Any pre-season nerves have been put to rest, with the Canberra Brave showing it has still got what it takes to win tough games on the ice.
The Brave begun its campaign to defend the Goodall Cup with a 4-1 win over the Sydney Bears in a grand final rematch at Macquarie Ice Rink on Sunday.
In the lead up to their season opener, Brave captain Matthew Harvey said there would be a little bit of nervous energy as the team got out on the ice for its first game of the season.
That nervous energy might have held the Canberra team back in the first period, which saw the Sydney Bears go up one-nil with a goal to Sydney's Brian Funes.
But the Brave came back strongly in the second, scoring in the first 13 seconds in a period that saw the team put on three goals while the Bears failed to score.
The Brave's Mitch Henning scored twice and Andy Camenzind added a goal to the team's tally.
In the final period, Wehebe Darge scored to bring up the Brave's final tally, while the team held of the Bears.
Brave head coach Rob Starke said the team warmed up and got over the jitters of the first period to make a great start to the season.
"What was consistent was the work ethic. Everyone was working extremely well out there," he said.
Starke said the game showed young players in the squad could step up. He said goalie Alex Tetreault was an "obvious standout", who stopped 28 attempts from 29.
AT A GLANCE
Canberra Brave 4 def Sydney Bears 1 at Macquarie Ice Rink, Sydney.