Bears battle Ice Dogs in Sydney Derby

April 06, 2024

Bears battle Ice Dogs in Sydney Derby

The Bears will battle the Ice Dogs today at Macquarie to kick off each team's Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) campaign.

Bob Turner, the league's new Director of Commercials, will be in attendance at the game, along with several special guests, including new patron of the league, Mick McCormack, and NSW Minister for Sport, The Hon Steve Kamper MP.

Both the Bears and Ice Dogs have made significant changes to their rosters, and the Bears have a new Head Coach, Tyler Huberty, following the departure of Ron Kuprowsky.

Earlier today the Bears released the team list for today's game.

A few things jump out from the roster. First, Dane Brumm returns to the crease. It will be the first start in the AIHL from Brumm since the first month of last season, where he went 3-0-0 with a 2.67 GAA and .893 save percentage.

Adam Kadlec was announced as an import earlier this week, and the big forward arrived in Sydney earlier this morning and will shake off the jetlag straight away.

Fans will also get the first chance to see Finnish import Samuli Vainionpää who joins the club from the Mestis League in Finland.

New additions Eugene Ju, Jake Riley, Joseph Braun, Brody Lindal, Mac Tutton, and Tyrone Oxlade all get their first opportunities to don the Bears' jersey.

It's also the first opportunity for fans to see the team under new bench boss Tyler Huberty.

"I'm looking forward to it, it should be fun," Huberty said. "I'm looking forward to seeing the style of play in this league - that's going to be interesting.

"I feel like I'm going to learn a lot today, and learn a lot about our team for sure. That's the most exciting thing for me, to see where we need to go from here."

The Bears announced that all online tickets have been sold out for the match, and there are limited tickets available at the door. However, there will be a watch party at The Ranch Hotel for fans to gather and enjoy the home opener with their fellow Bears fans.

"It's going to be really fun to play in front of that atmosphere," Huberty continued. "I'm expecting the team to come out really hard with that crowd.

"Being the first game, it's tough to know what to expect from the Ice Dogs. We know what they look like on paper, and we're taking that into our account in our pre-game, and we'll go from there."

Huberty noted that there would be a need for a lot of in-game adjustments to counter the opponent's strategy and to exploit weaknesses observed during the contest.

What can fans expect in the season opener? Huberty answers, "If everyone shows up and does their job, I think we'll have a successful day."

The goal is likewise simple. "To go 1-0. We need to beat the Ice Dogs, we need to get a good start. It's the sole focus and mission for today", Huberty concluded.

Article by Gordon Goodenough


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