Thursday, July 5, 2012 - Submitted by Michael Rozleja
Adelaide Adrenaline turned up the heat in Game one on Saturday, with a sizzling 10-0 drumming of the Melbourne Mustangs.
As weather patterns can change in the blink of an eye, there was an icy chill in the air as the Mustangs recorded an incredible 3-2 regulation win in Game two on Sunday July 1 at the IceArenA.
After a baptism of fire in his first three AIHL games conceding 18 goals in his first three games, Mustangs import goalie Oliver Wren only allowed two shots in from 38 in an amazing turn around.
Adelaide did out shoot the Mustangs 38 to 24 and for much of the game held greater possession inside the Mustangs zone.
Besides putting pucks into Adelaide’s net, the Mustangs won the boards and the loose puck.
Adelaide at times seemed flat, waiting for something to happen, and it was the Mustangs who made something happen with their opportunities.
Fortune favours the brave and the Mustangs showed their intent from the outset.
Being first to the loose puck gives you every opportunity to make something happen.
The Mustangs scored in each period with Jake Ebner finding the back of the net twice and Brendon McDowell with his second period goal.
Ryan Bennett continued some good work at the back and Valdim Virjassov had an outstanding game.
Chris James and Captain Shane Hardy were honest performers all weekend.
Adelaide scored early in the first by James Keane, who, this weekend, started to find some of the form seen in the second half of last season – but that was to be it until deep into the third, a power play goal with just under two minutes of regulation time left via captain Greg Oddy.
Until this point the Mustangs seemed to have Adelaide’s measure, not giving them the freedom they did the night before.
This bought a tense final 1:58 as Adelaide pressed to find the equalizer but was to be denied and ultimately frustrated, with tensions boiling over at the end of the game.
Adelaide seemed to lack the voice, structure and hunger they possessed only the day before, with a Mustangs forward many times sitting in behind Adelaide’s defence, waiting for that quick turnover.
Adelaide’s defenseman Nick Clark was solid early and David Huxley’s size and strength seemed too much for the Mustangs to handle at times.
Adelaide must now wait until the July 21-22 where they travel to Canberra then Sydney to face the Sydney Ice Dogs, then a week later to Newcastle, and then back to Sydney for the Bears.
These will be testing times for Adelaide facing Bauer rivals the Ice Dogs and the red hot North Stars.
This may well go some way to determine the possible fate of Adelaide’s season in two tough road trips back to back.
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