Title is back to Sydney

Title is back to Sydney

Davide Tuniz01 Sep 2019Davide Tuniz»

Sydney Bears win AIHL as underdog


Photo credit: AIHL - Rhys Lavender

Sydney Bears are the champion of AIHL, bringing back the title to the capital of New South Wales after six years - the Sydney Ice Dogs won in 2013 - after a memorable playoffs. It's the third title for the Bears, champion in 2002 and 2007.

Finished fouth in the regular season, grabbing the last spot for playoffs, Bears seemed to be the intended victim in a semifinal without history against reigning champion CBR Brave, ruler of the regular season with just a loss in the regular time in 28 games with Canadian forward Jesse Gabrielle closing the season with a remarkable 68 points ammassed in 20 games. Down 1-3 in the first period, Bears played a sensational last period, scoring four unanswered goals, with Jacob Ratcliffe sealing the incredible final 6-4 scoring with three seconds to play, producing possibly the most sensational result in the history of AIHL and taking the revenge after the loss of last season, when Bears finished as runner-up losing 4-3 at overtime against CBR. The Canberra team misses the final after three consecutive presences in the last act

Also the other semifinal ends with a surprise: home team Newcastle Northstars, finished regular season as runner-up, lost 3-2 against Perth Thunder, with a decisive double by Canadian Benjamin Breault .

The Grand Final was battled just in the first period: Thunder quicky open a double advantage with Louick Marcotte and Kieren Webster, but Bears tie the score in the last second of the period with two goals, both on power play, scored in 12 seconds, by Adam Dauda and Jacob Ratcliffe. The Slovak Canadian forward was the key player of the game, scoring two more goals, the only one in the second period and the final one for the decisive 5-2

The AIHL also announced the awards for the season:

MVP and Best Defensemen - Dylan Quaile (Sydney Ice Dogs)
Local Player of the Year - Kieren Webster (Perth Thunder)
Goalie of the Year - Matt Climie (CBR Brave)
Rookie of the Year - Jake Ratcliffe (Sydney Bears)
Coach of the Year - John Kennedy Jr. (Newcastle Northstars)

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