Week 19 was the farewell weekend for half of the teams in the AIHL after the final weekend of the regular season. The Finals matches were set, as was the team on the bottom of the ladder.
Melbourne Mustangs traveled to Sydney to play Sydney Bears (Saturday) and Sydney Ice Dogs (Sunday) for the last Sydney AIHL games of the season. With Mustangs in the Finals, wins would be nice for the team but not essential. Saturday’s game ended up as a narrow 6-5 win for the Bears after Mustangs staged a late comeback. On Sunday, Ice Dogs won 4-2. Ice Dogs had a great weekend with a 3-2 win on Saturday in Newcastle against the Northstars.
Elsewhere around the league, Perth Thunder took 6 points from a severely undermanned Adelaide Adrenaline (Saturday 11-3, Saturday 12-1). Melbourne Ice & CBR Brave had a pre-finals dress rehearsal where the Ice won both games 5-2. This cemented Ice’s most successful regular season in AIHL history.
Next week, Melbourne Ice (1) play Melbourne Mustangs (4) in Semi Final 1. Perth Thunder (2) play CBR Brave (3) in Semi Final 2. Sunday’s championship game will be the winners of the Saturday Semi Finals.
Ladder (28 regular season games per team):
- Melbourne Ice: 71 points from 28 games
- Perth Thunder: 57 points from 28 games
- CBR Brave: 46 points from 28 games
- Melbourne Mustangs: 40 points from 28 games
- Sydney Ice Dogs: 36 points from 28 games
- Sydney Bears: 33 points from 28 games
- Newcastle Northstars: 30 points from 28 games
- Adelaide Adrenaline: 23 points from 28 games