A full weekend of hockey saw the Mustangs & Brave locked in for the finals and some amazing action. The final 2 spots are up for grabs with the Ice, Ice Dogs & Adrenaline good chances in the penultimate weekend of the regular season. The Bears are about to head to Off-season Island while the Thunder & North Stars are making a last minute run for finals glory.
(1st, 47 points)
The MOAT: Melbourne Mustangs have locked in their first ever AIHL Finals appearance after a mixed weekend in Canberra. Will be pleased to have Viktor Gibbs Sjodin & Joey Hughes available after recent road trip injuries.
- Last Week: A road trip to Canberra saw a 4-2 victory on Saturday but a 4-2 loss on Sunday. A good roadie for the team and some of their fans who made the trip north.
- The Weekend: Final Melbourne Derby against the Ice on Thursday night will be keenly contested as will the final home game of the year against the North Stars.
- Run Home: Now confirmed finalists, the Stangs will be looking to cement top spot and add some regular season silverware to their trophy cabinet. One road trip to NSW remaining.
- Remaining Games: Ice (H), North Stars (H), North Stars (A), Ice Dogs (A)
(2nd, 46 points*)
CBR Brave have also locked in their first ever AIHL Finals appearance. Calling it a great effort in their first season – and no off-season as the Brave to prepare for this season – is an understatement.
- Last Week: Confirmed their finals spot during their weekend series with the Mustangs. A 4-2 loss on Saturday but a win on 4-2 Sunday could be a dress rehearsal for the finals.
- The Weekend: With their finals spot confirmed, can the Brave climb to the top of the ladder? A road trip to Adelaide against the Adrenaline who themselves are fighting for a finals berth.
- Run Home: From now on, the team must be brave away from Canberra with regular season road trips to Adelaide and Sydney and the finals in Melbourne.
- Remaining Games: Adrenaline (A), Adrenaline (A), Bears (A).
- Brave received an extra point in lieu of the re-scheduled game against Adrenaline.
(3rd, 44 points)
The Melbourne Ice had a good weekend against Adelaide and are 1 point away from confirming their spot in the finals. One more win or even a shootout loss will give the Ice a finals spot. If they do not get 1 point from 4 games, the Mice fans will be unbearable over summer.
- Last Week: Kept their finals chances alive with a 4-2 win on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday against the Adrenaline.
- The Weekend: Both games in Melbourne will be interesting for different reasons. A local derby against the Mustangs is always exciting. The North Stars return to Melbourne hoping that the zebras will keep their whistles in their pockets this time.
- Run Home: No more bus or plane trips for the Ice. 1 point out of 4 games is the first target and then to get as many points as possible for pride and bragging rights.
- Remaining Games: Mustangs (A), North Stars (H), Thunder (H), Thunder (H)
Sydney Ice Dogs
(4th, 39 points)
The 2013 Goodall Cup champions demolished the Bears on Saturday but were suffered heavy storm damage against the Thunder on Sunday. Can the Sydney Ice Dogs make the finals? This weekend should answer that question.
- Last Week: Didn’t I say last week not to take the Thunder lightly? An 8-2 loss on Sunday at home against the Thunder is not what the Dogs fans were expecting after an 8-0 win against the Bears on Saturday.
- This Weekend : The Thunder host the Ice Dogs in Perth for a couple of games. The players should be able to celebrate a finals berth on the red-eye flight home on Sunday night.
- Run Home: The final regular season road trip to Perth followed by a home game against the Mustangs should see the Ice Dogs make the finals and be able to defend their 2013 Champions title.
- Remaining Games: Thunder (A), Thunder (A), Mustangs (H)
(5th, 37 points*)
The Adelaide Adrenaline did not need to lose 6 points against the Ice in Melbourne but that is what happened. They have 2 games against the Brave to control their own destiny but this might not be enough.
- Last Week: Headed across to Melbourne but did not take any points home with them, losing 4-2 on Saturday and 3-1 on Sunday.
- The Weekend: In their last games of the regular season, the Adrenaline must win against the Brave to have some say in their finals chances.
- Run Home: The Adrenaline have the shortest run home of the potential finalists with 2 games remaining. May need other results to favour them.
- Remaining Games: Brave (H), Brave (H).
- Adrenaline received 2 extra points (1 per game) in lieu of the re-scheduled games against Brave and Bears.
Newcastle North Stars
(6th, 35 points)
The North Stars could have confirmed their end of season trip but have given themselves a slim chance to make the finals – something which was not on the cards a few weeks ago. They could not do any more this week than pick up 6 points at home against the Thunder and Bears.
- Last Week: Lots of moose dancing with a last gasp goal to defeat the Thunder 5-4 with 7 seconds to go on Saturday. Had control of the whole game against the Bears winning 6-2 on Sunday.
- This Weekend: Melbourne, Melbourne. Running back into some form, the North Stars head south looking to star against the Mustangs and Ice.
- Run Home: It’s all Melbourne for the North Stars from here with a Melbourne road trip and their final home game against the Mustangs. Need to win as much as possible and rely on other results for a montage-worthy appearance in the finals. A further slip could prove fatal but the camp has faith.
- Remaining Games: Mustangs (A), Ice (A), Mustangs (H).
(7th, 28 points)
Will need a massive storm to make it to the finals from here. If the North Stars are a slim finals hope, the Thunder are slimmer yet. A good weekend in NSW being 7 seconds short of taking 2 wins home with them.
- Last Week: The Thunder needed to have a good road trip and they did. 7 seconds away from a potential victory in Newcastle and striking back 8-2 against the Ice Dogs on Sunday.
- This Weekend: This weekend’s final home games against the Ice Dogs will confirm the results of the Thunder season either way. Must be feeling confident after an 8-2 away win and then 2 games at home against the same opponents.
- Run Home: Ice Dogs at home and then Ice away should see 4 good games of hockey to finish a somewhat frustrating season for the Thunder. Some commentators still have the Thunder as a slim finals chance.
- Games Remaining: Ice Dogs (H), Ice Dogs (H), Ice (A), Ice (A)
(8th, 22 points)
The Sydney Bears really did not need to confirm that they won’t be playing in the finals but a 14-2 weekend against them did exactly that.
- Last Week: The Battle of Sydney saw the Ice Dogs win 8-0 on Saturday. There was an improvement in the scoreless second period of that game and in Newcastle on Sunday. The North Stars had control of the game early and were never headed in a 6-2 loss for the Bears. On a good note, Daniel Palmkvist returned from injury on Sunday.
- This Weekend: The Bears get an early taste of the off season with a weekend off. One final game against the Brave the following weekend to end their season.
- Run Home: It will take a brave man or a Bears supporter to tip a Bears win in their final game of the season against the Brave. Running short on players and a wooden spoon spot is not helping.
- Remaining Games: Brave (H)
- Bears received an extra point in lieu of the re-scheduled game against Adrenaline.