FORMER professional ice hockey player Daniel Goransson (29), from Sweden, will be among the best in the nation to compete in the inaugural Ultimate Ice Hockey Championships (UIHC) this month in 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.
Money raised from the first UIHC will go towards Teen Challenge in Warwick, which provides long-term residential treatment and rehabilitation services for young people struggling to overcome addiction.
Northern Stars player Goransson, who started playing ice hockey when he was 5, said the UIHC would bring people together while supporting the local community and the growing ice hockey community in Perth.
“It seems like Australians love their physical sports and every Aussie person I have spoken to says they love the physical aspects of hockey,” he said.
“Also, being one of the, if not the, fastest sport on earth the hits can be hard, the moves fancy and the game is never boring since the rink is so small and the play goes back and forth all the time.
“Ice hockey is definitely a spectator sport. I am confident that any person who likes AFL or rugby will fancy ice hockey as well.”
The physicality of the sport took a tole on Goransson, of Joondalup, with a few major injuries, the worst being a slap shot to the ankle ending his professional ice hockey career with the Hammarby IF in Sweden when he was 22.
After moving to Australia and having not been on the ice for seven years, Goransson was encouraged to return to the rink for Perth’s Super League in August.
“It is a struggle to get back, I’ll tell you that much. No cardio in the world can prepare you for skating up and down the ice,” he said.