Louick Marcotte’s first AIHL hat trick and a three-point night from Kieren Webster and Keven Veilleux have propelled the CD Dodd Perth Thunder to a thrilling 5-3 victory over the Newcastle Northstars at Perth Ice Arena on Saturday night.
Marcotte completed his hat trick with a late empty-net goal and Nico Viksten made 32 saves as the Thunder held off a late charge from the visitors to record a vital home win.
Webster’s one goal and two assists pushed his tally to 31 points on the season, equaling the record for local scoring in a single season for the Perth Thunder.
It was Webster who started the scoring for the Thunder with a power play goal A little under 10 minutes in to the game, and the Thunder weathered an early storm from the Northstars, with Viksten recording 14 saves in a tight first period.
Veilleux doubled the Thunder lead with 25 seconds remaining in the first period after the Thunder withstood a long period of pressure from the Northstars, but the lead was cut to 2-1 early in the second period.
The visitors then levelled the score at 2-2 with seven minutes remaining, before Marcotte restored the Thunder lead with a great move on Northstars goaltender Dayne Davis.
The Thunder then had to fight hard to maintain, and when Veilleux set up Marcotte’s second goal with 2.57 remaining, the Thunder looked unassailable with a 4-2 lead.
But the Northstars kept battling away and with 1.03 remaining they halved their deficit with the extra attacker, meaning a nervous final minute for Thunder fans.
The nerves were lifted when Webster landed a saucer pass on the stick of Marcotte, who duly scored the empty-net goal to complete his hat trick and a 5-3 victory for the Thunder.
The two teams return to battle again on Sunday at Perth Ice Arena.