Category: News

Summer 2017 Awards Announced

Last weekend, the Braves celebrated the completion of the 2017/18 IHV Summer Season at our annual Presentation Night. Whilst none of the teams reached finals, each saw considerable development throughout the season, and all players can be proud of their achievements.

Rick Dwyer Award

The Rick Dwyer Award recognises those who are dedicated to the club and its members, supporting them to improve their hockey through the Summer program. In 2017/18 this award was presented to Leigh Crossley. Leigh joined the club via the IHV Draft in 2017, promptly bringing energy and enthusiam to his team. At the completion of his playing season, Leigh offered to coach our summer players, taking the helm of the Mohicans in Division 4. With experience as a junior development coach in inline hockey, Leigh guided the team through a tough season, and helped build solid foundations which will stand the players in good stead in the future. In addition to his coaching, Leigh embodied the values of the club, and was instrumental in fundraising activities to support one of the Mohicans players after a significant injury. We thank Leigh for his continued commitment to the club and its players.

Playing Awards

Congratulations to the following players for an outstanding season:

Team MVP Highest Points Best Defense Coaches Award
Kiowa (D1) Conor O’Brien Mike Killip Chris Bridgett Jon Gourlay
Navajos (D2) Cohen Smithyman Brad Pyers Simon Birch Jimmy de Niese
Apaches (D3) Daniel Zwagerman Daniel Griffin Daniel Harper Martin De Bono
Cherokees (D3) William Place Josh Facchini Katrina Pullin Dylan O’Rourke
Mohicans (D4) Jack Challis Ambrose Potter Sarah Marshall Kenneth Suico
Comanches (D5) Ryan Kaye Edison Tooley Mark Hill Alan Taylor

The club would also like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of our coaching panel over the past six months. Our sincere thanks to Adam Bunting, Andy McKendrick, Ben Nicol, Daniel Fuentes, Dominic Zielinski, Dylan McKenzie, Gav Brien, Leigh Crossley, and Spike Black, and to Braves Head Coach Simon Holmes for overseeing coaches development. We would also like to thank Jess Kirwan for coordinating the season and our team managers for their assistance throughout: Ben Thompson, Debi Hansberry, James Pattison, Katrina Pullin, Nadja Egorova and Shelly Clarkson.

We hope everyone enjoyed the evening and look forward to seeing you all again next season.

2018 Draft Report – Fortune favours the Braves!

Another year and another draft…the Braves sent in the scouts, did our research, and believe we have walked away from the trading and draft process with some great up and coming talent this year!

Isaac Norris is a 19yo Brisbane defenseman who moved to Melbourne with eyes firmly set on the AIHL.  He has played representative hockey for Queensland since 2013 in Tange and the AJIHL with the Brisbane Blitz in 2017/18.  His attitude, solid skating and puck skillset will see him represent the Braves in Premier A Grade for 2018.

Hollie Bolton is another defensive acquisition for the Braves in 2018… but the real scoop is that she chose us!  A former Australian NWT member in 2012, Hollie played representative hockey for South Australia, and joined Melbourne Ice Women in their 2017/18 Joan McKoewn Championship winning season.  She will be the first woman to play for the Braves Reserve team (B Grade) … assertive, smart and hardworking, we are very happy to have her on board.

Rémi Béland is a 20yo native of Montreal who has called Melbourne home for several years. He has represented Victoria from Ginsberg to the AJIHL, and last laced up the skates for the Melbourne Whalers in 2015.  His return to hockey is timely as he is an excellent skater and playing defence will thrive well in the challenging but rewarding environment in the coming years … another great win for the Braves!

Sam Bunker is a 17yo recent arrival from the United States. He showed excellent versatile hockey and skating skillsets during the Junior Draft skate that did not miss the sharp eyes of our recruitment scouts.

