Monthly Archives: April 2016

One from the archives – Marty Moose

Well it’s been two seasons now with our favourite Moose and we though we’d show you the first interview we did with Marty Moose.

A new interview is being organised but it’s not an easy thing to do, he’s a pretty busy guy.

Wandering out of the wilderness after a long Canadian Winter, a young Moose decided to leave his home in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to pursue his dreams of an ice hockey mascot career.

With a desire to experience the southern hemisphere, but with still a deep affinity for all things Northern, his heart was set on joining the Newcastle Northstars.

Marty is a handy right handed defensive player, but his real talent lies in revving up fans! Craig Tonks caught up with Marty over a couple of pieces of bark and some maple syrup.

Craig Tonks:: Hi Marty! Thanks for sitting down with me.

Marty Moose:: No problems Craig, great to finally be here!

CT:: So who was your favourite hockey team as a young moose growing up in hockey-mad Canada ?

MM:: Oh, the Manitoba Moose, for sure! My Aunty Marcia went to high school with their mascot Mick E. Moose in the late 90’s. Of course he’s an NHL’er now with the Winnipeg Jets , which is the dream of every young Moose growing up on the prairies.

CT:: Are you excited for season 2014 as the North Stars mascot?

MM:: Oh, definitely! I’m so excited to be here and I’m extremely proud to be chosen to represent the North Stars for this season and beyond! I’ve heard a lot about the hockey community in Newcastle and can’t wait to be part of it. Plus I’m keen to learn to surf, and eat some eucalyptus leaves. With maple syrup.

CT:: What number jersey will you be in this year?

MM:: Double O – You can’t spell Moose without O-O !

CT:: Are you expecting a warm welcome from the other AIHL mascots?

MM:: I’m not sure it will be a WARM welcome… but the other mascots will be cool. At the end of the day we all love our teams and our hockey. We can have a fun rivalry and still respect each other and hang out after. But we’ll see who has the better dance moves! I’ve been working on some stuff with some of the guys since I got here – JFK has been mentoring me. That guy can really move!

CT:: Well Marty, on behalf of the entire North Stars organisation we would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to Newcastle and we look forward to your debut as our official mascot! What sort of antics can we expect from you in 2014?

MM:: Thanks so much Craig! I already love it here and I will do my best to make the North Stars proud and spread awareness of our wonderful game. I met my team last night and they are a fantastic bunch of players. I’m not going to give too much away just yet, but we will all have a lot of fun! I’m on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, look for @MartyMoose00. There’ll be plenty of interesting stuff happening there, I do love my social media!

BIO Highlights

D.o.b. : 18.07.1990

Favourite food : Bark covered with Maple syrup

Favourite show : Northern Exposure

Favourite drink : Pond water, if it’s clean and icy cold.

North Stars Fans, the Moose is loose!

#wearenewcastle #mooseisloose

 

 

2016 Northstars Preview

Season 2016

 

So what do you do the season after winning the Goodall Cup?

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The answer is simple yet complex when it comes to the Australian Ice Hockey Leagues trophy

for the Major Premiership.

 

The simple answer is win another Goodall Cup but this is not an easy thing to do, the AIHL

improves every year and winning the cup gets harder, much harder.

 

The complex answer is the Newcastle Northstars will continue to use the base it’s built over

the last few years, which includes it’s core team of players to keep depth in the lines.

 

The likes of Matt Wetini, Pat Nadin, Jaysen Chalker and company will be the cogs that keep the Northstars grinding away.

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Last year  depth was added, the kind of depth required to step back into the finals race and give the Northstars a shot at the cup.

 

The AIHL has seen a new level of class for 2016 when it comes to imports so the Northstars

have again played it smart and have gone for hard workers, the ones that fit the bill for a

blue collar town like Newcastle.

 

The return of Scott Swiston brings back speed and grit, add his Alberta team mate Connor

McLaughlin into the mix, who is another work horse and you have solid start to a line.

 

Of cause both players were line mates with Beau Taylor in Alberta this past season and

familiarity creeps into the equation.

 

The final pieces to the 2016 puzzle are Brandon Greenside and Josh Harris both having

great seasons in the SPIHL. Although not in the country yet due to their finals surge in the

SPHL, they are class imports on and off the ice and add grunt to the defence and speed

over the blue line.

 

The Northstars have brought in Brandon Wong for a 5 game stint. Wong who played the

15/16 Season in the ECHL is a player who can dominate the ice.

 

The retirement of Rob Starke leaves a hole but to have Robert Malloy step into the role

shows the amount of class the Northstars have at their disposal.

 

2016 starts now, 2016 is exciting and 2016is the time that we stand up #wearenewcastle

 

The first home game is Sunday 4.00pm at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium.

