Monthly Archives: July 2014

Beau’s Flow

When Beau Taylor returned to the Newcastle North Stars last week it was evident he had been working on just more than his hockey.

Photo: Deabra Jean Photography

Photo: Deabra Jean Photography

 

He returned to Newcastle with a very impressive flow, which for people still new to hockey means an impressive mane of hair, a hirsute human being.

 

A quick look around the league and you will see some impressive hair.

 

Beaus team mate, Jaysen Chalker has made some impressive flow gains in 2014 and was a team leader until Taylors return.

 

One the comes to mind is Viktor Gibbs Sjodin, which may be more on the fro side then long but impressive to say the least.

Add in his stable mate of Tom Voller and you have impressive hair that well and truely meets the flow requirements.

Down at the CBR Brave we have Shai Rabinowitz who worked on his flow over the Aussie Summer up on the North Coast, although Derek Walker beats him on length.

Over at the Melbourne Ice, Todd Graham meets the requirements of the flow club membership.

Who’s your nomination for the Flow Club?

Newcastle North Stars V Melbourne Ice

The Newcastle North Stars kept their slim finals hopes alive with a thrilling 4-2 win over the Melbourne Ice on Saturday night at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.

IMG_0290

 

The previous weekend saw a hard fought match in Melbourne where the penalties proved costly to the North Stars yet it still proved to be a close match.

 

The North Stars got off to the start they were looking for when an early power play saw Adam Geric grab an early lead for Newcastle.

 

The Ice hit back at 5.07 when Tommy Powell leveled the scores at 1-1, yet with only 2.00 remaining in the first period Cody Danberg sent the North Stars to the break with a 2-1 lead.

 

The second period became a grinding battle yet neither team could exert the dominance required, mainly due to the men in the red pipes, Harrison May and Gustaf Huth.

 

A delay of game with only 3.40 remaining in the second period against Rob Starke, proved the opening Matt Armstrong needed to level it up at 2-2.

 

As the clock ticked down history repeated from the first period when with a mere 0.16 left in the period, a Beau Taylor goal gave the North Stars a 3-2 lead.

 

Season 2014 of the AIHL has shown anything can happen in the 20 minute third period.

 

Again it was the goal tenders who dictated that the score would remain close with only one goal to be scored.

 

At 13.16 Cody Danberg grabbed his second goal of the night to give the North Stars a 4-2 lead.

 

One of the understated factors for the North Stars was the Newcastle defence with the John Kennedy Jr factor, who had a hand in three of the Newcastle’s four goals.

 

While a loss to the Ice still keeps them at the pointy end of the table, the win was crucial to keeping the hopes of the North Stars alive.

Dogs Defeat Stars

The Sydney Ice Dogs returned to the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday night, this time for a North Stars home game.

IMG_0461

The North Stars got off to a great start in the first period, with goals to Robert Starke, Jaysen Chalker and Brian Bales and appeared to have sorted out a few issues in the goal scoring area.

The return of Beau Taylor saw him add speed to the line up and the line with Hayden Sheard and Matt Wetini looks like it will bear fruit further into the season.

The Ice Dogs started a fightback that would see the period finish 3-2 after goals to Shane Southwood and Billy Cliff.

The Ice Dogs were served well up the ice by Richard Tesarik and Paul Baranzelli who started to dominate the neutral zone.

The second period saw a goal to Richard Tesarik at 11.39 but the battle raged along the boards with David Dunwoodie checking anything that moved.

The North Stars had plenty of opportunities however it was only the goal tending of Tom Noting that prevented the scoreline from moving further ahead in he scoreline.

The third period began at 3-3 and after goals to Adam Geric for Newcastle and Billy Cliff for Sydney, would see the score finish at 4-4 and head to a shootout.

After attempts by Chris Wilson and Richard Tesarik, which both resulted in saves by Harrison May and Noting, it would be Simon Barg to put the Ice Dogs up 1-0.

A miss by Beau Taylor added pressure to the North Stars however another miss to Brian Bales would give the Ice Dogs a shootout victory.

A highlight for the Ice Dogs and one to watch in the future, was the performance of young gun, Lachlan Allport.

The North Stars showed that the return of Beau Taylor will add another dimension to their attack and that could surely be the last piece of the puzzle the North Stars need.

