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AWIHL RD 4 WRAP UP: GOANNAS GET FIRST WIN AS ICE STREAK ENDS

Ice v goannas
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After being so close and working really hard this season Brisbane finally got their first win. Not only was it their first win but it came at the hands of the undefeated 2014 champions Melbourne Ice.

The two teams exchanged goals with the Melbourne Ice setting the lead three times before finally Brisbane Goannas Rosanna Routledge completed her hat-trick in the third period putting the Goannas up 4-3.

Kristelle Vanderwolf tied things up for the Ice forcing a shootout of which she would shoot first, but unfortunately didn’t convert. After a couple of exchanges Kelly Costa was successful with her deke for the Goanna’s leaving it to Melbourne Ices Lucy Parrington to try and equalise on the last shot attempt. Keesha Atkins was a rock in net denying Parrington and giving her team their first win of the season.

The Goannas weren’t able to celebrate for too long with Melbourne Ice bouncing back on the Sunday 4-2. Parrington converted on the Powerplay in the first period and later set up line mate Georgia Carson in the second to solidify a 2-0 lead. Goannas Rosanna Routledge halved the lead in the third period but the Ice replied minutes later. Tracy Hocutt narrowed the lead again for the Goannas 3-2 but it wouldn’t be enough as the Melbourne Ice would yet again captialise on the powerplay and finish the game 4-2.

Mighty Roos squad announced for 2016 World Champs

NST

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The Australian Mighty Roos squad has been selected for the 2016 IIHF Division 2 Group B World Championships in Mexico City Mexico on April 9-15, 2016.

It’s a team with a lot of experience with four debutants – Richard Tesarik, Matt Stringer, Rob Haselhurst and Mat Lindsay, together with the return of Mark Rummukainen, Michael Schlamp, Sean Jones and Darren Corstens .

Mighty Roos Coach Brad Vigon said “the mix felt right for the campaign as Australia aim to claim gold in Mexico”.

“I think we have a great mix of guys that have had many years in the National team, such as Lliam, Huxley, Rummo as well as a few guys that have had a bit of experience, one or two tournaments and those that are getting their first crack as well,” Vigon said.

“The older guys will be expected to help to mentor our younger guys and really take them under their wing. I know most of the guys pretty well, and have had great feedback about the others and feel that each player will fit into what myself and Matti are trying to do.”

With Mexico City sitting over 2km above sea level, Vigon said the altitude will take some getting used to but the players should be well equipped to deal with it.

“As a group we need to make sure we are in peak condition going into the tournament,” Vigon said. “We will do a lot of work getting the guys comfortable with the systems we will use so that when we get there everyone will already have a pretty good idea of where they need to be in different situations.”

Entering the competition at 36th in the world, Australia will come up against stiff competition including Bulgaria (39th), Israel (33rd), New Zealand (37th), North Korea (42nd) and hosts Mexico (32nd).

Vigon admits there will be some tricky games as Australia hope to gain promotion to Division 2 Group A.

“Mexico will be tough especially at home, and Israel is a bit of a wild card,” Vigon said. “You never really know what to expect from them year to year. New Zealand is always a tough, hard fought game and because of the rivalry it is always close.”

The full Mighty Roos squad for the 2016 Division 2 Group B World Championships is:

Forwards
Darren Corstens (Adelaide Adrenaline)
Wehebe Darge (Adelaide Adrenaline)
Austin McKenzie (Melbourne Ice)
Lliam Webster (Melbourne Ice)
Mitch Humphries (Melbourne Ice)
Thomas Powell (Melbourne Ice)
Matt Stringer (Melbourne Mustangs)
Sean Jones (Melbourne Mustangs)
Jordan Kyros (Perth Thunder)
Cameron Todd (Sydney Bears)
Michael Schlamp (Sydney Bears)
Richard Tesarik (Sydney Bears)

Defence
David Huxley (Adelaide Adrenaline)
James Byers (CBR Brave)
Mark Rummukainen (CBR Brave)
Paul Baranzelli (Melbourne Ice)
Mat Lindsay (Newcastle North Stars)
Robert Malloy (Newcastle North Stars)
Robert Haselhurst (Perth Thunder)

Goaltenders
Anthony Kimlin (Whitby Dunlops)
Fraser Carson (Melbourne Mustangs)

Head Coach Brad Vigon
Assistant Coach Matti Luoma
Manager Ian Webster
Chef de Mission Steve Ransome
Team Doctor/Physio Danny George
Equipment Manager Joey Rezek

Article courtesy of: Andrew McMurtry

AJIHL RD 5 Wrap Up: Glaciers ice Whalers. West still Hot

Whalers save
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Glaciers continue to climb the mountain with a 7-2 display Saturday night over the Whalers. Caleb Butler was on fire again notching another hat-trick and three helpers. But he was not alone as his teammates Corey Stringer and Tim Vanderwolf both chipped in two goals a piece.

The Glaciers raced out to a 2-0 lead in the first and then doubled the lead on a misconduct penalty to Whalers top defenseman Harry Jaunozols early in the second period.

