The Gold Coast Blue Tongues entered the Australian Ice Hockey League in 2005, originally being the Brisbane Blue Tongues. In 2008, they moved to the Gold Coast, and in 2012 played their last game in the national competition. Let’s have a look at that last game in this entry of AIHL History.
The Date: Sunday 26th August, 2012.
The Time: 4:30pm local time
The Place: IceArenA, Adelaide
Game Review – Gold Coast Blue Tongues @ Adelaide Adrenaline
Ah, 2012. Remember when the AIHL had two conferences, the Easton Conference and the Bauer Conference? The Blue Tongues played in the Easton Conference, along with Perth, Adelaide and the two Melbourne teams. The last game by the Blue Tongues was on the road against Adelaide, who were getting ready for the playoffs.
In a nutshell, this game was all about Greg Oddy, the AIHL veteran, who scored all four of the Adrenaline’s goals in this game. Oddy did the damage in the second period, scoring at 13:47, 9:14, 8:55 and his last goal at 1:45 was unassisted. Sean Greer chipped in with two assists, and Wehebe Darge also picked up an assist. James Sanford, formerly of the Mustangs earlier that season, scored two goals and two assists – including tying the game with 15 seconds to go – and Mike McRae had a goal and two assists for the Blue Tongues.
The other stand-out statistic from this game was the huge 91 minutes worth of penalties in the third period. At 9:38 of the third period, pretty much half of each team got penalised for either roughing, slashing or misconduct. The exception to the rule was Jeremy Brücker of the Blue Tongues, who managed to pick up the only Match penalty in all that. Other penalties were as follows:
Andrey Zolotarev: Roughing and Misconduct
David Huxley: Roughing and Misconduct
Sean Greer: Roughing and Misconduct
Adam Geric: Roughing and Misconduct
Matt Courtney: Roughing and Misconduct
Adam Blanchette: Roughing
James Sanford: Slashing
Phew! Sounds like a fun time there. Believe it or not, there were no goals scored in the ensuing few minutes.
Peter King was the winning goalie for Adelaide Adrenaline, making 35 saves on 39 shots, for a Save Percentage of 0.897. Nic Novysedlak was in net at the end for the Gold Coast, making 13 saves on 14 shots, for a Save Percentage of 0.929. Anthony Kimlin was in net for 25 shots, though, allowing 3 goals for a save percentage of 0.880, but left the game just before the end of the second to bring Novysedlak in.
Key Player Statistics
Greg Oddy – 4 goals for 4 points
Sean Greer – 2 assists for 2 points
James Sanford – 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points
Mike McRae – 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points
Adam Blanchette – 1 goal for 1 point
Jeremy Brücker – 25 PIMS
Where Are They Now?
James Sanford: James returned to the FHL’s Danbury Whalers, where he played with other AIHL alumni Mike Brown, Adam Blanchette and Matt Puntureri. James also played with the Mirimichi Phantoms and the Memramcook Acadiens of the NESHL to the end of the 2015-16 season.
Mike McRae: Mike left the Blue Tongues and went to New Zealand, signing on with the Southern Stampede in Queenstown. He has been very successful there, winning the NZIHL championship twice (2015 and 2016).
Anthony Kimlin: Anthony left the Gold Coast for the Sydney Ice Dogs, helping them win the 2013 Goodall Cup. He has also been the Australian national team goalie, winning a gold medal in 2016 for the Mighty Roos.
After The Game
The official game report can be found here. The Blue Tongues finished third in the Easton Conference, and were ineligible for the playoffs. The Adrenaline finished the season in second place for the Easton Conference, and lost a very tight semi final against the Newcastle North Stars the next weekend.
The Blue Tongues eventually had their license in the AIHL suspended after they were unable to find a suitable rink to play at for the 2013 season. While this was originally viewed as a temporary measure, the Blue Tongues were unable to secure a permanent home, the license finally expired and the Blue Tongues were officially no longer an AIHL club.
So that’s my take on the last ever Gold Coast game. Is there a game you would like to see reviewed in a similar fashion? Due to limitations in the historical information on the AIHL website, I can only confidently review games from about 2010 onwards. What would you like to see? Leave a comment below and I’ll see what I can do!