Wednesday, February 10, 2021 - Submitted by John Belic
Welcome to 2021 …. how much have we all missed hockey. As promised we have some encouraging news about Ice Hockey in Melbourne, with Mustangs hitting the Ice in 2021. The COVID 19 pandemic impacted many sports in 2020 and Ice Hockey in Melbourne has been one of the hardest hit due to our Winter Season, indoor stadiums, extended lock downs and the availability of so many of our rinks.
The AIHL and team governors have agreed that it is still not safe or practical to run a National Competition and risk the health and safety of our players and team staff by travelling. We will not be awarding the Goodall Cup this season and will not be bringing imports into the country in such uncertain international times. Victoria and New South Wales have agreed to stage local competitions presented by the AIHL. So our plan is to bring back ELITE hockey to Melbourne Fans in a controlled manner and one that complies with the State | Federal Health Guidelines for players, staff, members and fans and includes;
1. A Proposed Victorian Super Series, with the ICE, Mustangs and Victoria’s best up and coming players. At least 9 games of Hockey with later start [Mid- May 16] and finish [September] to the season. 2. A Proposed Round Robin Series with the CBR Brave Where they come to Melbourne [2 Home Games] at least twice and we [Ice and Mustangs] each go to ACT for a bus trip weekend in the month of September. 3. A potential End of Year Tournament with our colleagues from selected AIHL Teams Similar format to finals weekend with up to four teams. Obviously all fixtures will be subject to ongoing COVID-19 regulations, rink | stadium availability and especially the on-going health and the on-going wellbeing of our athletes.
We continue to consult with the playing group in developing this 2021 proposal and at the moment confident of their full commitment to get on to the ice. Over the next three weeks, we will be working hard to confirm the arrangements, develop the schedule, membership options, seating, prices, streaming and ticketing. All arrangements are expected to be in place by mid-March and we will keep you informed as we progress.