Welcome back Women’s Ice Hockey in Australia. The Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League is back in 2022-2023 after a Covid affected hiatus. Selected photos from the very fog affected game due to the humidity (and dodgy humidifier unable to cope) between the Adelaide Rush and the Melbourne Ice played at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia on 12/11/2022. The Rush were starting on a rebuilding exercise with no less than 11 rookies in the team this year, with quite a few players making the transition from Bantams to the Women’s National competition. Some familiar faces were back after over 5 years out of the team, with Kate Tihema bringing plenty of overseas experience and Diana Glass returning. Starting goaltender for this game would be veteran Jo Phillis. The Melbourne Ice had recruited well when one of the players spotted a person carrying a hockey bag in the Melbourne International Airport and asked them “are you looking for somewhere to play?, we’ll put you on the mailing list/Facebook etc and hey presto they have a North American college player, Danielle Butler signed up. The Rush would need to shake off the nerves of the rookies and settle into a rhythm to stave off the more experienced Ice outfit.
As it was, the Ice would dominate, mainly due to clever close in work from the Ice forwards around the crease, finding ways to get past Rush goaltender Phillis, and Ice’s Butler was amazing to watch in action. She was equally matched by Kate Tihema in pace. Ice’s Butler was simply dangerous, and posted 3 (or more?) goals. The Rush couldn’t find a way past the Ice’s goaltender as easily with plenty of Ice defenders to create a wall in front. The Ice didn’t have to quite all their way, as the Rush were able to post 2 goals against the Ice’s 6 goals. On Sunday the young Rush team impressed and towards the end of the 2nd period at held the Ice to only 2 goals, before a very late goal put the Ice up by 3-0. Ice continued on their way, no thanks to Butler and eventually ran out winners 7-0.