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AIHA Head Coach Position Announcement

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Dear Members,

We are writing to inform you about the process that AIHA will be shortly undertaking to select a new Head Coach for the club.

As many of you are aware, our Head Coach Csaba Kercso-Magos recently finished his time with AIHA after giving over 10 years to the club and New Zealand ice hockey, and it will no doubt be a big job to fill his shoes! We are grateful for all that Csaba gave to AIHA and wish him and his fiancée all the best for the future.

We are looking within New Zealand and around the world to recruit a new Head Coach that will achieve the goals and deliver the positive results the position demands. We are in no rush to fill this position as we want to make sure we get the right person that fits the Club’s culture and requirements. New Zealand is a great country and is appealing to a lot of overseas talent and this opportunity has given us a unique chance to see who is out there.

Where to from here?

In the meantime, AJ Spiller will step into a General Manager role and Justin Daigle will assist as interim Head Coach to look after the day to day running of the Club. Both AJ and Justin have had a long association with AIHA and many of you will be familiar with them.

For those of you who don’t know AJ or Justin, here is a brief overview of their experience and contributions to AIHA:

AJ Spiller:

After an impressive Junior A career in Manitoba, Canada, picking up multiple league championships and time spent as an assistant coach to multiple AAA and Junior A teams, AJ moved to New Zealand in 2015 and is currently in his fourth season with the West Auckland Admirals. AJ Has also been the Assistant Coach for the New Zealand U20 team for the past two seasons and is currently coaching the AIHA U15 Representative team.

 

 

Justin Daigle:

Justin’s impressive ice hockey career to date has seen him play in Midget AAA, AJHL, NCAA and Senior AAA divisions in his home of Canada, picking up many awards and championships along the way. In 2014 Justin played his first season in New Zealand with the West Auckland Admirals and was later named captain of the team in 2015 and maintains that honour today. At just 16, Justin began his coaching career and has coached teams across many leagues and age groups since. In New Zealand, Justin was Camorra Hockey School’s lead instructor for four years and more recently has assisted with the national U20 men’s team as Head Coach.

 

Selection Process:

The selection process for the new Head Coach will take place as follows:

  • Advertise for applicants for a period of three months
  • Short list created by AIHA Board sub-committee
  • Interview panel from AIHA Board members to select preferred applicant
  • AIHA Board approve selection and contract is offered

Our hope is to have the role filled by early to mid to next year.

More information about this process and application information will be made available in the coming weeks.

If you have any questions about the selection process or anything else relating to the Head Coach position, please contact Cam Stephens, Director of Ice Hockey via email: info@aiha.org.nz

 

Kind Regards,

Auckland Ice Hockey Association

 

 

 

Former Aucklander Ryan Martinoli’s Success in Switzerland’s Elite Hockey

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Former Auckland player Ryan Martinoli has experienced first hand what hard work and determination can achieve, now playing in an Elite Junior A team in Switzerland. Ryan provided a snippet of his experience to date, in the story below.

Kia Ora, Gruezi and Hallo,

My name is Ryan Martinoli im 18 years of age. I am a Kiwi kid from Auckland, some of you might remember me from the Paradice Ice rinks in Botany and Avondale. I am currently playing in Europe, Switzerland, at an Elite level of Hockey, for the EHC Kloten Flyers, Elite A Junior Team (U20). The junior team from the pro Team in Kloten.

After one season in the PSHF League in Canada, playing for the Ontario Hockey Academy (OHA), I was offered a great chance here in Switzerland. The Elite A Junior league is one of Europe’s best junior league and is a good pathway to a pro contract.

You might know some of the Swiss NHL players, like Nashville Captain Roman Josi, NHL first over all pick Nico Hirschier, Nino Niderreiter, Fiala etc.. They all played for one of the Elite A clubs in Switzerland, before going overseas or becoming pro.

This is a quick review of my season here in Switzerland giving you an insight to how it is to be playing and competing at an elite level of hockey overseas.

At the start of the 2018/2019 season, we are in the northern Hemisphere, so everything is upside down, winter, summer etc. to New Zealand, we started with pre-season Summer practice in May.

