The Kodiak Melbourne Mustangs have posted their biggest win of the season with a 10-2 result at home against a hapless Adelaide Adrenaline on Sunday.
The Mustangs were the second team to reach double figures against the Adrenaline after Newcastle did so in a 10-3 win in Adelaide on May 11.
Vadim Virjassov continued his brilliant form with a four-goal performance along with Sean Jones adding two while Christian Isackson had four assists and a goal and Jordan Owens three assists.
Leading 3-1 after two periods the Mustangs stretched their advantage to four when Andrew Erzen netted his first goal for 2019 halfway through the third, before Adelaide replied to make it 5-2.
But from there the Mustangs put the visitors to the sword with Virjassov starting the procession of goals by completing his hat-trick with a shorthanded effort with 8:10 remaining.
A minute later Damien Bright added a second ‘shorty’ while the last three goals came in the final four minutes of play with Jaxon Lane notching the Mustangs’ 10thon a late powerplay.
“We were only 1-0 up after the first period but the boys just keep piling on the pressure and were rewarded late on,” assistant coach Jon Moses said.
“We’ve faced some really good goalies and some good teams that just keep getting in the way and blocking shots, but Adelaide just didn’t have the legs to keep doing that.
“We got 10 goals but one of the most pleasing things was at least three goals were dirty ones we haven’t been getting, ones off screens where the puck hits a stick, a skate or is put in off a rebound.”
While Sunday’s result was a near perfect performance, week seven didn’t start the way Mustangs players and supporters had hoped, being beaten by local rivals Melbourne Ice.
After the Mustangs won the first derby of the season 4-3, the Ice needed penalties to secure a 5-4 victory in Friday night’s contest.
With an early 3-0 lead it looked like the Ice might be comfortable winners but Vadim Virjassov’s shorthanded goal with 1:41 left in the second period changed the momentum.
Matt Anderson scored on the powerplay in the opening minute of the third period, and even after conceding a fourth goal seven minutes later, the Mustangs wrestled back control once more.
Virjassov scored his second after 11:39 of play in the last and less than a minute later the Mustangs were on level terms thanks to Sean Jones.
There was plenty of time for both teams to find a winner, but neither could, while five minutes of overtime also failed to separate the two.
In the shootout both teams converted their second and third attempts, but it would take until the sixth round to get an outcome with Tom Powell scoring for the Ice and Jordan Owens missing.
Friday’s defeat was the third overtime loss for the Mustangs, two of which have been in shootouts, it also means the team is yet to pick up a maximum six points from a two-game weekend.
“This league’s too good now that if a team gets a three-goal lead they’re not going to give it back to you that easy,” Moses said.
“They capitalised on a defensive lapse, a bad bounce and a goal tending error, but we weren’t surprised with how the guys came back, that’s one big difference compared to a few years ago.
“In the end we got beaten in a shootout by a good goalie, it’s disappointing but down the track that’s going to stop happening and our waves of offence are going to be too much for a team.”
The Mustangs face the CBR Brave in Canberra on Sunday in what is the teams’ first meeting this season.