Dolphins Win 2022 KIHL Cup

by Nathan Sergent

Dolphins team after defeating Royals 2 games to 1 in the KIHL Finals held at Jubilee Stadium Wanganui.

Back Row (L-R) Nathaniel Stewart, Josh McMaster, Sam Beardman, Oscar Fuller, Josh Gulliver, Steven Adams
Front Row (L-R) Joel Scott, Dean Gibbins, Edwin Quiroz

The Dolphins have won the inaugural KIHL Season defeating the Royals 2 games to 1 in an exciting final series. The Dolphins managed to come back from being 2-0 down at half time to clinch game 1 by a final score or 3-2. Steven Adams netted the go ahead goal with only 1:03 seconds left in the game to seal the victory for the blue and orange.

Game 2 saw the Royals come out firing, jumping to a 4-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes of the game. The Dolphins fought back bringing it to 4-3 early in the second. The game stayed close until Nick Thom buried the insurance marker with 2 minutes left to play. Amco Cassidy potted the empty-netter with 0:02 left in the game. Final score Royals 6 - Dolphins 3.

The deciding game of the series proved to be as exciting and fiery as the first 2. The Royals jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 1:30 into the game courtesy of Kieran O'Donnell. Just 1 minute later Oscar Fuller tied the game up at 1 a piece. Dolphins would score another 2 in the next 6 minutes of play to make it 3-1, and it would stay that way until half-time. The Royals would push back early in the 2nd half, scoring a goal just 40 seconds in, another 43 seconds later, and a third 40 seconds after that (3 goals in 1:23 seconds), to make it 4-3 Royals. Less than a minute later Oscar Fuller scored for the Dolphins to tie the game at 4. Sam Beardman netted one at 14:32 to give the Dolphins a 5-4 lead but less than a minute later Kieran O'Donnell manged to poke a loose puck through goaltender Edwin Quiroz's legs to tie it at 5. With 9:29 left Sam Beardman managed to score on a brilliant individual effort to put the Dolphins in front again 6-5. 2 minutes later Matt De Boer tied it at 6. The final goal of the game came when Dean Gibbins picked off a pass by James O'Donnell and scored to put the Dolphins up 7-6 with 4 minutes remaining. This is where the game would end, Dolphins win the game 7-6 and take the series 2 games to 1.

The full game stream can be watched here