The North Star Sirens and Adelaide Adrenaline headed into a two game series at Newcastle knowing vital points were on offer at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium. In Saturday’s game, the Adrenaline who were wearing their new red kits held on for a 6-5 win. Craig Tonks reports.
The first period saw the Sirens start quickly when a Samantha Lai breakaway almost opened the scoring but just as quick Adelaide were on the attack when Kate Tehema broke away, only to be stopped short by the defensive work of Amelia Matheson.
With 12.07 remaining in the first period, an unassisted Sharna Godfrey shot opened the scoring for the Sirens. The Adrenaline fired back with English born star Bethanie Kavanagh levelling up the score with her own unassisted goal.
The period continued with a great battle occurring in the neutral zone with both teams in an arm wrestle to gain the upper hand but the breakthrough came with only 2.35 remaining in the first when the other part of Adelaide’s British connection, Kirsty Venus gave the Adrenaline a 2-1 lead.
In the second period the Adrenaline ladies came out of their defensive zone with speed and only some brilliant glove saves by Sera Dogramaci and scrambling defence saved the Sirens who struggled finding the connection for the last pass.
With 13.27 remaining in the second Newcastle seemed to settle when Matheson and Godfrey combined to levelled up the score at 2-2. Just over two minutes later a Sari Lehmann slapshot from the blue line from a Diana Glass pass put Adelaide ahead 3-2.
The Adrenaline were able to capitalise on a few loose passes from the Sirens when Kavanagh provided the pass for Andrea Steranko to find the net and a healthy 4-2 scoreline..
The Sirens never gave up and kept working the puck out of their defensive zone and with only 0.31 remaining in the second Rachael White provided the assist for Samantha Lai to bring the score back to a 4-3.
The third period had only just commenced when Steranko scored for the Adrenaline after a solid build up from Kavanagh, who was proving to be difficult to handle for the Sirens.
The tempo had considerably increased in the third period and with 12.54 remaining, Kavanagh scored her second goal for the night and put the Adrenaline ahead 6-3 and the Sirens a difficult task if they were to come back.
Desperation hockey was needed from the Sirens and something seemed to click. Amelia Matheson took on the Adrenaline defence and got the puck to Kaylee White who found the net to give the Sirens hope and claw the score back to 6-4.
The Sirens kept coming back against the Adrenaline determined to take the game down to the wire and with 4.13 left in the game, brought the score back to 6-5 when Sharna Godfrey combined with Anna Ruut however the Sirens ran out of time for the equaliser and could not get the last goal needed in those frantic last minutes.
Adrenaline coach, John Botterill was happy with his teams performance, “It’s a great side we have here and the girls know it’s never over till the final siren. I am happy with the way they played, it was a great effort and they kept up the pressure”.
by Craig Tonks
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