Saturday, September 1, 2018 - Submitted by Jordan Scardetta
The 2018 season for the CD Dodd Perth Thunder has come to an early end, losing the semi-final to the Sydney Bears 3-0 at O'Brien Group Arena in Melbourne on Saturday night.
Bears goaltender Anthony Kimlin proved impossible to beat, posting a 33-save shutout as the Thunder carried the play for long stretches of the game, but weren't able to make the vital breakthrough.
The second line of the Thunder proved the most potent and provided the greatest chances, with two of them falling to Jonathon Bremner, one shot hitting a crossbar on the rush in the first period, while Kimlin produced a memorable save after Bremner danced through the Bears defence during the second.
The import pair of Pier-Olivier Grandmaison and Ben Breault provided the occasional headache for their opponents, with Grandmaison on the end of a couple of great chances, but the Bears defence was ultimately effective against the high-octane first line of the Thunder.
Even missing AIHL defenceman of the year Landon Oslanski through suspension, the undermanned Thunder defence stood tall, allowing only 25 shots on net, their fewest since July 28, while Peter Di Salvo stood tall in net with 22 saves on 24 shots faced, including twice denying the Bears on breakaway chances.