In Summer practice we had training every day for 2-3 hours. In the gym, doing weights, on the running track training our endurance and foot speed. I definitely didn’t enjoy the endurance and foot speed training, but as we all know not everything we practice is fun and enjoyable. A very, very important part to becoming a pro hockey player is to be as complete as an individual player as possible.

So, after biting through 2 months of hard work it was finally time for the pre-season games against 8 teams from Switzerland.

One of our opponents was SC BERN. In Bern we got to play in one of the biggest Arenas, outside the NHL,  the Postfinance Arena, capcity 17,031 . Of course it was empty, but very impressive, never the less. And motivating. How must it feel, playing in front of a packed arena?

I must say, pre-season games are very special. You get switched through all the lines, playing a different  role in every line and in each game. Winning 6 out of the 8 games and tallying a total of 11 points, I was very happy with my performance.

As the season started, I found myself in the farm team at EHC Bülach (Elite B league). Not sure why or how, I was definitely disappointed. But instead of keeping my head down, I decided to make the most out of the situation I was in. I focused on working even harder on all the things that the coach wanted me to improve. The two things he wanted to see, were my skating speed and that I take more responsibility on the Ice.

So that was exactly what I focused my work on for the next weeks.

Game 1 with the Farm Team.

By the time game one came around, I had not had one training with the team, as I finished the whole pre-season with Kloten. It was a bit weird at the beginning. I had never talked, met, let alone played with any of these guys.  So, yes, you could say I was nervous at the start. I definitely had to show to the Kloten Coach, that I was working on what he wanted me to improve and that I will show it in the games, right away. So he would take me up into the A Team again.

We won the first game 5-3 against HC Thurgau Tigers. Unfortunately I only managed one point. But things were looking good for the next couple of games ahead.

Playing in the first line and all special units, I was definitely getting a lot of ice time, approximately 30-35 mins in the first game. The ice time did not change for the whole time I was playing in Buelach.

In total I had 13 games and 21 points, of which only 13 got officially given to me.

In the mean time Kloten had a great start to the season as they had 8 victories in a row.

But all good things don’t last for ever and things did change. They then went on a 11 game losing streak.

That’s when I got the call up.

I was super excited to have finally gotten the chance to be able to make my mark in the first team.  And that’s was exactly what I did. From then on, till the play off’s,  I had a total of 34 games for Kloten. Getting a total of 17 points of which, again, only 13 were given to my name.

I played in the 3rd line with players like Elia Schmid (current Swiss U18 National Team) and Lenart Markun (Slovenian U18 and U20 National Team player) We had a great understanding and went on to produce a total of 54 points together.

 

After a few up’s and down’s, we finished the regular season on the 7th spot out of 12 teams. We clinched the playoffs by a thread.

In Switzerland, the top 8 teams make the playoffs and the last 4 go to play in the playoffs.

1st vs. 8th, 2nd vs. 7th and so on. Which meant we would play SC Bern in the 1/4 finals. An interesting, difficult, but not impossible task lay ahead of us.

Some times during the season there are breaks, which means a weekends with no games in the league. Those weekends are mostly spend training or competing at tournaments. During one of those breaks, we got an invitation by Jung Adler Mannheim (the best Junior Academy Team in Germany), to go and compete in the international Tournament they were hosting.

With teams such as Sparta Prague and Shattuck St. Mary (the same high school Crosby, Toews and many other big NHL players played for) were attending.

As we arrived in Mannheim, in the morning, we headed straight to the ice rink, the SAP Arena (15,000). Game 1 was against the home side Mannheim. Mannheim is a very respected team in German Ice Hockey, as well on the international stage. Despite us being the underdogs we beat them 5:3.

On the next day we played The American representatives Shattuck.

We believed that we stood a good chance of beating them as our morals were high from last nights victory. And as predicted we bet Shattuck 4:2.

We were on first place and “only” had  Sparta to beat. Sparta Prague juniors, the junior team from the famous Sparta Team from the Czech Capital.  Out of the 4 teams Prague was predicted the weakest team but was definitely a team to look out for as they did beat home team Mannheim on day 2.

So it was a clash for first and second place.

