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Youth Team picked. Laforet focused on building for future

2015 Youth Team resized

The 2016 Youth Team has been announced and it is all about building for the future. After scouting state tournaments, a tryout process and co-ordinating overseas coach Steve Laforet is very excited about his playing group.

“I was looking for players that would be the beginning of a new pathway to our U20 and Men’s team so we have a solid future coming through” explains Laforet who has been working with both Marcus Frankenberger(U/20), Brad Vigon (Men’s Team) and Ryan O’Handley to align the programs.

“If we try and follow the pathways of countries like the US, we can prepare our earmarked players much earlier and control their growth from the ages of 15 and up” adds Laforet.

The team heads off to Bulgaria 14th March for the Division 3 Group A Tournament and take on Turkey, Israel, Mexico, Chinese Taipei and Bulgaria.

Last tournament the Aussies were unfortunately relegated from the Division 2 Group B. They managed to defeat Serbia in a shootout 4-3 midway through the tournament but couldn’t build off that momentum in a competitive tight group.

Laforet is focused on results but puts more emphasis on development as he re-enters coaching at an international level after his stint with the National Junior Team a few years back. “I believe that development is much more important than winning here. With NJT, it was extremely important to stay in Div II. Here I think the overall goal for the U18 program is to get a solid platform and move up when we are strong and deep with players.”

Australia starts the tournament by taking on the host nation which always a tough test. The Youth Teams goal going into the tournament is to be strong defensively. “We want to strengthen our defensive zone coverage and stop teams scoring. We then need to capitalize on other team’s mistakes and focus on staying penalty free”. If the top seed can follow the game plan they are surely a chance of getting back up to Division 2 for redemption.

See the 2016 Youth Team below. You can follow them at the http://www.iihf.com/competition/551/statistics.html as well as the IHA Facebook page during the tournament.

Team List:
Forwards
Nicholas Weiland
Jake Ruck
Tommy Steven
Byron Tschuma
Ellesse Carnini
Liam Manwarring
Marcel McGuiness
Jordan Brunt
Jake Riley
Aiden Sillato
Gabriel Veht

Defence
Darcy Flannigan
Lachlan Fahmy
Evan Connard
Bayley Kubara
Lachlan Dwyer
Andrew Chen

Goaltenders
Alex Tetreault
James Downie

NWU18T finish tournament with a win over Romania

goal

The Inaugural National Under 18’s Womens Ice Hockey Team finished their debut tournament in style with a 7-6 Shooutout win over Romania. It was a rocky start and a steep learning curve for the team in the beginning, falling to Poland 11-0 and Italy 8-0.

Head Coach Tamra Jones saw some positive signs out of the game against Poland “We were able to skate with them, however a collapse in the last half of 1st period put us on the back foot 6-0, but perseverance saw us limit their scoring opportunities for remainder of game”

The losses didn’t deter the team as they matched up against a Great Britain outfit that defeated Poland 3-1 in the previous game. GBR drew first blood 1-0 in the first period and piled on another two goals at the beginning of the third, but forward Kate Tihemma scored on the powerplay assisted by Natalie Ayrus and Emily Davis-Tope. Tihemma wasn’t done there as Australia continued to pressure Great Britain until the last minute where Tihemma added a second marker to her International resume, assisted by Sara Sammons who was named MVP of the game against Poland.

NWU18T 2016 against Poland
The tight game set the team up for the Classification game against Romania (7th v. 8th). Penalty trouble helped Romania establish an early 3-1 lead in the first period. Natalie Ayris claiming the first goal to tie it up helped by Kate Tihemma. Romania extended the lead again out to 5-1 early into the second frame. Ebony Ramachandram notched her first goal assisted by Charlotte Kelly to give her team a shake.

“Our team came out very flat in the first period and Romania dominated play in all zones. We addressed this in between periods and were able to re-group” explained Jones.

