Season 2012 for the Gold Coast Blue Tongues will be one that could’ve been much more. The Queenslanders are led by the best goalie in the AIHL Anthony Kimlin and in my opinion the best forward for the 2012 season Mike McRae. Behind Kimlin and McRae are a list of players that when you look at it, make a very good roster.
The Blue Tongues finished 5th overall, missing out on a playoff spot. Their 10-14 record shows how up and down they were during season 2012. In those 10 wins includes wins against the Melbourne Ice, Newcastle North Stars, Sydney Ice Dogs and the Adelaide Adrenaline, all playoff teams.
When you look at it the Blue Tongues could’ve finished with a much better record, losing 5 games in a shootout or by a single goal.
FORWARDS – The obvious standout is Mike McRae, what more can you say about him? He led the team in goals, assists, points, power play goals and game winning goals. Not to mention being in at least the top 10 in the AIHL for those categories as well.
His partners in crime often changed from day to day. Adam Geric had an impressive season and ended up with 8 goals and 21 points in 24 games. While Etienne Du Toit put up an impressive 7 goals in 13 games. Jon Bale used a 4 goal game to boost his numbers to end up with 9 goals on the season.
The team had several rookies, including Jeremy Brucker, who showed plenty of potential during season 2012.
DEFENCE – The blue line was a strong point for the men from Gold Coast during the season. Adam Blanchette was nominated for best AIHL defenseman while his partner in crime James Sanford put up some big numbers, registering 11 goals and 26 points in just 17 games.
Greg Bay was nominated and won the AIHL award for Rookie of the Year, after he has a stellar first season in the league. Bay had 5 goals and 11 points in 11 games and is defiantly a player to watch in the future.
GOALIES – The Blue Tongues were treated to some phenomenal performances in net by Anthony Kimlin during the season. Kimlin won 6 games with a GAA of 2.25 and a save percentage of .935, which is some of the best figures this league has seen. Kimlin went on to win the AIHL Goalie of the Year and rightly so.
Back up net minder Alain Giauque provided some great performances in net when called upon, earning an impressive away shutout against the Melbourne Ice during the season.
SEASON HIGHLIGHT AND LOWLIGHT – Hard to go past Jon Bale for the highlight. Bale lit up the Sydney Ice Dogs late in the season scoring 4 goals in 5-4 win during a must win game for the Blue Tongues.
The lowlight for me was missing the playoffs. This team has so much potential and when they are on, they can beat anyone in the league as they showed through the season.
MVP: Mike McRae/Anthony Kimlin
Best Defenseman: Adam Blanchette
Rookie of the Year: Greg Bay
Play of the Year: Jon Bale’s 4 goal game against Sydney Ice Dogs
Breakout Player in 2013: Jeremy Brucker
LOOK AT NEXT SEASON – What does Gold Coast need to do to take the next step in season 2013? If the Tongues can add one scoring threat to their side from this year, they are a playoff team. They need a forward to carry some of the load with McRae.
Providing they are able to keep both McRae and Kimlin, the Tongues have a good core to build around with Blanchette, Stanford, and Bale. What is to say they don’t win 3-4 of those 5 one goal games they lost this season? They certainly have the talent to do it.
If the Coast can add that scoring threat and maybe another puck moving defenseman, they will be a team to watch in season 2013. I am happy to put my name to that.
By Chris Bowen
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