The Adelaide Adrenaline was formed in 2000 and is arguably the most successful team in the short history of the AIHL, winning five minor premierships and three championships in their ten years of competition.
Along with the Sydney Bears and Canberra Knights, the Adrenaline (then known as the Adelaide Avalanche) were one of the founding members of the AIHL in 2000. They finished first out of the three teams that year and claimed the inaugural AIHL championship. In 2001, the club enjoyed the same success in winning their second consecutive title.
In 2002, the Melbourne Ice, Western Sydney Ice Dogs, and Newcastle North Stars joined the AIHL, expanding it to six teams. The Goodall Cup, Australia's top prize in ice hockey, also became part of the AIHL that year. Adelaide again finished second in the overall standings and lost to the Bears in the Goodall Cup final.
The Avalanche finished the 2003 season with their fourth straight minor premiership but lost to the Ice Dogs in the first round of a newly introduced four-team playoff system. They would lose in the semifinals again in 2004 to the North Stars in double overtime.
As two more teams—the Brisbane Blue Tongues and Central Coast Rhinos - entered the league in 2005, the Avalanche returned to dominance by finishing first overall in the regular season standings. The "curse of the minor premiers" once again came back to haunt the team, however. Despite winning through to the Goodall Cup final for the first time in three years, they were defeated 3–1 by the North Stars in that game.
The Avalanche retooled for 2006 in the quest for their first-ever Goodall Cup, their roster boasting Mighty Roos players Greg Oddy and brothers Ben & Luke Thilthorpe. They finished second after the regular season and hosted the finals series, beating the Ice Dogs 5–2 to reach the final but losing the final 0-4 to the North Stars.
Members of the Adelaide Avalanche were featured on episode 11 of Network Ten's Cyber Shack TV on 10 October 2006. Both David Huxley and Brad Wanchulak played and reviewed the new NHL 2K6 on Xbox 360.
The Avalanche came into financial difficulties in 2008, and after being able to host several games at the start of the season, could not meet its road commitments, forcing the team to withdraw from the remainder of the season on June 17.
The team's players were transferred to the newly formed Adelaide A's, who in a deal with the AIHL was allowed to play the remainder of the Avalanche's season.
At the start of the 2009 season the team adopted a new identity, the Adelaide Adrenaline.
The Adrenaline had an outstanding season in 2009 capped off by a victory over Newcastle North Stars 3-2 to capture their third championship.
The Adrenaline carried good form into 2010, reaching the Grand Final, eventually falling 4-6 to the hometown Melbourne Ice in front of a capacity crowd at the newly constructed Icehouse in Melbourne.