Melbourne Ice

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Melbourne Ice
2014 AIHL season
Melbourne Ice Logo.png
City Docklands, Victoria
League Australian Ice Hockey League
Founded 2002
Home arena Medibank Icehouse
Colours Blue, red and white
General manager Tom Harwood
Head coach Australia Brent Laver
Captain Australia Lliam Webster
Website Melbourneice.com.au
Championships
Regular season titles 1 (2006, 2011)
Conference Championships 1 (2012)
Goodall Cups 3 (2010, 2011, 2012)
Trans-Tasman Champions League 1 (2012)

The Melbourne Ice are a semi-professional ice hockey team in the Australian Ice Hockey League. The team plays its home games at the Medibank Icehouse in Melbourne, which was completed in 2010. It formerly played at the Olympic Ice Skating Centre (OISC) in Oakleigh South, a suburb of Monash which in turn is part of the Melbourne metropolitan area. They won their first premiership in 2010. The Ice are sponsored by Medibank.

History[edit]

Previous logo

The Ice first entered the league for the 2002 season, and during their first two seasons they split their home games between Oakleigh South and Bendigo. From 2004 onwards, all home games were played at the OISC, noted for being the smallest rink in the league, with its width about two-thirds that of a regulation Olympic-sized rink. Furthermore, loose netting replaced the high transparent boards associated with top-level hockey, and the puck was prone to leaving play with annoying frequency.

Melbourne did not reach the playoffs in its first four seasons in the AIHL. Its first two seasons were coloured by several crushing defeats; its second season combined a strong, low scoring home record with a poor away record, again containing many big losses. However, in 2005, the Ice were competitive almost every week, both home and away, finishing 5 points out of the playoffs, and left rueing several third period fade-outs.

Attendances for Ice games increased markedly over the next few seasons, with the small crowd area often packed to capacity towards the end of the 2005 season. In 2010, the team moved to play out of the newly constructed National Ice Sports Centre (Icehouse), in Docklands which featured significantly improved facilities for players and spectators alike. The first home game at the new rink sold out, and all subsequent home games have either sold out, or nearly done so.

Melbourne's strongest rivalty exists with the Mustangs IHC, on the basis of being cross-town rivals. The Ice are also one of many teams who have somewhat of a rivalry with the Newcastle North Stars, who along with Melbourne also entered the AIHL in 2002, and who ultimately defeated the Ice in its first playoff game in 2006. Fans have become accustomed to entertaining, high quality (and often high scoring) games when these teams meet.

2006 season[edit]

The season got off to a shaky start when the Ice lost its first three games, all at home, including both legs of its traditional double-header against the Adelaide Avalanche. Their form recovered, and they won the next six games, including three double-points games, to move to the top of the ladder, a position from which they continued to build. On 5 August 2006, the Ice mathematically clinched the franchise's first minor premiership and guaranteed themselves a spot in the 2006 playoffs with a 5-3 win over Central Coast.

On 2 September 2006, they played their first ever playoff game against the fourth-placed Newcastle North Stars in Adelaide. Despite having swept the North Stars during the regular season, the Ice were exposed on the larger Adelaide rink and lost the game 6-1. The following night, after the final, president Josh Puls and captain Brad Vigon were presented with the V.I.P. Cup, rewarding the Ice's minor premiership.

2007 season[edit]

The 2007 season again began with the traditional double-header against Adelaide, and home games against the Rhinos and Knights in the following weeks, yielding four consecutive regulation wins (6-1, 5-4, 5-3, 4-1). The following month featured four road games: a 3-4 a shoot-out loss and a 2-1 victory, against Adelaide; a 3-0 victory against the Knights in Canberra for double points, and; a 2-3 loss, the team's first in regulation, to the Bears in Penrith. The team then returned to Oakleigh for a string of three home games, with a 5-1 win over the Knights, and 5-4 and 4-3 shoot-out wins over the Bears and Northstars (the first and second in club history). The following weekend, a high-scoring road trip to Brisbane saw a 7-3 win and a 5-8 loss to the Blue Tongues. Returning to Oakleigh the following weekend, Melbourne beat the Western Sydney Ice Dogs 6-4. The ensuing road trip saw a 6-3 victory over the Rhinos for double points, and a disappointing 0-3 loss to the Bears. Back at Oakleigh, the Ice were underwhelming in a 3-2 win over the Rhinos, and were soundly beaten 3-6 by the Bears once again. After a week off, the Ice returned with a dominant 8-2 home win against the Ice Dogs. The following weekend a road trip saw a 5-4 shootout win against the Northstars for double points, clinching a playoffs berth for the Ice, and a 4-3 shootout loss against the Ice Dogs, again for double points. The Ice were disappointing in their final two games, home losses against Newcastle (0-1) and Brisbane (2-4), giving them poor momentum heading into the finals. After results failed to fall their way in the final weekend, during which they were idle, the Ice lost the V.I.P. Cup to the Adelaide Avalanche. Drawn to face third placed Newcastle in another semi-final, the Ice were again unable to reach the final game, losing 3-6.

