Hungry Sharks ready to strike

A SHARK warning has been put out for Glenorchy tonight ahead of the Ice Hockey Tasmania grand final.

The Sharks enter their third Van Diemen’s League grand final in four years desperate to break their eight-year premiership drought at the Glenorchy ice skating rink.

Standing in their way, however, are the two-time reigning premiers the Falcons who are aiming for a “threepeat” of titles off the back of another dominant season.

The Sharks head into the match having had an 11-day break after upsetting the Falcons last week 8-7 in the first semi-final.

Sharks defender Mika Pallari said the break would help the side.

“Our regular season is a pretty long and gruelling one,” he said. “Twenty-five weeks of regular season plus one playoff game do take a toll on your stamina and endurance, so a bit of a rest is definitely a good thing both physically and mentally.”

The sides have met 10 times this season with the Sharks holding a 5-4-1 advantage over the side that thrashed them in last year’s grand final 16-7.

“Having that kind of statistical advantage gives you more confidence, there is no doubt about that,” Pallari said. “On the other hand, you just can’t rely on past wins or results to give you any advantage over your opponent.

“We respect our opponent and are totally ready to play against them in the grand final.”

Falcons two-time premiership goaltender Joel Richardson was cautious of the Sharks despite the fact his side comes into the match as warm favourite, having lost only one game in the past 12 matches and finishing the regular season as minor premier.

“I’m nervous even being my third because they are so hard to beat now and I think it will be close,” he said. “All we can do is focus on our game and playing as well as we can.”

The grand final starts at 5pm.

This article was originally written for The Mercury

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