Some of the photos from the Adelaide Summer League Ice Hockey Division 2 game between the Snipers and the Unicorns played on 12/02/2023 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia. The Unicorns are the team I play on but I am out for the season recovering from shoulder surgery (sustained while playing against this Snipers team) and am resigned to “bench gate” duties or taking photos such as here, mainly of the Unicorns players. In between the pipes for the Unicorns was Stoyan Shopov, and for the Snipers, Max Black. The Unicorns Division 2 team have been one of the success stories of the ASL, coming from not winning a single game last season to being at the top end of the ladder for most of the season. The Unicorns Division 1 side however have been struggling in the highly competitive and aggressive games of their division, and often having to play with low numbers of players on the bench.
The game started with a team penalty to the Snipers at 18:00 giving the Unicorns an early powerplay and they made short work of it with Joel O’Brien finding the back of the net, unassisted. Both teams managed to stay out penalty trouble for the rest of the period. The Unicorns however were able to score a late goal at 1:48 through Victoria Richards, with assists from Joel O’Brien and Jake Vonow to take a 2-goal lead into the first break. The Snipers would surprisingly win the shots on goal tally 11-7.
In the 2nd period, Unicorns Sam von Ruetzen would fall foul of ref, Jake O’Brien when a Snipers player bounced off the big guy and unable to keep the feet, and he was deemed for interference (the usual, happens every game!). The Snipers were unable to penetrate the Unicorns penalty kill unit’s defence. With 8:05 remaining in the period, Unicorns captain Dave Lister stepped up to score their 3rd goal. The assists came from Richards and Richard Kennedy. This scoreline remained until the end of the period. Shots on goal went the way of the Snipers again, 8-5.
In the 3rd period, the Unicorns vowed to come home strong and put a lot of shots on the Snipers goal tender, Black. An interference penalty to Scott Buley, managing to upend Unicorns big man Joel O’Brien (no mean feat) didn’t help the Snipers cause, adding pressure to the defence. The Snipers seemed frustrated, especially after an offside call when they had a bit of momentum. The Unicorns remained calm and were able to exploit this and at the 10:31 mark, Jake Vonow coming in on Max Black’s stick side was able to post the Unicorns 4th goal. Shortly afterwards with a bit over 8mins remaining, Unicorns Macey de los Reyes tried to repeat it on a bit of a breakaway, but the Sniper’s goalie Black fell awkwardly, twisting his knee. Black had to leave the game injured, and the Snipers had to find an alternate goaltender…meanwhile the clock wound down with no play occurring. The 8mins was reinstated on the clock after Huskies Div1 goaltender Adam Chalker filled the spot in goals for the remainder of the game. No score resulted, but the Unicorns shots kept coming. Shots on goal were in favour of the Unicorns this time, 10-3.