The NHL officially entered a lockout on Sunday afternoon, Melbourne time, and has already started cancelling games. And yet, I’m not getting too down about it. Don’t get me wrong, the lockout sucks, and I’ll miss my favourite NHL teams as much as anyone. It’s just that there’s still so much going on at this end of the world – with the New Zealand Skate of Origin this weekend and the AWIHL and the recently-announced AJIHL running over the Australian summer – that I’m going to have no shortage of hockey to watch after all.
Melbourne Ice Women
The Melbourne Ice Women’s team has been holding tryouts, which will continue at 9pm Tuesdays at the Icehouse for the next two weeks. They’re also holding a fundraiser at the Comic’s Lounge on Thursday the 27th of September, which will be fantastic.
The season’s over, the weather’s getting warmer, and we all face week after week of no hockey. Yes, there’s the AWIHL season, but that’s, like, ages away! Fortunately, musical duo Me&Him, (made up of Melbourne Ice’s Jason Baclig and Olympic speed skater Lachlan Hay) hit the studio to remind us that summer isn’t just “that time when there’s no AIHL” and there are actually nice things about it, too.
Read on for actual news about the AIHL and the finals in what will probably be the last big news post for a while.
The Goodall Cup returned to the Melbourne Ice’s other home last night – not the Icehouse, the Harbourtown Hotel – for an evening of celebrations with fans, players and most importantly, president Andy Lamrock, who was absent from the finals in Newcastle on the weekend. It was great to be there as the team brought the cup home, recognised both the known and the unsung heroes of the team, and shared some stories from the road. Not to mention some promising announcements about the future of the Melbourne Ice and where they’ll be heading next. There was some sadness too, though, as some of the club’s key figures announced that having achieved the historic third consecutive premiership and making great inroads for the club’s future, the time had come for them to retire.
Andy Lamrock raises the Goodall Cup. (Photo from @goicego)
I know what you’re thinking. Why are things so quiet around here? The AIHL finals were last weekend! The highlight of the season! And the Melbourne Ice won! After three of the best games of the season and seeing their team win the Goodall Cup, don’t Jane and Chelsea have anything to say about it?
Image from AIHL Facebook, caption by Texts From Last Period.
Well, we have plenty to say about the finals, don’t you worry – we just have to get over our sleep deprivation/hangovers first, and remember how to say things other than “MELBOURNE ICE ARE THE BEST! WOOOOOOOO!” (I’m still not sure my hands are back to 100% of their usual function after the way Jane was squeezing them during the last thirty seconds of the grand final.) For now, let’s just say that this weekend was a blast. We had a fantastic time in Newcastle, meeting people who until now we’d only known via email, comments sections and Twitter. We loved the hospitality and infinite patience of the staff at Warners At The Bay motel, who survived a weekend of guests prone to 24-hour partying and the occasional nude run. We saw some of the best hockey games of the year. And of course, we saw the Melbourne Ice make history by winning their third straight championship, their first ever on the road.
We screamed. We cheered. We just about died from the tension at the end of Sunday’s game. When I called my dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day and apologise for missing it, I was both hoarse and too happy to sound very sorry. Fortunately my dad didn’t want much from me to make it up to him.
(The next day, I got my hair cut for the first time since the Melbourne Ice jersey presentation night on April 26. I may have grumbled when a certain friend told me it would be bad luck to ‘mess with the flow’ mid-season, but hey, it worked!)
Thank you to the Melbourne Ice for an amazing season, a killer grand final, and for making us feel like part of the family. We’ll have a full report on the weekend’s three spectacular games in time. But tonight, we’re just going to go down to the Harbourtown Hotel for one last chance to celebrate the end of this season with the best team in the world. GO ICE!