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Ice hockey glory beckons in Docklands

30 Aug 2018

Ice hockey glory beckons in Docklands Image

For a sixth straight year, the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) finals will be hosted at the O’Brien Group Arena as the nation’s top four teams from the home-and-away season battle it out for the Goodall Cup.

On September 1, “Super Saturday” sees the first and second semi-finals at 3pm and 6pm – the winners of which progress to the following afternoon’s grand final. Sunday’s final (with puck drop set for 3pm) is set to be a sell-out.

AIHL commissioner Robert Bannerman said the decision to host the finals at the 6500-seat arena was a no-brainer.

“The O’Brien Group Arena provides the biggest ice rink in Australia at present,” he said.

“With facilities for AIHL teams, fans and VIP experiences around the rink, it’s the perfect stage for the league’s premier event.”

The 2017 finals series – eventually won by Melbourne Ice – was a standing-room only affair, and O’Brien Group Arena general manager Paul Keisler said his colleagues loved hosting what has become a big event on the sporting calendar.

“As a team we pride ourselves in delivering world-class events and see this as another opportunity to do exactly that on Australian hockey’s biggest weekend,” he said.

“It has been a huge year for ice sports so far. The Winter Olympics helped pique the public interest across all winter sport – especially ice sports. OBG Arena has seen many first-time visitors through the doors, watching Melbourne Ice and Mustangs AIHL games, as well as giving skating a go.”

Formed in 2000, the AIHL continues to develop as the sport’s premier competition in the country.

Ice hockey has a rich history in Australia, and the Goodall Cup is in fact the world’s third-oldest ice hockey trophy, and the oldest outside of North America.

The city’s two clubs – Melbourne Ice and Melbourne Mustangs – are co-tenants at the Docklands arena, formerly known as the Medibank Icehouse and, before that, the National Ice Sports Centre.

The Ice (formed in 2002) have won the Goodall Cup fives times, while the Mustangs’ (formed in 2010) sole championship win came in 2014.

For tickets and further information, visit obriengrouparena.com.au

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