The Melbourne Mustangs of the Australian Ice Hockey League captured the Goodall Cup over their archrivals the Melbourne Ice on Sunday, the first title in franchise history.
The celebration was expectedly raucous, the combination of championship elation and Australian birthright. There was booze, laughter, an ice bucket challenge and one of the more, ahem, stimulating postgame images we’ve seen from the Mustangs’ locker room:
Well that redefines "Cup raise."
We’re still waiting on Australian hockey super-fan Sasky Stewart, who had the photo, to I.D. the player, but out best guess from the roster is Michael James, not only because the face seems to fit but because this is totally a goalie thing to do. (Update: The Mustangs confirm it's James.)
Naked escapades aside, this was a really cool moment for Aussie hockey. The Melbourne Ice have been around for 12 years and had won three championships. The Mustangs have been around for four years and made the playoffs for the first time this season.
The chant the Ice fans would use to annoy the Mustangs fans?
“There’s only one team in Melbourne!”
The win marks a changing of the guard in the local game.
Mustangs and Ice led the standings for the longest during the season, and finished first and second. They possessed wonderful import talent, but were not entirely reliant upon it. Off the ice, they were also league leaders in preparing their players, organising volunteers and mobilising their fans and sponsors. They are now the league's pacesetters.
There are two teams in Melbourne.
And one of them got au natural with the Cup. Some guys can use a sock, some guys need a hockey tournament trophy. Such is life.