VENUE & DATE: Medibank Icehouse, Thursday 23rd of August 2012
LAST TIME: 17/6/12 Ice 6 defeated Blue Tongues 0 at the Medibank Icehouse
WHAT’S WHAT: This game, while played at the Medibank Icehouse in Melbourne, is a Blue Tongues home game as a result of the cancelled match in early June due to an unsafe playing arena. This turned out to be the last game the Tongues played on the Gold Coast for the season, shifting their remaining home matches to Brisbane.
All of them that is, with the exception of this one. As a gesture to the Ice, all Ice members will receive free entry. This will ensure a healthy crowd, despite the game being played on a Thursday night.
It will be the last hockey match of the season in Melbourne and is the last opportunity for the fans to wish the players good luck before they head off to Newcastle in search of the historic three peat.
The Blue Tongues were eliminated from the playoff race last weekend, despite winning their only match against the Ice Dogs. They can still however, lift themselves above the Perth Thunder on the table which should provide them with the motivation to give a good account of themselves in their final “home” match of the season.
The Ice secured the Easton Conference title with a split of their road series in Perth, winning on Sunday after losing the previous evening when Perth jumped them again. They were supposed to have the week free, however due to the rescheduled game against the Blue Tongues, will suit up on in this match.
With the result irrelevant for both teams the Ice will be looking for some finals preparation, no injuries and no suspensions, while the Tongues will be looking to finish off the season in style and try to leapfrog Perth into third place in the conference.
WHO’S HOT: Jon Bale and James Sanford lit up the ice in the win over the Ice Dogs last weekend. Bale scored four of the Blue Tongue’s five goals, all of which were assisted by Sanford. These two will need to replicate this form together with the likes of Mike McRae, the club’s leading scorer, to have any chance in this one.
Matt Armstrong has had a sensational season, and his weekend in Perth reflected that. He scored the only goal for the Victorian side on Saturday and backed that up with another two goals and an assist in the victory on Sunday. Armstrong sits third in league scoring, an amazing feat considering the depth within his team.
WE THINK: With nothing on the line for either side, anything can happen and if the games between these two this season is anything to go by, expect the unexpected. That said, the Ice should be too strong and will enter the finals in winning form.
It’s Melbourne Ice 5-2.
by Chris Meister
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