Brave put on a show in Adelaide for Canada day win. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
It was a Sunday to forget as the CBR Brave dominated in a 6-2 win, with the Adelaide Adrenaline playing second fiddle to the league leaders at the Ice Arena.
Behind four points to Chris Leveille and Ainars Podzins the Brave had all the momentum with a four goal second period sealing victory with ease.
The tone was set during Adelaide’s first powerplay which saw the Brave pull out a shorthanded goal through Leveille. A pair of breakaways during the powerplay had CBR charging and Adelaide’s defence could do nothing as James Byers snapped up possession and assisted Toronto native Leveille.
A goal from a Canadian was a fitting start for Canada day, but not for Adelaide, and with Sebastian Andersson facing 18 shots in just the first period he had to be at his best.
There was little he could do when a flying Wehebe Darge snuck past Adelaide’s defenders and scored from the right wing.
Ainars Podzins a powerhouse on Adelaide ice. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
In the second period it went from bad to worse as Leveille notched his brace four minutes in while Darge had his third point of the game with the assist.
Looking to bring some aggression to Adelaide’s game, Andersson pushed himself too far out of the goal against another CBR attack, leaving enough space for Leveille to pass off to Matt Harvey for their fourth.
Adelaide played with some newfound composure following the goal but they were left heartbroken as a late 1-2 blow saw Harvey score his second and Ainars Podzins hit the scoreboard with 16 seconds to play.
For a brief moment it looked like Adelaide scored with five seconds left in the period but the goal was waved off by the referee despite Ales Kratoska and Steve Best arguing for it to stand.
A positive third period brought a touch of ‘what if’ as Adelaide more than doubled their shot count from eight to 19 and Andrew Stapleton scored his first of the season.
CBR’s backup goalie in Jakob Doornbos rode a wave of momentum to deny the home side early on but the teenager could not protect the shutout when Dylan Pope led a fresh attack.
Winning a face-off, Alex Adams fed Dylan Pope who sent the puck deep to the goalmouth where Stapleton was waiting to slip the goal in past Doornbus.
Adelaide on the back foot against Brave. Photo: Frank Kutsche.
That third line proved to be Adelaide’s best on the day with Pope picking up his second assist with 1.28 left in the night.
The fresh legs were fighting for every scrap and the determination paid off when Pope plated up a goal for Zach Boyle. Just like Stapleton, it was Boyle’s first goal of the season.
While the finish did not affect the result it was a positive finish for the Adrenaline after a stuttering second period, and there is still plenty of fight ahead of two weekends in Sydney (and Newcastle).
This Saturday sees Adelaide in Newcastle before tackling the Ice Dogs back in Sydney on Sunday, before returning one week later for a double dip in Sydney against the Bears and Ice Dogs.