Selected photos from the AIHL game between Adelaide Adrenaline and Melbourne Mustangs played at the Ice Arena on 27/07/2019. With games rapidly running out the Adrenaline were desperate for their first home win after a very lean season so far. The Mustangs on the other hand were attempting to book themselves a place in the finals. The Adrenaline had a full complement and had Jesse Gordichuk as goaltender. The Mustangs after having their first choice pull the pin on the gig in Melbourne due to other commitments had alternative import goal Kevin Nastiuk in goals. The period was relatively even until Mustangs Jamie Bourke put the Mustangs ahead silencing the home crowd. The assists from Vadim Virjassov and captain Michael McMahon. The Adrenaline supporters were again stunned after the Adrenaline had staved off several attempts at goal when Mats Anderson posted the Mustangs second. The assist coming from Thomas Flack and Sean Jones. The Adrenaline on the other hand were finding it difficult to post any shots on goal. The Adrenaline supporters probably thought “not again” with visitors having all the answered and the young home team not being rewarded on the scoreboard with all their hard work. However, Adrenaline’s import Ben Gavoille slotted one through from out front centre while on a powerplay after receiving assists from imports Ales Kratoska and Alexandre Gauthier. Mustangs Mitch Humphries had been called for tripping at 2:52. Shots on goal for the period were Mustangs 14, Adrenaline a lowly 6.
The second period started and it was apparent Adrenaline’s Gauthier was going to show the visitors that the Adrenaline could play tough as he consistently sent Mustangs players into the boards. This may have had the desired effect as it would be the Adrenaline that would score next and reduce the margin to 1 when young Nathaniel Benson found a way past Nastiuk after receiving assists from Harley Anderson and captain Josef Rezek. The Adrenaline defence stood firm as the Mustangs couldn’t find a way past and Gordichuk was up to the goalie task. Rezek would be sent to sin bin for interference at 2:08 as the Adrenaline headed to the end of the period desperate to stay in touch with the Mustangs. However the desperation was such that the Adrenaline scored another goal in the dying seconds of the period to send the home crowd and the bench into a frenzy. Goal scorer was the hard working Jake Riley with an assist from none other than goalie Gordichuk! Heading into the period break the Adrenaline could hold their heads high being one goal up and having dominated the period. Shots on goal were Mustangs 12, Adrenaline 9.
However, the euphoria was short-lived as within a minute the Mustangs levelled when Mat Anderson scored with assists from Flack and Jones. Shortly after they gave the Adrenaline a chance to respond as Bourke headed to the sin bin rather reluctantly for roughing at 18:33. The Mustangs piled on the pressure and sank the Adrenaline’s hopes with 2 quick goals to take them to 5-3 before the midway point of the period from Anderson again, and then import Christian Isackson unassisted. How could the Adrenaline find themselves in this position after such a good 1st and 2nd period? The Mustangs simply hammered Gordichuk as the Mustangs found their way past the Adrenaline defence without a key defenceman. Adrenaline’s Gauthier would come off 2nd best in a mid ice body check when he collected Matt Stringer’s shoulder with his jaw and was out cold. Eventually he was helped off the ice. Without a key defenceman the Mustangs were easily able to add another 3 goals and the Mustangs rout of the Adrenaline was complete. A cruel scoreline of 8-3 after such a good showing from the Adrenaline for 2 periods. Shots on goal for the game was Mustangs 48, Adrenaline 23.