AJIHL Season Preview: The Sydney Wolf Pack
The fourth AJIHL season is just around the corner! The league has spawned some of the AIHL’s up and coming talent in the past and is a great way to see them in action before they hit the top level. If you are in need of a hockey fix and some cheap thrills then the AJIHL is the answer. As the countdown to the season approaches it is only fitting we bring you a preview of what each team can bring. 2014-2015 Season Ranking = 4th 2014-2015 Final Ranking = 1st Additions: Luke Zvonicek, Jackson Knight, Harrison Good, Dylan Lavery, Alex Elias, Ben Pullen, Marcus Richter, Tom Roberts. Subtractions: Scott Clemie (age), Jarrod Smith (age), Cameron Smith(drafted to Sabres) , Jake Burgess(age) , Jackson Knott(age) , Jack Oxlade, Tim Russell (drafted to Sabres) , Alex Olencewicz (Injured) Forwards Brendan Kong Patrick Nadin Jake Knott Nick Air Alex Elias Luke Zvonicek Harry Good Dylan Lavery Marcus Richter Defence Jackson Knight Charlie Frazer Danny Blazevic Bayley Kubara Morgan Leck Ben Pullen Tom Roberts Goal Jono Hughes There is a change of the old guard that won last season’s championship. As veterans Scott Clemie, Jarrod Smith and Jake Burgess all move on, the remaining core of Nadin, Kubara, Knott and Kong will be leant on to defend the championship. Whilst Cameron Smith is a big loss, the Wolf Pack have picked up Luke Zvonicek who is just as tenacious and also nifty around the net. Amelia Matheson is back behind the bench for the Wolf Pack and likes the combination of core and fresh faces “We have a fast and fit and extremely determined team. All the players are coming off their AIHL, ESCL and Midget seasons, so are ready to go. Whilst no team has won back to back just yet Matheson is confident in the makeup of this year’s team. “They all get on like brothers which is important for chemistry and in the conversations I have had so far they are all focused on winning again” She will be supported behind the bench this year by Michelle Cox. The Wolf Pack have a veteran in net they can count on in Jono Hughes, but Matheson stresses Defence still needs improvement from last year’s squad. “Whilst we have some of the best defenceman in Australia for their age groups, we need to still collectively execute the systems and get everyone on the same page quickly”. The Wolf Pack still have a solid core to do the job led by Patrick Nadin who enters his 3rd AJIHL season and is coming off his second AIHL season where he tallied 7 points for the Newcastle Northstars. Nadin will however be a part of what appears to be a younger outfit than last year with the addition of players such as Lavery, Good and Richter, who will have to handle the step up on a team that everyone will be hungry to beat.