The Art of Going Down… To Australia to Play Hockey

by CAROLYN VENTER

Ever heard of the AIHL? Of course you haven’t. It’s the Australian Ice Hockey League. The current champions of the league are the Newcastle North Stars, and Augustana has some claim to their fame. Beau Taylor, Scott Swiston, and Connor McLaughlin all played for the league this past summer. “We rented a tent truck and drove up the east coast. We went sky diving and even ended up setting off the sprinklers and flooding the parking lot of the Sydney opera house.”

“Yeah my summer wasn’t much fun either” I offered. When I asked them how they replicated the magic of Australia in Camrose, Alberta, they stated “Well, it’s very different. Winter in Australia still gets up to 21 degrees and they play European style hockey.” They explained that the European style was a lot cleaner so I asked them if they enjoyed the violence in hockey that is more present in Canada. “Yeah, as much as people want to get rid of it, it’s part of the game,” said Beau.

“Players will take your number and get you back later” said Scott.

I will say that I went to my first hockey game in four years last Friday and ended up chanting “Now beat him with your stick!” all the while Dean Berger was only four seats away from me.

It’s the players last year at Augustana this year and upon asking them what their future plans were they stated that they wanted to play professional hockey in Europe. “What if that doesn’t work out?” I asked rudely.

“Well, I’ll probably do the big boy thing and get a job,” replied Scott. Let’s hope for these boys, and so many others at Augustana, that it doesn’t come to that.

Fun fact, both Scott and Beau’s most inspiring person is a man called Elon Musk. For those of us who aren’t business majors, he is the inventor of PayPal! So if you love hockey, violence, people who have been to Australia, and PayPal, you should come check out the ‘bromance on ice’ as I now like to refer to hockey. Beau states “We’ve played together for five years now and it would be nice to have one more championship with Augustana under our belt.”

hockey

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