We did pull through the better team, winning with a solid 8:3 score line. That meant, we won the tournament and that had us all super stoked. The trip home was fun.

After the tournament we had a 4 day break, before going into the playoffs.

Bern was a great team and very difficult to play against as they were the most efficient team in the whole league, after the pre-season.

We got a taste of that straight away. In the first game we got thrashed 5:1.  Despite having more than 3 times the amount of shots on goal then Bern.

So we were behind 1-0 in the best of 5 series.

During this weeks practice, leading into the 2nd game, we did a lot of video reviews and analysis.

Practices were short and not very hard but super detailed and very precise to game like situations.

In the second game, at home, we did an amazing job but unfortunately lost 4:3 in the 2nd OT.

Gutted but yet heading into game 3 with a good feeling, we took the bull by the horns and bet Bern 3:2 on their home ice. So now it was a 2-1 series and we felt we were back in the Series.

The next game would be a make it or break it type of situation and you definitely could feel it, as the 4th game went on. Emotions were extremely high on both teams even the Coaches got a bit out of hand at one stage, having a real go at each other.

We gave our best, but unfortunately didn’t make the cut, losing 3:4 in OT, again, we got knocked out.

With that ending our season short, was a massive let down and hard to swallow. Hard to believe, but we could not be too hard on ourselves. Being the youngest team in the league and taking the second best team to game 4, we do believe we left it all out there. What was reassuring to know was that any of the 3 games that went to OT could have gone in our favour, but it just wasn’t meant to be, which still sucks but unfortunately is reality.

After the playoffs we had to play 3 more ranking games, which really did not matter much. The Coach already started bringing new, young players up, to give them some exposure to the Elite level.

After the last season game we still had 3 weeks of practice where we already started getting ready for the new season on and off the ice.

By the way, Buelach made it into the Elite B Finals, where they unfortunately lost.

In this Season I played a total of 65 games, including pre-Season and tournaments. I had training or games 6 out of 7 days, sometimes 2 trainings a day. On top of that I use the gym 3 to 4 times a week, to work on my core strength etc.

I need to mention, that during all of this season, I had to work part time. In the mornings, to support myself, financially. At this stage a lot of things, like travelling with the Team, some equipment and foods and drinks, during practice and games are free for the Team but the Club does not pay the Elite players.

A very big thank you to my very understanding employer and my Grandma, who looks after me so lovingly.

For next year I am supposedly planned to play a bigger role in the team. Maybe even getting my debut in the Men’s Pro team at EHC Bülach in the Mysports league (EHC Bülach seniors is the farm team from EHC Klotens NLB men’s pro team) so that is very exciting and I am really looking forward to the upcoming season. But before any of that happens I’ll have to work myself through each and everyday off summer practice and what ever else comes my way, on my path to becoming a pro Ice Hockey player. I am still chasing my dream, more than ever.

After all, I can say, I had my set backs, struggles and hard times in this crazy year. I also learnt a lot. Going from a player being sent down to the farm team, then becoming a first team player, then playing the playoffs in the 3rd line and even playing on the pp and pk.

The most important thing that I learnt this year is to always give it your best no matter what!  Never Ever give up – as you never know what can happen next.

I would also like to say a massive Thank You to my family in New Zealand, the Coaches in Auckland  and everyone in New Zealand Ice Hockey. Without your support over the past years I would not be able to chase my dream.

To all the young Kiwi kids playing hockey back home,

Work hard, keep your head up and chase your dreams.

Stick at it and give it your best shot.

In the end of the day you never know whats gonna happen in the future.

 

All the best to you all,

Ryan Martinoli

Farewell Event for Head Coach Csaba Kercso-Magos

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Dear Parents & Players,

In celebration of our departing Head Coach, Csaba Kercso-Magos, we invite all AIHA members to attend a farewell event this Saturday 15th June at Paradice Avondale. Everyone is welcome, whether you are a player, parent, friend or family member or just love watching ice hockey!

Come and say goodbye to Csaba as we celebrate his time serving the AIHA community with a free ice skate, a group photo on the ice, free drink on entry*, and a free AIHA All Star game, made up of our top representative and local NZIHL players.

