Brisbane’s most important round of the season saw the team clinch a maiden playoff birth following a clean sweep of the visitors over the weekend.
Game 1 – Friday
There was excitement in the air prior to Round 9 with the announced return of star forward Jordan McTaggart who rejoined the Rampage following a lower body injury that saw him miss several rounds. He would make an immediate impact upon his return.
In what looked to be a repeat of the last few rounds, Brisbane got off to another slow start by allowing two goals to The Coast’s Mike Tish inside the first 10 minutes of play to see the visitors go up 2-0.
About a minute later, Harley Anderson would bring the puck up through the neutral zone before delivering a perfect saucer pass to Barnes who went top corner and make it a 2-1 game.
Rampage would take a penalty late in the period and were shorthanded before one of the most amazing goals of the season would play out.
With Jordan McTaggart and Owen Sobchak on the forecheck kill, Sobchak would steal the puck at the blue line before passing to McTaggart who chipped it over the defenders stick before drawing four Coast players to him and then feeding it back to Sobchak for a beautiful wraparound goal to tie the game 2-2. Watch the highlight below to see this amazing play unfold.
The period would play on with Mike Tish’s third goal of the game coming off a power play to end the period by a score of 3-2 to the visitors.
The second period was a one-sided affair with Anthony Barnes feeding a wide open Harley Anderson in front of the net to open the scoring at 14:25 and tie the game 3-3.
Just five minutes later, Barnes would add his second of the game from a Jordan McTaggart pass to put the Rampage up 4-3.
Rampage would then add a third consecutive goal of the period with Owen Sobchak collecting a rebound in front of the net and scoring off a backhand shot to put the home team ahead 5-3.
The Coast would add a goal at the end of the period to tighten the game at 5-4 to the Rampage.
The third period was all Rampage again with Anthony Barnes scoring his hat trick goal at 9:36 with a great steal and follow up rebound shot to score his third of the game and 12th goal of the season.
Owen Sobchak would get his own hat trick goal with under a minute left in the game sending the puck the length of the ice into an empty net to seal the win 7-5 to the Rampage and snap the recent streak of losses.
Brisbane’s Nick Novysedlak would finish the game with 43 shots against him compared to The Coast’s Tom Munro who faced 35.
Game 2 – Saturday
The final game of the round would be a night dominated by the Rampage on the scoreboard and in defence with the home team just one win away from securing a playoff spot.
The opening period picked up where the previous night left off with a pair of snipe goals scored by Jordan McTaggart for his 12th and 13th goals of the season to put the Rampage up 2-0 at the end of the first.
The second period was more of the same with another familiar name scoring his fourth goal within 24 hours – Anthony Barnes. Barnes would take a cross ice pass from Jordan Smith and fly down the left side if the ice and bury a shot low glove side to make it 3-0 to the Rampage.
The Coast’s Mike Tish would add his fourth goal in the same amount of time a few minutes later to finally get the visitors on the board but would be the first and last time they’d score on the night.
Less than three minutes later, the Rampage would light the lamp again with a goal by Harley Anderson who would stuff the rebound in with a backhand swipe to put the home team up 4-1 to close out the period.
The final period was an impromptu goalie masterclass by none other than Nick Novysedlak who would face 23 shots in the third period alone but would not allow a single shot through. In one of his best games of the season, Novysedlak would face 48 shots on the night allowing only one to penetrate through. A massive effort by the goalie and exactly when the team needed him.
Brisbane would managed just nine shots in the period but it was enough and would pickup another insurance goal from Jordan McTaggart who would score his third goal of the game for a hat trick from a beautiful fake one-timer from Owen Sobchak to give him five points over the weekend following his return from injury.