12/08/2023 AIHL Adelaide Adrenaline v Melbourne Mustangs 5-2

Some of the photos taken at the last home game for the Adelaide Adrenaline played on 12/08/2023, this time versus the Melbourne Mustangs who were sitting in 3rd place on the ladder and would be a hard team to get past boasting Scott Timmins, ex-NHL Florida Panthers.  It was good to see a few young players amongst the experienced older players.  Starting goaltender for the Adrenaline would be Matus Trnka and at the other end between the pipes for the Mustangs would be Sebastian Woodlands.  Notably missing from the Adrenaline lineup with the O’Handley brothers, Daniel and Morris, both regular visitors to the sin bin, especially Morris.  The Adrenaline had only registered 3 regulation time wins in the season and were eager to add to that tally to give the home crowd something to cheer about.  However the home crowd were hushed as Mustangs Brendan McDowell decided to upset the Adrenaline a mere 13secs into the game.  Assists came from Timmins and Steve Belic.  This didn’t seem to deter the Adrenaline as they were very eager and the tempo of the game was aggressive hockey right out of the box!  The Adrenaline came to party!  Mustangs Jaxson Lane would be caught for kneeing (not a common penalty) at the 11:14 mark giving the Adrenaline a real chance to even the score.  This chance was helped even more when Timmins interfered with goaltender Trnka at 10:37.  The Adrenaline didn’t waste the chance and Brett Radford would find the back of the net after assists from captain Joey McDougall and Zach Boyle.  However this was marred as Adrenaline’s Coy Prevost was given a 2min minor for roughing after he shoved over big man Christopher Lawrence who had been accusing Radford of goaltender interference.  The Mustangs however were unable to score with the man advantage.  Interference and hooking minors to Adrenaline’s Steve Best and Mustangs Lawrence did not result in a change of the 1-1 scoreline.  Adrenaline’s Trnka faced 11 shots for the period to Woodlands facing 14.  Pretty rare to see the Adrenaline up on the shot count in the last few games.

The tempo of the game continued, much to the delight of the Adelaide fans and the many rowdy Mustangs fans who had made the trip over.  Two hooking minors to Mustangs Lawrence and Vladislav Rachinsky would test the penalty kill units, and they were up to the task.  The Adrenaline absolutely hammered the Mustangs goaltender but he was able to stop everything.  There was no change to the score until about 6mins left in the period when McDougall would put the Adrenaline ahead with help from Jared Siemens and Radford.  Their joy however was shortlived as the Mustangs struck back a short time later at 4:55 remaining with Vadim Virjassov scoring after an assist from Belic.  With a mere 7secs remaining in the period, Adrenaline’s Coy Prevost scored (assists coming from Tyler Boyle and Ryan Foll).  The period ended with the Adrenaline’s nose in front at 3-2.  So far the Adrenaline had kept pace with the Mustangs but it was often the 3rd period where things had gone wrong in the past.  Shots on goal for the period: Trnka 8 faced, Woodlands 20!

Last home game period for the Adrenaline to try for a home win.  The period remained tight with neither team wavering.  The Mustangs Adrian Nash headed to the box for hooking at 10:52 giving the Adrenaline a powerplay but the Mustangs penalty kill unit held firm.  However, at 7:42 left on the clock Prevost would post his 2nd goal of the game and give the Adrenaline a 2-goal buffer.  The assists came from Radford and Andrew Chen.  With the breathing room the Adrenaline maintained their composure which forced the Mustangs to drag their goalie for the extra attacker.  Sadly for them it didn’t work and Prevost was able to post his hat trick goal into the empty net with 16secs left on the clock, with the assists coming from Connor Vermeulen and goaltender Matus Trnka!  The Adrenaline showed they could match it and win against a top placed team if all the ducks were lined up and they stayed out of the penalty box!  Shots on goal for the game were Adrenaline’s Trnka facing 28 to Mustangs Woodlands facing 39 shots.