The Canberra Brave say fans have donated money to help the club survive the coronavirus shutdown, which ultimately forced officials to cancel the Australian Ice Hockey League season.
The Brave were hoping to make amends for a finals capitulation last season after being knocked out of title contention despite being the most dominant team during the regular season.
But border restrictions and player safety concerns forced the AIHL to cancel all games, ending months of contingency plans and negotiations.
Brave chief executive Dan Amodio said the club was shocked by members making donations to help ease financial pressure, and is hoping to organise a festival of Brave ice hockey weekend in the coming months.
"It became clear over the last three or four weeks that it just wasn't going to be an option to play," Amodio said. "The top priority was making sure the fans, players and staff were going to be safe.
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"With the outbreaks in the last couple of weeks, I think it was inevitable that we couldn't go ahead and in the end I think it was the right decision as well.
"To have fans [donating], it's a great sign of this community and where the Brave sit in hearts of members. We gave them the option of giving the money back or making a donation ... I was overwhelmed by how many people agreed to donate. We're thankful for being a part of such a good family."
The Brave won their first Goodall Cup in 2018 and were on track to go back to back after losing just two games in the 28-game regular season. But they stumbled in the play-offs, losing a sudden death semi-final against Sydney to go tumbling out of title contention. They'll have to wait to launch a revenge mission, the cancellation given them 12 more months to stew on the result.
"Everyone involved in the Brave community is heartbroken so we'll be back with a vengeance next season," Amodio said.
"After last season, no one was satisfied. We spent the last several months to take vengeance on the league so it's unfortunate in that way, but it was the right call."