Photos from the last home game for the Adelaide Adrenaline in the clash with the Melbourne Mustangs at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia. Both team occupied the bottom 2 spots of the AIHL ladder so the game would be one of pride more than anything else. Without import Alex Adams (gone home) the Mustangs had ripped through the Adrenaline defence the night before. In this Sunday game the Adrenaline would have to make do without Caleb Apperson and the Mustangs without Matt Humphries, both suspended from the previous night after a big fight. This would be Adrenaline import Ales Kratoska’s last home game, a sad day for the fans as he has brought such a different fun element and excitement to the Adelaide team game. However, the whole weekend was treated as a party as most of the female Adrenaline volunteers donned tutus for the games. For the men it was optional!
The Mustangs would open the scoring early at the 14:02 mark of the first quarter with import Brett Ferguson scoring with assists from import Ben Davies and Pat O’Kane. The Adrenaline ignited the home crowd answering back only a minute later with Tyler Leeming scoring the equaliser with assists from Steve Best and Ryan Foll who headed to the bench full of attitude to rev up their players for a big game. The period continued as a see-saw affair with neither team finding the net. At the 7:28 mark Adrenaline’s Kratoska and Mustangs Bradley Apps decided a bit of roughing was in order and headed for the sinbin. As Apps had been the instigator the Mustangs also had Matt Stringer sit out 2mins. Within 14secs Kratoska would be joined by Josef Rezek, called for hooking, and worse, Steve Best also for slashing at 6:39 putting the Adrenaline under immense pressure as they face the man disadvantage and the rampant Mustangs’ gun import Davies roaming on the ice. Apps would be called for another penalty at 5:28 but the Adrenaline were unable to capitalise. The Mustangs found a way past Adrenaline import goalie Sebastian Andersson at 2:20 with O’Kane assisted by Davies. Late in the period, Adrenaline lost import Jamie Holland to the sinbin for hooking. At the end of the period the score stood at 2-1 in favour of the Mustangs who had 17 shots on goal against Adrenaline 6.
In the second period the Adrenaline game plan started to wane as the Mustangs applied more and more pressure and they were rewarded early at 13:47 with a goal to Ferguson with the assists coming from import Nikita Kolesnikovs and Jackson McCoy. The Adrenaline, to their credit, managed to stem the flow and keep the score at 3-1 to the end of the period. Shots on goal were Mustangs 14 to Adrenaline 7.
The Adrenaline hoped to finish strong in the last period for themselves and their loyal fans. However the Mustangs had other plans, and less than a minute into the long 20min period O’Kane would pick up his second goal for the night, assisted by Ferguson and Davies. Apps was finding the sinbin seat comfortable as his hooking earnt himself another 2mins rest. Adrenaline’s Gold Coast ‘import’ Harley Anderson went to the sinbin for tripping at 13:10 but the Adrenaline held firm with one player down. At 11:21 it appear the floodgates would be opened yet again for the Mustangs, but the goal was determined ‘no goal’ by referee Chris Parks due to goalie interference by Davies who definitely appeared to tangle with his legs and he headed for the sinbin. The only other penalty went to Mustangs Brendan McDowell for boarding and Adrenaline’s Remy McGuinness headed dejected to the bench with a shoulder injury. Neither team scored for the remainder of the period. The Mustangs took the game 4-1, but still finishing second to last on the ladder despite maximum points for the weekend. Shots on goal in the last period were 16 to the Mustangs and 4 to the Adrenaline (47-17 total). The Adrenaline players did a lap of honour for their loyal fans who were there through thick and thin in this lean, rebuilding year. For his final act, clown prince Ales Kratoska donned a tutu!