1996 National Womens Ice Hockey Championship and
Australia vs. USA Selects Exhibition Game Results

Report from Terry Jones

Much thanks to Terry Jones (tjones@tradecentre.com.au), who is the National Womens Development Director for the Australian Ice Hockey Federation, for sending the results and photos from the 1996 championship!

The newly enlarged Canterbury Olympic ice rink in Sydney was the scene for the 1996 Womens Championships. Teams from the Australian Capital Territory- ACT, New South Wales - NSW (defending champions), South Australia - SA and Western Australia - WA contested the event. The round robin series was a close fought affair with favourites NSW held to a 3 all draw by the ACT in their game. The NSW team proved too strong in the grand final and went on to win their 2nd consecutive title.

The championships will also be remembered for the series of exhibition games between a visiting select team from Assabet in the USA and an Australian National Team. Although outclassed the Australian girls played with great heart and showed that with ongoing development and broader experience they will make their mark in the 'expanded' World Championships proposed for 1999.

The tournament looked in jeopardy when Queensland were forced to withdraw as hosts, but the rescue package put together by the NSWIHA proved up to the task and provided another successful showcase of women's ice hockey in this country. The costs of staging this type of event is high due to ice rental and support activities (program costs, awards, officials etc.), however, the long term benefits to the sport are of greater overall importance. The standard of play was much improved over the previous year and all present agreed that the grand final was one of the most exciting games witnessed in recent memory.

It was great to see South Australia contesting the event for the first time. The team will be a force to be reckoned with in the future - their key strength being the depth of young developing players. The team from WA were somewhat depleted this year, but have sworn to return with a vengeance to the 1997 series. ACT were worthy runners-up, and showed the advantage of playing together as a team in the NSW League. Next year the Australian Ice Hockey Federation hopes to see teams from Queensland and Victoria compliment the existing sides and ensure that every state is represented in this important growth area.

Team Results

  1. New South Wales (NSW)
  2. Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
  3. South Australia (SA)
  4. Western Australia (WA)

Individual Awards

  1st All Star Line
    Stephanle Wheaten ACT
    Ellen Jones NSW
    Mellssa Rulli NSW
    Wendy Overton NSW
    Tina Morgan NSW
    Delphine de Mulder  NSW

  2nd All Star Line
    Candice Mitchell SA
    Melanie Singh ACT
    Esra Dogramau NSW
    Amanda Fenton SA
    Kylie Pedler WA
    Rebecca Jalleh SA


The event was a great success, and helped to focus and rejuvenate the energies of both players and administrators. An informal meeting of state co-ordinators was held on the Saturday afternoon of the tournament and new initiatives with regard to membership recruiting and programmes for player development were discussed and actioned.

The involvement of Heather Linstad - coach from Northeastern University (who was visiting with the Assabet Team) in the AIHF Elite Skills and Development Camp was one of the highlights of the events leading up to the tournament and exhibition series. Heather acted as Head Coach and provided the players with one of the most memorable camps they have ever attended. Her enthusiasm and good humour were very much appreciated by the players and Australian Ice Hockey administrators, who would like to see her back in the near future (her US commitments permitting)

Photos from the Championship

Report from Melissa Rulli

Much thanks to Melissa Rulli (melissa@ar.com.au), who played for Team Australia and the New South Wales team that won the National championship, for providing the following information!

Between 18-23rd August 1996 all female hockey players selected to play for Australia took part in a 4 day intense Elite camp. This Camp involved on-ice instruction (by Coach Heather Linstad of Northeastern University in Boston, MA) 4 hours per day, Video Analyses, Lecture by certain people involved in Ice Hockey in Australia, for example the Australian Referee in Chief (Jeff Scott), Drill analyses, and the keeping of a log book by all players at the camp.

Between 23-27th August 1996, Team Australia played an American select team from the Assabet Valley programme in Boston, MA. Australia Lost on all four occasions to Assabet, but it was the experience which was a gigantic win for Team Australia. (Most Girls from the Assabet team are expected to make the USA national team in their age group category.)

Between 24-28th August 1996, the Joan Mckowen Memorial Trophy was held in Sydney, NSW (National Women's Championship). 4 State teams took part, including New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, and Canberra. Team NSW won the Trophy in a close final against Canberra; the score was 5-3.

Report from Bob Hudson

Much thanks to Bob Hudson ( bhudson@extro.ucc.su.oz.au) for providing the following schedule information for the 1996 Australian Women's National Hockey Championship (Joan Mckowen Memorial Trophy)!

On August 21st, 1996, the 3rd Women's National Championship commenced in Sydney. Four states of Australia competed. These states competed for the Joan Mckowen Memorial Trophy at the Canterbury Ice Rink, Sydney, NSW. There were also a series of exhibition games between Australia and a visiting US team from Assabet Valley, Massachusetts.

Wed Aug 21, 1996

8.00 pm Opening ceremony ; Australia vs USA.

Thu Aug 22, 1996

7.35 am New South Wales vs Australian Capital Territory.
9.10 am South Australia vs Western Australia.
10.45 am USA (Assabet) vs Australia
3.35 pm Australian Capital Territory vs South Australia.
5.45 pm New South Wales vs Western Australia.

Fri Aug 23, 1996

6.00 am New South Wales vs South Australia.
7.35 am Australian Capital Territory vs Western Australia.
9.10 am Australia vs USA (Assabet)

Sat Aug 24, 1996

12.40 pm Australia vs USA (Assabet)

Sun Aug 25, 1996

7.00 am First semifinal (1 vs 4 on ladder)
9.05 am Second semifinal (2 vs 3 on ladder)
3.30 pm Grand Final (NSW 5 vs Canberra 3)

There was an extra exhibition match, New South Wales vs USA (Assabet Valley), at 8pm on Monday 26 August, which was played at the Blacktown Ice Rink.

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