The story of the first century of Australian ice hockey, from its foundations at the turn of last century, to the Australian Ice Hockey League.

Articles are ordered chronologically and grouped in several time periods via tabs. To see all titles, be sure to choose all tabs. Titles shown in grey are not yet available on this latest version of the website. See the Articles section of the old Legends website.

A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: a hitchiker's guide to the fallaciesWhen this website started, there was no-one living who had grown up in the foundation years of the game. No digitized newspaper collections online, just the hard copy at the libraries. And no history to speak of, apart from a battle weary, yellowed story titled the "History of the Goodall Cup". Even that was abridged and revised beyond recognition over decades, as evidenced by the multiple versions of the original we hold. Far removed from definitive, it was like passing the Big Bad Wolf off as the history of fairy tales...
THE DRIEST CONTINENT: Historical OverviewIt wasn't for the glory that followed. Nor even for the money. For the English-born son of a prominent Melbourne clergyman and Shakespearean scholar, it was more the challenge of engineering the first ice arenas in the driest continent on earth. Refrigeration was one of the great engineering achievements of the 19th century, and that was nowhere more heartfelt than in the Australian climate. As it happened, Melbourne was already at the forefront of ice technology. It had been pioneered nearby at Geelong and, typical of Australian priorities, it was soon commercialised to cool large quantities of beer.
NAPOLEON'S GHOST: Adelaide Glaciarium "A throne is only a bench covered with velvet," Bonaparte once said, and that was exactly how we watched Australia's very first ice sports.
THE CRADLE OF NATIONAL ICE SPORTS: Melbourne GlaciariumIt was the longest operating rink of the original indoor rink era in Australia, perhaps the world. Then, vacant and unused, the building was destroyed by fire on Good Friday, 1963, and this time it did not rise from its ashes. It was the cradle of National ice sports, a major building of National significance, and its spirit lives on.
GENESIS: THE FIRST GAMES Australia's first ice hockey games were an international exchange of goodwill because for the first time hockey was able to be played against visiting teams from North America on a world-class rink designed for "their" game.
THE MASTER SHOWMAN: Dunbar Poole and the sport of kings He helped set-up the first three ice rinks in Australia at the turn of last century, played on the first ice hockey team in 1906, won a Goodall Cup with Jim Kendall in 1911, and another as team manager in 1930 with Jimmy Brown. Yet, he represented Sweden in the figure skating Worlds in 1910 and 1911 and went on to manage rinks in Ottawa, London and Scotland, earning himself the reputation of "Master Showman". Dunbar Poole served as secretary-treasurer of the New South Wales ice hockey association and was its third life member, yet he was also inducted to the Australian Figure Skating Hall of Fame...
SKATERS OF SYDNEY: Sydney GlaciariumTen skaters from Melbourne helped the developers open Sydney's glistening new rink in a text book lesson in collaboration. Over the thirty years that followed, the skaters of Sydney produced the State's first national men's champion, the first Australian woman to compete in a world figure skating championship, Australia's first international ice hockey player, and its first Winter Olympian.
THE STORY OF THE GOODALL CUP — Part 1: Symbol of Australian ice hockey supremacy Whatever else it lacked, the Goodall Cup was durable, and this was surely the quality that eventually won the respect of its carefree handlers. The honourable scars this veteran wears suggest it is anything but the symbol of Australian ice hockey supremacy. But the history of Goodall Cup hockey is the history of hockey in Australia, and the names that appear on the trophy really have made the game's history. Part 1 of this 2-part story documents the years from inception in 1909, until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
THE FIRST CAPTAIN OF NEW SOUTH WALES: Norman Graham Ducker (1887 - 1932) The man who scored the first ever Goodall Cup goal was an Anzac and a well-to-do "gentleman" who didn't need to work.
THE FIRST NEW SOUTH WALES GOALIE: Cyril Herbert Dodson Lane (1888 - 1915) He was one of the few men in the world — one of just two goalies in the world — to contest the first Goodall Cup, the champagne trophy of Australian ice hockey.
