Vadim Virjassov had a 4-goal game as the Melbourne Mustangs hammered the winless Adelaide Adrenaline 10-2, at O’Brien Icehouse on Sunday afternoon.
The Mustangs hit double figures on the scoreboard with multiple point players, while the Adrenaline suffered their worst loss of the 2019 AIHL season.
Despite the inflated scoreboard at the end of the game, the first period was nearly bereft of scoring.
Good chances to Jamie Bourke and Christian Isackson were both denied by Glen Forbes-White, while Joey Rezek and Ales Kratoska both had good chances for the Adrenaline.
It took until 4:35 remaining in the first for Sean Jones to break the deadlock with his 5th goal of the season, making it 1-0 Mustangs heading into the first intermission.
Shots finished 9-4 in favour of the Mustangs after one period.
Vadim Virjassov continued his good form on the weekend, grabbing a goal five minutes in to the second to make it 2-0 Mustangs and extend their lead by a pair. Jones would grab his second goal of the game just two minutes later and suddenly the Mustangs led by three. It was Jones’ 64th goal of the his AIHL career.
Adelaide responded through Kratoska, who broke the shutout bid of Jaden Pine-Murphy just two minutes from the second intermission to give the Adrenaline a spark. The second period finished 3-1 in favour of the home side.
Whatever momentum was gained by the Adrenaline toward the end of the second was well and truly extinguished in the third, as the Mustangs ran riot.
Virjassov got his second of the game off the assist from Troy Robertson to make it 4-1 with 13:01 to go. Andrew Erzen then tallied his first for the year just 4 minutes later to make it a 5-1 score line, with frustration starting to seep in from Adelaide.
Penalties flowed thick and fast in the third period but it would be Adelaide that capitalised first on the power play through Kyle Neuber, after Brad Apps was given the gate for slashing. Neuber’s goal was a rare bright spot for Adelaide in the third period to make it 5-1.
However, that would do it for the Adrenaline’s scoring.
Virjassov completed the hat-trick a minute later with a short-handed marker to make it 6-2 Mustangs. Damian Bright then bagged his first of the season, also while short-handed, to extend the lead to 7-2 with 7:04 to go.
Isackson would add another moments later, with Virjassov completing a four-goal night with 3:09 to go.
Tempers boiled over on part of the Adrenaline, with Lee Lambert and Neuber both ejected for fighting towards the end of the third period in a spirited scrap. It was one of the few contests that Adelaide were victorious in during the game.
Jaxson Lane would put the cherry on top for the Mustangs with a power play goal 90 seconds from time, to complete a 10-2 rout of Adelaide and take the three points.
Pine-Murphy saved 12 of 14 shots faced in the win, while Glen Forbes-White stopped 19 of 29 in the loss for Adelaide.
Adelaide were 1/2 on the power play, while the Mustangs went 1/1, in a game which saw no penalties until the third period, and a large number of coincidental minors.
The Mustangs face the Ice Dogs in Sydney on Saturday 8 June, while the Adrenaline will face the Ice at home in Adelaide on Sunday 9 June.