Forward Tommy Powell was awarded the inaugural AIHL MVP award. Powell was forced to be the Ice's offensive focal point during the first half of the season after Lliam Webster sustained a jaw injury in the first game, and he did so with great success. Stu Denman narrowly defeated Bears' goaltender Pekka Kankaanranta to claim the best G.A.A. in the league of 2.87. Five Ice players (Thomas Powell, Lliam Webster, Brad Vigon, Joseph Hughes and Stuart Denman) were selected in the Australian squad of 22.

Leading scorers
Player GP G A P League
Thomas Powell 23 16 18 34 10th
Lliam Webster 16 11 8 19
Joseph Hughes 14 8 11 19
Devin Johns 15 10 7 17
Slava Kovshov 16 5 12 17

2008 season[edit]

Melbourne, and goaltender Stuart Denman, opened the 2008 season with two shut-outs: a clinical 2-0 win against the Canberra Knights at home, and a 3-0 road win in the first of the back-to-back games against the Adelaide Avalanche, the other game yielding a 6-5 shooutout win. They then lit up the scoreboard with a 7-2 win over Newcastle at home, and again the following weekend with a 6-1 win over Canberra on the road for double points. A home-and-home series over two weekends against the Bears yielded the first two losses for the season: 1-3 in Penrith for double points, and 3-4 at home. The following day, they defeated the Central Coast Rhinos 6-4 at home. In the two weeks that followed, they lost 2-3 in a shootout against the Knights, then beat the Western Sydney Ice Dogs 4-2, both at home. A disastrous road trip following the departure of long-term defensemen Vincent Hughes and Steve Laforet saw the Ice lose a double-points game 3-8 to the Northstars and a single-points game to the Ice Dogs 4-5. They recovered two weeks later at home in the double-header weekend against the newly founded Adelaide A's winning 8-4 on Saturday and 4-0 on Sunday, for Denman's third shut-out of the year, then continued the following weekend with a 5-2 win over Newcastle and a 6-3 penalty-filled win over Gold Coast. Still at home the following weekend, the Ice fought out an 8-7 victory against the league-leading Bears. The Ice clinched a place in the finals the following week, scoring a goal with 9.2sec remaining to beat the Central Coast Rhinos in a road double points game by the score of 3-2, however they were thumped by the Western Sydney Ice Dogs 2-8 the following day. Two weeks later, the Ice Dogs beat the Ice 1-3 in Oakleigh. The following week, a double-header in the Gold Coast saw a 4-6 loss and a 9-1 win against the Blue Tongues. In their final game of the regular season, the Ice beat the Central Coast Rhinos 8-1 at home.

The Ice finished third behind Western Sydney on countback after finishing equal on points, and were drawn to play them in the semi-final in Newcastle. In a very tight game with excellent goaltending on both sides, the Ice and Ice Dogs finished regulation time tied at 1-1, both teams scoring goals in the first period; eventually, the Ice Dogs prevailed with a goal 30sec into overtime, consigning the Ice to a 1-2 loss. Lliam Webster was awarded with the league MVP award for 2008.