THE TABLET AT ST PAUL'S: The Second President of the VIHA The story of the Steele family and the second president of the Victorian Ice Hockey Association (VIHA).
1917New York
LITTLE TRAMP LEARNS TO SKATE: Bobbie and Louise in New YorkVictoria's first ice hockey captain and his partner were Australia's first professional ice show performers and skating instructors at the international level. Bobbie was a judge and council member of the National Ice Skating Association of Australia (NISAA) formed in 1931, and he remained active in skating and curling for many more years.
1921 to 1939Melbourne
INGLORIOUS FORTUNES: Ted Molony and the art of losing For 24 years between 1922 and 1947, Victoria contested all 17 interstate series without ever winning a Goodall Cup, while their opponents won 9 or 10. Jimmy Brown won 11 and a tie. Sydney's Percy Wendt and Jack Pike were respectively top scorer and runner-up in the first half-century of the game, while successive generations of Victoria's top players came and went with nothing. It was the longest losing streak in the annals of Australian ice hockey until Victoria lost 26 Cups straight between 1980 and 2009, although that is a story less difficult to fathom. The greatest mystery in the long history of the Goodall Cup, the symbol of Australian ice hockey supremacy, is Victoria's inglorious fortunes between the wars.
SEVEN MILES FROM SYDNEY: Annie Baker Ford (1879 - 1953) Once hailed "the finest all-round woman athlete in Australia", she was a national tennis and rowing champion as well as a talented swimmer, surfer and horse-rider. One of Sydney's leading figure skaters and seven-times captain of the New South Wales ladies ice hockey team in her forties, she had pursued a sporting career in her youth that was nothing short of spectacular.
THE FORGOTTEN GRAIL: Peter Ross Sutherland (1865-1943)There was probably no man alive in the early-1940s whose father had fought with Wellington against Napoleon in 1815. Except, of course, this former president of the Victorian Ice Hockey Association and Chairman of Directors of Glaciarium Ltd.
NEWTOWN TART: Ettie Wallach (1886 - 1963) She went to Sydney uni, she hung out in slummy Newtown, and she "played boys' games in skirts that were shortened to six inches above the ground.
THE LAST SUPPER: Albert Enders and Sadie Cambridge Sadie and Albert Enders were born in Australia, but their love of skating brought them to South Africa and England before landing in Canada in 1940. The Enders’ were coaching pioneers in singles, ice dance, and particularly pairs, having been pair skaters themselves. The coaching duo guided Skate Canada Hall of Famers Suzanne Morrow and Wallace Diestelmeyer to Olympic and World bonze medals in 1948, among many other of their students’ successes. The Enders’ are being honoured posthumously.
THE FIRST LADY OF AUSTRALIAN ICE HOCKEY: Nan Irving (1911 - >1944) So it's a backbeach in the summer, the chalet for the snow, from Portsea pier to the roulette wheels of Juan-les-Pins, Nan Irving played them all, and played to win.
BLOMBERG THEORY: Axel Axel Lennart Blomberg (1911 - 1993) He hadn't played ice hockey, yet when Swedish bandy player Lennart Blomberg moved to Sydney in the 1930s he became netminder for St George IHC, and almost the state's first overseas goaltender in a sea of local netminding talent.
'S' FOR SUGAR: Hugh Spot Lloyd (1912 - 1943)He was a necessary acquisition for a State team struggling for competitive balance against opponents who had already played a crack Canadian goal-scorer for seven seasons, and ruthlessly corralled a national trophy for sixteen.
LEFTY: Percy Frederick Otto Wendt (1912 - 1995) In 1938, Ken Lewis, the visiting Canadian Bears manager remarked, "We are supposed to be invincible in hockey. Of course, you must admit that the old guy from Toronto Canada, who played for New South Wales had a big part in your smart moves..."