Other trades and steals are …

  • Alex Barnes has converted to ice after 15 years of inline hockey. He will add some score board power after a successful season as the IHV Summer 2017/18 D3 League Highest Point Scorer, playing for the Blackhawks 47s.
  • Anthony Tran is another winter convert from the summer league, bringing a solid skillset and experience we can put to good use.
  • ‘Charlie’ Jiang Deping has been drafted from the Nite Owls. With a great shot, he adds terrific depth to our roster.
  • We’re delighted to announce that after representing the Braves in summer, Dallas Barnhill will be joining our winter program. Dallas is a skilful player with a high work-rate, who will be an asset to our forward line.
  • We’re also picking up Dan Peters from our summer program. A great teammate, Dan is strong on the puck, constantly improving, and is a welcome addition to our blue line.
  • The final member of our Braves summer trio is John Hawkey. Moving up the ranks quickly, John is a hardworking, tenacious winger who brings speed, energy and intensity to every contest.
  • Our rookie is Kia van der Vliet.  She is a multisport athlete and recent enthusiastic hockey convert that we feel we can help in this great game.
  • Last but not least is Mark Dempster. A former Blackhawk, Mark is an experienced defenseman that has traded to our club this season.

We are delighted to welcome these new additions to our club, and look forward to a successful season ahead.

Unforunately, every season sees players come and go, and this year we say goodbye to Jenelle Carson as she moves clubs to play with family. Jenelle played in net for the Braves and takes her considerable experience and skillset with her. She will be missed, and we wish her the best of luck at the Demons.

Summer Wrap – Round 6

Dynamos vs Kiowa (Div 1)
The Kiowa team faced off against Dynamos for its first rematch of the season on Thursday night. After beating the Dynamos 10-3 the first outing of the season the Kiowa team unfortunately lost 8-2 with the goals being scored by Chris Bridgett and Sam Birkett. Both goals where assisted by team captain Michael Killip. It was a tough game for goalie Conor O’Brien facing 30 shots for 8 goals, four of which where scored in the last period. The Kiowa teams next game young Demons team on Sunday.

Streetsharks vs Comanches (Dvi 5)
Saturday night saw the Comanches take on the Streetsharks. It was a tough game against a team of skilled players, which pushed the Comanches to fight for the puck throughout the game. Down 7-0 in the third, Damien Polgar scored a late off a great pass by Jackie Muckner, helping ruin the Streetsharks dream of an easy shutout. The Comanches may have lost 7-1, but that’s our own little victory. MVP Ryan Kaye for constantly forechecking and backchecking and giving 100% every shift, with Damien Polgar and Alan Taylor also rating a mention.

Navajos vs Demons 2 (Div 2)
Late Saturday night saw a game against the Demons and the Navajos were keen to improve on last week’s effort. From the first puck drop the Navajos were out to control the game. It took most of the first period for the Navajos hard work and persistence to get the first goal of the game scored by Mark Samwells. Shortly after the Navajos were on the power play, this paid off with a massive shot on from the point with a late tip in from Captain Dan Layton. End of the first period saw the Navajos in the lead 2-0.

Second period started with the Demons hungry to turn the game around. The Navajos were kept in the game with some massive saves from our goalie Justin Powell, including saving a penalty shot. End of the second period saw the scores all tied up at 2-2.

Period 3 saw some penalties for both teams and even though the Navajos had some great chances we just couldn’t quite put one on the score sheet. The Navajos had 17 skaters this week which allowed us to dig deep and take the fight right to the end of the third period. Even though the Navajos did not end up with the win on this occasion, 2-3 there was a lot of good things that have come out of the game, with the best team effort so far this season. The next game will be on Friday against the Jets White.

Cherokees vs Jets Black (Div 3)
Another tough round for the Cherokees this week against Jets Black. Under siege from the very first minute of the game we had a tough time keeping them out of the net in the first period. The team didn’t give in and improved defensively as the game went on, reducing their scoring chances with each period, but still couldn’t find the back of the net despite some solid chances of our own. A final scoreline of 11-0 stings but we’re keen and ready to go against the Apaches on Sunday.

Blackhawks 47s vs Apaches (Div 3)
Struggling for numbers the Apaches faced the Blackhawk 47’s. Dylan Sheppard opened the scoring early to put the Apaches up 1-0, but despite several power play opportunities, were unable to capitalise to increase the buffer. Blackhawks evened the score late first period off a point shot to even the game. An evenly matched 2nd period, with some bad bounces saw the Blackhawk take the lead 3-1. With some solid play all round in the third period, the Apaches looked like making a comeback, as Dan Griffin scored to make the score 3-2. However fatigue set in, costing the team two soft goals. The Blackhawks took the game 5-2.

