21/05/2022 Pacific Hockey League – Adelaide Avalanche v The Coast 5-1

On Saturday 21/05/2022 the Pacific Hockey League came to Adelaide and the resurrected Adelaide Avalanche name adorned the home town jerseys again.  The AIHL Adelaide Avalanche name had disappeared in 2008 after the ownership of the team at the time couldn’t keep the team afloat with much sadness for the diehard Avs fans (the AIHL Adelaide Adrenaline was borne in 2009 as a result, with a championship in the maiden year).  Fast forward 14 years(!) and the Avs are back in Adelaide.  The Pacific Hockey League is a new concept in that it will attempt to have a New Zealand team join the 4 teams that comprise the league in its inaugural year, Adelaide Avalanche, The Coast (based in Erina, New South Wales), Brisbane Rampage and Melbourne Ducks (based at Ice HQ).  Meanwhile the AIHL continues in 2022 but without the Adelaide Adrenaline.  The good news for the Avs is that the Western Australian players that played in the inaugural National Hockey Super League (NHSL), the first professional ice hockey league in Australia, decided to hang around and bolster the Avs team.  Harley Anderson who had played in the NHSL returned to his home town of Brisbane, and will be a handy addition to the Rampage.

In its first home game double header, the Avalanche faced The Coast, with both teams have narrowly lost their first two games by a goal a piece, in each of their 2 first games, against the Ducks and Rampage respectively.   With such tight results in rounds 1 and 2 the Avs and Coast series was touted to be a close affair.  The game was underway after a ceremonial puck drop by the original instigators of the Adelaide Avalanche (way back in 2000), Steve and Janet Oddy and James and Della Thilthorpe.

The Avs were looking to assert their authority early on their home turf, and decided physicality was going to be the answer….welcome to the Ice Arena, Coast!!!!  The intensity was such that The Coast were having a lot of trouble getting past the centre red line such was the tight defence.  Zac Steele was particularly brutal, whoever came in his way watch out!  Avalanche’s goaltender Matus Trnka was exceptionally good between the pipes.  The Avalanche put on a dominant first home game display winning 5-1 for their first points of the Pacific Hockey League.