The Faculty of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences’ (EMS) Campus Services Manager, Paul McCann recently visited the Winter Palace of Sport, in Sofia, Bulgaria this month. His role as Australian Team Leader includes supervision of all team staff and logistics, as well as a Championship official role, the Australian Delegate to the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Tournament Directorate. This comprises a delegate from each national Men’s Under 20 team from Australia, China, Israel, Iceland, New Zealand and the host nation Bulgaria, with the IIHF organising staff to oversee and adjudicate the tournament.
In Sofia, the Australian Team is seen on the right in the warm up for the fifth tournament game, which was an all-important last game decider, versus China. Although the Australians played their best game of the Championship, the Chinese were too good this time, winning 6 goals to 4 in a tight and see-sawing game. As the six teams were evenly matched in their win-loss results, this loss was enough push Australia from second place to fifth in the final standings.
“Without doubt, several of the young Australians were amongst the best players in the tournament, and the team performed well over all. Unfortunately, a few too many minutes in the penalty bin at crucial times tipped the balance against us in a couple of game,” said Paul. “Nevertheless, it is a young team brought together for the first time, and the future looks promising”.
“It (the championship location) was, not surprisingly, very cold with lots of snow everywhere outside. Sofia is a very pretty ancient city. Its Roman name was Serdika and it was already established when conquered 2000 years ago. Seems Crawley has some way to go!” Said Paul.
Ice hockey has been officially played in Australia for over 110 years. It is played in every state, while in Perth there are three rinks, and over 650 regular winter players.
Lauren Humfrey (UWA Faculty of Engineering Mathematical Sciences) (+61 8) 6488 2260