Jets Spuds vs Mohicans (Div 4)
Round 6 had the Mohicans playing against the Spuds at Oakleigh, late Sunday night, going down 12 goals to 1. After a fairly disastrous first period (7 goals against), and a rallying cry from coach Leigh Crossley during the break, the Mohicans stood strong, and limited the Spuds to only 7 shots (2 goals) in the second period. The Spuds came back stronger in the third period however, scoring another 3 goals. Shout out to Jack Challis scoring a solo effort goal late in the third period to break our shutout streak, and showing the never say die attitude of the Mohicans. A big thank-you goes out to Tommi Kotvas for jumping in goals for us, playing two games in a row Sunday night.

Summer Wrap – Round 5

Comanches vs Saints 5 (Div 5)
It was a night of firsts for both sides as the Comanches went in to game 5 looking for that elusive win while the Saints were out to prove themselves after a change in divisions – punctuating that fact by scoring near the end of the first period. After a tightly contested opening half Damien Polgar scored for the Comanches, and for his first ever, evening the game at 1-1.

Sensing a potential to win, and an unwillingness to accept a tied game, Comanches came out hard in the third with Edison Tooley and first-gamer Thea Jones scoring their second and first goals respectively in the last two minutes to see the scoreboard read 4-2. First win, first goals, and there’s plenty more to come!

Ice Wolves 1 vs Kiowa (Div 1)
The Kiowa took on the Ice Wolves for the first time this season on Friday night at O’Brien Arena. This was an important match for the team to stake a claim on the Top 4 and the effort put in by all players reflected this. Unfortunately a lack of numbers on the bench meant that fatigue became a factor as the game progressed and the younger legs of the Wolves continued to push the pace.

Mike killip got the scoring started half-way through the 1st period on a feed from John Hawkey. Our defence had trouble containing opposition speedster Mikey Ting who buzzed around the rink like a mosquito and set up the Wolves’ offence. The 2nd period ended 1-4 in favour of the Wolves. Dallas Barnhill gave the Kiowa some hope when he slotted a goal early in the 3rd period after the opposition tender left the net on an ambitious passing play. Despite grabbing the momentum, the team’s gas tank was nearing empty after two and a half periods of playing with a short bench. The Wolves took advantage of their superior leg speed and scored 2 goals late in the 3rd to cement the 6-2
win.

The game was more hard-fought than the scoreline would suggest and the Kiowa will be itching for a rematch with a couple of extra numbers and a bit more match fitness. Team effort was very positive and goalie Conor O’Brien made a bunch of big saves to keep us in the contest.

Cherokees vs Champs (Div 3)
Not the Cherokees’ finest day. Maybe it was the humidity, maybe it was just one of those games where the puck won’t go your way, but we fell 5-1 to the Champs at Icy O’Briens. A great goal to Josh Facchini, and Matt Peagram stood on his head in goal, but it wasn’t enough.

Icebreakers vs Apaches (Div 3)
Early on Saturday afternoon the Apaches faced off against the Icebreakers. A short handed goal early in the first period put us up 1-0 but the Icebreakers equalised with 2 minutes left in the period. Early in the second the Icebreakers scored a messy goal from point that would secure them the win. While no goals were scored in the third period it was far from uneventful, with 6 penalties as both teams strived towards a win. An incident after the whistle also added the penalty count on both sides. A hard fought loss, as the game ended 1-2.

Chiefs vs Navajos (Div 2)
In a game against a far more experienced Chiefs, the Navajos once again started with a short bench. Having only 10 skaters the Navajos knew that they were going to be in for a challenge, and set out to minimise penalties and to score first. They took the game to the Chiefs early, neutralising the Chiefs offence and finishing the first period 0-0.

The Navajos began the second period with an early goal from Mark Samwells, taking a lead for the first time this season, however, the Chiefs quickly countered with two goals, further spurring the Navajos offence with some impressive efforts, notably Bianca Cassar’s attempt at crashing the net. Chiefs finished the second period 2-1.

By the third period the short bench had taken its toll. The chiefs scored four early goals countered by one from Brad Pyers. The final score was 6-2. The score aside, this was the Navajos best game to date, managing to frustrate the Chiefs and force them to change their style of play. The Navajos will build on this game next Saturday against the Demons 2 at OBGA.

