Wehebe Darge scored with 2:04 remaining in regulation to force a shootout, as Adelaide secured victory and vital points against the Melbourne Mustangs at the Adelaide Ice Arena on Saturday. David Penrose was there.
Losers in six of their last seven, the Adrenaline ended a three-game skid and landed two points they didn’t have with a little over two minutes left in the contest.
It wasn’t pretty. But it was a result Adelaide needed as they face an uphill battle to make the top four.
It was a deserved goal for the visitors as they matched Adelaide, creating several early chances of their own, while Jon Olthuis continued his solid form to deny the hosts at the other end.
After killing off back-to-back penalties late in the first, Adelaide emerged from the intermission rejuvenated and launched a flurry of attacks.
The reward was almost instant, with Travis Ouellette scoring 2:13 into the second period to knot the game at 1-1.
Having seen their lead taken from them, the Mustangs were sparked into action, as the Adelaide crowd got involved and the pace of the contest reached a new level.
Melbourne could have easily regained the lead minutes later with Parry producing a huge glove save to deny Mustangs captain Brendan McDowell.
As those penalties expired, Adelaide closed out the period with a man less after Carson Sinclair received a two-minute minor for high-sticking.
After failing to take advantage of the power play, Melbourne started the final period well as they tested Parry and looked to break the tie.
With 9:41 remaining it was Pat O’Kane who ripped a shot from the left past the glove of Parry.
The Adrenaline battled for an equaliser but were time and time again denied by Olthuis, until Darge levelled proceedings at 2-2 after a goalmouth scramble.
Both sides looked for a game-winner in the final two minutes, but unsuccessful they headed to a shootout.
Britt Ouellette beat Olthuis with the first shot, before O’Kane blanked his effort by blasting his shot past Parry.
Stringer missed his shot, as he was unable to prolong the shootout into a fourth round.
It sealed a gripping comeback – and two vital points – for the Adrenaline.
The shootout was Adelaide’s first of 2013, and the Mustangs first shootout loss of the season after defeating the Sydney Ice Dogs on May 13.
The sides renew hostilities Sunday, as Adelaide look to close the gap on Melbourne even further.
HSN MVP AIHL Votes
3 votes – Pat O’Kane (MM)
2 Votes – Travis Ouellette (AA)
1 Votes – Wehebe Darge (AA)
By David Penrose
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