Captain Christiarn Hall scored back to back goals in a ten minute window over the second and third period to get her team back within one goal before assisting Natalie Ayris on the equaliser to make it 5-5 midway through the third period. After exchanging four unanswered goals Romania bounced back with a goal with less than ten minutes to go. Australia refused to give up as Natalie Ayrus completed her hat-trick forcing a shootout with less than five minutes to go.

Overtime couldn’t decide the final result despite a few penalties as the game boiled down to a shootout. Starting with Ayris, Tihemma and Sammons the girls couldn’t convert, but Tianna Wiesler-Elaya kept her team in it shutting out the Romanian’s on the first three shots forcing a sudden death shootout. Sara Sammons would play the hero scoring on the Australian’s fifth attempt and making history with the National Womens Under 18’s team first ever International victory.

Austria went onto defeat Italy 3-2 in the gold medal game and will be promoted to Division 1 in 2017.

The efforts of the final two games showed signs of a maturing group who will no doubt be prepared and ready for next year’s tournament.

“This team bonded very quickly together and demonstrated strong team spirit on and off the ice, seeing them win the respect and support from many of the teams, tournament spectators, administrators and supporters alike. No matter what happened the team never gave up. They are competitors” finished Jones.

faceoff NWU18T Team Photo 2016 NWU18T after Italy game

AWIHL RD 6 WRAP UP – A weekend of hat-tricks and nail biters

Lucy Parrington faces off with Taylor Botterill

This Article proudly brought to you by: Skaters Network.

Whilst the National Womens Under 18 Team rallied back against Great Britain in a 3-2 loss, the AWIHL was full of tight clashes on the home front as well. Melbourne Ice won both games on the weekend against a determined Adelaide Adrenaline outfit. The wins did not come easy with the Ice winning 2-1 on Saturday night and narrowly escaping with a 6-5 shootout win on Sunday night. Up in Brisbane the Sirens started the weekend hot with a 4-2 win on Saturday, but a hat-trick from Sharna Godfrey still wasn’t enough to get the Sirens a second win as they fell short 4-3 on Sunday.

It was no surprise on Saturday night with the scrappy play that all goals came on the special teams. Shona Powell breaking the ice in the first period on the Power play followed by her teammate Carly Rolph doing some damage shorthanded. Kelly Harris upset Melbourne’s chance at a shutout early into the third period on a power play chance giving her team the momentum boost they needed. Despite pulling the goalie with 1:35 left in the game they just couldn’t find the tying goal they needed.

Adelaide carried that momentum into Sunday taking an early 2-1 lead after the first period. Melbourne evened up the scores on the power play in the second period but Adelaide pushed ahead again 4-3. Shona Powell capped off a hat-trick to get the Ice back in front 5-4, but the Ice couldn’t hold off the Adrenaline for a second game in a row as the Adrenaline tied up the game with 5 minutes remaining eventually leading to a sudden death shootout where Kristelle Vanderwolf would nab the game winner.

Shona Powell wasn’t the only one scoring the hat-tricks as Sharna Godfrey and Rosanna Routledge managed to exchange each of their own on Sunday. On Satruday Godrey got her team rolling opening the Sirens account in the second. Megan Gilchrist scored her first goal of the season for the Goannas to tie up the game. Sydney responded with three unanswered goals off the back of Sandra Giustiniani, Christina Puckert and Remi Harvey. Brisbane attempted to stage a late come back thanks to Veronica Watson who was helped by Gilchrist notching her first assist of the season as well. The Goannas however ran out of time in a 4-2 loss.

Just like Adelaide they saved their goals for Sunday racing out to a 2-0 lead in the first Watson getting the helpers on both goals. Sharna Godfrey got her team on the board but Rosanna Routledge responded with her second of the game extending the lead to 3-1. Whilst the Sirens and Goanna’s were battling so were Godfrey and Routledge as Godfrey made it 3-2, Routledge responded to make it 4-2. The Sirens managed to make it 4-3 early in the third but Goanna’s managed to hold on for their first regulation win of the season.

AJIHL RD 8 WRAP UP: Glaciers top off 2015

Breedveld in action for the Glaciers

This Article proudly brought to you by: Skaters Network.