Event Schedule – Saturday 15th June at Paradice Avondale:

  • 3:30pm – Doors open / arrive
  • 4:15pm – Free ice skate for all who turn up
  • 4:50pm – Group photo on the ice with Csaba
  • 5:00pm – 7:15pm – AIHA All Star game

If you play in an AIHA club team, we ask that you bring your club team jersey with you and wear it for the group photo to help make it special. The group photo will be framed and given to Csaba as a farewell gift.

RSVP:
The first 150 people to RSVP will receive a voucher for a free beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverage.

*Upon entry, you will receive a voucher for a free beer, wine or non-alcoholic beverage. In order to receive a free drink voucher, you must have been one of the first 150 people to RSVP. Those who do not RSVP will not receive a free drink.

Complete your RSVP here:  https://forms.gle/yTmnayszGmaAQmhu8

 

Free ice skate:
This is an ice skate only, free for all members and their family – no ice hockey activities will take place. Bring your own skates if you have them or hire them for an additional cost from Paradice.

Group Photo:
We welcome all members to step on to the ice for a large group photo with Csaba in the middle. If you have a club team jersey, bring it with you to represent your team in the photo!

AIHA All Star Game:
We will be running a free AIHA All Star game with two teams made up of our top junior and representative players and some of our local NZIHL players.

Scheduling Conflict:
Unfortunately this event conflicts with some AHL games held at Botany. We did not know that this farewell event for Csaba would be necessary when the ice schedule was planned at the start of the year and due to limited ice time availability, we are unable to re-schedule the conflicting games. Everyone is welcome to attend as much or as little of the event as they can, and you can turn up any time, so feel free to come before or after your AHL game.

If you have any questions, please email info@aiha.org.nz

We look forward to having you join with us in celebrating Csaba’s time with AIHA!

Term 2 School Holiday Programme Details

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Following the success of and great feedback from our Term 1 programme, we will be running a Term 2 School Holiday ice hockey programme for both under 12 year olds and Bantam/Junior League players. Read below to find out more information and how to register.

Under 12 Years Old Holiday Programme

Dates: Monday 8th, Tuesday 9th, Wednesday 10th July.
Location: Avondale

Day Format:
7:45am – 8:45am – On ice skills session
8:45am – 9:15am – Breakfast break
9:15am – 10:00am – Off ice stick handling skills
10:15am – 11:30am – Hang out and activities at Olympic Park
11:30am – 2:00pm – Supervised public session skate

Programme ends at 2:00pm – parents must pick up kids between 2:00pm and 2:30pm

Cost:
$45.00 Per Day – Payment due on the day (no pre-payment necessary)
Food and drink is not included, so players will have to supply this themselves.

Register Here: https://goo.gl/forms/iERKn6VghOLDMSfz2

 

Bantam & Junior League Holiday Camp

Dates: Tuesday 16th, Wednesday 17th, Thursday 18th July
Location: Avondale

Day Format:
7:45am – 8:45am – On ice skills session
8:45am – 9:15am – Breakfast break
9:15am – 10:00am – Off ice stickhandling skills
10:15am – 11:15am – Video review session
11:30am – 12:30pm – Cross ice games
1:00pm – 2:00pm – Gym session at The People’s Gym
2:00pm – Return to Paradice Avondale

Parents must pick up kids by 2:30pm at the Paradice Avondale rink.

Cost:
$55.00 Per Day – Payment due on the day (no pre-payment necessary)
Food and drink is not included, so players will have to supply this themselves.

Register Here: https://goo.gl/forms/X187aLKtxKKZYl2t2

Questions/More Information:

If you have any questions about the school holiday programme, contact us via email: info@aiha.org.nz

Lake Tekapo Winter Classic Tournament July 2019

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Dear Players,

If you ever wanted a unique Kiwi outdoor hockey tournament experience here is a great option.

Open only to those aged 35 and over, this tournament will have you playing 2 games a day over 4 days on the Lake Tekapo outdoor ice rink.

