Thursday, March 31, 2016 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
The Proski Newcastle North Stars has conceded its Wilson Cup game in Penrith this Sunday to the Sydney Bears.
The Saturday Wilson Cup game at Warners Bay versus the Ice Dogs will proceed as normal. However, limited availability of on-ice officials and players due to coincidental East Coast Super League (ECSL) and Wilson Cup games across the weekend left the North Stars with a difficult decision.
The ECSL game originally planned for Sunday at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium versus the Bombers has been relocated to Penrith Ice Palace.
The automatic loss puts the North Stars in the unenviable position of being two losses down before Saturday evening's game at home - now a "must win" if they're to defend their 2015 Wilson Cup win.
Hayden Sheard and Josh Broekman are on a sabbatical break and are unavailable to play. Other Newcastle players are unavailable due to Australian team duties, sabbaticals and personal commitments.
Mathew Lindsay and Robert Malloy are currently preparing for the Australian senior men's team campaign in Mexico where they'll compete in the IIHF World Division IIB championships.
Several junior players are making strong cases for inclusion in the 2016 AIHL team, including ex-AIHL player Tim Stanger, Michael Slee, Sam Lammert and Josh Hansen.