Navy put in a big effort during the Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey Association tournament in western Sydney’s Baulkham Hills over the week of 2-6 November, but to no avail.
In the two games they played they went down 6-0 to a much stronger Army team and 8-2 to Air Force.
In the game against Air Force the first period ended 0-0 with Navy strong in defence.
Early in the second period Navy showed promise with a goal by Lieutenant Commander Pat Larose (Royal Canadian Navy), but Air Force followed up quickly with a goal of their own.
Leading Seaman Electronics Technician Josh Nevermann of HMAS Stirling scored Navy’s second goal in the second period, but although they played well for the rest of the game, they were unable to break through the Air Force defence line.
Lieutenant Ben Hanson-Murphy of the Fleet Air Arm was credited with an ‘assist’.
One of the leading lights of ice hockey in the Navy, Leading Seaman Scott Tunnard, of 725 Squadron, said the game against Army was a tough one.
“They just had the numbers and the legs,” he said.
“We went down to Air Force, but it just came down to fitness again.
“We played a lot better as a unit but they had a whole extra line of experienced guys to our line of experienced guys and two lines of inexperienced guys.
“I was really happy with how the guys performed today – they did their service proud. They played much more as a cohesive team than they did against Army.”
Leading Seaman Tunnard said Able Seaman Rob Lewis, of Australia’s Federation Guard, was one of Navy’s standout players.
“He was put in defence, which is a position he doesn’t normally play, but he really shone for us,” he said.
“He’s got a really good attitude and mentality and kept his head the whole time and tried to stop the onslaught of Air Force right at the end.
“The Army players are obviously well-versed and a more drilled outfit and a lot of those guys have been playing for a long time, so it was sort of expected, but the Navy guys really did give it their all.”
Lieutenant Mark Williams, Leading Seaman Tunnard and Able Seaman Nathan Jones flew to Las Vegas on 9 November as part of the Australian Defence Force Ice Hockey Team to play in the Armed Services Hockey Association competition against service teams from Canada, the US and Europe.