Leading scorers
Player GP G A P League
Ryan Tremblay 25 23 29 52 4th
Lliam Webster 21 24 22 46 7th
Kyle Teague 22 14 25 39 11th
Tommy Powell 25 13 16 29 21st
Greg Sturrock 25 8 3 11 54th

Season-by-season results[edit]

Season GP W T SOW SOL L GF GA PTS Finish Playoff
2002 14 2 0 12 30 54 4 6th Did not qualify
2003 6 2 0 4 20 32 4 5th Did not qualify
2004 26 5 1 2 0 18 53 71 20 5th Did not qualify
2005 26 9 0 2 2 13 100 96 33 6th Did not qualify
2006 28 21 0 2 5 109 72 65 1st Lost semi-final vs. Newcastle North Stars, 1–6
2007 28 14 4 3 7 92 69 53 2nd Lost semi-final vs. Newcastle North Stars, 3–6
2008 28 17 1 1 9 124 91 54 3rd Lost semi-final vs. West Sydney Ice Dogs, 1–2 (OT)
2009 24 15 0 3 6 113 77 48 2nd Lost semi-final vs. Adelaide Adrenaline, 1–6
2010 24 15 1 5 3 122 65 48 2nd Won semi-final vs. Sydney Bears, 2–1
Won Goodall Cup final vs. Adelaide Adrenaline, 6–4
2011 28 18 3 5 2 146 93 65 1st Won semi-final vs. Adelaide Adrenaline, 8–3
Won Goodall Cup final vs. Newcastle North Stars, 3–2
2012 24 15 3 0 6 109 68 51 1st, Easton Won semi-final vs. Sydney Ice Dogs, 6–2
Won Goodall Cup final vs. Newcastle North Stars, 4–3
2013 28 16 1 3 8 147 93 53 4th Lost semi-final vs. Sydney Ice Dogs, 2–4

Championships[edit]

Goodall Cup: 2010, 2011, 2012
V.I.P. Cup: 2006, 2011
Easton Conference: 2012
Trans Tasman Champions League: 2012

Roster[edit]

Team roster for the 2014 AIHL season.[1]

# Nat Name Pos Date of Birth Acquired Birthplace
16 Canada Matt Armstrong F 9 August 1982 2010 Orleans, Ontario, Canada
40 United Kingdom Richard Ashton G 23 June 1984 2014 Manchester, England, United Kingdom
57 Canada Jason Baclig F 30 March 1982 2010 Leamington, Ontario, Canada
23 Australia Sonny Bal F 3 March 1992 2014 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
72 Australia Jeremy Brown F 24 May 1995 2014 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
64 Australia Jack Carpenter D 30 November 1993 2013
90 Australia Robert Clark F 1995 2014
97 Canada Scott Corbett F 3 May 1978 2014 Dunnville, Ontario, Canada
3 Australia Graham, ToddTodd Graham D 8 February 1991 2008 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
10 Australia Sean Hamilton F 27 October 1981 2014 Erin, Ontario, Canada
24 Australia Sam Hodic F 19 August 1996 2014
27 Australia Howell, RossRoss Howell (A) D/F 4 November 1979 2014 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
25 Australia Humphries, MitchellMitchell Humphries F 25 June 1993 2011 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
79 Sweden Gustaf Huth G 27 July 1992 2014 Stockholm, Sweden
15 Australia Harrison Jaunozols D 19 September 1997 2014
13 Sweden Tim Johansson F 10 August 1991 2014 Sölvesborg, Sweden
9 Australia Paul Lazzarotto F 22 February 1994 2013
18 Australia Glen Mayer F 1980 2013 Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
81 Australia McKenzie, AustinAustin McKenzie F 16 March 1993 2011 Clayton, Victoria, Australia
31 New Zealand Pine-Murphy, JadenJaden Pine-Murphy G 2 March 1990 2013
12 Australia Powell, ThomasThomas Powell (A) F 12 February 1986 2004 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
5 Canada Jeff Smith D 2 January 1981 2014 Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
17 Australia Mark Smith D/F 13 January 1983 2012
28 Australia Sturrock, GregGreg Sturrock D/F 28 December 1980 2006
4 Australia Daniel Szalinski F 10 May 1993 2011
2 Australia Webster, LliamLliam Webster (C) F 19 February 1986 2004 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
19 Australia Christopher Wong F 22 April 1995 2011
22 Australia Marcus Wong D 18 April 1993 2010

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Melbourne Ice". Elite Prospects. Retrieved 21 April 2014. 

External links[edit]