BENDRODT'S BEARS: The First Commercialization of Ice Hockey in Australia Commercialisation of ice hockey in Australia first occurred in Sydney in 1938. It was razor sharp and positively icy.
DELIRIOUS CHICAGO: The House that Harry Built (1939 - 1982) The story of H H Kleiner and the seriously delirious St Moritz.
1944Calgary Canada
THE GATES OF FREEDOM Few know that Australian and New Zealand hockey players were curtain-raisers for the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Red Wings [sic] at Victoria Arena in Calgary Alberta during the 1940s.
SHANGHAI GHETTO: Kurt Defris AM (1910 - 1983)There was one place to which a Jewish refugee did not want to flee, until eventually even that looked like heaven. Such was the experience of Kurt Defris.
THE STORY OF THE GOODALL CUP — Part 2: post-war, 1946 to the AIHL The Australian game peaked in the 1950s coinciding with the big change that came with the migration inflow in the late-Forties and early-Fifties. The war years had produced the first intensive coaching programs in both States and the first corporate sponsorships for local teams. The return of Australia's first internationals and changes to the rules placed the game on a different footing and the focus of the sport's organisers shifted to commercialisation and international competitiveness.
THE FIRST ALL-STARS: Bordering on the phenomenalWaiting for Victoria to win back the Cup between the wars was like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt, but when they did we got the first All-Australian ice hockey team.
1949Hobart TAS
ICE SPORTS IN TASMANIA: The Foundation StoryIce skating on the Apple Isle had its roots in the frozen tarns of the Tasmanian wilderness in the 1920s. But it was a new wave of European immigrants that helped create Tasmania's first olympic-size ice rink and ice hockey clubs.
1949Perth WA
ICE SPORTS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA The foundation story of ice sports in the West coincided with the establishment of the first rink in Tasmania. Sady, the state's first four ice hockey clubs and controlling body were equally short-lived.
PRAGUE 20: Ivo Bohumil Vesely (1926 - 2002) From war-torn Prague, to the moors of York, this young Czech national stepped over the German border into a new life in the free world and helped Australian ice hockey to its first Olympics.
THE DOCTOR OF LAWS: Sandor Miklos (1915 - 1981)To Victorians, this former Goodall Cup champion, coach and administrator was once a Hungarian socialite, doctor of laws, lawyer, member of parliament and millionaire. The world knows him as one of the best Hungarian players of all time.
1950Melbourne and Hobart
THE SHOOTING STAR: Oldrich Kucera (1914 - 1964)He blazed across Europe leaving trails of flame and when he fell to earth it was in Australia. With players and coaches of his calibre, we can only imagine how Tasmanian hockey might have evolved had its first rink survived.
OUTSIDE IN: Bud McEachern and the Olympic outsidersIt started long ago in the Palais de Sports in Paris, perhaps earlier in the quest for the Allan Cup, or the bitter feuds in the Maritimes. Whenever and wherever it began, it lasted a sporting lifetime and left an indelible imprint on Australian ice hockey's pursuit of the Olympic dream. Coach Bud McEachern turned outside in for his team of post-war hockey outsiders on a mission to defeat their most fearsome opponent — the antipathy in their own backyard.
THE NEW AUSTRALIANS: Chalwin's Business Model and the Barnstorming Bombers.Viv Chalwin made an important contribution to Australian sport, not least of which was his patronage and commercialisation of the post-war ice hockey league in New South Wales.
THE FIRST BOMBERS: Captain Dick Groenteman (1923 - ) The second installment on the history of New South's most successful club profiles the foundation player-coach, Emil Butchatsky, who played more hockey here than in his homeland or anywhere elsewhere in Europe.
THE FIRST BOMBERS: Player-coach Emil Butchatsky (1918 - 1997)The third installment on the history of New South's most successful club profiles the foundation captain, Dick Groenteman (Mann).
