11/11/2023 AWIHL Adelaide Rush v Sydney Sirens 5-4

The AWIHL returned for the 2023-2024 season.  First home game for the Adelaide Rush saw them facing the Sydney Sirens.  Both teams had many up and coming younger players and the Sirens seemed to have a big turnover in players since I last saw them.  Compared to the Rush’s 2022-2023 roster, it includes 17 returning players and 10 new signings, while 4 players have been delisted.  The imports for the Rush are Madeline Langevin, Sierra Meroniuk (from Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), Reaghan Pietrowski (from Adrian College), Maya Tupper (from Lakers Kärnten in the Austrian league).  New players included Marni Trapolino and Amelia Knott (goaltender), as well as Kelly Harris (previously in the team in 2018–19) and Diane Glass (returning after 6 years off).  Development players are Eleanor Bartter, Jasmine Chen and Anika Wegund.  Starting goaltender for the Rush was Maddie Smith.

The Rush would open the scoring with Tash Farrier scoring the goal, unassisted at 12:46 on the clock.  The Rush added their 2nd when Kirsty Venus found the back of the net at 7:15 left in the period after assists from Farrier and Harris.  After only facing 6 shots and with 2 goals against her name, Sirens starting goaltender Nayoka Wellard was swapped over for Ella Licari.  The Sirens would strike back at 5:45 with Sarah Edney beating Rush goaltender Maddie Smith.  The assist came from Carrier Wilder.  Rush’s Torie Cybulski would give the Sirens another chance after heading to the box for tripping a few seconds later, but the penalty kill unit disposed of the 2mins.  Harris would give the Rush back their 2-goal advantage with 3mins left to play after an assist from Farrier.  Rush’s Madeline Langevin did a body check at 1:55 earning her a 2min rest in the sin bin.  The Rush were able to hold the 3-1 scoreline going into the 1st break.

The second period tightened up as the Rush found it difficult to score past the much larger goaltender and both teams had 2 penalties.  The score at the end of the period remained at 3-1.  Shots on goal for the period saw Rush’s Smith and Sirens Licari face 12 a piece.

The 3rd period saw a resurgence of the Sirens as they bit back with Lily Roberts reducing the deficit to one goal at the 15:38 mark.  Edney got the assist.  Straight after the Sirens had the powerplay when Rush’s Kaitlin Malthaner was deemed for roughing but they did not add to their score.  Sirens Hannah Cryan (interference) and Rush’s Farrier (hooking) received penalties but there was no change again.  Then things were all tied up at 10:45 mark when Sirens Edney scored her 2nd goal from the assist from Ebony Brunt due to Rush’s bench minor penalty.   Eventually the Rush were able to shake off the Sirens with a powerplay goal to Nat Ayris at the 7:49.  The assists came from Maya Tupper and Amber Bedell.  Maya Tupper was given a high-sticking penalty at 4:45 giving the Sirens the powerplay again.  They used it and levelled the score when Ebony Brunt scored at 3:32 left in the game.  The assists came from Stephanie Newmark and Cryan.  The game was heading for overtime but Torie Cybulski scored with just over 2mins left to put the Rush back in front after an assist from Venus.  Shots on goal for the game saw Rush’s Maddie Smith face 30 shots and the Sirens goaltenders face 31 shots.