Adrenaline bring the heat in game two. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
Goaltender heroics from Sebastian Andersson reversed Adelaide’s fortunes as the Adrenaline defeated the Sydney Bears 3-2 in a shootout on Sunday at the Ice Arena.
He made three saves in the shootout with the win a much needed one after recent defensive struggles and a cold. “It feels so good to get a win here. A big bounce back from yesterday,” Andersson said.
Victory ended a five game losing streak as Adelaide won its fourth game of the season after last defeating Newcastle in a shootout on May 19.
Ales Kratoska’s early goal saw him move to 25 points for the season, with Adelaide bursting out of the blocks. With an assist from Caleb Apperson, Kratoska powered through traffic to score the opener and joint-league leading 13th goal.
The talking point of the opening period was arguably the ejection of Ryan Lough, however, with Sydney’s import left off of the Sunday game sheet. As a result his game ended far earlier than he and Sydney intended.
Adelaide’s creativity had them in control throughout the first two periods and with Sydney struggling it looked like they would extend the lead.
Facing an open goal, Leeming snapped up a pass from Kratoska before rattling off a one-timer. Kimlin, though, dived over to cover the open goal with trademark agility, denying Leeming his first AIHL goal.
The dominance by Adelaide was a great sign of improvement and Andersson believes it was because they limited their mistakes. “Improvement is just a matter of doing the right things. Hockey’s a game of mistakes so it’s a matter of making less mistakes than your opposition,” he said.
Tyler Leeming applying pressure. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
Sydney picked up following that play and with a powerplay in the final minute-and-a-half they levelled the game through Michael Schlamp. Initially pulling Kimlin for a quick-fire 6-on-4, Sydney changed tactics to keep the puck deep in attack and it paid off as Strukoff smashed in a one-timer and Schlamp tipped it home.
The third period was just as tight as the opening two and when both sides scored within 40 seconds of the other it looked like the floodgates might open… but neither goaltender was letting that happen.
Thomas Steven plated a tasty pass for Jeremy Brucker at 13.51 and Brucker feasted to put the Bears ahead. Moments later Rezek made it 2-2 as Kratoska and Caleb Apperson sliced through the Bears to find him in front of goal. Rezek then had the simple task of edging the puck past Kimlin.
With both sides going shot-for-shot (Sydney had 39, Adelaide 35) it was up to Kimlin and Andersson to provide the heroics and time and time again they did just that. It was only fair the game ultimately went to a shootout after Andersson made some fantastic plays at the death.
His first task was disarming Charles Adams with a well placed stick, before Rezek slotted the go-ahead goal. Ryan Annesley’s shot was then knocked wide to leave the Bears in a precarious position. A miss to Kratoska gave them a lifeline however Andersson didn’t, blocking Graeme Strukoff for a crucial win.
“Today’s a huge step in the right direction,” Andersson said. “I hope that we can keep building next week for CBR and still pick up two or three points next weekend.”
The only negative of the game is a dentist appointment for Zach Boyle who copped a puck in the mouth during the third period, but we’re sure he’ll still be smiling this afternoon after that win.
Adelaide finishes its home-stand next Sunday as the CBR Brave return to town. Tickets are available at
Bears start roadtrip off on a high note. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
In the 50th game of the season it was the Sydney Bears who ran away with a 5-2 win against the Adelaide Adrenaline after the home team took an early lead at the Ice Arena.
Ales Kratoska scored his 12th goal of the season, and team high 23rd point, but with just eight shots over the first two periods the Adrenaline struggled to apply pressure before Sydney ran away with the three points.
The opening period saw several momentum swings with Adelaide playing freely before Sydney’s goal put them in charge of a tied game. When Adelaide did take back control they played at a slower tempo, choosing to focus on possession. Steve Best’s top season continued with his sixth goal, and 13th point, handing the Adrenaline the lead at 12.08.
Taking advantage of their powerplay the Adrenaline were playing a high press and with extra space Caleb Apperson passed from the blue line, finding Ales Kratoska. In the blink of an eye he had a shot on goal that Anthony Kimlin could only deflect and the rebound fell to Best who tapped home the opener into an open net.
With Sebastian Andersson on-song at the other end, it was a lapse of concentration by the Adrenaline that saw the Bears score, with Graeme Strukoff firing off a long range shot. At the right place, at the right time, Ryan Lough tipped the puck into goal for a 1-1 score with eight minutes to play in the first.
The Bears and Ryan Annesley made Adelaide pay for missing chances in the second with Michael Schlamp tipping home the goal. Annesley’s shot had the perfect amount of power and precision as it sailed to the bottom corner where Schlamp sealed the deal and put Sydney ahead five minutes in. Both sides had plenty of chances after that go-ahead goal but neither could convert until Adelaide’s two favourite sons, Ales Kratoska and Joey Rezek combined.
Kratoska with his 12th goal for the season. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
Three and-a-half minutes were on the clock when Zach Boyle fed Rezek on a breakaway, before Rezek feinted a shot from the right wing, instead crossing to Kratoska who slammed home his 11th of the season. Unfortunately for the Adrenaline, Sydney had their lead back just seconds later via a deflected goal to Lough.
Sydney quickly made it a two goal lead in the final period as Schlamp pounced on a rebound for his second goal of the game and their second powerplay goal.
The closing stages had an extra challenge for the Adrenaline after Best was removed from the game with 10.38 on the clock after he and Tyerell Clare clashed and went to ground wrestling.
Clare was lucky to only be penalised for two minutes for roughing while Best picked up a five minute penalty for cross checking and a game misconduct call. He’ll miss Sunday’s game.
When Annesley scored Sydney’s fifth with seven minutes to play it was knockout blow they needed to take the aggression out of Adelaide’s game, while a slapshot goal from Charles Adams saw the score tick over to 6-2 in the final two minutes.
Bears an unstoppable force. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
Following another lapse in concentration the Adrenaline must look to stay confident for the full 50 minutes on Sunday while the Bears will be looking to do the same in their quest for full points.