Photos from the Adelaide Summer League Division B ice hockey game between the Unicorns and the Arctics played on 12/03/2023 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia. This was the last minor round game before the best-of-3 semi final series would start. The Unicorns Division B team, not having won a single game in the 2021-2022 season were looking to finish as high as possible, either in 2nd or 3rd place to avoid playing the top placed Titans in the first semi final series. The Arctics on the other hand would miss out playing in the finals. They could still finish on a high, having narrowly beating the Unicorns last time out, beating them with one second remaining in overtime! Starting goals for the Unicorns was Stoyan Shopov, having warmed up by playing in the Division A game before this one, and for the Arctics, the netminder would be Bradley Smith. At least the ice was in good playing condition, unlike the Unicorns last game.
The first period started even with neither team able to find a way ahead for most of it. The Unicorns struggled to stop the fast skater Ben Broad who found a way past Shopov at the 6:43 mark after an assist from Nicholas Telenko. This stirred up Unicorns Joel O’Brien to equal the score at 1-a-piece a bit over a minute later. The assist came from Victoria Richards. That would be the score going into the first break with no penalties being called. Shots on goal saw Unicorns Shopov face 7, and Arctics Smith face 6 shots.
In the second period it would be Broad again troubling the Unicorns, this time scoring at 11:43 on the clock after an assist from Carli Stasinopoulos. The Unicorns were unable to find a way past the Arctics netminder time and time again. Then Stasinopoulos would get a goal of her own at 6:50 with the assists coming from Telenko and Broad. The Arctics would take this 2 goal buffer into the 2nd break and having all the answers to the Unicorns many shots on their goal. Shots on goal saw Unicorns Shopov face 6 shots, to Arctics Smith 6 shots. Still no penalties….
The break before the 3rd period game the opportunity for the Unicorns to regroup and Alternate captain Joel O’Brien reiterated for the team to keep focussed and not panic. He set his team an example scoring unassisted at 15:43 to cut the deficit to one goal. Sometime later Unicorns Richard Kennedy would receive a big juicy rebound directly out front and centre and planted in into the back of the net. Now we had a game on our hands as the Unicorns sensed the urgency in attaining this all important win. The game was heading for another overtime and we know what happened last time. The Acrtics called a timeout to stop the Unicorns momentum and the ever increasing tally of shots on goal. Joel O’Brien sensed that time was running out and charged down the ice and planted his hattrick goal with a minute left on the clock. The Unicorns would take the win and now waited on results of other games. As it would be, the regulation time win would see them take out 2nd spot on the ladder, an amazing turnaround from the previous year. Shots on goal for the game saw Unicorns Shopov face 18 shots and Arctics Smith face 28 shots.