The Caribou CBR Brave head north to Erina today (Saturday 13 May) to face off against the Central Coast Rhinos in the second game of their 2023 Season series.
The two teams previously faced off in the Brave’s first game for Season 2023 - a mid-April visit to Erina which resulted in a 5-goals-to-3 win to the Brave.
The last time these teams played, the Brave’s playing list was quite a deal shorter - with four Players playing for the Mighty Roos at the World Championships in Spain and with their Imports still to arrive. This allowed the team to give valuable and lengthy in-Game experience to a number of the less-experienced Players on the Brave’s Roster.
On that day, the Brave dressed 14 players and came away with the win - getting two goals from Chris Stoikos and single goals to Kai Miettinen, Nick Christensen and Henry York.
The Rhinos have had a tough start to the season - not yet hitting the Winners list, and being on the wrong end of a number of very heavy losses. Their For-Against currently stands at 11 Goals to 72.
Most recently, the Newcastle Northstars - who visited the Brave Cave last Saturday - made an appearance in Erina Sunday and came away with a 13-goals-to-3 win.
The Rhinos scoring is led by Import Joakim Erdugan (2 Goals and 5 Assists) and Alternate Captain David-James Jeremy (3 Goals and 2 Assists).
The Rhinos still wait on the Season debut of Bert Malloy - who was on Mighty Roos duty. When he returns, his Veteran presence will be a steadying influence for the rest of the team.
Since their first encounter, the Caribou CBR Brave have faced off against some of the tougher teams in the League - the Sydney Bears, Melbourne Mustangs and Newcastle Northstars. They currently sit second in the Rurak Conference - behind the Brisbane Lightning.
Brave scoring is currently led by Chris Stoikos, who has 11 Points on the season - (4 Goals and 7 Assists). Matt Harvey sits second - despite not featuring in two of the Brave’s outings, he has 7 Points (5 Goals and 2 Assists). He is coming off two straight games with a brace of Goals each - against the Mustangs and the Northstars.
Worryingly for teams they are yet to encounter, the last threads of the team are coming together. Along with the return of their Mighty Roos players (Bayley, Casey and Tyler Kubara - Andy Camenzind will return soon), they continue to add to their already potent line-up.
This week, the team announced two new U.S. Imports - Austin Albrecht and Carson Vance - who have both had extensive Junior careers in the NAHL and USHL, as well in as the East Coast and Southern Professional Hockey Leagues.
It will be a very tough ask for the Central Coast to stick with the Attacking firepower of the defending Goodall Cup champions. The Rhinos have played three Goaltenders through their 7 games - whoever is selected to start today will have a hard time keeping the Brave out of their net.
At the other end of the Ice, the Brave go to Erina today with two Goaltenders who have started games in this season. Both Aleksi Toivonen and Alex Tetreault have Save Percentages over .900 - sitting third and fifth in the League.
---------------------- Game: Caribou CBR Brave versus Central Coast Rhinos Puck Drop: 3:30pm See the game on AIHL TV (https://aihl.tv) - or head along to Caribou Kingston to watch the game live with other Brave fans!