A composed first quarter saw both sides cancel each other out in a midfield battle. India were the ones who were pushed to the back foot early on, conceding a PC, but Vikas Dahiya’s smart save ensured both teams went into the first break locked in a stalemate.
Early in the second quarter, the Thundersticks captain Chris Bausor converted his team’s second PC of the game giving them the lead. Western Australia kept up the pressure, with another PC but were again denied by Dahiya, ensuring India would go into halftime down by the single goal.
India stormed out of the blocks in the second half, and soon enough Sumit scored the goal to draw them level. It was the inspiration the Juniors needed. With the teams level, India were suddenly on the front foot, crowding the midfield and pushing Western Australia deep into defence.
With their first PC of the game, Varun Kumar found the net, giving India the lead in the 39th minute. A minute later, he had his second with another PC. From being a goal down, India had stormed to a two-goal lead within 10 minutes of the second half. It was a lead they held on to going into the final break.
India will now take on Victorian Vikings in the first semi final of the AHL on Oct 7 at 1530hrs IST.