11/02/2022 NHSL Adelaide Xtreme v Noarlunga Stars 5-3

Some of the photos from the National Hockey Super League game between the Adelaide Xtreme and the Noarlunga Stars played on 11/02/2022 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia.  The National Hockey Super League is Australia’s first professional ice hockey league.  The game was a must win situation for the Stars, and they would need to win in regulation time to avoid missing out on the Best-of-5 finals series.  On the flipside, it was the Extreme who could clinch the minor premiership with this game.  Recently the Stars were able to get a fast break out of the blocks only to be hauled in by the opposition at the last hurdle, their 8-7 loss to the Brewers being a case in point when they held a 7-0 lead!  The Xtreme would be putting development goaltender Cooper Peacock in between the pipes first, and at some point would change him over for experienced goaltender Peter King, as regular goaltender Jeremy Friederich was unable to play.  The stage was set for an interesting and desperate encounter.

It would be the Stars opening the scoring account first when Jake Riley scored early after an assist from Connor Smith, however Extreme’s Nathaniel Benson, teaming up with Joey MacDougall and Xander Wardlaw equalled the score at 1-all only 4mins later.  A scramble in front of net only 30-odd seconds later saw Stars Jan Koubek assist Daniel Chen slotting one past Peacock who up to now had been make some awesome saves.  The score would stay at 2-1 for the remainder of the period and shots on goal were even, but more importantly the Stars headed into the next period on a power play after an Xtreme play got pinged for a double minor. It was time for the Xtreme to send Peacock to the bench and install Peter King.

With the man advantage the Stars made use of it and Zac Steele would send them to a 3-1 lead.  About halfway into the period Xtreme’s Joey ‘’showtime’’ MacDougall took it upon himself to turns things around and get the Xtreme back into the game.  Despite being shorthanded he managed to find a way past all the Stars defenders and found the back of the net behind Stars goaltender Glenn Forbes-White who had managed to stop almost everything else the Xtreme had thrown at him.

After a lively talk from the Xtreme coaches at the period break, the Xtreme came out with a new swagger.  MacDougall would score seconds into the period to tie the score at 3-3 after am assist from Wardlaw.  Things were starting to look ominous for the Stars and they would need to dig deep to hold off the Xtreme and also find a way past Peter King.  However it would be the Xtreme that would pile on shots on goal, starting to take control of the game.  With 5:30 remaining in the game Xtreme’s Wardlaw would score the go ahead goal with MacDougall assisting and shortly afterwards Dean Peterson would score with the assist from Andrew Chen and only a miracle would save the Stars.  It wasn’t to be and the Stars ended their season with the final score at 5-3 in favour of the Xtreme.