Wednesday night (28/04/2021) and game 1 between A grade teams the Blackhawks and Jokers. Problems for the Blackhawks even before the game as the Jokers stole their changeroom which required the teams to cross paths behind the benches as they headed for their respective benches. Luckily there were no indiscretions! The Blackhawks struck early 1min 50secs into the game when Caleb Staehr steered the puck past Jokers netminder Shane Akermans with assist coming from veteran Mike Gainer. The Blackhawks would make it 2-zip at the 11:45min mark when Jamie Lunn snuck one home with assists from Adelaide Rush player Sharnita Crompton and Josh Pfeiffer. A roughing penalty with 9:31 remaining would give the Jokers a chance to open their account but it wasn’t to be. Instead the Joker would give the Blackhawks a powerplay at 6:17 and 0:40 remaining with penalties to Tash Farrier (interference) and Andrew Smith (tripping) respectively. However, just before the second penalty the Jokers pegged back the two goal deficit with Bryce Wallis scoring off Premier League player Nathaniel Benson.
Second period and the Jokers had truly woken up. Two minutes in and they scored their second goal when Patryk Gaslorowski found a way a past Blackhawks goaltender Colin McWhorter after receiving the puck from Tyson Pope. At 14:26 the Jokers would go ahead for the first time in the game as Julian Friederich scored with the assists coming from Adelaide Rush player Shania Chenoweth and Benson. A roughing penalty was dished out to Blackhawks David Madsen with 9mins remaining giving the Jokers the powerplay. Deep into the penalty they scored with Jake Hazel scoring and the assist going to Farrier. With the penalty now nullified, the Blackhawks were back to full strength, so big Matthew Lothian barged his way through the Jokers defence and put the Blackhawks 3rd goal on the board after an assist from Crompton. The Jokers however would strike back a minute later as Benson with his Premier League skill scored. The assist came from Friederich. Blackhawks Ryan McLean headed to the penalty box for hooking with 4:32 remaining and the Jokers made light work of the situation scoring another goal from Gaslorowski and Pope for his 2nd assist of the night. The Blackhawks were started to stare down a black hole as the score now sat at 6-3 after feeling reasonably confident before the game. The Jokers made their misery worse when 50secs later they would add another from Ben Davis with assists from Gaslorowski and Smith. It got even worse as they posted their 8th goal with just a mere 9secs remaining in the period. Benson scored his 2nd goal of the game with an assist coming from Friederich who was having a good night on the scoresheet.
With the Blackhawks goaltender McWhorter unable to buy a trick the team exchanged him for Sam Poole in between the pipes 2mins into the period. Unfortunately which is often the case coming in cold against a red hot team full of confidence he let one past at the 17:18min mark when Friederich added another point to his tally. The assists came from Benson and James Williams. With the change in goalie, Poole was able to get on top of the Jokers after that and they didn’t score any more for the rest of the game. With Wallis taking a 2min holding penalty with 5:10mins remaining the Blackhawks were able to use the powerplay and score their 4th goal at 3:42 from Mark Page, with the assist from Lothian. Final score 9-4 in favour of the the Jokers. Shots on goal face by each team were: McWhorter/Poole a mammoth 44 shots to Jokers goaltender Akermans 15 shots.