers also playing for their tournament lives as they take on the all conquering OAMPS Queensland Blades.

While the Blades are yet to drop a match, they have looked vulnerable on several occasions and will have to be at their best to beat the Tigers. A win from the Tigers could see them finish in the top four and as they are the last game of the day they will know prior to the match exactly what will be required to secure a semi final berth.

Source: Hockey Australia


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