The Brisbane Rampage built a big lead early and held on for a 4-3 victory over the Adelaide Avalanche on Friday night.
Star import Owen Sobchak’s four point night will stand out on the box score but it was Rampage goalie Nick Novysedlak who stole the show. Novysedlak made a series of crucial saves late on a vicious Adelaide attack to hold on to the lead for the home side.
On the night he made 34 saves on a night where Brisbane had a 3-0 lead wiped away before finding the winner late in the second.
Sobchak had two goals and two assists to lead the Rampage surge. Ben Handberg and Jordan Freeman had multi-point nights for Adelaide while Yoann Levesque scored two goals.
The two teams entered the game evenly matched on paper. Adelaide and Brisbane both beat the Coast in their two games and fell in nail biters to the Ducks.
They played close in the first period. The two team traded chances early on but Nick Novysedlak who showed up early and often. He denied dangerous Adelaide forwards and a relentless cycle to set the stage for Brisbane to attack.
One of his best saves included a breakaway on Adelaide’s leading goal scorer Yoann Levesque.
Meanwhile, Adelaide’s 18-year-old netminder Matus Trnka was excellent early too. But Brisbane’s special teams finally broke him and it came at the hands of a former Adelaide player – Harley Anderson.
Anderson, who played two seasons with the Adelaide Adrenaline and recently in South Australia’s National Hockey Super League, burned his friends. Late in the first on a power play, Anderson took a firm shot that created a rebound in the slot for Anthony Santilli who made it 1-0 Brisbane.
On the next shift, import Jordan Ricketts was on a breakaway. He got belted down by an Adelaide defender and drew a penalty shot. Import Owen Sobchak took the shot and went backhand bar-down to give the Rampage a 2-0 lead at the break.
The second period continued to be crazy.
Sobchak grabbed his third point of the night when he found Anthony Barnes wide open down the left wing who pocketed a goal. 3-0 Brisbane.
Then the Adelaide fightback began. The Avalanche outshot the Rampage 17-7 in the second period and controlled most of the possession. They scored three unanswered goals to level.
The first came from Yoann Levesque who banked home a pass sequence from Ben Handberg and Tom Sak. It was Levesque’s fifth straight game he’s scored a goal.
A few minutes later, Steve Best went top shelf off a big rebound from a Jordan Freeman shot.
Moments later, another Jordan Freeman shot had a rebound go straight to the stick of Yoann Levesque who notched his second of the game.
After all of that work for Adelaide to tie the game, Brisbane had a response. It started with an incredible Novysedlak save in the Brisbane end. It allowed a counter attack for the Brisbane. A Jordan Ricketts shot bounced off Trnka’s pads and Owen Sobchak scored his second of the night. His fourth point put Brisbane up 4-3, a score that would remain through two periods.
The third period was scoreless but packed with action. Both goalies made stellar saves. The biggest came from Novysedlak who moved way out of his crease to make a great save with just 30 seconds to go. Adelaide fought to the final second but couldn’t find the equaliser.
The Avalanche lost their third one goal game of the season while the Rampage won their third one goal of the season.
It was the first win on home ice for the Rampage who improve to 3-2 on the season.