Every sports team sees some turnover in players from season to season. Sometimes it’s sad to see your favourites go, but new blood keeps a side fresh and constantly improving. That said, with the number of changes to the Melbourne Ice’s senior leadership at the end of the 2012 season with the retirement of the coach, club president and starting goaltender, it’s something of a relief to see so many familiar names when the club announced their 2013 AIHL roster today.
Time has gotten away from me a bit this week, so I haven’t had time to write about all the big events of this week, though fortunately Jason wrote a great account of the AJIHL Finals. Consider this a catch-up post!
The big upcoming event, of course, is the Australian Mighty Roos vs Victorian All Stars game at the Icehouse tonight, the only chance Aussie fans will get to see this year’s national team in action before they head to Croatia to compete in the IIHF world championships, back in Division IIA. Tickets and team rosters are available from the Icehouse website, and the game has also been featured in The Age.
There are a few notable absences from the Mighty Roos, with players like Todd Graham and Nathan Walker currently playing overseas, but it’s still a hell of an exciting chance just to see the national team in action. The Victorian All Stars are going to be a treat to watch, too, with arch rivals from the Ice and the Mustangs playing alongside each other. Not to mention how interesting it’ll be to see some of the Melbourne Ice’s top players pitted against each other, with Lliam Webster and Tommy Powell on the Mighty Roos and the formidable trio of Jason Baclig, Matt Armstrong and Joey Hughes on the All Stars.
Read on for talk from the past week: the AWIHL finals, under-18 IIHF tournament and Nathan Walker’s adventures in Youngstown.
The fledgling Australian Junior Ice Hockey League ran its finals series at the Medibank Icehouse over the weekend, and if this is the showcase series of Aussie junior hockey talent, we don’t have much to worry about. Life doesn’t give us a crystal ball with all the answers, so watching these games are as close as we can get to looking into the future of Australian hockey – and that future is pretty bright.
With that said, there is a lot to get through, so sit up straight and pay attention!