When is it Time?

There comes a time in every hockey players career when decisions have to be made on your

playing future.

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So when is it time and what do you do after making the call?

 

Do you go when it feels right or ride it out till you get the tap on the shoulder?

 

It can come at any time, could be by age, injury or form but is there life after hockey?

 

The answer is yes but the future can take many forms.

 

In Australia, looking from the top down where does an AIHL player go when the centre stage

lights get switched off?

 

While some will choose to walk away and that’s fine, many will choose the coaching path. This

could be due to their own kids playing Junior hockey or a chance to put back into the club that

they took the ice for.

 

Another option can be dropping down to a lower competition and this has many benefits for

those who simply love playing.

 

Having a retired player of a high calibre playing in a local or state competition, benefits the

hockey community as a whole.

 

Young players coming through the system will get the chance to play along side players they

look up to, this can inspire people on the ice.

 

If the younger players are smart, they will be tapping into a wealth of knowledge built up

through the years.

 

Although a coaching role is fine, a playing role will benefit the young players by on ice tuition

that is hard to show on a whiteboard.

 

The on ice system of “you go here” or “get there and I’ll set you up” can teach players positional play and how to look ahead in game situations.

 

Knowledge is a powerful thing in Australian ice hockey and losing former stars to the game can be akin to burning your copies of Encylopedia Britanica.

 

Looking around rinks we have current and former players sharing knowledge and developing

the next batch of AIHL Superstars, and who knows, maybe our next player to hit the NHL.

Wilson Cup – The Lowdown

Wilson Cup – Newcastle Northstars V Sydney Bears

 

The Sydney Bears defeated the Newcastle Northstars 5-3, in its Wilson Cup match at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Saturday 9th April.

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Preseason hockey can be a bit hit and miss due to the unavailability of players due to Worlds and the yet to arrive Imports but the game was played at a good pace and in good spirit.

 

What’s exciting is the depth of East Coast Super League and AIHJL players on the ice.

 

Let’s look at what impressed me in this game.

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The Newcastle Northstars line up contained a good number of it’s AIHL players but the stand outs were Hamish Powell, Pat Nadin and Jaysen Chalker.

 

Powell is skating with good speed and has fine tuned his body checking, driving opponents into the boards with vigor with the crowd holding it’s breath when they see him lining up his prey.

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For the Sydney Bears it was hard to go past Tyrell Clare, Geoff Irwin and William Dores.

 

Clare will be one to watch in the AIHL in 2016, as he has returned form his season playing for the Vancouver Rangers, a stronger and more physical player.

 

There was a lot to like about the game and for me it was the sheer amount of young talent that made you stand up and take notice.

Something in the Air

Something in the Air

Photo:: Debra Jean Photography

Photo:: Debra Jean Photography

 

There’s something in the air in Newcastle. The moment you enter Hunter Ice Skating Stadium you can feel it.

 

Is it the fact that the 5th Goodall Cup maintains a record for the Australian Ice Hockey League?

 

It’s more than that.

 

After 2014 when Newcastle missed the playoffs, the rebound in 2015 made up for it in spades.

 

When you enter the rink you can start to see change, new netting, new seating, a very smart paint job that will see the teams colours around the rink.

 

This in its self is belief in the team, belief in the sport and belief in the supporters of Newcastle.

 

The media team in Newcastle are passionate about delivering a professional product, the Summer is spent looking at ideas and concepts that will not only deliver a better stream for the punters, but value add to sponsors.

 

We enter 2016 with a sense that the AIHL is still maintaining it’s steady climb into the publics conscience.

 

I get the feeling the Northstars will be leading the charge on and off the ice.

The Dreaded Pre-Season

The dreaded pre-Season

 

Most sports have a pre-season but what does a club get out of it?

Photo: Debra Jean Photography

Photo: Debra Jean Photography

 

After a long off-season in any sport there comes a time to dust off the cobwebs and get back on the park or in this case, the ice without points on the line.

 

The pre-season can be a good chance to see how some players have progressed and gives a coach a chance to look at a few players that could possibly make the team.

 

Many local players have come out firing in the pre-season and forced their way onto the team.

 

With limited imports available, it’s a chance to see how your local depth is and of cause a few younger guys who get to train with the team, will get a chance to play.

 

But what of the downside?

 

Well there are things like depleted lines as you are generally playing with limited or no imports.

 

A few other things that can impact on the start of the season are injuries and suspensions.

 

Losing a player for the season or an extended period of time, can cause a few headaches for coaches and coached don’t need headaches.

 

The pre-season can be a chance to lift silverware like the Wilson Cup, it can be a chance to give the home crowd a warm up for the season to come but it is a warning that hockey season is about to start, so get it together and be ready for opening night.