The Australian Womens Ice Hockey League (AWIHL) 2017/2018 season has commenced with all 4 teams in action over the last weekend of October. In Sydney, defending champions Sydney Sirens hosted Adelaide Rush in two games. Both teams had changed lineups compared to the previous season.
In Saturday’s game at Canterbury Ice Rink, Sirens took the win 6-2. The final margin does not reflect the entire game’s effort by both teams who had recruited well over the long off season. Period 1 was scoreless until Sirens import Erin Beaver opened the scoring with 26 seconds to go in the period. There was a lot more scoring for both teams as the game went on. Both teams have had a number of lineup changes however the Rush pushed the Sirens a lot harder than they were capable of in their rebuilding season in 2016/2017. Late in the game, Rush pulled their goalie for the extra attacker in an attempt to narrow the margin however this led to another Sirens goal.There were a number of impressive players on both teams at both ends of the ice. [Game Video]
On Sunday morning, Sirens scored within the opening minute of play at Liverpool. Looking to increase their dominance, it was raining Sirens goals as the team defeated Adelaide 9-4. Rush improved on Saturday’s effort with the third period of this game being the best period of Rush hockey in just over a season. It was a highly physical game with the penalty box door opening and closing on many occasions. Both special teams certainly had a lot of ice time across the weekend including some rather obvious cross-checking. With 2 games under their belts, both teams will have a better idea about their combinations and tactics. Despite the Rush comeback in period 3, Sirens had the game under control at all times. [Game Video]
Meanwhile in Melbourne, Brisbane Goannas traveled to take on the Melbourne Ice to open their seasons. This was a repeat of the semi final matchup last season however the Ice won both games at the O’Brien Group Arena. Saturday’s game was tight, Ice won 2-0. On Sunday, Ice turned on the attack winning 6-1.
Round 2 in a couple of weeks time sees Sirens travel to Melbourne while Adelaide hosts Brisbane. All AWIHL games in the 2017/2018 season will be streamed live and free on YouTube [AWIHL Streaming].