Navy Tigersharks play it cool

Published on Eamon Hamilton (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Newcastle, NSW

Topic(s): Ice Hockey

LAC Samantha Smith, playing for Navy, takes on an Army player during the ADFIHA tournament in Newcastle.

 (photo: Unknown)
LAC Samantha Smith, playing for Navy, takes on an Army player during the ADFIHA tournament in Newcastle.

Navy gave their Army colleagues a tough fight, but the Army Knights clinched their third consecutive title in the recent Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey Association tournament.

Captain Matthew Doornbos said the Navy Tigersharks fielded a developing side.

“Navy was missing a few of its key stars due to deployments at sea, which led to us remaining winless throughout the carnival,” Captain Doornbos said.

“The team improved with every game, however, with the help of new goalkeeper Chief Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Pete Powell.

“The Tigersharks gave the Army Knights a run for their money in their second game, keeping them to a 5-1 scoreline, with a number of close shots just not finding their way into the back of the net,” Captain Doornbos said. 

The Knights went on to beat the Air Force Eagles in the grand final, 4-2, after Air Force had taken a 2-1 lead into the second half.

In a piece of bad luck, Flying Officer Keith Gilmour’s breakaway hit the post and bounced out. If it had found the back of the net, it would have sealed Army’s fate.

The tournament, at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium in Newcastle also included a game between an Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey side and  the Royal Navy ice hockey team.

Colonel Joel Dooley said the British were victorious after taking an early lead and holding on for a 3-2 win.

“The Royal Navy came to Australia looking for some good hockey – and they found it,” Colonel Dooley said.

“For all of the Australian Defence Force players, it was a tough week of hockey, with some playing up to 12 games in six days.

“The Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey Association competition was very well attended and truly displayed the ice hockey talent in our Army, Navy and Air Force.” 

All services were well represented at the carnival and there was a strong sense of camaraderie between the teams.