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Known as the fastest game on earth, national ice hockey is making an appearance again at the Adelaide Ice Arena this winter. The Australian Ice Hockey League is Australia's highest level ice hockey competition, and features teams from all States of Australia with Adelaide's representative team known as the Adelaide Adrenaline.
Ice Hockey, often touted as one of the more brutal and violent sports, is now played competitively in over 73 countries throughout the world, and features prominently at various sports championships including the Winter Olympics. The stronger countries of USA, Canada, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the Czech Republic each have professional leagues, and traditionally have been the most successful in the Olympics winning 63 of the 69 medals that have been offered over the years.
Locally, ice hockey is a semi-professional sport, with the eight national teams each competing for the ultimate prize in Australia being the Goodall Cup. The Adelaide Adrenaline were successful in securing this cup in 2009, but have had a lean period since and hope to make amends during 2015. The squad has been bolstered, and the team are aiming for a top four finish and a chance at the finals.
Due the intensity and physicality of the sport, Ice Hockey is played over three periods, the first two being 15 minutes long, and the third being 20 minutes. Five outfield players plus a Goaltender take to the arena at any one time, with a bench consisting of up to another 14 players ready to jump on to the arena as soon as other players tire or for strategic or tactical reasons.
The Adrenaline's 2015 season kicks off with some challenging away fixtures before they start a run of home games at the Adelaide Ice Arena at Thebarton, which with good crowd support should provide them with the encouragement to bank the points from those games.
The Adelaide Adrenaline's 14 home games for season 2015 are :
9th May (430pm) and 10th May (330pm) v Sydney Bears
30th May (430pm) and 31st May (330pm) v Sydney Ice Dogs
21st June (330pm) v Melbourne Mustangs
4th July (430pm) and 5th July (330pm) v Melbourne Ice
11th July (430pm) and 12th July (330pm) v Canberra Brave
2nd August (330pm) v Melbourne Mustangs
8th August (430pm) and 9th August (330pm) v Newcastle North Stars
22nd August (430pm) and 23rd August (330pm) v Perth Thunder
The Adelaide Adrenaline are a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers so they would greatly appreciate the patronage. Ticket prices are modest at around $15 for adults, and cheaper for families and kids. Further details are available from the Adelaide Adrenaline website or their facebook page.