22/07/2018 AIHL Adelaide Adrenaline v Perth Thunder 2-1

Photos from the AIHL game between Adelaide Adrenaline and Perth Thunder played on 22/07/2018 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide. After a demoralising 9-2 loss the night before, the Adrenaline needed to bring something new to the table.  Goalie Sebastian Andersson seemed to have a spring in his step and was raring to go, do doubt buoyed by the exuberant second goalie Jeremy Friederich spurring him on.  Dylan Pope and Nathaniel Benson returned with the latter coming from the successful South Australian Tange Championship campaign.  Thunder would retain Peter Di Salvo in goals.  The Adrenaline would need to match the speed of the Thunder, especially imports Pier Olivier Grandmaison and Benjamin Breault.  The Perth Thunder opened the scoring only a min and ¾ into the period with Grandmaison scoring shorthanded from an assist from Breault.  This didn’t rattle the Adrenaline as they set about matching the Thunder all over the ice.  The Adrenaline could not take capitalise on the man advantage during Thunder’s two penalties, Jonathan Bremner (hooking) and Tomek Sak (interference).  The score remained at 1-0 until period end, and more telling was the Adrenaline’s shots on goal effort at 13 keeping up with the Thunder’s 14.

In the 2nd period one particular shift with plenty of aggression and checking turned the game.  This appeared to rattle the Thunder and the Adrenaline kept up the pressure and this new found attack rewarded them with a goal to Harley Anderson with the assists from Corey Stringer and import Caleb Apperson.  The Adrenaline fans were witnessing something special that had been missing in the Adrenaline’s game play this year.  Some confusion started to creep into the Thunders game as the Adrenaline matched or beat the Thunder in a few key areas with Andersson doing some blinding saves on rockets fired at him.  Unfortunately Adrenaline’s Pope had a disagreement with referee Mike Gainer at the 8:41 mark that earnt him a 10min misconduct penalty, but 5-on-5 remained on the ice.  The 1-1 tied score remained much to the Adrenaline home crowd’s delight as the Adrenaline had dominated the period.  Shots on goal Thunder 10, Adrenaline 9.

The 3rd period started with the game in the balance.  Would the Thunder come over the top with their class imports, or would the younger Adrenaline outfit be able to withstand the onslaught.  One thing was certain, Adrenaline goalie Andersson was getting much more support than in Saturday’s game.  He was seeing the puck like a soccer ball stopping shot after shot!  Thunder’s Andrew Cox got called for hooking at 8:16, but the Adrenaline were unable to take advantage as the experienced Thunder penalty kill unit held firm.  The Thunder ramped up their game and started to dominate, much like on Saturday however the Andersson wall could not be breached.  With 3min 40secs on the clock Tyler Leeming hammered one home for the Adrenaline sending the home crowd into a frenzy.  However too much time on the clock gave the Thunder them every chance to equalise or even take the win which has so often happened to the Adrenaline in the past.  However a penalty to Sak at the 3min mark gave the Adrenaline some relief.  With Sak back on the ice the Thunder pulled goalie Di Salvo and added a 6th attacker.  The worst thing possible happened for the Adrenaline as referee Gainer found a hooking penalty for captain Ales Kratoska with 28secs remaining on the clock and it would be 6-on-4!  This could be a heartbreaking end to the Adrenaline after containing the rampant Thunder.  But the determined Adrenaline were determined not to let this prize scalp get away and took the game 2-1, their first win in 7 games.  Shots on goal showed the determination and class of the Thunder with 18 shots to the Adrenaline’s miserly 5 shots.