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The Southern Dogs sealed their second win in the National Hockey League with a dramatic 2-1 shootout victory against Capital in Wellington yesterday.
The home side was trailing 4-2 but scored twice in the final minute to force a shootout.
Jordan Ward and Lachie Davidson defeated goalie Fletcher Phillips to help clinch the win.
Despite the victory, the Dogs remain at the bottom of the standings and will play Midlands in a playoff game today. The winner will play Central tomorrow in a playoff for fifth.
Capital is safely through to the semifinals and will play Auckland, while Canterbury will play North Harbour in the early semifinal.
Dogs coach Clive Daniels said he was pleased with the progress his side has made this week, particularly in front of goal.
The team scored just three goals in its first four games but has banged in seven goals in the last two games plus two more during yesterday’s shootout.
"It would have been better if we did that at the beginning of the week," Daniels joked.
The best the Dogs can finish is fifth but he felt that would represent a good result for his team.
"I think that would be a good result. It has been a bit of a tough one ... because the teams are pretty well balanced.
"I would have been happy with a win against Auckland because that was a dominant performance for us — we just couldn’t get the ball in the goal.
"But we are scoring more and more now. We are definitely on the improve."
Capital opened the scoring in the 11th minute through Rowan Yeo.
Southern responded when Ward knocked in a penalty corner, and went ahead early in the second half when Davidson found the back of the net.
There was a flurry of action late in the third quarter. Capital equalised from a penalty corner but Jack Gilbert also scored from a penalty corner to reset the margin.
When Dylan Thomas scored midway through the final period, Southern appeared to have secured the win.
But Capital whacked in two penalty corners in the last minute to force a shootout.
The Southern Storm plays defending champions North Harbour in its last round-robin game today. The Storm is anchored at the bottom of the standings and, win or lose, it will playoff for seventh tomorrow.