Browse Tag: Ice Hockey Australia

Canberra’s future bright in the hands of the Junior Brave

The CBR Brave was the Cinderella story of the Australian Ice Hockey League in their debut season in 2014, and the Junior Brave have taken that position this season.

Formed earlier this year through a series of tryouts and invites, the Junior Brave have been in impressive form sine their entry into the New South Wales Midget League, which is an under 18s competition consisting of six teams.

The Junior Brave consists of players aged between 15 and 18, with some of the boys having played ice hockey together for up to ten years.

The self-funded side plays their away games in NSW, hiring a 22-to-24 seater bus which consists of the players, head coach Andrew Brunt, manager Tanya Brunt, assistant coach Nick Sault and equipment manager Darryl Day who also drives the bus.

Due to Canberra’s smaller population in comparison to cities and towns within New South Wales, the team consists of players of all skill levels.

However, despite not having the biggest talent pool to choose from, the Junior Brave have found themselves in second place on the Midget League standings, just one point from the top.

On top that, three of the Junior Brave make up the top ten scorers of the Midget League so far, with captain Jordon Brunt, Corey Banks and Jayden Lewis all making their way into the rankings.

Manager Tanya Brunt says that the boys play well together, have become a family and look to stay humble.

“We’ve become a family rather than a team,” she said.

“We like to promote that no one player is above the team, we promote staying humble”.

15 year-old Jordon Brunt captains the Junior Brave, and takes a similar view when it comes to being a leader for his side.

“As captain I try to lead the team both on and off the ice,” he said.

“I just try and be a great role model and lead by example.

“I try and inspire the other players and be a leader”.

(Jordon) Brunt has been playing ice hockey for ten years, and aspires to one day play in the AIHL and for Australia.

“I want to play for the senior Brave when I’m older,” he said.

“Soon I’m trying out for the under 18’s youth team, and I want to make it in the under 20’s and Australian men’s team”.

(Jordon) Brunt isn’t the only one who wants to make it in the AIHL, manager (Tanya) Brunt says that a few of the boys are destined to be in the senior Brave side.

“When we look at our side, we can definitely see some future Brave players” she said.

Head coach Andrew Brunt played for the Australian under 18 division, however he mentions how the side struggled to skate with the more developed hockey nations.

“I actually played for the under 18 Australia side that Jordan (Brunt) is trying out for, and we weren’t the best developed skater on the world stage” he said.

However, when (Andrew) Brunt looks at Australian ice hockey today, he sees a bright future ahead.

“I see Australian ice hockey growing and becoming more competitive on the world stage,” he said.

“What Australian ice hockey have done from about ten years ago, is that they have implemented a junior training camp ranging between pee-wee up to midget.

“They run a camp in January that goes for a week for each age group and they have a professional skating instructor who comes in and does that.

“Since Ice Hockey Australia has implemented these camps we are starting to skate with all the Northern Hemisphere nations.

“I see the future looking really good”.

Ice Hockey Australia announces 2013 World Championship Squad

Last week, Ice Hockey Australia announced the Mighty Roos Senior squad for the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Division II World Championships, to be held in April next year.

Australia is in Group A of this division, having been relegated after finishing 6th last year in the Division I Group B Championship last year.

might roos

Photo: Lukáš Bagjar


New South Wales is heavily represented in the 22 man squad, with 6 Sydney Ice Dogs (including Nathan Walker, currently playing for HC Vitkovice of the Czech Extraliga), 2 Newcastle North Stars and 1 player from the Sydney Bears being selected.

There are a mix of veterans and new faces selected, and Head Coach Vladimir Rubes is quoted on the IHA website as saying that “…all [players] having played in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL)…The standard of the AIHL combined with previous world championship experience and youth will be the team’s strength to carry us back to Division I and remain there in the long term.”

The team was selected through a series of tryouts, camps and training sessions, to ensure the best players available were selected.

Some notable faces in the Australian lineup for Sydney Ice Dogs fans are defencemen Tomas Manco and Brian Funes, and forwards Todd Stephenson, Scott Stephenson and Billy Cliff.

Cliff had a breakout season in the 2012 AIHL season, playing 23 games and accruing 17G and 29 points, as well as 72 PIMS – all personal best numbers of his career.

Ice Dogs president, Shane Rose said “This is a great result. The fact that 9 players from the Sydney Ice Dogs have been selected for national duties [3 Ice Dogs junior players – Cam Rose, Tyler Kubara and Alec Stephenson – have been selected for the Junior squad, playing in Serbia in January] shows the strength and depth of the club’s development programs”.

Ice Dogs coach Ron Kuprowsky was more succinct – “Brilliant”.

In Division II Group A, Australia will meet Belgium, Croatia, Iceland, Serbia and Spain. Games start April 7 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Stay tuned to On The Fly Hockey for live streaming details (if available).

Ice Hockey Australia Forms Women’s U18 National Team

Recently Ice Hockey Australia released a statement announcing the formation of the 2013 national women’s U18 team, the first ever for Australia.  The creation of this team and its associated training camps are a welcome addition to our current women’s development hockey australia

The performance of the Australian women’s national team on the world stage is on the rise. They have worked their way from Division III to Division II Group A at the IIHF Women’ World Championships over the last ten years.

In the last two world championship tournaments they finished in the silver medal position.  Then in 2012 Australia saw its first Olympic medal in ice hockey when Sharnita Crompton finished 3rd in the skills competition at the junior winter Olympics.

In forming the U18 women’s program, Ice Hockey Australia has identified an important step to continuing the improvement of the women’s national team and the AWIHL. Targeting the development of young players is a crucial aspect of taking any program to the next level.

According to the press release by IHA, the training squad for the team was formed after a talent identification camp in September last year.  All registered girls between the ages of 12 and 18 in the country were invited and were put through testing of all aspects of skills required to be a competitive hockey player.

These annual camps also allow more opportunities for players too young for the national team and AWIHL teams to grow their skillset. By attending these camps specifically geared toward female players the girls are able to get an idea of what is required to be that elite level female player, and set goals accordingly.

A training squad was formed after the initial camp, and from that squad the U18 team was selected after a second camp from the 13th to the 19th of January. This selection is not the final team, five spots for skaters and two for goalies are still open. The final decision regarding these spots will be made in the near future after further monitoring of the progress of the rest of the squad.

Notable players on the team include the AWIHL Brisbane Goannas standout Tiffany Samain-Venning, and Katie Tihema of the Adelaide Adrenaline. South Australia is the most represented state on this squad, with six skaters on the team so far.

The team will be introduced to international competition through participation in regional youth tournaments. The intent is to qualify the team for the IIHF U18 world championships in the future, creating internationally experienced athletes to feed the women’s national team.