Mohicans vs Jets Phantoms (Div 5)
Round 5 saw the Mohicans taking on Jets Phantoms at Oakleigh. Going down 0-9, it was a hard fought game – the Mohicans focused on playing a good positional game, but the Phantoms were too strong. The game wound up early, as the fog rolled in at Oakleigh, with play stopped late in the 3rd period. A shout out to Jack Challis on a amazing first game on ice coming over from roller.

Summer Wrap – Round 2

Apaches vs Makos (Div 3)
The Apaches took on the Makos in Round 2. In a tight and hard fought game, we went down 3-1. The Makos got out to an early 2-0 lead before Tim Ryan scored his first goal for the Apaches on a beautiful deflection. The Apaches threw everything at the Makos goalie in Period 3 but weren’t able to score again. The Makos scored a junk goal with seconds left to put the game on ice. It was a much more disciplined effort from the team after the penalty party in Round 1. The skating effort from all players was outstanding. Three stars went to Adrian Keen for great positional play, Tim Ryan for getting on the score sheet and Daniel Marshall for stout defence. Apaches are 0-2 after two very close losses. It doesn’t get any easier in Week 3 with a meeting the Ice Wolves who have scored 14 goals in their first two matches.

Kiowa vs Demons 1 (Div 1)
After a good first round win Kiowa looked to continue that into week two. It was quickly evident that the Demons were a younger, faster and more talented team. The first period was a hard slog that went scoreless. The Demons registered the game’s first goal midway through the second period before a great individual effort from Dan Tome (A: Chris White) making deking the goalie look easy to even up the score late in the period. Again the hard slog continued as the Braves managed to kill off two penalties, but looked to run out of legs conceding 3 goals to the Demons in the last 10 minutes of the game to go down 4-1. Connor O’Brien with another great game in the pipes facing 34 shots.

Bombs vs Mohicans (Div 3)
On Saturday afternoon the Mohicans faced the Bombs. It was a tough first period with the Bombs going 2 goals up to 0 by the first intermission. The 2nd period was just as difficult with the Bombs putting on another 3 goals to make it 5-0 at the 2nd break. The team rallied for the third period, with Sam Harrison scored a nice goal assisted by Jason Morter, whilst holding the Bombs scoreless, for a final result of of a 1-5 loss. Big thanks to Mat Peagram in net who made some huge saves. MVP was Niki Pheasant with amazing efforts every shift.

Saints 5 vs Comanches (Div 5)
Another tough day at the office for the Comanches with an even shorter bench than round one. The Comanches gave up an early goal in the first, but very quickly equalized with a great goal by Bruce Christie – the first for the Comanches team this season. Saints scored three in the second to make it 4-1 which ended up being the final result. The Comanches managed to keep their speed and pace with the Saints throughout the third and our defense kept us in the fight the whole way through even with their double and triple shifts. Special mentions to Nadya Ergorova for doubling down as a center and winger, as well as Alan Taylor and Melissa Glenwright for alternating as both an offensive and defensive skater throughout the game. The whole team gave 110% intensity through all three periods and pushed the Saints hard. Can’t be prouder of their efforts.

Wolverines vs Cherokees (Div 3)
The Cherokees took to the ice to hunt the Wolverines, a team renowned to be packed full of wheelie fast (previously inline) skaters – this was going to be tough. The Wolverines scratched together goal number 1 early in the first period, however our own Sam Barlow returned fire with a devastating wrist shot to even the playing field. The Cherokees quick goal had only riled the Wolverines. The ‘skunk bears’ (Wikipedia: “Wolverines”, 2017) became super ‘skunk bears’ and were too much for the Cherokees to handle. Although some great battles on the boards were fought, and many noteworthy shots were taken, the Wolverines defeated the Cherokees 7-1. The Cherokees will bandage their wounds and take to the ice for a practice this week before entering the wrath’s of hell to bless the Demons Friday week.

Navajos vs Saints 2 (Div 2)
Playing another Sunday night game, the Navajos squared off against the Saints at Oakleigh. Learning from their last loss they came out looking to improve their game. The first period was kept scoreless, with a rough start of the period the Navajos found themselves with more zone time and a few scoring chances. The 2nd period went much the same way, but due to the Navajos feeling sorry for the Saints let them have a few quick goals, ending the period 0-2. The third period came and went with the Saints scoring one more to end the game a 0-3 loss for the Navajos. After coming off an 1-8 loss the Navajos improved their game and are showing signs of greater things to come.