Heartbreaking OT loss as Adrenaline fall to the Bears
Monday, May 27, 2019
Although the Agile Group Adelaide Adrenaline lost in OT with a final score of 4-3, the team played one of their best games so far this season.
The Adrenaline were looking to steady the ship after the disastrous previous two games combined for a score of 18-5 and a season record of 0-8.
Despite the loss, Coach Jim Fuyarchuk took solace in the positives to come from the game.
“Our best performance of the year. Consistency from the puck drop, to the final buzzer. The players gained more confidence, they played with more authority and had better quality chances.”
This game and performance by the Adrenaline should give the faithful supporters some comfort heading into next weekend, with games against the Ice and Mustangs.
The opening period was a high-paced two-way game for both teams. From puck-drop the Adrenaline were playing with fire in them as they forechecked relentlessly and played sound defensively.
Forward Ales Kratoska almost had himself a brilliant goal by surging down the wing and cutting towards the net, all while holding off a Bears d-man. But he was eventually stopped by Kimlin’s closed 5-hole.
Shortly after, the Adrenaline found themselves on the PK by way of a hooking minor on Chen. The PK special team was aggressive and effective all night, with Neuber leading the way checking players off the puck and generally being a nuisance.
The first goal of the game came via Kyle Neuber who’s shot deflected over Bears goalie Anthony Kimlin’s pads.
The home-crowd roared with support and enthusiasm, which stood as the only goal scored for the first period.
The Adrenaline started the second period by building on the momentum from the first. Jake Riley was flying all over the ice forcing turnovers in the defensive zone and creating chances in the same passage of play.
However, the Bears equalised two minutes into the second with Brian Funes scoring from the mid-slot, after a defensive zone breakdown by the Adrenaline.
Shortly after the Bears appeared to score again but were waved off by referee Chris Parks, as the net had jumped its mooring prior to puck crossing the line.
Harley Anderson, with an assist from Aussie Joe Rezek, scored later to put the home team up by one to end the second frame.
In the third period, William Lamoureux and Ryan Annesley scored for the Bears to put the road team up by one with 7.23 left in the game.
But Alexandre Gauthier from the Adrenaline tied the game on the power-play with 2.30 left on the clock. Gauthier slapped the puck home from the blue line off a neat pass from Zach Boyle. This momentous goal brought the crowd, and the team, back to life, who were all but defeated.
With Gauthier’s late period goal, regulation time finished with the scores tied at 3. And with that both the Adrenaline and Bears were heading into OT for the first time this season.
Ales Kratoska dominated the open ice of 3 on 3 OT, creating huge amounts of space for quality chances and defending well against 2 on 1 Bears chances.
The Bears put themselves in a precarious situation by way of a goaltender interference penalty on Timothy Newmark who crashed into Adrenaline goaltender Gordichuk.
Using the man advantage, the Adrenaline surrounded the Bears net, shooting effectively and creating re-bounds.
But in the PP chaos, the Adrenaline forecheckers overlooked a Bears defender who was open in the high slot.
Ryan Annesley received a breakout pass from Jake Ratcliffe, skated the length of the ice and snapped the puck over Gorichuk’s pads for the OT game winner.
Aussie Joe Rezek, who had 3 assists tonight, later said:
“It’s a tough loss, but we are feeling good. One of our best games this season. The Bears were one of the best teams last year, and we took them to overtime. I think this is a game we can use as a steppingstone for the rest of the season.”
When asked about the 3 on 3 OT, Steve Best said:
“It was a learning curve, we rarely play it, I thought we played well but need to practice it more.”
Adelaide will look to build on the OT loss next weekend against the Ice and Mustangs.