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In the summer of 2007 two hockey buddies from Canada playing minor pro hockey got the bright idea to get their summer vacation paid for by travelling to Australia. The kicker, they were playing hockey in a coastal town north of Sydney. Every (Canadian) summer, the Australia Ice Hockey League (Hockey Australia) imports a few Canucks to boost their roster and try to win the coveted “Goodall Cup“. While the pay is nothing to write home about it sets players up for an awesome summer with time to travel around the country, hit the beautiful Australian beaches and maybe even kick back in Thailand on the way home.
Don’t worry you won’t be playing against these jokers
The Australian Ice Hockey Federation, also known as Ice Hockey Australia (IHA), is the official national governing body of ice hockey in Australia and is a member of the International Ice Hockey Federation. Surprisingly, it was first established in 1908, making it one of the oldest national ice hockey associations in the world.
The IHA also governs the eight-team, semi-professional AIHL. The AIHL, like most leagues, has an import player rule. You can read the Import Rules in detail here but in short, each team is only allowed 6 imports per team and only 4 can play in any one game.
The AIHL has attracted players like Chris Martin from the OHL and Mark Wires from the NCAA and East Coast Hockey League.
While the quality of the hockey was hard to compare to North American leauges both Chris and Mark were surprised at the level of play and the grit of the Aussies.