Sunday, August 30, 2009 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
The Adelaide Adrenaline are 2009 Australian Ice Hockey League National Champions after their 3-2 Overtime victory over the Newcastle North Stars in Newcastle's Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday night.
The Adrenaline, who had a comfortable 6-1 victory versus the Melbourne Ice on Saturday night, met the Minor Premiers in the North Stars, who had run down a Gold Coast Blue Tongues lead in their Semi final to win 5-3.
The game was heavily influenced by penalties, with all but one goal being scored on the Power Play, that the first goal scored by Newcastle defenceman John Halverson in the fourth minute of the game.
Teams were equal throughout the third period, punctuated by thrilling end-to-end hockey and some desperate sacrifices around the goal nets.
Vince Morgan, Greg Oddy and Cass Delsar were the goal scorers for the Adrenaline, who outshot the North Stars 34 to 17 in the game.
Cass Delsar was awarded Finals Series "Most Valuable Player" while Brad Smulders of the Gold Coast Blue Tongues was awarded Season MVP.
Adrenaline Captain Greg Oddy expressed great relief at the win after a difficult three years.
"We could only tell people that we were Australian Champions twice for so long, as it was back in 2000 and 2001.
"Now we can claim to have won three championships in ten seasons, that sounds much better."
The Adrenaline celebrated with passion on the ice following the win and forthcoming presentation, enjoying a special moment for players who had been with the team since inception, along with their import players and newcomers such as teenage star Wahebe Darge.
The new AIHL Champions Trophy was immediately embraced as the start of a great new tradition and was carried around the rink with pride.
The Australian Ice Hockey League will resume in April 2010 for its 10th Anniversary Season.