Sunday, July 27, 2014 - Submitted by Jeremy Rochow
Wehebe Darge scored four goals to help the Adelaide Adrenaline defeat the Sydney Bears 6-4 on Saturday night at the Adelaide Arena.
"My hand-eye was there tonight and I felt really good," Darge said. "We want a better third period tomorrow though."
A week after the Adrenaline were involved in a serious bus accident, Adelaide came out firing, scoring two goals late in the opening frame and showing why they are still a playoff threat.
Adelaide coach, Ryan O' Handley praised Darge's performance, saying that he was the best player on the ice.
"He [Darge] scored four goals tonight but he was also defensively everywhere," O' Handley said. "He was picking people's pockets all night and blocked a shot at the end of third— he's a hard player to play against."
Darge opened the scoring with two quick goals within a minute, late in the first period.
The first was a wrist shot from the slot that went past Sydney's Daniel Palmkvist's stick into the top left corner of the goal. Seconds later he beat Palmkvist from the same spot to give Adelaide a 2-0 break at the first intermission.
The Adelaide Adrenaline showed the same intensity at the beginning of the second, as Josh Harding scored a power play goal deflecting a shot from Niko Suoraniemi to make the score 3-0.
The Adrenaline went to 4-0 when Darge completed his hat-trick five minutes into the second stanza.
The Bears finally responded shortly after with Ben Di Marco slotting it through Michael Will's five-hole to go to the final break at 4-1.
In the third period, the Sydney Bears came out fighting with Sean Hamilton Steen scoring a hat-trick but Darge’s fourth and a Niko Suoraniemi empty netter meant that the Bears could only get within two goals of the South Australians.
Sydney coach Steve Austin said his team took a while to adjust to the rink.
"We did start kind of start slow, but Adelaide got off pretty quick and that hurt our confidence," he said. "When we don't score first, we struggle. Bu,t then the game went on and we made a few adjustments, and we happened to get a goal to make it 4-1 which lifted our spirits a little."
O' Handley felt that Adelaide lost focus and conceded too many penalties in the third, which left the door slightly open for the Sydney Bears.
"We lost focus, took some penalties and went four-on-four," he said. "When you're up and got a lead, you don't want to do that; you want to play five-on-five hockey and nice, simple straight up and down."
Both teams met again on Sunday afternoon in what was Adrenaline captain Greg Oddy's 300th game.
The Bears are in action next week against the CBR Brave at Sydney Ice Arena on Sunday afternoon, while the Adrenaline have a bye week before taking on the Ice in Melbourne, a weekend that will have huge finals implications for both teams.
July 26, 2014 26/07/14: Adelaide 6 def SYD Bears 4
Highlights from Adrenaline's 6 - 4 win over the Sydney Bears at the A...