Aleksander Anderson responded for the Whalers before the second period finished. Byron Tschuma then cut the lead in half 4-2 as he continued his solid play, but that is where the come back would end as the Glaciers scored three unanswered to keep their streak alive.

Over in the west the Sharks and Pelicans battled out a 5-4 game with the Pelicans scraping out the win. The Sharks however, were extremely solid in the special teams department successfully killing off 7 of the 8 penalties served and capitalizing on 66% of their power play chances.

Jordan Grover was instrumental in establishing a 4-2 lead after two hard fought periods. David Mahood extended the lead to 5-2 early in the third, but that still didn’t deter the Sharks as Sak closed the lead to two. Bruno Stolze kept his scoring streak going netting one with 18 seconds left in the game and whilst it wasn’t enough to tie the scores, one would certainly suggest the Sharks might have the momentum when these two teams meet again.

Vigon named coach of senior Mighty Roos

Brad Vigon with the goodall cup

The Australian Mighty Roos senior men’s ice hockey team has a new coach with Brad Vigon taking on the role with a new-look coaching team.

Vigon had been the Melbourne Mustangs’ coach in the Australian Ice Hockey League up until early November when he stepped down after three seasons in the role, including winning the 2014 AIHL Championship.

Former CBR Brave coach Matti Luoma will be Vigon’s assistant as the team aims to get back into Division 2 Group A after being relegated from the group earlier this season.

After turning the Mustangs from a last-placed team to the AIHL champions in only two years and previous experience as assistant coach in the Mighty Roos’ 2013 World Championship campaign, Vigon had the confidence to put his name up for the top job.

“I had a chance to be an assistant coach with the national team a few years back with Vlad Rubes who was the head coach at the time,” Vigon said. “I learned a lot from him about how to prepare and the processes you need to go through. It was a fantastic experience and it was then that I knew I would like to have a chance to lead the team.”

Vigon has had a strong career in Australia, moving to the country at 35 years of age and joining the Melbourne Ice as a player then captain and assistant coach.

In his time in the AIHL, he tallied 100 points (43 goals, 57 assists) in 83 games between 2004-2010.

Prior to joining the Ice, Vigon had retired at the age of 24 after a stint as a professional hockey player in Europe and his native USA.

Vigon also represented Australia at the 2008 World Championships, pulling on the Mighty Roos jersey for the first time as a 39-year old, tallying five appearances with a goal and an assist in the campaign that saw Australia reach Division 1 for the first time.

“Anytime you have the chance to represent your country it is a huge honour,” Vigon said. “It had long been a dream of mine to play in a World Championship, but I had long since forgotten about it until I moved to Australia. I was completely taken by surprise that they asked me to play, as I wasn’t exactly a spring chicken at the time. But it all worked out and we won a gold medal to boot.”

“I never really thought that I would get the head coaching role. There are a lot of great coaches here and I consider myself very fortunate to be in this position.”

With plenty of achievements since arriving in Australia, Vigon said he had many highlights.

“My time in Australia has been full of memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life,” Vigon said. “My first year in Melbourne, I was a player/coach for the Sharks in the Victorian League. At that time, all players who played in the AIHL also had to play in the local league so the level was very competitive. The team had finished dead last the season before and we won the championship.”

“Also playing for the Melbourne Ice in the formative years out of Oakleigh and helping to turn them into a contender was a great experience, as well as being an assistant coach with them during their first two championships. And I have to mention the Gold Medal with the Australia team and gaining promotion to Division One for the first time in the country’s history.”

As national team coach, Vigon hopes to lead the team to back to Division 2 Group A but also has a strong focus on developing the younger players on the team into strong international performers to help set the team up for the future.

“On paper at this point I like what I am seeing,” Vigon said. “We have a great mixture of youth and experience and a group of guys that I have no doubt will buy into what Matti Louma and I will lay out for them. They are hungry, and extremely motivated to get us back where we believe we belong.”

“The tough thing for Australia every year is the opposite season. Most teams, with the exception of New Zealand are coming right out of a season and are in top game shape, whereas most of our players haven’t played a real game in nearly six months, so guys need to get up to speed very quickly. Also the altitude in Mexico City will be a challenge for us, but we are taking every step necessary in order to minimise the impact.”

The Mighty Roos will play in the 2016 Division 2 Group B World Championships in Mexico City, Mexico on April 9-15. They will take on Bulgaria, Israel, North Korea, New Zealand and hosts Mexico.

AJIHL Round 4 Wrap Up: Sharks Stolze the Show

Stolze in 4v2 win
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There seems to be a tug of war out West as the Sharks defeated the Pelicans 4-2. The major highlight were the Stolze brother’s combining for 6 points of the Sharks first three goals.

Ben Stolze got the show on the road netting the lone goal for both teams in the first period, his brother Bruno and Tomek Sak with the assists. Pelicans Ben Wilcocks responded for the Pelicans in the second which left the third period open to a scoring frenzy.

Ben Stolze would notch his second goal of the game again assisted by his Bruno 35 seconds in. David Mahood tied the game moments later at 2-2.

Ben would then be the one to set up as he put Bruno on a break that led to the game winner at 3-2 as Charlie Tennant nailed home the insurance marker for the 4-2 victory.