CBR Brave captain Mark Rummukainen (right) with Jordie Gavin and Maxime Suzzarini. Photo: Melissa Adams
He was a leading force behind the birth of the CBR Brave, and captain Mark Rummukainen has returned from the world championships to lead the side for the first time.
The Brave hosts defending Australian Ice Hockey League champions the Sydney Ice Dogs at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre on Saturday night.
It will be Rummukainen's inaugural game for the Brave after he missed its 2-0 season-opening loss to Newcastle a fortnight ago while representing Australia at the division two world championships in Serbia.
"I was pretty bummed to miss out on the first game with a big crowd and a bit of hype around it, but obviously you're not going to turn down representing your country,'' Rummukainen said.
"To see tangible evidence of what we wanted to get done is being done, I'll be very proud and excited to see a huge crowd and play as part of the Brave.
"Hopefully we can put out a huge effort and come away with some points.''
Rummukainen was the former captain of the Canberra Knights before the team folded just six weeks before the start of the season.
He played a major role in getting the Brave off the ground and ensuring there remained an ice hockey team in Canberra.
Rummukainen is hoping for better luck than what Australia had in winning just one of its five games at the world championships.
''You go to a tournament like that to win, so it's disappointing,'' he said.
"We had two overtime losses and the last game against Serbia, they scored in the last three minutes to win 1-0, so there's three games that could have gone either way.
"A lot of positives came out of it for our program going forward, but we would've liked to have at least won a medal.''
The Brave takes on an Ice Dogs team in turmoil after the shock resignation of head coach Ron Kuprowsky on Thursday.
Assistant coaches Colin Downie and Brad Andrlon have also stepped down, but the Brave is wary of taking them lightly.
"They won the whole thing last year and they've changed their style of play the last couple of years,'' Rummukainen said.
"You've got to beat every team and you've got to win games to win the league, so we're new and want to prove something, so it's time we stick it to them.''
SATURDAY: Australian Ice Hockey League: CBR Brave v Sydney Ice Dogs at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre, 5.30pm.