21/01/2024 AWIHL Adelaide Rush v Brisbane Lightning 6-2

The Brisbane Lightning would need to regroup after the Adelaide Rush ran away with the game late in the previous night’s AWIHL encounter.  Tracey McIntosh would remain in goals for the Lightning while Rush switched theirs for Maddie Smith.  Penalties had been one of the problems for the Lightning and would need to remain focussed against the confident Rush outfit.

The game had barely got underway when Rush’s Maya Tupper kicked off proceedings scoring unassisted at 19:11.  The period was very even with both sides not able to find a way past each other’s defence.  At the 7:30 mark Lightning’s Emma Wuthrich fell foul of the referee and headed to the bench for an interference minor, giving the Rush the powerplay.  The Lightning almost wore away the penalty but with 5secs remaining of it, Jamie Lunn slammed one home.  The assist came from Kaitlyn Malthaner.  A little over a minute later the Lightning got themselves on the board when Wuthrich scored after assists from Chloe Charles and Christina Badgley.  The score remained at 2-1 at the end of the period.  Shots on goal saw Rush’s Smith face 9 shots, and McIntosh face 7 shots.

The second period’s scoring opened at 16:33 with Lightning’s Wuthrich evening the game at 2-all.  The assist came from Lindsey Kiliwnik.  The game remained tight and in the balance until Rush’s Tupper headed to the bench at 8:02 for a roughing minor giving the Lightning the opportunity to get a go-ahead goal with the powerplay.  The Rush’s penalty kill unit had other ideas and saw off the penalty.  The Rush’s Reaghan Pietrowski would get the Rush back in front with 3mins to play in the period.  The single assist came from Malthaner, her second for the game.  Right on the buzzer there was a skirmish and Lightning’s Wuthrich got herself on the game sheet again, this time for roughing giving the Rush a great opportunity going into the vital final period.  Shots on goal for the period saw Rush’s Smith face a miserly 3 shots such was the Rush’s defensive game, to Lightning’s McIntosh facing 11 shots.

Rush’s Sierra Meroniuk made light work of the powerplay scoring the Rush’s 4th goal in under a minute.  The assists came from Diana Glass and Pietrowski.  The game was starting to get away from the Lightning and they would need to dig deep to get back against the confident and strong Rush team.  Penalties would not help their cause, and when Alexandra Macdonald headed to the bench for a tripping minor at 16:05 it was the last thing they needed.  Twenty seconds later Rush’s Kirsty Venus fired a shot from near the blue line and it got past the Lightning goaltender.  The assist went to Kate Tihema.  Then Venus would head back to the bench for an interference minor giving the Lightning a much needed powerplay, but they were unable to capitalise on the player advantage.  Rush’s Jamie Lunn received a roughing minor at 10:25 so the Lightning got another chance, but once again the Rush penalty kill unit thwarted any attempt.  The Rush were now able to manage their 3-goal advantage.  At 5:17, they would get another chance to add another as Lightning captain Christina Badgley went back to the bench after an interference call from the referee.  The Rush didn’t get much of a chance as Jamie Lunn had a slashing penalty at 4:21.  With the sting out of the game, the Lightning did a late goaltender change to give the much much younger Kayla Arthur some experience.  Her bench applauded her loudly as she batted away the first shot to come her away, and then saw off another skirmish in front.  However the joy would be short-lived as Rush’s Natalie Ayris scored unassisted at 2:12 to give the Rush an unassailable 4-goal lead.  The late hooking penalty to Rush’s Sarah Wise didn’t change the score and the Rush would come away with maximum points for the weekend.  The next home games would be against the top of the table Melbourne Ice.  Shots on goal for the game saw Rush’s Maddie Smith face 20 shots, to Lightning’s Tracey McIntosh face 27 shots with a small number of those faced by Kayla Arthur.