AIHL run to the Finals Tania Chalmers interview with Paul “Jaffa” Watson

MELBOURNE, Australia – The finals series is only just around the corner in early AIHLSeptember 7th & 8th 2013. There are 5 teams fighting for the top 4 positions; Sydney Ice Dogs, Melbourne Ice, Newcastle North Stars, Mustangs and Perth Thunder. It is going to provide an interesting arm wrestle to see which team will place in the top 4 by the end of the season and anything can happen.

The teams that will place in the top 4 will play for the Goodall Cup and they will not leave anything to chance. If you cannot bring it at game time then you will be out of the finals.

The finals format consists of 1 v 4 and the winner into the Grand Final and the loser is finished, the other final is the same 2 v 3 and the loser is finished and the winner goes straight into the GF for the Goodall Cup.

Top of the ladder is Sydney Ice Dogs, “they are the team that will go all the way this year and it will be against Melbourne Ice” with Kimlin in the net playing on his head at the moment and if he continues to do it they are in with a chance. If they continue to play hockey like they have shown this year and not the man as they have in past years they are in with a very good chance. They know what they need to do in the finals.

The run home they have a good build up they can test their structures and systems in the next few weeks and can rest players.

Melbourne Ice – They have a challenging run home to the finals.They have had it soft recently . If Paul was coaching still at Melbourne Ice he would prefer to have the hard run home to bring in the mental toughness side of the game together. Right now the fitness is there, key player is Chris Frank player willing to drive to the net and clutch goals and he can bring the X factor. They can drop a couple of games and will not matter.table

The North Stars based on the fact they are asleep and they are happy and content and cruise along. They will fire when they need to fire. North Stars will bring it for the finals but it is like they are in a movie they have been there to many times they will not be able to do it.

Mustangs have a tough road and it will be too tough for them, they are to be congratulated their coach Brad Vigon has brought some good culture to the club and to their game. He has played the young ones and has looked after the older players as well. The club has got some good culture and life, vibrancy and can only see good things for the club. Next year 2014 they will be in the final four and really give it a good nudge.

Perth Thunder – is the most interesting team. Paul thinks that Perth will make 4th spot being the second year in the competition and it will be good for the competition and they just missed out last year. A few up and downs this year they have a new goalie Dan Clarke and he is going to be the difference and each week he is getting better and better. A real easy run home the coach Stan Scott needs a lucky break he has had a rough 18 months since coming into the AIHL and the ball not bouncing the right way. Perth have a skip in their step and they are hungry for it, They will be the Cinderella story if they can win it.

With Adelaide Adrenaline and only 4 games left to play they are tired and lost have their spark, they have left the run to late. Sydney Bears and Canberra Knights are out of the running.AIHL league and team logos2

The finals week end anything can happen 4 teams are coming and any team can win in play two games and bring it and it is on that week end. It is all great for a finals series.

The thing that is interesting Melbourne Ice could end up on top, with Sydney Ice Dogs, Newcastle North Stars and then in 4th Perth Thunder. So that will be for the finals week end, on the Saturday the 1st final will be Melb Ice Vs Perth Thunder and the winner Melbourne Ice and is the second final will be Ice dogs Vs North Stars with the Ice dogs will prevail. On the Sunday will be the playoff between Melbourne Ice and Sydney Ice Dogs. With the Ice Dogs being Goodall Cup champions for 2013.


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