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NWU18T finish tournament with a win over Romania


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

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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

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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.

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

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

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

National Women’s U/18 Team to debut in World Championship

National Under 18 womens team
After three years of investment into participating in numerous training camps and exhibition games, hosted both domestically and internationally; Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Denmark, the Australian Women’s Under 18 Team (NWU18T) will finally get their opportunity to compete officially on the world stage, in Austria starting 7 January 2016.

NWU18T has been scheduled to compete against Poland, Italy and Great Britain in Group B of the Qualification tournament. Also competing at the tournament in Group A is Kazakhstan, Romania, China and Austria. After the round robin, based on ranking, there will a cross-over round between the respective groups to determine who is promoted to Division 1 and confirm rankings for rest of competing teams.

“Austria pose to be biggest threat as they were relegated in 2015. We also anticipate Poland and Italy to be strong contenders as they have many players returning again this year as does China” informs head coach Tamra Jones who has been a part of the program from day one.

Women’s Ice Hockey continues to grow around the world and Australia is no exception. “The U18 Program has evolved into having over 80 plus girls registered now, who have attended previous camps/tours. With 10 players who have since graduated into the senior aged program” adds Jones.

The Women’s U18 tournament was introduced back in 2008, of which saw 8 teams compete and now has expanded to see 22 countries participating in 2016, with Australia amongst them.

The future of the AWIHL also looks bright with over 50% of the Under 18 players honing their skills during the summer. But the program isn’t just a big coup for the AWIHL, it also gives the National Women’s Team Program an edge, explains IHA Women’s Director Rocky Padjen “The successful national teams in women’s hockey have strong U18 programs. Hungary is a good example of this and their National Women’s Team has risen steadily in the world ranking as a result”.

Whilst no official plans have been announced to expand to a division 2, the addition of 8 teams and counting in qualification suggests it isn’t far away.

We wish the inaugural NWU18T listed below the best of luck. You can follow the team at the IIHF website here: IIHF Website Championship Link as well as the IHA and NWU18T Facebook pages.

Lara Azzopardi NSW
Tianna Wiesler-Elaya NSW
Cleo Mayer NSW
Isobel Cantrill VIC
Emily Davis-Tope VIC
Ebony Rama VIC
Natalie Ayris SA
Kate Tihema SA
Keesha Atkins WA
Courtney Poole WA
Sara Sammons WA
Taylor Cookson WA
Celestine Adams WA
Isla Malcolm WA
Emily Sweeney WA
Charlotte Kelly QLD
Abi Brown QLD
Eiland Kenyon ACT
Christiarn Hall NSW
Sophie Gillen WA
Olivia Fruzynski WA

Head Coach – Tamra Jones (SA)
Assistant Coach – Johanna Frankenberger (WA)
Manager – Teresa Moriarty (QLD)
Chef de Mission – Mark Stephenson (NSW)
Physiotherapist – Kelly Costa (QLD)
Equipment Manager – Jim Jones (Canada)