Head Coach Ben Spillane’s Season Recap

I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe the feelings after last weeks loss to the Avalanche but it’s hard to put into words exactly how myself and the rest of the team feel.

It’s disappointing that we were eliminated from the playoffs and that our season is done, and in some ways embarrassing that we were beaten so badly in a game we felt we could have won coming into it. Our preparation was good, we simply just couldn’t get the job done on the night.

The Avalanche are a very good hockey team and the way they have approached this season on and off the ice has been very impressive. We knew that in order to beat them we would have to do all the little things right and capitalise on our chances and they did great job of neutralising our offensive threats and making us pay for every mistake at the other end of the ice.  They played an almost perfect game of hockey in a very hostile environment and I would like to congratulate them on a stellar performance. If they carry that into this weekends final series against the Ducks, it should make for an incredible inaugural Walker Cup Final and close out what has been a great first season of the Pacific Hockey League.

Despite the heartache of our season ending prematurely there are a lot of positives to take into the off season.

From a team perspective we had a successful regular season finishing in second place. We managed to work through some serious injuries, illness and some fairly significant off-ice hurdles to bring a group of players together with a united goal and each and every one of them worked hard every week to improve as a group on and  off the ice. We saw some old faces return to the sport after several years away and some young new faces emerge as future stars and if the team chat group is anything to go by we are in for some big things next year with talk already circulating about pre season preparations.

On behalf of the team there are a few people we would like to thank. There is a lot more that goes into playing hockey at this level and while the players get the majority of the face time it would not happen without the help of people like the following.

Isaac and Cody

As I have said before, without you guys there is no Brisbane Rampage so thank you both for everything you have done.

All the players partners and families 

From solo parenting while we are on road trips to early or late airport pick ups/drop offs. For putting up with tired and moody partners after a long weekend or a loss. For picking up the extra load around the house when we are injured or sore. For everything! You guys make a huge sacrifice to allow us to play this crazy sport we love and while we may not always show it we all appreciate it very much. Thank you.

To our dedicated volunteers

Without you guys none of this would be possible. There really are too many great people working behinds the scenes to name you all but It’s great to see the same faces each week giving up their time to help out and try make this team as successful as possible. 

A special mention goes to our juniors who have come out each week to collect pucks after warm up, Joe, Jesse, Harrison, Henry, Arvid, Charlie and Annie.

And to Sarah and Gabby and Casey for cooking up some amazing post game meals for the team.

Hopefully next year we can bring home a championship and celebrate it with you.

Photographers, film crew and commentators

Thank you for helping broadcast this league to our family and friends around the world and for capturing memories that we can look back and a joy for years to come.

Our fans

I’ll finish off with a massive thank you to our loyal fans.

It’s been amazing to see some familiar faces in the crowd all season and to see a whole new crop of ice hockey fans emerge to get around this team of misfits. From the shy kids sitting in the corner to the out of control BTN crew, you guys turn up every week and provide us with an atmosphere that is second to none and it’s a pleasure to get to play for you guys. Everyone claims to have the best fans etc but we truly do have the BEST fans in the league and the atmosphere you guys create is second to none.

We look forward to seeing you guys next season. 

Be sure to tune into the games this weekend. Both teams are stacked from top to bottom and I’m sure they will put on a hell of a show.

Best of luck to both the Ducks and Avalanches squads. Give this season the final chapter it deserves.

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