In winning the Goodall Cup for the second time, the CBR Brave have achieved the Australian Ice Hockey League’s top award.
The Brave also won the H. Newman Reid Trophy after finishing on top of the regular season before going on to defeat the Newcastle Northstars in the grand final series.
The roller coaster, it would appear, shows no sign of slowing down.
And now, the CBR Brave have won the Team of the Year gong at the Canberra Sports Awards.
The Brave’s chief operating officer, Steve Moeller, said it capped off an incredible year: “It’s a proud moment for the entire CBR Brave community.”
To get to this point has been remarkable for the team, particularly considering the impact of COVID-19, although CBR Brave appear to have emerged from the pandemic in possibly an even stronger position.
“The CBR Brave has a very strong community following, a passionate supporter base and wonderful sponsors, all adding to the determination to keep the team going through the tough times,” Steve said.
But next season presents a totally new challenge.
2023 promises to be a new era for ice hockey in Australia with 10 teams in the league, and two new conferences.
The Adelaide Adrenaline and the Perth Thunder return after withdrawing this season, while there are two new teams – Brisbane Lightning and Central Coast Rhinos.
“Many of our core players are returning to defend the Goodall Cup,” Steve said. “We will lose a couple of the interstate players who will return to their former teams, and our player roster will differ somewhat with the allowance of additional imports in 2023.”
There is also the prospect of a new ice sport facility on the horizon.
“A new facility will give our sport the opportunity to attract new young players and provide development pathways for them to compete at the highest levels,” Steve said.
To that end the Brave are looking to reintroduce the Junior Brave Program to compete in the Australian Junior Ice Hockey League.
Other winners at the Canberra Sports Awards included cyclist Michael Matthews as the male Athlete of the Year, and javelin world champion Kelsey-Lee Barber won the female Athlete of the Year award.
Triathlete Sam Harding was named Para-athlete of the Year and the Rising Star Award was presented to basketballer, Alex Toohey.
The Outstanding Service to Sport Award was won jointly by three outstanding contributors to sport: rugby league’s Gary Green, dragon boating’s Gillian Styles, and archery’s Paul Smith.
The Minister for Sport and Recreation Award for Innovation was won by the Manuka Tennis Club for their carbon neutral sustainability project. The Stromlo Running Festival won the award for Event Excellence and the award for Inclusion went to the Canberra Raiders for ‘Score Raiders’.
And three legends of Canberra sport were inducted into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame – jockey Darren Beadman and rugby league’s Glenn Lazarus as full members, while leading football referee Ben Williams was inducted as an associate member.