Ultimate Ice Hockey Challenge: friends to become foes

Picture: Matt Jelonek
Picture: Matt Jelonek

MORLEY’S Andrew Cox and Iluka’s Dave Ruck will be rivals in the 2016 Ultimate Ice Hockey Challenge (UIHC) after playing on the same team last year.

Cox has defected from the Northern Stars to head up the Southern Suns, while Ruck will captain the Stars in this year’s three-game series that will raise money for Telethon.

“It’s always competitive, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing for,” Cox said.

“Being named captain is a huge honour and I’m just excited for the series to start.

“Being part of a game for charity makes it exciting too.”

Ruck said that at age 47, he relied on his ability to read the play on the ice.

“I like to think my influence over my teammates will help with their game too,” he said.

Cox is among 15 Perth Thunder players who were selected for the 2016 UIHC in the draft that involved each coach – Darin Bryce for the Northern Stars and Markus Frankenberger for Southern Suns – choosing one player at a time.

Ruck was assistant coach of the Thunder this year, leading them to the semi-finals.

“We made the semi-finals again this year but haven’t made it past there yet,” he said. “We’ll be out to rectify that next season.”

UIHC director John Caputo said the team lists looked very even this year, so it was anyone’s championship.

“It just keeps getting bigger and better each year,” Caputo said.