Melbourne's newest Ice Hockey team, the Melbourne Mustangs, traveled to Adelaide to face former AIHL Champions the Adelaide Adrenaline. In an exhibition match which could prove a stepping stone for the AIHL hopefuls, as they work towards being accepted for the 2011 season.
In what was a tight struggle early on, the Melbourne Mustangs were able to lift the tempo and score a 5-2 victory at the Ice Arena. With the Mustangs out shooting the Adrenaline 14-10 up until the end of the second period, goals were bound to come. The third period was a mixed bag with both teams really pushing forward & shooting the puck, which resulted in Adelaide being able to pull back a goal and make the score 4-2. Swedish winger Peter Lindgren was starting to get involved for Adelaide during the third, which resulted in a great breakaway goal. Melbourne soon iced the game when they went 5-2 up, under pressure from the Adrenaline throughout much of the third period, the Mustangs were still able to finish off the game & send the away fans home happy.
The Melbourne Mustangs have been in fine from over the past few months, playing exhibition games against some AIHL teams & also touring teams from overseas. There push for a place in the 2011 AIHL season will only be boosted by this away win in Adelaide, even though some starting players for the Adrenaline were out, it was a very impressive performance.
With the Melbourne Ice already an established force in the AIHL, it's going to be very important task to win the hearts of the people from Melbourne & Victoria. The AIHL, i feel, is very much capable of having another team to represent the city of Melbourne. The Mustangs definitely look to be that team & with the backing of all the other clubs in the AIHL, 2011 is looking to be a land mark year for club.
John Belic and all the staff at the club have put in a lot of time and effort, to get this club into a position which is ready to launch itself onto the Ice Hockey scene. There visions which have been outlined are very focused on youth development for the betterment of Australian hockey at International level, and community involvement is also a big key factor for the club.
Not only is it further development for the sport in this country, but also a big tick for the people of Melbourne. This mad sports city is constantly looking for a team to call it's own & something it can take into it's heart, Melbourne Ice may already be established in the market place of hockey in Australia. But, the Mustangs might be planting it's feet at the very right time, brand new ice rink & a new generation of supporters drawn to the sport, could be the perfect recipe for Ice Hockey success.
The ride which is the Melbourne Mustangs might only be at it's early stages, but it could one which skates it's way into Australian Ice Hockey greatness.
By Andrew Macdougall
By Andrew Macdougall