The Melbourne Glaciers defeated the Whalers 4-2 in another intense Melbourne derby to finish off 2015. The win cemented first place for the Glaciers as they sit firmly ahead of the Sydney Wolf Pack by ten points. Both Sydney teams still have two games in hand. The Sabres will be looking to launch from fourth to second whilst the Wolf Pack have the chance to break away from the others and close the gap with the Glaciers.

The Melbourne Derby didn’t start close with the Glaciers racing out to a 3-0 by the first half of the game thanks to Joseph Davies, Tim Vanderwolf and Corey Stringer. Davies goal not only the first of the game but shorthanded and his first ever AJIHL goal.

Byron Tschuma spoilt Michael Breedveld chance of a shutout on debut, as he teamed up with Sam Stewart for the Whalers first goal just before the end of the second period.

Darcy Flanagan managed to make up for a charging penalty as he managed to set up Brayden Martin for the Glaciers fourth goal after getting out of the box. Unfortunately, Flanagan found himself back in the box and out of the game with less than five minutes to go. Sam Stewart and Tschuma capitalizing on the power play to finish the game 4-2.

The Whalers will get their chance for redemption January 22nd Friday night 9:30pm, before all teams are back in action the following week.

Jan 28th Thursday 8:00pm – Melbourne Glaciers VS Melbourne Whalers (O’Brien Group Arena)
Jan 29th Friday 7:45pm – Perth Sharks VS Perth Pelicans (Perth Ice Arena)
Jan 30th Saturday 5:30pm – Sydney Sabres VS Sydney Wolfpack (Penrith Ice Palace)
Jan 31st Sunday 9:00pm – Sydney Sabres VS Sydney Wolfpack (Penrith Ice Palace)

The National Junior Team gear up for Serbia

Kubara and Marino Junior team - better size

After a Bronze Medal effort at the last world championship in Spain, the National Junior Team are gearing up for another strong campaign.

The Div. II Group B World Championships take place January 17th-23rd in Novi Sad as the NJT faces off with Romania, Spain, Belgium, Serbia and China.

The team has managed to retain half of their line up including two top point scorers Casey Kubara (3G,2A) and Sam Hodic (3G,4A).

Even with 50% of players returning it is still a young squad heading overseas. “This year’s squad is very young, so they will (ideally) stay together for a few years to come, that will allow us to introduce a team philosophy and standard which won’t change too much each year” explains head coach Markus Frankenberger.

Frankenberger is quite confident in the group and its preparation so far “preparation is going well, players are well aware that playing for Australia is a privilege and we won’t have room or time for “passengers”.

One thing that hasn’t changed in preparation is the Team staff who re-unite for their fourth tournament “without this amazing group of people, the tour would not be the same”.

Whilst the on-ice team has the capability to stick together for years to come, the coach does stress that each player is accountable and it is up to them to be ready to play as they try to build something special.

Additions:
Liam Manwarring, Alex Tetreault, Ellesse Carini, Lachlan Fahmy, Josh Hansen, Jake Knott, Bayley Kubara, Mitch Henning, Harri Jaunozols, Lynden Lodge, Stephen McCann

Roster:
Alex Tetreault – ACT
Ellesse Carini – NSW
Lachlan Fahmy – NSW
Josh Hansen – NSW
Jake Knott – NSW
Bayley Kubara – NSW
Casey Kubara – NSW
Liam Manwarring – NSW
James Marino – NSW
Daniel Pataky – NSW
Mitch Henning – QLD
Zach Boyle – SA
Remy McGuiness – SA
Sam Hodic – VIC
Harri Jaunozols – VIC
Lynden Lodge – WA
David Mahood – WA
Alastair Punler – WA
Kieren Webster – WA
Stephen McCann – WA

Departures:
Saxon Air, Anthony Barnes, Jamie Campbell, Kayne Fedor, Nicholas Novysedlak, Yucca Reinecke, Tomas Sak, Luke Shafren, Jordan Williams, Charlie Smart.