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Australia gold medal champions – promoted in world championship rankings International Women’s Day bonus

Womens team score NWT 2016
Australia has yet another gold medal-winning team, this time the national women’s ice hockey team in the Division II world championships just concluded in Spain.

With a four wins/one loss (in overtime) record, the Aussie women outpaced Spain, Iceland, Mexico, New Zealand and Turkey, scoring 32 goals in their five games, and conceding only six — the fewest of any team in the championships.

“The team headed overseas with one job on its mind: to win gold and advance up the International Ice Hockey Federation’s rankings,” said national women’s program director, Rocky Padjen. “They’ve done just that, playing hard from the opening drop of the puck, to the final face-off in game five.”

The team landed in Prague in late February for their training camp at HC Sparta Prague under newly appointed head coach Lindsay McAlpine who joined them​ from MacEwan University in Edmonton in her homeland of Canada.

“Lindsay did a fantastic job with the help of assistant coaches Stu Philps and Jo Frankenberger,” Padjen said.

After a shaky start resulting in an overtime loss to Mexico 2-1, the Australians went on to thump Turkey 12-0 and New Zealand 12-1; then defeated Spain 4-1, and finally Iceland 3-2.

“The IIHF changed the venue hosting the world championships from Turkey to (Jaca) Spain” Padjen said.

“We had to suddenly mobilise a team of 19 players from Australia, and those playing overseas, within six weeks, go through training camp and then travel to the Pyrenees before the series to acclimatise to the near-1000 m elevation.

“All of the training, games, travel, and fund raising each one of these athletes does is in addition to their full time jobs or study. The passion these women have for the world’s fastest team sport is an inspiration to all young girls and women wanting to get involved. We’re so incredibly proud of what they have accomplished.“

“I want to pay tribute not only to the team, the coaches and the supporters, but also to Ice Hockey Australia which not only came through with much-needed funding to help offset the high costs the players endure, but in addition has committed to increased funding next year when we move up to face much tougher competition against Croatia, Great Britain, Poland and Korea, among others,” he added.

The top Australian player of the series — Alivia del Basso — was also named the best forward player among all the nations participating in the tournament.

“This gold medal win, the day before International Women’s Day, just proves there are no limits to what women can do in sport,” said Del Basso, of the Australian Women Ice Hockey League’s (AWIHL) champions, the Melbourne Ice.

National Womens Team strike gold in Spain

NWT 16 wins gold

The Australian Women Win Gold!

The National Women’s Team headed overseas two weeks ago with one job on
their minds, to win Gold and advance into Div II Group A of the IIHF World
Championships. Today they did just that.

The girls played hard from the opening drop in their final round robin game
against Iceland. They had a few chances early but it was Del Basso who found
the net at the 6 minute mark. The score remained 1-0 for the first period
and much of the second until a beautiful wrist shot from Lehmann went over
the goalies right shoulder on the power play giving them a 2-0 lead. Iceland
hit back just a minute later going in to the second break 2-1 to Australia.
A nerve wracking third period had scoring chances from both teams, with
Australia eventually winning 3-2 in a thrilling end to the NWT campaign.

The National Women’s team landed in Prague on 23 February and commenced
their pre-worlds training camp at the HC Spata Prague rink and facilities.
Newly appointed Head Coach Lindsay McAlpine joined the team from MacEwan
University, Edmonton in her native country, Canada.

The NWT spent five days in training camp playing a mix of practice games and
training sessions, including one practice game against Spain where they went
down 6-3.

They headed to IIHF World Championships, this year held in Jaca, Spain after
the tournament had a late venue change from Turkey due to recent terrorist
activity and safety. Their campaign kicked off against Mexico and we saw a
tight game where both teams scored one goal, but could not go on to close
out the game. After five minutes of over time and still locked at 1-1, the
game went to a shoot out. After three shots each, Mexico found the back of
the net twice to NWT once giving them the win for 2 points and 1 point to
the Aussie girls.

Next up saw them against Turkey the newcomers to this division. It was
familiar ground for the NWT players as the Turkey goalie is none other than
our own Sera Dogramaci. The NWT showed Turkey what it was like to be in this
Division handing them a 12-0 defeat and collecting their 3 points for the
win.

After a day off, the girls met most recent years’ nemesis New Zealand. Not
to mention the classic Australian-New Zealand rivalry as well, however it
was sweet revenge time for the Australian girls handing them a thumping 12-1
defeat, showing the Kiwi neighbours that Australian Women’s hockey is in a
good place.