Cash Positive Australian Hockey

 

 

The Australian Ice Hockey League is a semi-professional league where many players still pay to play, so how do we get to a point where players can actually become cash positive?

 

Revenue streams are something the AIHL always have to be careful with, the risk of becoming a losing entity always an issue.

 

The whole issue is complex and there is no easy answer and every person has their own ideas so we only hope to raise awareness and open discussion.

 

Let’s look at some of the ways we can work towards cash positive playing and this first article in a series looks at Merchandise.

 

Merchandising is something clubs can make money from but it can be very hit and miss, some clubs do well where other clubs struggle.

 

Would it be an idea to bring all the clubs under one manufacture where there is a quicker turnaround?

 

The ability to be able to purchase a t-shirt, with club logo on the front with a player name and number on the back would surely sell well but they would need to made on demand as having them on the shelf is costly and again hit and miss.

 

Go to some sporting events overseas and they can heat press a name and number on your selected t-shirt in minutes.

 

Currently in Australia, the Newcastle Jets A-League soccer team, currently offer this service for jerseys even if there is a cost involved of $25.

 

A previous attempt with Majestic Athletic to have centralised merchandising, was not what you would call successful however the current model is not better.

 

The possibility of centralising merchandising means clubs don’t have the outlay cost to have volumes of stock on hand but clubs would possibly sacrifice a percentage of profit to have access to a larger range.

 

A look at the website for PHA Promotional shows no t-shirts or hoodies on sale however if you want a puck or phone case, you’re in luck.

 

The Sydney Bears made a big leap this year when the produced players pucks which looked great and could be signed by the player it’s self.

 

The CBR Brave may have got off to a slow start with merchandise but the current range looks fantastic and has a really strong brand presence.

 

Canadian Australian Chamber of Commerce could be an organisation that can link up Canadian companies to the Australian public to offer sponsorship for teams or the league.

 

The ability of companies like Air Canada to sponsor the league and benefit from the exposure that the Fox “Game of the Week” provides could work for other companies too.

 

Could companies like Blackberry or Costco benefit from sponsoring the AIHL in some way?

 

Could companies subsidise merchandise by having their logo on the sleeve?

 

What’s your idea??

 

Going Dark and the Journey Back

Going Dark & Temporary Solutions

Photo:: Craig Tonks

Photo:: Craig Tonks

 

One of the terms used overseas for teams who need to drop out for a season, is “Going Dark”.

 

The Gold Coast Blue Tongues went dark for the 2013 and 2014 AIHL season after their rink was deemed, “Not to the required standard of the AIHL”.

 

Previously we ran a series of articles on the Las Vegas Wranglers who play in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

 

The Wranglers had a fantastic rink since entering the league in 2003 at the Orleans Casino, which is owned by Boyd Gaming and proved themselves to be one of the top teams when it came to marketing.

 

Getting fans to an ice hockey game in Vegas was always difficult in a town that offers so much yet the Wranglers attracted fans with clever marketing and strong community engagement.

 

It started to fall apart when the management of the casino advised the Wranglers that the contract to play at the rink would not be renewed for the 2014/2015 season.

 

This occurred weeks before the 2014/2015 season draw was about to be released.

 

Wranglers President Billy Johnson had to act quick, scouring the city to find a rink that would accommodate it’s 3000 to 4000 regular fans.

 

Johnson managed to reach an agreement with the Plaza in February 2014 to build a temporary facility. A rink would be built in a steel reinforced fabric covered tent that could seat 4000 fans on the Plaza’s fifth floor between it’s two towers.

 

The grand plan proved too costly and even with the ECHL extension of a dead-line to have a new rink, a decision was made to make the heart breaking decision to “Voluntary Suspend” themselves.

 

The question for the Wranglers and the Blue Tongues is how and when will they come back into the competition.

 

The Australian Ice Hockey League needs a team in Queensland, whether it be in Brisbane or the Gold Coast.

 

Could a temporary rink be used at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre similar to what would be used for the International Series in July.

 

The entertainment centre is not the only option for the Blue Tongues.

 

Could a temporary structure be built out of fabric and steel like the Calgary West Indoor Soccer Fields?

 

These structures are common in other parts of North America to house indoor soccer, lacrosse and basketball.

 

Could they be a rink solution to venue problems in Australia?

 

Can the Blue Tongues learn from the experiences of the Wranglers?