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Joe Mayer’s AIHL Officiating Milestone

Game officials quietly go about their business and try their best to blend into the background. That’s why as players took to the ice at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Saturday 4th May, a milestone quietly took place that most people within the stadium would not have realised. The game referee, Joe Mayer, was officiating his 100th AIHL game.

Joe commenced his AIHL officiating career as a Linesman in 2010 and progressed to Referee in 2013. Throughout his career thus far, Joe has officiated 30 games as a Linesman and 70 games as a referee. Joe has officiated in the AIHL Finals Series in 2014 and 2015, both times as a Linesman, and officiated the Goodall Cup (AIHL Grand Final) in 2014 and 2015 as a Linesman.

Joe is a mainstay of the officiating team in Sydney despite the pressure of officiating in the top league in the country.

Member Protection Officer Expression of Interest

Ice Hockey Australia (IHA) Limited is the official national governing body of ice hockey in Australia and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. It was first established in 1908, making it one of the oldest national ice hockey associations in the world.

The purpose of Ice Hockey Australia is to encourage, promote, control and administer all forms of ice hockey in and throughout Australia for the mutual and collective benefit of the members and sport itself.

IHA is calling for EOI’s for multiple positions of Member Protection Officer (MPIO) which sits under the IHA Portfolio Director remit.

About an MPIO

Member Protection Information Officers are people trained to be the first point of contact within sporting organisations for any person considering making a complaint under the Member Protection Policy. MPIOs provide confidential, impartial and timely information and support. They act as a sounding board and provide information about the local complaint resolution options available to address the individual’s concerns. MPIO’s may also be called up to provide advice to administrators or complaint handlers regarding the Member Protection Policy and associated laws. MPIOs are not advocates but they may elect to accompany complainants, if requested, to talk with someone else.

What do MPIO’s do?

  • Listen
  • Act as an impartial support person
  • Provide information about discrimination, harassment and child abuse
  • Provide information about the Member Protection Policy and the options available to resolve the complaint
  • Provide information about relevant laws and the right to complain externally
  • Discuss possible strategies the individual can use to deal directly with the other person
  • Provide contact details for counselling or other referrals as appropriate or as requested

What don’t MPIO’s do?

  • Advocate
  • Take sides or judge
  • Give advice
  • Intervene
  • Investigate
  • Breach confidentiality

Key selection criteria: what qualities should an MPIO possess?

  • Well-developed interpersonal and communication skills with the ability to deal effectively with people faced with difficult or sensitive issues
  • An in-depth knowledge of the organisation’s Member Protection policies and procedures
  • A commitment to the principles of fair, safe and inclusive sport
  • An understanding and demonstrated commitment to the organisation’s values
  • An ability to provide confidential information about a range of sensitive issues as requested
  • A knowledge of a variety of conflict resolution options and the procedures available to members
  • Personal integrity with the ability to treat individuals and their circumstances with respect, sensitivity

To express your interest, please forward a half page pitch on your interest and suitability to the position, by 10 May 2019 to office@iha.org.au.

Goaltender Development Manager

IHA requires a highly motivated and organised individual to oversee and coordinate the goaltender specific components of the IHA Player Development Program. This position reports to the IHA Player Development Director and also requires communication and a strong working relationship with the IHA Coaching Director, High Performance Director and Women’s Director. This position will require excellent knowledge of the goaltending position with high level playing and/or coaching experience considered an asset. In addition, excellent skills in communication, organisation and management will be required. This is a voluntary role.

The specific duties include:

  1. 1. Implementation of a National Goaltender Development Program that aligns with the IHA National Player Development Framework and the IHA High Performance Program.
    2. Assist the National Coaching Director with the implementation of a goaltender specific coaching program as well as improvements or additions to the overall National Coaching Program with respect to goaltending
    3. Work with relevant IHA directors to establish a goaltender talent identification program
    4. Ensure each member State has a suitably qualified goaltending coach to implement programs locally.
    5. Work with member States to ensure local goaltender programs align with IHA objectives and meet world standards.
    6. Advise IHA, member States, and goaltending coaches of new strategies and developments with respect to goaltending.
    7. Serve as convenor and chair of the National Goaltender Coaching Council.

All applications are to be emailed to the General Secretary, Ice Hockey Australia gensec@iha.org.au no later than May 5, 2019.

DeFris Location For 2019

IHWA have announced that the DeFris Championship will be held at the Cockburn Ice Arena, Perth. Dates for this championship are 31st July till 3rd August. IHWA are finalising the game schedule now and this will be published in the near future.