The second break of the tournament saw the girls rest and recover for their
first big test of the Championships. Spain were sitting on top of the round
robin with 3 wins under their belt and the upper hand having beaten the NWT
only last week. In front of a huge home crowd and after going down 1-0 in
the opening 5 mins, the Aussie girls dug deep and played hard to get on top
and chip away at the Spanish defense. The whole team came together and
goalie Michelle Coonan made some big saves when needed and the girls slowly
crept ahead goal by goal eventually winning a fantastic game 4-1.

Best Player of the Game Awards were:
Shona Powell vs Mexico
Alivia Del Basso vs Turkey
Sharna Godfrey vs New Zealand
Rylie Padjen vs Spain
Sari Lehmann vs Iceland

Player of Team Australia for tournament – Alivia Del Basso

Best Forward for the entire tournament – Alivia Del Basso

Sabres win second AJIHL title

Sabres win 2016

In the four years of the AJIHL competition the Sydney Sabres have won two titles defeating the first placed Melbourne Glaciers in a tight 6-4 final over the weekend. Ellesse Carini had a four point haul (2 goals, 2 assists) including the game winner. The high scoring affair started early with a 1-1 scoreline five minutes in Mohak Isaar and Darcy Flanagan getting their teams on the board. But the Glaciers pushed ahead 3-1 lead courtesy of Corey Stringer and Gavin Birchler. The MVP Ellesse Carini clawing his team back into the game 3-2 with a nifty shift to the middle and deke on Jack Hayes just before the end of the first.

The Sydney Sabres continued to pepper the net with shots as Sabres veteran Saxon Air finally broke through tying up the game 3-3 in the second period. The Glaciers regrouped after the second period with Tim Vanderwolf netting the go ahead goal set up by leading points scorer Caleb Butler. Daniel Patacky responded two minutes later after tearing down the wing and popping it short side to make it level again 4-4 at the 11 minute mark.

The teams exchanged scoring chances with the no success as Hayes and Mendoza-Kehlett continued to shut the door. Carini managed to score the game winner with 5 minutes remaining before Cian O’Reily finished off the game with an insurance marker with a minute to go. The Sabres held on 6-4 to become the 2016 AJIHL Champions.

Madison Poole wins fastest lap at the Womens Skill Challenge Qualification

Maddison Poole

Madison Poole has finished in the top 5 in the Ice Hockey Skills Tournament against competitors all around the world at 2016 Winter Youth Olympics.

In Ice Hockey Skills, Athletes compete in six disciplines; fastest lap, accuracy, skating technique, fastest shot, passing precision and puck control. Madison came away with the fastest time of 18.15 and a gold medal in the event. Yeon Eom Su from South Korea claimed silver (18.72) and Austrian Theresa Schafzahl finishing with the Bronze (19.03).

Madison had a win in the Shooting Accuracy level but was knocked out in the semi-final. She followed this up with her best time of 14.16 seconds in skating agility but it wasn’t enough to progress. Poole faired well in passing, puck control and fastest shot racking up a few points and personal bests.

Poole finished the six tests with 12 points, the same as fourth and one point off bronze.

Like all the other competitors, Madison was staying in the Youth Olympic Village at Stampsletta, which came as a pleasant surprise to her. “The Youth Olympic Village is way cooler that I thought it was going to be. I have kept myself up to date with all things related to the Youth Olympic Games, I have been looking forward to this so much!”

“Madison hails from Perth is one our top prospects coming out of Perth. We are really proud of what she acheived at the games” explains National Womens Program Director Rocky Padjen.

Madison is now with the National Womens Team competing in Spain.

The 2016 AJIHL Finals are Finally Here

Cam smith finals image

The AJIHL finals are finally here this week and will be hosted for the first time in Penrith NSW. Make sure you and check out these teams in action after what has been a thrilling State Semi Finals series and season. Entry is free so don’t miss out!!!

Semi Final 1
Saturday 27th February, Melbourne Glaciers (1) vs Sydney Sabres (2), 5pm, Penrith Ice Palace

sabres v glaciers

Semi Final 2
Saturday 27th February, Perth Sharks (3) vs Brisbane Blitz (Wild Card), 7:15pm, Penrith Ice Palace

sharks v blitz
Qualifying Final
Sunday 28th February, Semi Final 1 Loser vs Semi Final 2 Winner, 8:00AM (Morning), Penrith Ice Palace

Grand Final
Sunday 28th February, Winner of Semi Final 1 vs Winner of Qualifying Final, 5PM, Penrith Ice Palace