In a statement from the Gold Coast Blue Tongues, General Manager Dave Emblem reports on the Blue Tongues’ final games of the 2012 AIHL season.
The Bartercard Gold Coast Blue Tongues completed their last and most difficult road trip of the season, and given the games were against teams that will be competing in next weekend’s AIHL Finals the boys can hold their heads high with their efforts. Given the team left for Melbourne last Thursday knowing they had no mathematical chance of making the finals weekend, respect for the jersey and themselves was always going to be the key factor to a good result.
The first game was against the two time defending champion, Melbourne Ice and only one goal could separate the two teams with only minutes to go, and the Blue Tongues pulled their goaltender Anthony Kimlin for an extra attacker to try and tie the game up, unfortunately the Ice picked up a loose puck and fired it into the empty net for the 5-3 win. Scorers for the Blue Tongues were James Sanford, Adam Geric, and Marco Bertossa. Mike Mcrae picked up two assists. Unfortunately, Marco Bertossa copped a bad check from behind, and the impact into the boards had Bertossa in hospital overnight, and an early flight home to end his season.
The Blue Tongues then travelled to Adelaide for two games against another team headed to the finals next weekend, and the Saturday game resulted in a demolition of the Adrenaline with a 5-1 victory going to the Blue Tongues. Anthony Kimlin continued his last half season domination of the opposition which has seen Kimlin end up with the best goal against average and best save percentage for the Australian Ice Hockey League. Unfortunately for the team Kimlin encountered an ankle injury that had him sidelined for most of the first half of the season. Scorers included two goals to Etienne Du Toit, and singles to Jonny Bale, Greg Bay, and Mike Mcrae
On Sunday, again in Adelaide, Blue Tongues import James Sanford scored with 15 seconds left in the game to equal the scores at 4-4, and send the game into a shootout. The local Adrenaline side scored the lone goal in the shootout to collect the extra point. The Blue Tongues did get one point for the draw, which took their total to 33 points and fifth place overall in the 2012 Australian Ice Hockey League season. Seventeen year old Nick Novysedlak replaced Anthony Kimlin during the game for his first appearance this season. Novysedlak was very courageous taking away many scoring opportunities for the playoff bound Adelaide team, and keeping the Blue Tongues in the game. With the AIHL’s leading goaltender for season 2012 in Kimlin, and upcoming young Novysedlak, one thing for sure is the Blue Tongues goaltending will be a huge asset for years to come.
With plans underway for the Blue Tongues to compete in their own brand new stadium on the Gold Coast there are many good times to look forward to in the future. With the demise of the Gold Coast Blaze basketball team and the Gold Coast United soccer team this year, the Blue Tongues along with the Gold Coast Suns and the Gold Coast Titans remain the only three teams on the Gold Coast competing in a national competition. Stay tuned for more information on the progress of the Blue Tongues for season 2013.
By Dave Emblem
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