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Canberra Brave seek clarity over AIHL cancellation

The Canberra Brave is seeking legal advice, disappointed and confused by the Australian Ice Hockey League’s decision not to award it a forfeit and financial compensation for its cancelled match against Adelaide on July 19.

Adelaide was forced to withdraw from two matches, against Canberra and the Sydney Bears, after their team bus overturned on the way to the Canberra match.

The affected teams sought other options to try and reschedule the matches, including playing for double-competition points in their next meeting or staging mid-week games, but none proved feasible.

Instead, the AIHL determined on Thursday that each team would be awarded one competition point for each of the cancelled matches.

“After reviewing all the relevant facts and circumstances, and consistent with the Commission’s powers under the AIHL Constitution, the Commission made the decision to render the games cancelled,” the AIHL said in the statement.

Canberra Brave Chairman Peter Chamberlain said the club was seeking more advice, claiming the ruling created an imbalance in the competition scoring.


The Brave believe they should have been awarded three points for a forfeit, but suggested a rule change where the offending team receives one point and innocent party receives two.

“We worked tirelessly with the other clubs involved to find a feasible solution,” Chamberlain said.

“The effect of handing out two points per game instead of three could have a bearing on the outcome of the competition."

The Brave are also concerned about the financial impact of the cancelled matches, given lost gate-takings and game-day costs.

Canberra games generate approximately $30,000 for the club and Chamberlain said the Brave "were in their uniform, on the ice” when notified of the cancellation.

AIHL commissioner Robert Bannerman declined to comment.

The Brave are sitting third on the AIHL ladder, just two points off the competition lead, ahead of Saturday's home game against the Newcastle North Stars at Phillip Ice Skating Centre.


Saturday: Canberra Brave v Newcastle North Stars at Phillip Ice Skating Centre, 5.30pm.