Photos from the Adelaide Premier League Grand Final game 1 (best of 3) between the Blackhawks and the Tigers played on 05/09/2018 at the Ice Arena. Missing from the strong Blackhawks lineup was x, and the Tigers had import Tristan Craighead. In goals for the Blackhawks was Adelaide Adrenaline back-up goalie Glen Forbes-White and for the Tigers was regular South Australian Tange team goalie Russell Brewer. The Blackhawks had been having an excellent year, sporting several of Adelaide Adrenaline’s former first line players Greg Oddy, Josh Harding and David Huxley as well as Tyson Boyd and Dean Peterson and were expected to be hard team to beat. The Tigers had caused an upset by advancing to the Grand Finals series after downing recent Premier League (formerly the A grade before the grades were introduced) champions, the Redwings. The first incident would be when Josh Harding would be called for slashing barely a minute into the game. The relatively small crowd were on hand to watch the Tigers strike early, which was the only way of taming the rampant 2018 Blackhawks team. Tigers Craighead would open the scoring at 9:25 being assisted by Adelaide Adrenaline’s Ryan Foll and sometime Sydney Bears player Kayne Fedor. At the 7:29 mark, Greg Oddy scored after charging his way down from the other end after receiving an assist from Josh Harding, just like the old Adelaide Avalanche and Adrenaline days! Harding would get another penalty at 6:32, this time for cross checking. With the powerplay Craighead added his second for the night to the Tiger’s score, with the assists coming from ex Avalanche player James Keane and Foll. The Blackhawks weren’t expecting to be on the back foot, however the Blackhawks would remedy the one goal deficit at 3:56 through Chris Stanton with an assist from Mitch McLean and Huxley. With the scoreline now even this spurred on the rampant Blackhawks and they would score a go-ahead goal a short time later at 2:17 when big Matt Lothian scored after assists from Dean Peterson and ex-Avalanche player Jarrod MacDonnell. The Blackhawks weren’t done yet as less than a minute later Greg Oddy did another of his typical plays to score again, this time the assists coming from McLean and Huxley. The score at the period break was 4-2. Shots on goal was 12 a piece.
The second period saw the Blackhawks contained by the Tigers as the Blackhawks found themselves in penalty trouble several times, Oddy twice for hooking and Boyd also for hooking. It was during the second powerplayer that Adelaide Adrenaline’s Jamie Holland would get the Tigers back within one goal, assisted by Foll. Craighead was sent to the box for slashing. Score at the end of the period was 4-3 just in favour of the Blackhawks with Tigers lurking and looking for an upset. Shots on goal were Blackhawks 8 to the Tigers 10. The 3rd period would be very interesting indeed!
Under a minute into the period the Tigers did the unthinkable (well, not for the Tigers) and leveled the score at 4-all. Holland was determined to keep his team in with a chance, and had received the assists from Craighead and Fedor. However the jubilation was short-lived! In under a minute the Blackhawks had regained the lead with McLean finding a way past Tigers goalie Brewer, assisted by Peterson and Lothian who was having a good night out. Shortly afterwards, Tigers Craighead would be called for boarding and Holland would join him a half a minute later which took the sting out of the Tigers game a bit. With the 5-on-3 advantage the Blackhawks made short work of it scoring their 6th goal through Harding, once again proving defenceman can score goals. He was assisted by the feisty Peterson who had had 3 assists for the night and was niggling the Tigers players. The 6-4 scoreline remained despite penalties being handing out to Blackhawks Peterson for a soft slash at goalie Brewer at 4:55, Tigers Fedor for interference at 5:36 and then stouch between Peterson and Craighead saw them leave the ice and the game with 5secs to play in the heated last period. Shots on goal were Blackhawks 5 to the Tigers 7. With the 6-4 win the Blackhawks just need to win game 2 on Saturday to win the 2018 Premier League Championship.