Melbourne win record-breaking seventh AWIHL title

Melbourne Ice (4), Sydney Sirens (3)

Regardless of the Adelaide Rush not making it to the big dance, a strong crowd at the Ice Arena came out in force to witness Melbourne and Sydney do the Grand Final tango. They were yet to know how truly lucky they were. 

2018-19 AWIHL Champions Melbourne Ice Women

Those who had the honour of a ceremonial puck drop bestowed upon them this weekend included Adelaide Crows AFLW premiership winning co-captain Chelesa Randall, Adelaide Scorpion and Striker Amanda Wellington, and Sports Minister Corey Wingard who proclaimed his hope that “South Australia host more national finals in the future.” The stage was set and it was big, with a strong contingent of support in the house for both sides adding to a terrific atmosphere.

In a finals system that gives everyone a chance in this critical weekend of matches, it was fitting that the two best teams and rivals, Melbourne Ice and Sydney Sirens, found themselves contesting for the league’s ultimate prize in the Gold Medal Game. But prior to the highly anticipated Grand Final, the new girls on the AWIHL block, Perth Inferno secured the Bronze Medal, capping off their successful first season with a victory against the Brisbane Goannas. 

For the National anthem, Sydney forewent their sticks and helmets and instead found their teammates in a unique, and quite possibly spontaneous, display of unity that evoked feelings of comradery and togetherness. There can be worse ways to a start Grand Final.

The opening minutes were fast and intense, in case you needed any reminding what was at stake. Within the first five minutes, Melbourne produced one of the louder roars the Adelaide Ice Arena has heard, with the early Ice goal remarkably bringing the Sydney players to their knees in disappointment. Goals meant too much today. Ice looked the better side early showing dare and confidence, as the Sirens at times were being caught out playing too safe with their short passes.

Melbourne Ice’s superstar captain Christina Julien scored the side’s second, surely causing a few sweating palms amongst the Sydney camp. But an instant, and unassisted, reply from Sharna Godfrey put the Sirens on the board for the first time in the Gold Medal Game at the dying stages of the first period.

It did not take long for the game to return to level pegging as an early Sirens second period goal via Katherine McOnie equalled the scorers, with a post-goal spotfire signifying a simple message – Game On. And so it remained, until Erin Beaver broke the deadlock from long range, and celebrated accordingly with her now fired up teammates. Suddenly, the Sirens had scored three in a row and had the lead, a lead in which they will protect until deep into the final period.

A pulsating period of ice hockey saw the crowd gripped to their seats, until they were spectacularly launched to their feet as a brilliant Melbourne Ice goal kept the regular season ladder leaders alive to the soundtrack of a roar worthy a win.

It was that unbelievable scenario when the scores were level with just minutes remaining in the Grand Final. The noise, the frantic energy – was there even enough time to feel the enormous pressure? To stretch out the drama even further and put the pressure valve up yet another agonising notch, a time out was called with just ninety seconds left. A season was to be defined not by months, or even minutes, but moments. It was all down to this.

It was already the match of the season and up there with the greatest Gold Medal Games in league history. But sometimes it needs a moment just to tip an epic encounter into the history books forever.

Enter Bettina Meyers, with glory in her mind and ice in her veins, she became the hero and scored the winner with 36.7 seconds left, lifting the roof off the Ice Arena and securing a championship for the ages for Melbourne.

But still Melbourne had to ensure half a minute of madness that saw the Sydney Sirens throw the whole kitchen sink and some at a chance to force a shootout and save their season. But the puck, and Melbourne’s inspired defence, would not allow it and the Joan McKowen Memorial Trophy belonged to the Melbourne Ice for the second consecutive year and for a record-breaking seventh year in total. Melbourne have won their seventh title in nine years – a phenomenal achievement from the club that is now the most successful in the league.

However, nothing can be taken away from the Sydney Sirens who were simply outstanding today as well. Unfortunately, there always has to be a loser but nevertheless it still feels like an undeserving title after what we have witnessed. The Sirens did receive consolidation prizes a plenty with Sharna Godfrey winning the MVP, Olivia Last claiming Rookie of the Year and Amelia Matheson achieving the First Year Player of the Year. However, it was Melbourne Ice superstar Christina Julien who won the league’s highest goal scorer at the post-game presentation, to add to her championship.

In amongst, the euphoria of the hugging, fist pumping and smiles – on one side of the divide – it was confirmed post-game that further AWIHL expansion is in the planning.

You watch the entire Grand Final here.

Written by Tom Basso