For us Canadians, when one thinks of Australia, one doesn’t correlate hockey to the country. In regards to sports, we think of rugby, softball or anything to do with the water. However, hockey has been played in some variation for over a hundred years down in the Southern Hemisphere. In fact, the Goodall Cup, which the teams of the 14 year Australian Ice Hockey League play for, is the third oldest hockey trophy in the world.
The first reported case of ice hockey came in Melbourne as a local team squared off against an American crew fresh off the USS Baltimore. That one game took place in 1906 and sparked a hockey passion with the Aussies.
The story of the Canberra Brave starts with its predecessor, the Canberra Knights. The Knights came to fruition in 1981 by a bunch of former hockey players who had no place to play in the area. They played out of the then New South Wales Superleague, out of Sydney. For 13 years, the Knights struggled but gained more than a handful of hockey experience. One young lad, originally from Canada, had a standout year and managed to be drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. He landed himself the third string goalie spot and hung on to a Stanley Cup victory in 2002.
Canberra continued to grow its ice hockey prowess by playing in the East Coast Super League for five years after the demolition of the NSWSL. When a national league came into light in the year 2000, the Knights, and two others squads made the foundation of the Australian Ice Hockey League that we know today. Continue reading “The heartwarming story of the Canberra Brave”
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