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Thread: Australian Ice Hockey League 2012

  1. #1
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    Australia Australian Ice Hockey League 2012

    Just some early news for next years 2012 season.

    The AIHL's AGM was today and Perth Thunder was accepted into the league as a full member bringing the league to nine teams. Perth was a provisional member for the 2011 season, playing exhibition games during the regular season against a few of the AIHL teams.

    The other news is that AGM decided to allow the Mustangs IHC to identify themselves as the Melbourne Mustangs if these so choose. During their first season they were not allowed to be called the Melbourne Mustangs for reasons, as far as I know, unknown.

    Edit: The reason why the Mustangs IHC couldnt originally use Melbourne was due to concerns that the Melbourne Ice brand could be damaged but the restriction was removed due to confusion among the media and fans and that the AIHL are now satisified that the Ice's brand will not be damaged.
    Last edited by Salavat; 04-11-2011 at 15:12.

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    Another item of note is that the AIHL has now been split into two conferences due to the inclusion of the Perth Thunder.

    The Southwest conference will include the Melbourne Ice, Mustangs IHC, Adelaide Adrenaline and the Perth Thunder. While the Northeast includes the Canberra Knights, Sydney Bears, Sydney Ice Dogs, Newcastle North Stars, and the Gold Coast Blue Tongues.

    Each team will play 24 games, playing the majority of their games in their conference.

    Changes to the Goodall Cup final series are also going to be announced but the system has yet to be determined.

    Heres an article about the recent AGM which talks about the recent changes:
    http://www.theaihl.com/leagues/newsl...464&page=56728

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    IHF Member EVH's Avatar
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    How about AIHL expansion to New Zealand? There were some news about it like year or two ago that one or two teams from New Zealand would join AIHL.

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EVH View Post
    How about AIHL expansion to New Zealand? There were some news about it like year or two ago that one or two teams from New Zealand would join AIHL.
    I think with the Champions series happening we won't see that inclusion happen for at least a couple years.
    Nice to see the new format, should help travel issues at least a bit.
    I imagine the playoff format would see divisional playoff rounds, plus a final with the champion from each division for the Cup?

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    I dont really like the new format, as it will be alot of the same games time and time again I believe.

    But this will not stop me purchasing my Membership again for Melbourne Ice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimiemick View Post
    I dont really like the new format, as it will be alot of the same games time and time again I believe.

    But this will not stop me purchasing my Membership again for Melbourne Ice!
    This can build on local rivalries. Personally I don't mind playing some teams more often than others. I'd far rather watch the Ice play the Mustangs or Adrenaline than seeing the Bears or Knights coming down. The Soutwest conference is going to be very entertaining.
    Melbourne Ice - Chicago Blackhawks - HK Gladiators Trnava - Dukla Trencin - ┌jpesti TE - Ak Bars Kazan

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    IHF Member Vicente's Avatar
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    Now that there are two conferences, to me it looks like they plan further expansions for the future. Is there someone from Australia who knows in which non-AIHL places hockey is played and where future teams could come from?
    RIP Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Robert Dietrich and all the other Loko players and staff that died Sept. 7 2011 !

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    Heres an article from Theotherhewitt.com on the topic of expanding to 10 teams:

    http://theotherhewitt.com/?p=1022

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    The frontrunners would have to be Tasmania or the Central Coast IMO......Ideally, to aid the conference system Tasmania would be the best option. But the cost involved would be large. As it stands there is no rink anywhere in Tasmania that could host AIHL standard games and so it would mean building a brand new venue.

    It may be that the tenth team to enter the league will be the second coming of the Central Coast Rhinos. I don't think that there is a need for another team in NSW, but with league evening up the conferences at 5 a piece, this may be the best option.

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    As I understand it, the Finals series will likely stick to a similar format as we have seen in the past. The top two teams from each conference will make it through to a Finals weekend. I don't like it but.....I'm not on the commission!!

    I'd like to see something like this::

    In each conference - With the second ranked team in the conf. having home advantage, 2 V 3 play off for a spot in the conference final against 1 who host the conf. final - then conference final
    Winners of the conference final play a best out of 3 home and away series where the higher ranked team in overall league standings hosts the 1st and final games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Salavat View Post
    Heres an article from Theotherhewitt.com on the topic of expanding to 10 teams:

    http://theotherhewitt.com/?p=1022
    Neither Townsville or Tasmania are viable at all. Townsville has no league and Tasmania's rink is so small that they only play 3 on 3 hockey. Central Coast is the only reasonable suggestion but is still unlikely. The rink owner remains in dispute with IHA, IHNSW and the AIHL. Moreover the Central Coast struggled first time around andNSW already has enough teams, four would stretch the talent and fans thinly at a time when teams like the Bears are still scrounging for players.

    Beyond the convenience of having an even 10 teams I see no need for expansion. I don't expect any more expansion in the AIHL for the next 2-3 years at least.
    Last edited by Bagratid; 12-02-2012 at 08:35.
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    A couple of updates from the AIHL for the upcoming season:

    The two conferences have been modified
    - Conference 1 now consists of Newcastle Northstars, Sydney Bears, Sydney Ice Dogs and Canberra Knights
    - Conference 2 includes Perth Thunder, Adelaide Adrenaline, Melbourne Ice, Mustangs IHC and Gold Coast Blue Tongues
    Only change is Gold Coast moving from one conference to the other. The conferences are also set to be given a name

    The other thing is that the 2012 schedule was released on Friday. League starts 28th April and runs to 2nd September (including finals). http://www.theaihl.com/media/leagues...HLschedule.pdf

    The first Trans Tasman Champions League is also set to be held during the middle of the season. It runs over two days from 7th to 8th July and involves the Australian teams: Melbourne Ice and Newcastle North Stars and the New Zealand teams; Botany Swarm and Southern Stampede.

