25/02/2022 NHSL Finals Game 1 (best of 3) – Adelaide Xtreme v Port Adelaide Brewers 2-3

Some of the photos from the 2022 NHSL finals series game 1 between the Adelaide Xtreme v Port Adelaide Brewers played on 25/02/2022 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia.  This first  professional league in Australia has been building in excitement and rivalry, no more than the two playing it out in the best-of-5 finals series.  Jeremy Friederich would be the goal tender for the Xtreme and 17 year old sensation Slovakian Matus Trnka in between the pipes for the Brewers.  The play was hard and fast with plenty of hits with the referees eventually calling Xtreme’s Jared Siemens for elbowing at 13:58 sending the Brewers into a powerplay and the opportunity to strike first blood.  The penalty was seen off, and then the Brewers Jeremy Klein was done for tripping at 9:55 but again the penalty went by with no score on the board.  Eventually deep into the period with  1:25 left Tyler Leeming put the Brewers on the board.  The assists going to Steve Best and Tomek Sak.  Shots on goal for the period were Xtreme 15 to Brewers 11.

Shortly into the second period, Xtreme’s David Huxley got called for interference.  With a bit 12mins remaining a penalty went to Brewers Tristan Reece for tripping shortly followed by a slashing call on Xtreme’s Jordan Geyer.  Neither team capitalised from the penalties.  Then with a bit over 9mins remaining Brewers Leeming scored his second goal for the game, once again teeming up with Sak and Best.  Deep into the period with 1min left Brewers Steve Best caught the eye of the referees from highsticking on Xreme’s Xander Wardlaw, who in turn received a 2min penalty for diving!  The score was 2-0 going into the break, with the Brewers on top, shooting 17 shots on goal and the Xtreme unable to break through with their 13 shots.

The 3rd period started off with an elbowing penalty to Brewers Jeff Pellerin putting the Xtreme into powerplay mode and they made short work of it with Wardlaw scoring to cut the deficit to 1-2.  The assists went to Geyer and Joey MacDougall.  The players behaved themselves, well, as best as they could for the remainder of the period with no-one else heading to the bench for a 2min break.  At 3:41 remaining the Xtreme evened the scoreline at 2-all with Olivier Martin scoring after assists from Wardlaw and Huxley, which then sent the game to 4-on-4 overtime.  Shots on goal was more even at 10 shots from the Brewers to 9 from the Xtreme.

The overtime only lasted to the 14:16 mark when Brewers scored, unassisted with a rocket of a shot.  First blood to the Brewers.

Eric Balnar, lead commentator for the NHSL reported that “the Adelaide Xtreme and the Port Adelaide Brewers treated fans to even better game in the second instalment of the best-of-five series.
A crazy, frantic and passionate game ended once again in a 3-2 scoreline.  This time it was Jordan Geyer who scored the OT winner on the power play to push the Xtreme to a 3-2 victory.  Even though the Xtreme had been up 2-0, the Brewers clawed their way back sending the game into overtime.  Fittingly Geyer score the winning goal having had a very good game.  Brewers Trnka had faced 45 shots and Xtreme’s Friederich faced 40.