17/06/2023 AIHL Adelaide Adrenaline v Brisbane Lightning 4-0

Selected photos from the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) game between the Adelaide Adrenaline and the Brisbane Lightning played on 17/06/2023 at the Ice Arena, Adelaide, South Australia.  The Adrenaline were languishing at the bottom of the ladder while the Lightning with an aggressive reputation were towards the top.  The Adrenaline had recently acquired some new imports, in Brett Radford, Coy Provost, Brett Thompson and Connor Vermeulen, with the previous imports cut or injured and heading back home.  The Adrenaline were hoping the new line up would be what was needed to regroup and start putting some wins on the board.

The play was pretty wild with plenty of hits and aggressive play from both sides.  With the rowdy hometown behind the Adrenaline and with a powerplay it would be import Radford to open the scoring with assists from fellow imports Prevost and Thompson.  The goal being scored at the 16:01 mins remaining mark.  The penalty had been on Lightnings Kasey Kulczychi for hooking at the 16:40 mark.  At the 12:09 mark Adrenaline’s Daniel O’Handley went to the box for a delay of game giving the Lightning the powerplay but the Adrenaline penalty kill unit saw off the penalty and the score remained at 1-0.  A late penalty to Adrenaline’s Zac Steele for holding with less than 2mins remaining did not result in a change either.  Shots on goal for the period saw Adrenaline’s Matus Trnka face 12 shots, to Lightning’s Steve Harris face 10.

The wild play continued (in fact for the whole game!) as the two sides tried to get the ascendancy on each other.  With less than a minute played, Kulczycki headed back to the penalty box, this time for hooking.  Then at 16:22 it would be the Lightning’s opportunity to score o the powerplay when Zach Boyle was done for tripping.  Adrenaline’s hard working centre Noah Maley put the Adrenaline 2 goals up at the 14:02 mark with assists coming from Steel and Vermeulen.  The Adrenaline would get another chance with the player advantage at 9mins remaining as Lightning’s Thomas Kiliwnik was deemed for interference, but the Lightning’s penalty kill unit did the job.  There were two more opportunities for the Adrenaline (Lightning’s Kulczycki for high-sticking at 5:03, and Mikko Rippon for tripping at 3:13) but again the Lightning were able to thwart any inroads, although the Adrenaline had been peppering the Lightning’s goaltender.  Shots on goal for the period saw Trnka face 8 and given the penalties to the Lightning Harris faced 20 shots!

Merely seconds into the 3rd period Adrenaline’s Vermeulen headed to the sin bin for delay of game, followed shortly afterwards at 17:59 by his team mate Ben Handberg for tripping giving the Lightning a 5-on-3 advantage for a short while.  The Adrenaline withstood the barrage and wound the clock down to remain on their 2 goal advantage scoreline.  Plenty of small skirmishes had been the flavour of the game and at 12:21 the referees had had enough, sending 5 players to the penalty box (Adrenaline’s Steels for roughing, Handberg for roughing, Lightning’s Sacha Rapchuk for roughing and cross-checking and Kiliwnik for roughing).  Eventually at 9:20, Adrenaline’s Andrew Chen and Julian Friedeich gave Steve Best the puck and he was able to find a way past Lightning’s goaltender Harris to go 3-up.  Lightning’s Kulczycki would return to the penalty box, this tim for slashing at 11:28.  With little choice left the Lightning would pull their goaltender with less than 3mins remaining only to see Adrenaline’s Brett Thompson put their 4th goal on the board.  The Adrenaline came to play in this one and simply dominated in a must win game to keep up with the rest of the pack above them on the ladder.  Shots on goal for the game: Adrenaline’s Trnka faced 30, and Lightning’s Harris faced 42.