Brave Dost Provail

downloadIt is sad but true that many hockey fans will experience a period of at least uncertainty if not the total death of their team at some point during their time support them. For a select few fans fortunately they will see the rebirth of their team as well.

UK fans are particularly familiar with this with Newcastle Vipers, Manchester Storm, Manchester Phoenix, London Knights, London Racers, Bracknell Bees, Basingstoke Bison, Cardiff Devils, Sheffield Steelers. The list is pretty long. It is not a UK thing either even in Canada there is the same tail in many cities. Whilst Winnipeg and Quebec may standout there is Belleville, St Johns, Quebec City again (with the Ramparts) and there was even moment when the Gillette’s bought the mighty Montreal Canadiens that their future in the city was looking a little shaky.

For all those who have suffered the dream is that their team (or one in the city) will rise again and conquer all. This past weekend showed that their is hope in that dream. The AIHL finals took place in Melbourne featuring the powerhouse sides of the AIHL the Newcastle North Stars, Melbourne Ice, Perth Thunder and the CBR Brave. The Brave being the new kid on the block having been formed only 2 years ago were making their second appearance in the finals having lost in the semifinal last year. This year though they went one better beating the Ice to make the finals before loosing out to Newcastle in the final in a repeat of the 2015 semifinal.

It is though remarkable for the Brave. Since 2014 the Brave have lived up to their name since being formed at the last minute in 2015 when the Canberra Knights folded. The Knights had been a mainstay of the AIHL but had failed to make the playoffs every year and had only one title to their name the 1998 East Coast Superleague which predated the AIHL. Stating lack of local players and financial costs the Knights folded in February 2014 2 months before the start of the season leaving fans devastated. Out of this rose the Brave and their fortunes could not have been more different.

It is a sign to anyone who has ever lost their club or had their club hit rock bottom that it is possible to bounce back. With dedication, an open mind and a ‘Brave’ mentality anything is possible.

Neil Tucker

Neil has written on ice hockey for many websites concentrating on British ice hockey mostly. Neil also covers ice hockey in other countries and organises his Blueliner Hockey Tour. A graduate of the Manchester Metropolitan University Neil turned his hand to hockey writing in 2009. As well as contributing on Blueliner Hockey Neil has contributed to Get Real Hockey and Slapshot Magasine.

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