For more information & to register a yourself or a team, download the brochure here: Winter Classic Brochure

Kind Regards,
Auckland Ice Hockey Association

Monday Night C-League & New Player Training Sessions

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Dear Players,

We are trialling the introduction of a C League & Adult only Learn to Play training Programme, to be held on Mondays 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Avondale, starting Monday 27th May Any C League player or goalie, or newcomer to ice hockey is able to attend.

The classes are for C-League and new adult players only and are designed to teach and reinforce the basics of ice hockey, with a combination of drills and on-ice activities. The sessions include coaching staff on the ice and will be targeted to the skill levels of the people who arrive on the night.

If you are after more ice time, want to develop your ice hockey skills or know of someone who wants an easy way to learn the game, make sure you come along.

Initially, these classes will be held as a trial and if there is enough interest, this may become a regular and ongoing programme.

The cost to attend is $15 per player, per session and you can simply pay with cash or EFTPOS at the door.

Key Details:
Where: Paradice Avondale
When: Monday Nights during the school term, on ice 5:30pm – 6:30pm.
How much: $15 per person
Who: Any C-League or new player/goalie

Please note there won’t be a session held on Monday 3rd June due to Queen’s Birthday weekend.

We look forward to seeing you on the ice.

Regards,
Auckland Ice Hockey Association

Learn to Play Ice Hockey

Don’t Forget – Monday Night Learn to Play Hockey is On!

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We are proud to have expanded our Learn to Play programme to now also take place on Monday nights 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Avondale weekly during the school term!

The Monday night sessions follow the same format as our regular Wednesday and Thursday night programmes, with on ice activities running from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Simply bring along your concession card or pay cash at the door.

All players are welcome to attend the Monday night sessions, and you are still able to take part in the Wednesday and/or Thursday night Learn to Play sessions too – feel free to come along to as few or as many sessions as you like each week!

The Wednesday night at Avondale and Thursday night at Botany Learn to Play sessions will still be taking place as normal.

The next session takes place on Monday 20th May – we hope to see you there!

AIHA Says Farewell to Head Coach Csaba

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Dear members,

It is with happiness for our head coach Csaba, and sadness for us, that we are writing to inform you that after many years of wonderful service to Auckland Ice Hockey and New Zealand Ice Hockey, Csaba Kercso-Magos will be resigning from his position as Head Coach with the AIHA and moving to the Netherlands to be with his fiancée.

We have been very fortunate to have had the services of Csaba for so many years, and we wish him all the best on his next adventure, wherever it may take him.

Csaba’s last day will be the 1st of July 2019 and we look forward to celebrating Csaba’s achievements, hard work and dedication to the ice hockey community with you all over the coming weeks.

Csaba will be missed but he has given us so much and we as a club look forward to continuing his work to date developing and growing this wonderful sport of ice hockey.

Bantam & Junior League Sunday Practice Dates

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The combined Bantam & Junior League Sunday morning practices begin this week at Botany, 8:15am – 9:45am on ice.

The regular Tuesday and Thursday night practice sessions will still be happening as normal. Players are encouraged to attend as many practice sessions as possible.

Sunday practices will alternate between Botany & Avondale with on ice times as follows:

Sunday 5th May: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 12th May: Avondale – 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 19th May: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 26th May: Avondale 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 16th June: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 23rd June: Avondale 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 30th June: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 7th July: Avondale 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 28th July: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 4th August: Avondale 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 11th August: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am
Sunday 1st September: Avondale 8:45am – 10:15am
Sunday 8th September: Botany – 8:15am – 9:45am

Introducing Learn to Play Monday Nights

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We are proud to be expanding our Learn to Play programme to now also take place on Monday nights 5:30pm – 6:30pm at Avondale during the school term!

The first Monday night Learn to Play session will take place on Monday 29th April 2019 at Avondale and carry on weekly. The Monday night sessions will follow the same format as our regular Wednesday and Thursday night programmes, with on ice activities running from 5:30pm – 6:30pm. Simply bring along your concession card or pay cash at the door.

All players are welcome to attend the Monday night sessions, and you are still able to take part in the Wednesday and/or Thursday night Learn to Play sessions too – feel free to come along to as few or as many sessions as you like each week!

The Wednesday night at Avondale and Thursday night at Botany Learn to Play sessions will still be taking place as normal.

See you on the ice!