Thursday, April 6, 2017 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
Joseph Harcharik knows all about the AIHL, he’s been here before.
Returning to the AIHL but this time for the Proski Newcastle Northstars, Harcharik has big plans to go a few steps further than he did in 2015 and win a third consecutive championship with his new teammates.
In a Q and A with Newcastle coach Andrew Petrie who describes him as ‘passionate, constantly improving and has a love of the game’, Harcharik outlined his interest in hockey, the AIHL and in playing for the Northstars.
“What attracts me about the Northstars is how successful they are - the history they have of winning," he said.
“They were always one of the toughest teams to play as they are extremely well coached and I've heard nothing but great things from other imports who have played there before me.”
Currently scoring at a steady pace in the hottest team in the SPHL (the Fayetteville Fireants), Harcharik’s form is at least as good when he placed sixth amongst all players in the AIHL when playing for the Sydney Bears, with 27 goals and 25 assists in his 28 games.
The American from Des Moines, Iowa started with street hockey.
“I first got into hockey when I saw my neighbors playing street hockey," he said.
"It looked like a lot of fun at the time and I wanted to try it. Next thing you know I'm rollerblading up and down the street and playing in the street games.
"I finally made the switch to ice hockey around age 11. It took a lot of convincing from my dad to have me try it but it certainly paid off.”
At 183cm (6’0”) and 83kg, Harcharik is a skilled player who likes to control the pace of the game, and is comfortable on either the wing or at centre.
Harcharik's previous experience has him excited to return for more of Australia and its hockey.
“I’ve come to Australia for the past three summers," he said.
"I fell in love with the country the first time I came down to visit and have continued to come back ever since.
"It’s truly paradise down here and it’s just an amazing place to be.
“I want to scuba or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef and I would love to go cliff jumping and raise that trophy at the end of the season.
“I’m looking forward to spending another summer in paradise and helping the Northstars capture a third title.”