Selected photos from the Australian Womens Ice Hockey League (AWIHL) game between the Adelaide Rush and the Perth Inferno played in 7/01/2023 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia. The Rush in a rebuilding year sporting many new young faces were winless going into the game with the Inferno mid ladder. In goals for the Rush was Maddie Smith and for the Inferno, Sasha King. The period was relatively even as the Inferno acclimatised to the relatively small Adelaide rink and the young Adelaide team kept them at bay. With the period even it would take until 7:26 left in the period until a goal would appear on the scoreboard. Diane Glass, returning from a few years off would open the scoring for the Rush with an assist from Torie Cybulski. Shortly afterwards Inferno’s Isla Malcolm headed to the sin bin for a tripping minor. With mere seconds remaining in the period, alternate captain Kate Tihema, returning from a few years of college hockey in North America, added their second goal, unassisted. The Rush would edge out the Inferno 10-8 on shots on goal.
The second period was equally tight, but Rush’s Kirsty Venus would fall foul of the refs and headed back to the bench for 2 minutes for interference. Now with the powerplay, it would take until just under 5mins left before another goal was added, this time to Inferno’s Isla Malcolm, with an assist from captain Marina Nottle. Unperturbed, livewire Cybulski slotted one past Inferno’s goaltender King with 1:53 remaining, the goal being unassisted. To grab the momentum for the 3rd period, the Rush’s Tiffany Venning added their 3rd goal with under a minute remaining to have what would seem a safe 3-goal buffer. The assist came from captain Nat Ayris. Shots on goal were 13-10 in favour of the Rush.
The period break gave the Inferno a chance to regroup and that they did. With 16:19 remaining in the game Sophie Reader scored with an assist coming from Seonaid Parker to reduce the deficit to two goals. Sasha Irvine of the Inferno was deemed for interference at 15:56 giving the Rush a powerplay but they were unable to score. The young Rush team was able to contain the Inferno as they gained confidence on the home turf/ice. At 2:31 remaining in the game Rush’s other goaltender Kempe got tangled with an Inferno player, tripping her in the process and earning a 2min minor. It would be just over a minute remaining when Inferno’s Elizabeth Scala reduced the deficit to 1 goal and the chance now to take the game to overtime. The Rush weren’t to be denied their first win as Nat Ayris put one past King with 15secs remaining, ably assisted by Tihema. Shots on goal for the game saw the teams take 33 a piece.