2024 North Vikings Inline Viking Cup – Pelicans Div2

This page will cover the Pelicans Division 2 journey at the North Vikings Inline Hockey Club’s Viking Cup played at the Gawler Recreation Centre, South Australia.  Division 2 was a strong field with 8 teams contesting.  Each team would play 4 round robin games before finals.  Games comprised two 20min halves.  Joining the Pelicans would be Stoyan Shopov in net, and Toni Prior as a player to enable the Pelicans to have 2 lines.

Game 1 – Bearded Dragons v Pelicans 2-10

Played on Wednesday 17/04/2024 at 8:30pm.  The Pelicans had acquired the services of Stoyan Shopov between the pipes and Toni Prior.  The Bearded Dragons had Alex Palmer stepping out from his usual goaltender role at Gawler to be a player.  The Bearded Dragons would pepper the Pelicans goal early with about 9 of the 11 shots on goal being from them, culminating in the first goal of the game to Dan Tye.  The Pelicans didn’t panic, and given they weren’t used to playing on polished concrete and 3-on-3 they would just set about their game plan.  Pelicans Jordan Kutsche would slam home the next 2 goals to get the Pelicans in front.  The Pelicans were on a roll as Toni Prior, Mike Duffield and Luke DÓnise would all score to take the Pelicans to a 5-1 lead.  Mike Duffield late in the first half.  The second half saw the Dragons again put the first 7 shots on goal and eventually Dan Tye would score again.  The ‘Dragons would again throw plenty of shots on goals but Shopov would deny them every time.  Pelicans Frank Kutsche (me) would then score unassisted.  Half a minute later, Jordan Kutsche would score his hat trick goal for the Pelicans to now be ahead 8-2.  Max Coleman would add 2 more goals after having 3 assists already.   It was a good all round team game from the Pelicans, with all players scoring at least 1 goal.  Pelicans Stoyan Shopov faced 29 shots to Bearded Dragons Lauren Tye facing 21 shots.

Game 2 – Thursday – Pelicans v Just Tap It In 9-1

Two Blackwood teams had to travel across town to play each other!  Pelicans dominated their friendly rivals, with Luke D’Onise (3 goals), Max Coleman (3 goals, 1 assist) and Mike Duffield (2 goals, 1 assist) doing the damage. Goal scorer for Just Tap It In was Thomas Thackery.  Goaltender for Pelicans, Stoyan Shopov faced 29 shots to his opposition goaltender Michael Lockey facing 25 shots.

Game 3 – Firebirds v Pelicans 3-5

The all-girls team had a reputation of played hard and feisty, and that was the case in this encounter.  At 17:41 Pelicans Max Coleman, unassisted, would open the scoring.  The Firebirds hit back with 3 shots on goal and Layla Morris found a way past Pelicans goaltender Stoyan Shopov to even the score.  After this the two teams traded shots on goal until less than a minute left Max Coleman scored his second goal, the assist coming from Jordan Kutsche.  Shots on goal for the half saw Pelicans Stoyan Shopov face 11 shots, and Firebirds Teagan Webster face 12 shots.

Plenty of shots on goal early with the Pelicans dominating 7-2, and then Jordan Kutsche broke through, unassisted, and scored at the 15min mark to put the Pelicans up by 2 goals.  Firebirds Emily Richards would strike back at 12:42 squeezing one past.  The Pelicans in response peppered the Firebirds goal 8-1 shots on, and Jordan Kutsche would score his second goal at the 5min mark, assisted by Max Coleman.  Firebirds weren’t quite done yet and the sneaky Emily Richards squeezed another goal past the pads of Pelicans goaltender Stoyan Shopov to keep them in with a slim chance.  The assist came from Bec Yelland  But the Pelicans weren’t to be denied and held on for their third win of the round robin series to attain an unassailable lead at the top of the 8 team table in Division 2.

Game 4 – Pelicans v Chargers 1-4

No photos from this game, Karen Kutsche was having a break to watch from the stands.  The Chargers had an interstate 16yo gun Riley Anderson from Bendigo that had been a goaltender for the Vikings Thunder U15 Junior B team in 2023.  To say this player was a great player (as well as a great goaltender) was an understatement.  He was difficult to control for all of the Pelicans who had little answers.  The Chargers decided to play him in almost EVERY shift giving the Pelicans little respite.  He would score a hat trick and Aaron Blackley had contributed with the opening goal for the Chargers (assist Donna Johnston).  Only goalscorer for the Pelicans was Max Coleman.  Shots on goal for the game saw Chargers Matt Vickery face only 11 shots to Pelicans Stoyan Shopov facing 34 shots!  The result did not change the fact the Pelicans were minor premiers after the Round Robin series.

Semi Final 1v4 – Pelicans v Chargers 0-3

The Pelicans watched on eagerly the quarter final between the Blackwood Benders and the Chargers to see who they would face in the 1v4 Semi Final.  They didn’t want to have to take on Benders Shane Collett’s bruising cannon shots, but on the other hand didn’t want the Riley Anderson show again….which it ended up being the latter.  The Chargers again chose to put Riley Anderson out on the first 6 straight shifts, much to the annoyance of the Pelicans who were wondering if the other Chargers players were getting even game time at the expense of win at all costs tactics.  The Pelicans had played all players evenly throughout the whole tournament except for a couple of powerplays and had very very little penalties to have to have a penalty kill unit.  The Pelicans simply couldn’t score whereas Riley Anderson posted a hat trick (2 assist from Michael Kowald).   If the Chargers didn’t have the services of Riley Anderson it would have been a very very different story.

Despite bowing out after finishing top in Round Robin part, the shining light was that Pelicans Max Coleman had won the highest scorer trophy.  All Pelicans enjoyed the tournament and want to send a big thanks to Peter King and the rest of the North Vikings committee.