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#goodallcupofchowder: AIHL Week 4 Preview

Loyalties are divided for Chowder this weekend as the Mustangs face the North Stars, and the rest of the weekend action.

Mark Bradford (Newcastle Star

Well, this is awkward.

We knew it was going to happen, but it's still going to be a little tricky for us this weekend in AIHL action...our Goodall Cup Of Chowder teams will face each other in the league this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday in a banner weekend of Australian Ice Hockey League play with the same slate of fixtures on both days. Here's the lowdown on what to watch this weekend (all FO times local time...EST +14).

Melbourne Ice @ Sydney Bears (4pm Sat, 3:30 Sun)

Sydney Ice Dogs @ Adelaide Adrenaline (4:30pm Sat, 4pm Sun)

Newcastle North Stars @ Melbourne Mustangs (5pm Sat, 4pm Sun)

Perth Thunder @ Canberra Brave (5:30pm Sat, 6pm Sun)

It's very much a case of double-vision in the AIHL this weekend as both nights have exactly the same set of fixtures at exactly the same venues...a gift to us lowly preview writers. Adelaide are looking to get their season going against the struggling Ice Dogs, Melbourne Ice will try to continue their perfect record against the lowly Bears, and Perth travel cross-continent to the Australian capital for a tough first road trip of the year to the ominously-strong looking Brave.

We took a look at the current state of play in the AIHL yesterday for you to catch up on, but this weekend we're all about family rivalry. North Stars v Mustangs.

The North Stars have started by far the better, sitting 3rd in the league while the Mustangs have only won one game so far, and have the joint-top point-scorer in the entire league in Scott Swiston and the lethal Brandon Wong and Connor McLaughlin to trouble Melbournes's defense and will be hopeful of giving the travelling fans something to cheer.

The Stangs, meanwhile, will hope this is the weekend Pat O'Kane, Vadim Virjassov and their other skilled forwards back up Jamie Bourke's scoring efforts and find their own grooves.

The two teams have traditionally had hard-fought games at the OBG Arena, this weekend's venue, and the Mustangs have won four of the last five meetings there - something that will cheer them strongly.

Fraser Carson and Dayne Davis are 2nd and 3rd in AIHL goalies respectively so far this season, so expect a tight goalie battle in at least one of the two games - though with the quality of forwards like Wong, Swiston and McLaughlin on one side (along with NH's own Pat O'Kane and local boy Jamie Bourke on the other) they'll likely face a workout.

The Stars can, if the results fall right, go top of the table, while two wins for the 'Stangs would get their season off and running.

It's sure to be a tightfought battle...and you can watch it all with the Mustangs streaming both games here early tomorrow and Sunday morning US time.

It's gonna be a battle, folks.