Ice hockey: early viewing experience put ice in the veins of Kardinya’s Perth Thunder star Woodman


Kardinya resident Jamie Woodman is the captain of the Perth Thunder ice hockey team.
Kardinya resident Jamie Woodman is the captain of the Perth Thunder ice hockey team.

WATCHING the opening scuffle of a junior ice hockey game was all it took to hook Kardinya resident Jamie Woodman for life.

Currently playing in his fourth season in the Australian Ice Hockey League as part of the Perth Thunder, Woodman can still remember the birthday party that sparked his love for the game.

“I was eight years old and arrived early for a party at the Cockburn Ice Arena. There were a bunch of kids skating around and jumping on each and I just remember wanting to be on the ice with them so bad,” Woodman said.

Not long after, Woodman signed up for a junior clinic and began playing organised ice hockey with the Cockburn Hawks.

Having risen through the ranks of the local scene, Woodman has now established himself as a key defenceman and captain of the Thunder, who this year hope to improve on last season’s semi-final exit.

“As a team we’ve really improved over the last couple of years and made finals twice in a row,” Woodman said.

“They were both really close games too, the first year we lost by a goal to the Melbourne Ice and last season we lost in overtime to the Newcastle Northstars who went on to win the grand final.”

With Canadian-born coach Dave Ruck at the helm of the team this year, the Thunder are off to a fast start and sit second on the eight-team ladder after seven games.

“I think we have an excellent chance this year; we’ve got a few new players and we’re still making mistakes and building chemistry so it’s really encouraging to be in second place so early on,” Woodman said.

When he is not tearing up ice arenas all over the country Woodman is helping to develop the next generation of Australian ice hockey talent as a coach at Cockburn Arena, which offers a variety of clinics and programs for players of all ability.

“Ice hockey is still a relatively small sport over here so we have a really supportive close-knit community and I would definitely encourage anyone interested in giving the sport a go to come down and try it out,” Woodman said.

The Perth Thunder play their home games at the Perth Ice Arena in Malaga with their next fixture scheduled for Saturday, June 10.

For more information about the ice hockey programs on offer at the Cockburn Ice Arena visit www.cockburnicearena.com.au.

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