Rivalry heats up for cause: Ultimate Ice Hockey Championship in Mirrabooka

Ice hockey players John Caputo, Greg Hyde and Sam Wilson.  Picture: Robin Kornet        www.communitypix.com.au   d444230
Ice hockey players John Caputo, Greg Hyde and Sam Wilson. Picture: Robin Kornet        www.communitypix.com.au d444230

SOME of the nation’s best ice hockey players and figure skaters will combine next month for the inaugural Ultimate Ice Hockey Championship (UIHC) at Xtreme Ice Arena Mirrabooka.

Established by Harcourts Integrity owner and ice hockey player John Caputo, the UIHC will be a three-game series between the Northern Stars and Southern Suns, starting on October 17.

Mr Caputo said he launched the UIHC, with the support of Harcourts Foundation, to raise money for charity, while giving community members the opportunity to enjoy the popular and fast-paced sport of ice hockey.

Money raised from the first UIHC, sponsored by Community Newspaper Group, will go towards Teen Challenge in Warwick, which provides long-term residential treatment and rehabilitation services for young people struggling to overcome addiction.

Mr Caputo said drug awareness and rehabilitation was a priority for the community. “Drug addiction is a serious problem,” he said. “Teen Challenge also educates on drug awareness – and our kids need to be educated before they are tempted by or offered drugs.”

Mr Caputo said the UIHC would include performances by the national champion synchronised figure skating team, an individual figure skating competition, a penalty shoot-out competition and WA’s best ice hockey players going head-to- head.

“The very best of WA hockey talent will be on display, with players from both north and south squads having represented WA and Australia in national and international ice and inline hockey tournaments,” he said.

“Several players represent the Perth Thunder in the Australian Ice Hockey League and all play at the elite level.”

Mr Caputo anticipated the UIHC series would next year attract international recruit, Australian National Hockey League draftee Nathan Walker, from the Washington Capitals.