11/05/2024 AIHL Adelaide Adrenaline v Melbourne Mustangs 2-7

The Adelaide Adrenaline hosted the Melbourne Mustangs for the Australian Ice Hockey League game on the 11/05/2024.  The Adrenaline were wearing their new alternative jerseys for the game.  Zach Boyle was playing his 200th game and hoping desperately for a win.  Also, Nikita Loria was playing his first AIHL game for the Adrenaline and was going top prove he could mix it with the older players.  Matt Price, 2-time Goodall Cup winner joined the Adrenaline from CBR Brave.  The Mustangs boasted not one but two former NHL players (Scott Timmins ex-Florida Panthers and Ty Wishart ex-Tampa Bay Lightning/New York Islanders as well as many top level European leagues) which was going to be a tough game for the Adrenaline to match that level of experience.  Last year these players dominated the as one would expect.

This was a scrappy but energetic encounter to start with.   Mustangs Timmins would open the scoring as he business like fist-pumped his players on the bench.  The assists came from Vadim Virjassov and Dean Klomp.  Despite the two team’s aggressive play there were no penalties, and further scoring in the period.  Shots on goal were in favour of the Mustangs 16-14.

Adrenaline’s Noah Maley fell foul of the referees and headed to the sin bin for hooking at 17:16.  The Adrenaline’s penalty kill unit which included imports Josh Adkins and Kaden Elder saw off the penalty.  Then at 14:53 there was a stoppage in play that saw Adrenaline’s Matt Price be deemed for illegal equipment.  Mustangs Timmins made light work of it with the 5-on-4 advantage, scoring the Mustangs’2nd goal at 14:27.  Bradley Apps provided the assist.  At 10:27 Price would pick up his 2nd penalty for the game for tripping.  This time it would be Mustangs’ Wishart to score in the powerplay giving the Mustangs a dominant 3 goal lead.  Klomp and Timmins provided the assists.  Then it was the Mustangs turn to warm up the sin bin seats.  Apps for tripping at 7:50, Thomas Flack for holding stick of his opponent at 6:29 and Jaxson Lane at 3:47 for hooking.  Adrenaline’s Kaden Elder would score on the last powerplay to open Adrenaline’s scoring with assists from Daniel O’Handley and Zach Boyle.  Shots on goal for the period saw the Adrenaline outshoot the Mustangs 13-9.

The 3rd period was only 2mins in when the house erupted as newbie Daniel Koudelka scored his first AIHL goal much to the delight of his team mates and home crowd.  Game on, with the Adrenaline now only 1 goal behind the much fancied Mustangs!  The assists for the goal came from O’Handley and Sean Greer.  The game up to this stage had been a hard fought entertaining game and perhaps that would have been a reasonable result to highlight the quality of the game.  However, Mustangs Timmins had to spoil the show and score from a Wishart assist, and then a few minutes later blow out the game to another 3 goal lead to the Mustangs again…every time with the business like, no smile fist-pump salutes to the bench….what a hat trick plus one and not even a little smile?  Klomp and Apps provided the assists.  At 4:25 Adrenaline’s captain Joey MacDougall was sent to the sinbin for slashing, chopping down on his opponent’s stick.   Around 3mins to play and the Adrenaline dragged off import goaltender Rylan Toth for an extra attacker, but unfortunately Mustangs Klomp scored at 2:44.  Despite 2 more penalties to Mustangs players, the Adrenaline were unable to add to the score.  Instead, Mustangs captain Todd Cutter would add their 7th goal to the score.  Lane and Mike Giorgi had the assists.  It was a shame the score blew out to a 7-2 game given the closeness and grit of the Adrenaline players.  The last period saw the Mustangs dominate on the shot clock 15-8.