Some of the photos from the AJIHL game 1 between the Adelaide Generals and Perth Sharks, both towards the bottom of ladder and trying to get into the last finals position. The Generals needed this home game win to keep their slim chances alive for the finals. As with most AJIHL penalties are never in short supply, especially as two teams desperate for a win try and exert their authority on the other team. Generals Connor Smith would be pinged for a hit from behind at 14:46 sending the Sharks into a powerplay which they made light use off as Yannic Lodge scored unassisted 17secs later. This resulted in Connor Smith being handed another penalty, this time a 10min major for misconduct. The two teams resumed their aggression but neither could add to the scoreline such was the tight nature of the game in the 1st period. The Generals however would fall foul of the refs, as Zach Steele headed to the box at 5:10 for interference, closely followed by Morris O’Handley for high sticking at 4:56. The Generals were miraculously able to see off the the 3-on-5 man penalty kill. However as O’Handley’s penalty finished he headed straight to the box again for cross checking at 2:56. The Sharks would have Jaydon Santana go to the penalty box at 1:53 for a high stick and Ryan Rothwell for holding his opponent’s stick with 35secs left in the period to give the Generals a short powerplay in the next period. Shots on goal were Sharks 16, Generals 9.
The 2nd period tightened up even more with the intensity ramping up and no goals resulted with the Sharks holding the one goal advantage into the 3rd period. The Generals somehow were disciplined after their 1st period efforts and stayed out of the penalty box. Sharks Kalin Nyrich gave the Generals a powerplay opportunity deep into the period with 1min remaining after tripping a Generals player. Shots on goal for the period were Sharks 11, Generals 9 with the Sharks having 9 more scoring shots for the game.
The third period saw the Generals strike first to equal the Sharks when at 14:33 Brad Chenoweth scored after assists from Connor Smith and captain Kyle Clark. The Generals, now with momentum, posted a second goala short time later at 12:57 remaining when Ben Handberg found a way past Sharks goaltender Rhys Pelliccione with assists coming from Chenoweth and Clark. The Sharks Santana headed to the box at 7:41 for interference giving the Generals the powerplay. They were able to make the Sharks pay when 16secs later Smith scored giving the Generals a dominant 3-1 lead. Assists went to Chenoweth and Handberg, both having a good game. The Sharks did strike back though when Benjamin Williams managed to squeeze one past Generals goaltender Jeremy Friederich with an assist from Lodge. This would be an interesting run to the final horn! At 4:47 remaining the Generals were in trouble at exactly the wrong time when they should have been defending their slender lead. Smith, yet again, had a penalty, this time for roughing. The Generals however stood firm and killed off the penalty. The Sharks desperate to score got a bit clumsy and a swag of penalties resulted. Ryan Langille went for tripping at 1:52 remaining, and Lodge for two minor penalties for roughing and holding stick at 10secs left in the game. The Generals grabbed 3 valuable points in the 3-2 win. Shots on goal for the game, Sharks 36, Generals 30.
Many thanks to Nicola Reece for providing the gamesheets for the articles.