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    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    Newcastle North Stars and Australia goalie Matt Ezzy announces today his retirement...good luck Matt!!
    http://www.northstars.com.au/leagues...283&page=59348

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Unfortunate for the Australian senior team, Ezzy is an excellent goalie and has been a huge part of their on-ice success in recent years. This will of course leave room for someone new to step up but I suspect that the on-ice product of both the North Stars and Mighty Roos will suffer somewhat until that happens.

    All the best to Matt, and best wishes for success in his life going forward.

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    IHF Member WHawks's Avatar
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    Wow what's with this penalty for Sydney Ice Dogs? Limited to 3 imports for this season due to problems with their imports from last season one of which is now also banned for life from the league?
    http://www.theaihl.com/leagues/newsl...464&page=60743

    That seems like a pretty severe punishment.
    Last edited by WHawks; 08-04-2012 at 17:12.

  16. #16
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    The bigger question is what the heck did the players do during the finals week?

    One player is banned for life, the team is restricted in its import quota, all due to "anti-social behaviour" at the 2011 finals.? Must have been pretty bad behaviour for that.

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    Allegedly got into a fight and injured a bouncer quite badly while he was down in Melbourne.
    Melbourne Ice - Chicago Blackhawks - HK Gladiators Trnava - Dukla Trencin - ┌jpesti TE - Ak Bars Kazan

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    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    Here's the highlights of the Melbourne Ice vs. Mustangs, if anyone wants to see some of the quality of the league: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfjv1...layer_embedded
    Twitter: @CSmeeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conesy View Post
    Here's the highlights of the Melbourne Ice vs. Mustangs, if anyone wants to see some of the quality of the league: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfjv1...layer_embedded
    Nice video. The presentation is really good. Better then some of the AHL presentations you have to put up with on ESPN! I used AHL because the team jerseys remind me of the AHL teams, similar style. Good crowd too being sold out! Im not surprised though.. Ice Hockey or Aussie Rules... with Aussie Rules being the single most boring sport ever to grace television :P (each to their own ofcourse)

    The travelling to and from Peth will be a pain won't it? How do the teams travel by coach?
    Dinamo Riga | Manchester Phoenix | Boston Bruins | Lokomotiv 7th September 2011

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    Looks like this thread hasn't been used much, but spreading the word that the AIHL Finals will be live streamed for free via www.livestream.com/aihl/ on Saturday and Sunday (1st & 2nd) this weekend. They're 3.30pm & 7pm on Saturday (I believe that's 6.30am & 10am London time) and 4pm (7am London time) for the Final on Sunday.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video Conesy! GREAT crowd, cool jerseys, and decent level of play.....all in all an impressive, professionally run presentation. I wish that the Israeli League could approximate this someday in both crowd support, presentation and level of play.

    As for the level of play, it's of course tough to judge from a three minute video, but I'd equate it with strong Canadian Junior B / lower-end Canadian Junior A, or good American Tier III Junior A (i.e., EJHL, AJHL) - maybe low-end NAHL if you want to be charitable.

    Anyway, good hockey in a GREAT presentation; well done.

  22. #22
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The Melbourne Ice won their third straight Australian league championship.

    Here is the link for the IIHF recap of the victory:

    http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/n...ash=752098a9a0

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    It's far better then any canadian jrB team. Imports are expected to be pro calibre as well. Even Mebourne local Joseph Hughes played ncaa div 3 and SPHL. When I played aihl in 04, we had a decent import who played jrA but even then he wasn't great relative to the league. The league has improved massively since then.

  24. #24
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Run of the mill NCAA D.3 players come out of Junior B / low end Jr. A. SPHL players have the same background.

    Top Canadian Junior B teams are really Junior A level, and Canadian Junior A is very good hockey.

    I'd bet on certain Canadian Junior A teams over certain NCAA D3 and even certain SPHL teams any day of the week.

    Waiting for Steigs to jump in here with a Nepean Raiders comment......

    Anyway, you may well be right when talking about the top lines of AIHL teams, but they don't seem to have very much depth.

  25. #25
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Waiting for Steigs to jump in here with a Nepean Raiders comment......
    YEAHHHHHHHH GO RAIDERS!!!!!

    ...Seriously, what am I, some kind of party trick?

    Fact is, as you said, Junior A is quite high-calibre hockey. The season just started off out here, so I'm waiting a few weeks to see how it all comes together. That being said, I'm definitely looking forward to catching some junior hockey this winter:
    within a half-hour drive from the family cottage (which is accessible year-round), I can catch Junior A in Smiths Falls or Brockville, Junior B in Perth, Westport, or Athens (and the atmosphere in Athens is great, especially during the "County Road 42 derby" matches against Westport haha)

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    I agree that Jr A is good level hockey (I'm a Canadian kiwi). We've had players from JrB and JrA come and play. Even recently a JrB player from Ottawa (one of the better jrB leagues in Canada) was not good enough to play as an import on a weak AIHL team. He was picked up by an NZIHL team and had a reasonable season.

    In person however, the calibre of an AIHL team is pretty high compared to jrB teams. It's a fair comment that there is some fall off when you get to 3rd and 4th lines however the top 2 lines are generally quite strong.

    I look forward to seeing Melbourne and Newcastle next season during Trans-Tasman. I dare say they will be tougher to play than any junior team I've played against in the past (a long long time ago sadly).

  27. #27
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NOjfS2b...eature=related

    From last year, but here are some GREAT, high quality video highlights of the 2012 AIHL championship game. Enjoy!

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