The Central Coast Rhinos have failed in their bid to re-enter the Australian Ice Hockey League at the 2014 Annual General Meeting. The AIHL has yet to reveal the reasons for the rejection but some are suggesting that a last minute application and no prior consultation with the league could be contibuting factors.
The Central Coast Rhinos have announced that they have applied to re-enter the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) for the 2015 season at this weekends annual general meeting. The Rhinos played in the AIHL between 2005 and 2008 and left before the start of the 2009 season due to a disagreement on the leagues new licensing model. They most recently played a couple of exhibition games against the Sydney Bears in 2013 and 2014.
For more information on the Rhinos history see our post from back in February.
The Sydney Bears have defeated the Central Coast Rhinos 8-2 in Game 2 of their exhibition series. The game which was held at the Erina Ice Arena was the second game in an exhibition series between the Bears and the Rhinos being held in the lead up to the 2014 AIHL season. The first game of the series, held in November 2013, was won by the Rhinos 8-4. The Sydney Bears will now shift their focus on the upcoming Wilson Cup tournament with their first game to be played against the Newcastle North Stars on 16 March 2014.
The Sydney Bears have announced via their Facebook page that they will be playing a second exhibition game against the Central Coast Rhinos. The game is to be held at the Erina Ice Arena on the 8th of March at 15:45 AEST.
The Bears and Rhinos played the first exhibition game back on the 16th of November 2013 with the Rhinos winning the game 8-4.
A brief history on the Rhinos (for those unaware):
The Central Coast Rhinos were formed in 2005 and entered the AIHL along with the Brisbane Blue Tongues as part of a two team expansion. After playing four years in the AIHL the Rhinos left before the start of the 2009 season after refusing to accept the AIHL’s new licensing model. The Rhinos then went on to join the newly formed Australian International Ice Hockey Cup which started in 2009. The team played in the tournament from 2009 to 2012 before being dropped in 2013 by the organisers in favour of a Canada versus USA style tournament. As well as playing in the International Cup the Rhinos also joined the East Coast Super League (ECSL) for the 2010 season where they finished first in the regular season but were knocked out of the playoffs in the semifinals. The Rhinos were replaced in the ECSL the following season by the Vipers who were based out of the Central Coast.
The Rhinos also participated in the Wilson Cup tournament with the three other New South Wales AIHL clubs from 2007 to 2009 and went on to win the 2009 edition, defeating the West Sydney Ice Dogs 4-3 in a shootout.