Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tracy Hocutt

Hocutt Excited By Potential

With a win under their belts, the Brisbane Goannas are turning more than a few heads in Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League circles and Tracy Hocutt is a large part of the reason why.  Craig Tonks goes 1 on 1 with the Goannas’ forward.

 

Photo :: Debra Jean Photography

Photo :: Debra Jean Photography

 

Craig Tonks::  When did you start playing ice hockey?

Tracy Hocutt:: I started playing a few years after I finished university. I was living in California and I went with my friend to watch her boyfriend’s team play. After the game we were walking out and I said to her “That looks like so much fun. I’d love to do that.” The hockey director was walking behind us and he heard me and he signed me up right then and there. I had no gear so I went out and bought all the stuff I needed for $300 all up. I got everything used except my skates – $60 Nike Ignite 6′s (Terrible but hey they were only $60). I rocked up to my first game and started playing ice hockey within the week. I was so bad, but I was right… it was a LOT of fun.

CT:: What do you love about the sport

TH:: The thing I love most is the people. Most of the people I’ve met in the sport are just super fun, kind of quirky, smart, interesting and generally awesome people. I love my team mates and all the shenanigans they get themselves into.

Another beautiful thing about the sport is the infinite learning curve and the jumps you make as a developing player – It’s a tough sport and it feels really good when you get to another stage and realise you’ve improved in a noticeable way. When players that once intimidated you don’t look so great anymore, you are improving.

CT::  What was your journey through the junior ranks

TH:: I didn’t even play my first hockey game until my mid-twenties.

CT:: Is there anyone who has been a major influence on your career

TH: I’d have to say Tamra Jones has been a big part of my hockey development in Australia. She’s the only hockey coach I’ve ever played for and has helped me improve tremendously with trainings and camps and making suggestions about how I approach the games. Playing for the Goannas this year has been a giant step in development for me as the games are so fast compared to general recreational hockey. Now I have to work on my hands a bit as she says I am not blessed with soft hands, so I have to prove her wrong.

CT:: What has been your own career highlight

TH:: I scored my first AWIHL goal this year. It was a hack-a-thon goal against Melbourne and it took me three whacks to get the puck in the net, but it finally went in. I would have celebrated it a bit more but I was tired by then.

CT:: Is it important to put back into the sport.

TH:: I think in Australia especially it is important to put back into the sport. I know I am not shocking anybody by saying there isn’t a massive Ice Hockey following in Australia. It’s going, but I wouldn’t say it is thriving, especially not in Brisbane. It is going to be up to the people who are involved with ice hockey in Australia today to shape what the sport landscape looks like in 10 years. Will there be more rinks and players? Will there be improvement in the quality of Australian Ice Hockey Internationally? Ultimately it is up to us to plan what we want it to be like and work to make it happen.

CT:: Who is your favourite hockey player or team to watch play (here or overseas)

TH:: My favourite team is the Chicago Blackhawks. And have you seen them this year? They are tearing it up! Patrick Kane is currently my favourite player on a team full of my favourite players.

CT:: What are your goals for this season

TH:: Well the big goal for this season was Win a Game. There has been a pretty big W drought for the Goannas and so it was important for the team to get a good old-fashioned win. That has been achieved this weekend. Personally, I also wanted to score a goal. I played in the AWIHL a couple of seasons a few years ago and didn’t score so I wanted to at least get a goal. That’s been done too. The goal now is to go to finals and win the competition. I’m sure everyone has that goal, but that’s the bottom line for me.

CT:: Any advice for young girls out there striving to make it to the AWIHL

TH:: Play as much hockey as you can and have fun! If it’s not fun for you, you won’t want to keep doing it – so make sure you take time to enjoy yourself and have fun with your team mates.

by Craig Tonks

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Amelia Matheson

Who’s that girl :: Amelia Matheson

In the first of a series of interviews with some of the stars of the AWIHL, Craig Tonks put some questions to a young lady that is one of the most respected players in the league, the North Star Sirens’ Amelia Matheson.

pic :: Debra Jean Photography

When you need a player on your team in the AWIHL who has great skating skills, the right amount of controlled aggression and a player that can lift the whole team, only one name already comes to mind.  A bonus is a player who recognises that putting back into the sport is equally important to what they take out of the game, it’s exactly what you get when you have Amelia Matheson on your team.

Craig Tonks :: When did you start playing ice hockey?

Amelia Matheson :: I started playing in 2003 when I was 17.

CT :: What do you love about the sport?

AM :: The speed and intensity, the competition and the team spirit but more importantly being apart of a team that feels and treats each other like a family, is the best thing.

CT :: What was your journey through the junior ranks?

AM :: I played midgets for 1 year then straight into the women’s league. I have represented NSW and then began playing in the AWIHL when it started. I then played in the 2011 and 2012 Australian team.

CT :: Is there anyone who has been a major influence on your career?

AM :: Coaching wise I would have to say Dawn Watt, she got me involved in coaching and giving back to the hockey community. Player wise people like Kaylee White, who has been our Captain for our North Star Sirens team the since the beginning. Kaylee is an inspiration on and off the ice and one of the big reasons I still play hockey.

CT :: What has been your own career highlight so far?

AM :: Playing for the Australian team in my home town of Newcastle was a massive highlight for me.

CT :: Do you think it is important to put back into the sport (coaching, mentoring ect)

AM :: Yes 100%. I’ve been coaching for 5 years now and I enjoy it a lot. To know you have people look up to you as well is a massive personal accomplishment.

CT :: Who is your favourite hockey player to watch?

AM :: I watch a lot of New South Wales rep games and each team has my favourite player to watch and as for overseas hockey I don’t really have favourites, I just enjoy watching it.

CT :: What are your goals for this season?

AM :: To be fit and ready for finals. Like Kaylee said, “You learn a lot from winning but you learn a lot more from losing”. So I feel this season will have its ups and down on the ice but it will be a massive learning curve that will prepare us for AWIHL finals in March 2013.

CT :: Any advice for young girls out there striving to make it to the AWIHL?

AM :: Train hard and don’t give up on your goals. Start small and work your way up to the AWIHL. Anyone can do it if they work hard enough! :)

by Craig Tonks