Sport

Canberra Brave break the Melbourne Ice after eight-year drought

The Canberra Brave snapped an eight-year drought for a Canberra team against the Melbourne Ice to prove it is a serious contender for the Australian Ice Hockey League title.

After a thrilling 2-1 overtime loss to the Ice on Saturday night, the Brave secured payback with an outstanding 4-2 victory at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre on Sunday night.

The Brave's fifth outright win of the season takes it to third place in the standings on 18 points behind the Ice (22 points) and the Adelaide Adrenaline (19 points).

However, the Brave has a game in hand on the Ice and three on the Adrenaline.

Brave captain Mark Rummukainen said it was the first time a Canberra team had beaten the Ice since the now defunct Canberra Knights had done it in 2006.

"It's unreal – we haven't been those guys in eight years, so I've forgotten what it's like,'' Rummukainen said.

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"We just got told last year the Melbourne Ice over four games beat the Knights 44 goals to one, so it's been a big turnaround.

"Fortunes change and things are going our way a bit more, but guys are knuckling down and working hard.''

Scores were level at 1-1 going into the third and final period before the Brave put on the afterburners to get back in the winner's circle.

It was the Brave's overseas stars who came to the fore when the game was in the balance, Finnish import Anton Kokkonen putting the home side in front and Canadian Stephen Blunden sealing the victory.

"They're definitely racking the points up,'' Rummukainen said.

"Everyone's doing their job and shutting the opposition down, and these guys are putting the puck in the net.

"It's really great to see an all-round effort.''

The Brave is back in action next Saturday night when it hosts the Sydney Bears.