20/01/2024 AWIHL Adelaide Rush v Brisbane Lightning 8-5

First home games for the 2023-2024 Adelaide Adrenaline in the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League.  The Rush hosted the Brisbane Lightning in a double header weekend and were looking for maximum points to get back to the top of the ladder.  The Rush had added some new imports in the way of Sierra Meroniuk (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) and Rheagan Pietrowski (Adrian College, USA), but were without captain, Tash Farrier.  In goals for the Rush was Amelia Knott, fresh from the U18 World Championships, and for the Lightning would be, 51 years young, Tracey McIntosh.

The Rush would get the early advantage with Nat Ayris scoring their first 2 goals to take a 2-goal break.  Kate Tihema and Kirsty Venus had the assists in the first, and Madeline Langevin the assist in the second goal.  At the second goal (10:54 remaining in the period), Brisbane’s veteran Tracy Hocutt would head to the bench for an interference minor.  At the 8:54 mark Lightning’s Abi Brown would reduce the margin to one goal.  The assists came from Emma Wuthrich and Alison Carlisle.  At the 5:28 mark, Lightning’s Amanda Dixon was deemed for interference, putting the Rush into a powerplay and they would make use of it, with Pietrowski scored off Diana Glass and Meroniuk assists at 3:36 on the clock.  The Lightning would strike back with just under 2mins remaining as Lindsey Kiliwnik found the back of the net.  The assist came from Brown.  Shots on goal for the period saw Rush’s Knott facing 5 shots and Lightning’s McIntosh facing 10.

It took until the 11:52 mark before either team scored in the 2nd period.  Rush’s Tiffany Venning would restore the 2-goal lead, unassisted.  However, it didn’t take long for the Lightning’s Wuthrich to take it back to a one-goal game at the 10:10 mark.  The assist came from Katrina Rapchuk.  The Lightning were on a roll now and only a minute later had the game at 4-all when Courtney Mahoney scored one past Rush’s goaltender Knott.  The assists came from Chloe Charles and Carlisle.  The teams were so evenly matched it was difficult to see either having an advantage, apart from Rush’s hometown crowd.  Rush’s Kaitlyn Malthaner scored unassisted at 4:47 to give the Rush a one-goal lead going into the 2nd break.  Shots on goal for the period saw Knott face 11 shots and McIntosh face 12 shots.  There were no penalties in the period.

The 3rd period started with Rush’s livewire Torie Cybulski scoring past McIntosh early at 17:45 to give the home town team a 2-goal lead again.  The assist came from Sarah Wise.  Lightning’s Hocutt would get another interference minor at 10:43 but the Rush were unable to score as the Lightning’s penalty kill unit were up to the task.  At 7:21, the Lightning clawed back again as Brown scored from assists from captain Christina Badgley and Charles.  The Rush were not going to be denied a first win for the year as Kate Tihema yet again got the Rush up by 2 goals with just over 3mins to play.  The assists came from veteran Candice Mitchell and Ayris with her 3rd point for the game.  With just 9secs left in the game Pietrowski would seal it for the Rush with a strong 8-5 win, combining with Meroniuk.  The Rush had dominated the last period with shot after shot on goal.  Shots on goal for the game saw Rush’s Amelia Knot face 21 shots, and Lightning’s Tracey McIntosh face 36 shots.