Is there ice hockey in Sydney? YES, YES, YES!

 

At the start of 2014, Harbour City Hockey creator Eric Brook would have answered no. 3 Australian Ice Hockey League seasons later, the answer is a giant YES which gets bigger every year.  

 

Fast forward to the end of 2016. Just prior to the end of 2016, the concept of Harbour City Hockey was born. Collating a lot of available information and personal experience as a newer fan, skater and developing hockey player, this website is part of a new identity for Eric and his media roles that are not specific to one team. Harbour City Hockey aims to  promote hockey in Sydney from grassroots level to the AIHL level and everywhere in between. For the first time, information will be together in the one location without needing to rely on different websites or social media networks for information. It is not always easy for new hockey fans and new hockey players to find the information they need. Sydney is so spread out that it is not uncommon for players to travel long distances to train and play with limited ice time available.

 

 

 

Traveling in the Pacific Northwest of the USA in January 2014, Eric was invited to a hockey game, watching the Portland Winterhawks in the Western Hockey League. An 8-2 win by the Winterhawks against the Moose Jaw Warriors was an excellent start to Eric’s hockey watching career. That weekend, he was inspired to watch 2 further games which included a behind the scenes look at the arena and operations of the Winterhawks.

 


Returning home to Australia at the end of February 2014, Eric was home in time for the start of the 2014 AIHL season, having found the league via Google. Being perfectly located between the two rinks where Sydney based teams were based, the first question was about who to support. With the Sydney Ice Dogs spending the first month of the regular season playing outside of Sydney, Eric was becoming a regular sight at Sydney Bears games. It was very clear early that the small hockey community was passionate about their hockey & talented about running & supporting their teams. 

 

Photo: Posing in a penalty box at Canterbury Ice Rink before a East Coast Super League game in 2014. Eric’s first Bears jersey is now living with a fan in Northern Ireland after she won it in a charity auction.

 

 

 

 

While not the original intention, Eric soon became a trusted source of game information on social media and became a writer for Hewitt Sports Network and later also wrote for the AIHL website. With a pre-arranged overseas trip in the middle of the season, Eric found out first hand how hard it could be to follow the action on the road.

 

Returning directly from the Middle East to a Sydney Bears road trip to Melbourne, Eric became a member of the Bears off-ice team concentrating on social media near the end of the 2014 season. In 2015 & 2016, Eric traveled to all Bears pre-season & regular season games, primarily for social media duties. Another pair of hands and a friendly face on the road was a bonus for the team. During this time, he was also writing match reports for the Bears website and also the AIHL website when required.

 

Photo – Clowning around in a penalty box at the then Medibank Icehouse in Melbourne prior to the 2014 AIHL Finals weekend

 

From mid 2015, Eric became a part of the Bears Hockey Radio audio commentary team at Bears home games in the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL). Starting as colour commentator (combined with social media duties), Eric’s first play by play experience was a mid season game in 2015. In mid 2016, he was flying solo, producing the coverage, commentating and interviewing. He would also provide assistance to other media & social media teams while at away games.

 

In 2017, he was the commentator for the Sydney Sirens in the Australian Womens Ice Hockey League (AWIHL) and also commentated on the competition’s Finals weekend. After missing the start of the 2017 AIHL season for personal reasons, Eric returned to broadcast several Sydney Bears & Ice Dogs games as either a play by play or colour commentator. For the 2017/2018 season, Eric is a part of a wider team who are streaming every AWIHL game from Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney. 

 

After starting to learn how to ice skate in October 2015 & learning to play ice hockey since November 2016, Eric started to play socially in June 2017 in a new beginners competition at Ice Zoo on Tuesday nights. This led to Eric becoming a writer at Grassroots Sports and his weekly Take The Number 69 column. In July 2017, Eric has started to learn how to inline skate and learn how to play inline hockey. [Read more].

 

Brief timeline:

  • January 2014 – First hockey game (spectator), Portland Winterhawks v Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL)
  • March 2014 – First Australian hockey game (spectator), Sydney Ice Dogs v Newcastle Northstars (AIHL pre-season game)
  • April 2014 – First Australian regular season hockey game (spectator), Sydney Bears v Adelaide Adrenaline (AIHL)
  • 2014 – 2015: Writer, Hewitt Sports Network
  • 2014 – 2015: Erk To The Penalty Box podcast
  • August 2014 – August 2016: Social Media Co-ordinator, Sydney Bears (AIHL)
  • 2015 – 2016: Committee Member, Sydney Bears (AIHL)
  • April 2016 – present: Commentator, various AIHL games
  • January 2017 – present: Commentator, various AWIHL games
  • June 2017: First hockey game as a player (Mascot Jets, Beerginners)
  • June 2017 – present: Writer, Grassroots Sports
  • October 2017 – First cricket commentary role (Hawkesbury v Northern Districts, Sydney grade cricket, T20)

 

DISCLAIMER: Harbour City Hockey and this website are not endorsed by any governing body, league, team, business or facility. All information is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change at short notice for various reasons which may be beyond the control of Harbour City Hockey. All information has been researched and collated from publicly available information from various sources. Photos on this site are licenced under Creative Commons unless stated and may be sourced from outside of Australia. Various logos are used for promotional purposes. Officials signals graphics used for educational purposes.

 

Page last updated 05 August 2017