Category Archives: Articles

Sharing the Stoke

The Australian Ice Hockey League has forged a close bond with Alberta, Canada and 2016

sees  that bond strengthened with the return of Scott Swiston for 2016.

 

Fresh from another season with the University of Alberta-Augustana, Swiston returned to Australia for his second season in the AIHL.

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One can only think he enjoyed his time here.

 

Not only did Swiston lift the Goodall Cup for winning the 2015, he encouraged his Alberta

line mate, Connor McLaughlin to join him.

 

The duo really become a trio when Australia’s Beau Taylor hits the ice as Taylor also played

for the Univerisity of Alberta-Augustana with Swiston and McLaughlin.

 

Coming to Australia to play hockey may be seen to be the a bit of a holiday but the hockey

is fast and physical.

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The time in Australia also lets the boys experience a different way of life.

 

Training twice a week and playing on the weekends gives lots of time to enjoy other activities

like Surfing.

 

I headed down to the beach with the boys to grab some snaps of our ice skating stars,

sliding along on the liquid version of the stuff they call home, all thanks to Learn to Surf Newcastle.

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The air temp was 25 degrees, the water 20 degrees, a small swell and much less fans than

they’re used to but sport is all about fun and in surfing we call it “Stoke”.

 

The smiles really said it all.

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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.

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.