With his return to the Sydney Ice Dogs on the weekend, Scott Stephenson’s influence and experience out on the ice will be a much needed boost to the Sydney outfit, as they look to break their Goodall Cup drought.
Speaking post Mustangs victory, Stephenson was happy with where the Ice Dogs currently sit this early in the season.
“It’s really good to come back and be 2-1 on the season. Personally, my goal this year is to win the Championship – I was away representing Australia at the U-18s in 2004 when the Ice Dogs last won it, so it’d be nice to achieve that this year,” said Scott Stephenson.
Australian players and staff recently returned from a trip to Croatia to compete in the IIHF Division II Group A World Championships tournament. The Mighty Roos would finish the tournament on 7 points from 5 games played, earning them a fourth place finish and guarantee them Division II Group A safety.
“I’ve represented Australia 8 times now. It was an interesting tournament. We had 9 new players in the team, so it took some time to develop chemistry.
“We should have beaten Iceland [a shootout loss] and Serbia [5-3 loss]. We outshot and outworked Serbia but gave away bad breakaways – weren’t on our game defensively. Anthony [Kimlin] stood on his head for us, but he just wasn’t backed up by the rest of the team. Having him there was a big plus for us, and he’s a big plus for the Ice Dogs this season too. To let him start the season 2-1 is good for him to build on. As long as we don’t take him for granted, we’ll do well this year. Dale [Burgess] did a great job in net whilst Anthony was away.
“Was great to have Billy [Cliff] on the National team. Played a lot with him and my brother [Todd Stephenson]. Billy was getting more ice time at the end of the tournament and he’s stepped up since coming back to the Ice Dogs.
“Every team in the Division we played in has won gold at one point or another – a really good experience for the younger guys and helps them build upon in the future – both in AIHL and at National level”