BRISNEYLAND ON ICE: Homes of Australian hockeyThe Sunshine State was last to open an ice rink to the public, years after Australia's first rinks down south had celebrated a half century of ice sports and closed. But where?
1960California USA
THE GLASS SLIPPER: Australian Ice Hockey at the Olympics The enchanted legacy of the Australians who danced on ice with hockey's elite at the VIII Winter Olympics.
1962Colorado Springs USA
AUSTRALIA'S RED LETTER DAY: Denver Coliseum March 15th 1962 What happened to Australia after a winless debut at the 1960 Olympics? The story of Australia's 2nd World Championship.
1962Melbourne Australia
ADVENTURES IN PARADISE: Tony Martyr and the never-ending game From the Fifties boom years of Victorian ice hockey's Golden Era, to the Sixties Olympic ice hockey qualification teams and the world stage, Tony Martyr's adventures in paradise on Australia's Gold Coast extended his career like no other.
A HOTEL SOMEPLACE: Juniors In search of excellenceIt's a battered old suitcase to a hotel someplace, and a world competitiveness we must master. Our junior and youth squads matter for as long as we want our national team to be populated by Australian-born players.
1964Tokyo Japan
THE GOD'S CROSSING: Australia's elimination from the 1964 GamesThe story of Australian ice hockey's elimination from the 1964 Olympics.
NEVERLAND: Bill Young and the West End boysBehind the rivalry, there is a kind of brotherhood between Adelaide and Melbourne ice sports, a kinship linked by a common history. Young's twenty-year association with St Moritz Adelaide was made possible by Melbourne developers, mirroring the making of the city's first rink in ways that were almost magical, right down to their common foundation on quad roller skating.
ICELANDER: Pat Burley and the temples of hopeEight permanent rinks in 3 states and countless touring and temporary ice floors. For a time, Burley's temples of hope ended an era of neglect, a time of despair when most of those in a position to help Australian ice sports had either gone out of business or turned a blind eye.
THE PIRATE OF TILBURG: Franciscus van Rijswijk (1932 - 2014)In the 1960s, Franciscus van Rijswijk finished his career down under with the St Moritz Pirates then coached the Ringwood Junior Flyers.
HOW AUSTRALIA GOT BRITAIN'S TOP SCORER: Robbie StevensonWhere was Australian hockey when Britain's captain and top point scorer emigrated to Australia in 1970?
MISSIONARY MAN: Sandi Logan and the NIHLThe State that prided itself on developing its own players to Olympic level by the 1950s, won the Goodall Cup only once during the three decades from 1980 when the NIHL began.
MAN ADVANTAGE: Wendy Ovenden and the higher goalShe learned to play hockey with boys, then learned to coach them. She was there at the dawn of the first local women's team, the first state women's team, the first national women's league, the first international women's team. She was a trailblazing champion who excelled all the way to a point of departure, then left the game without once looking back.
WINDY POINT: John Botterill and the power of perspectiveFrom a farm on the Manitoba Prairie, to grape-picking in the Barossa, he backpacked one of the longest roads an Australian hockey coach has ever taken. This career spanning over thirty years is already one of the most accomplished, certainly the most diverse, and it just keeps on truckin'.
THE LAKE HOUSE: Arte Malste and the hammer of the godsThirty-seven years ago a new state-of-the art ice rink was the essential difference between coming first and coming last in a brand new new league. There were reasons for moving here and reasons for staying on. With time, friends became important to him.
GURO: Vlad Mihal and the art of sticksHe captained Czechoslavakia's U20 Championship team, then defected to Adelaide Australia where he was a scoring leader and a state and national representative player in not one, but two extreme sports.
BLOODLINE: David Turik and the home of championsAlthough it has been in his blood for a half a century, the part of David Turik's hockey career that unfolded in Australia has spanned 35 years, on and off, morphing from pro netminder to hockey entrepreneur with business partner, Rick Williams.
BLAZE OF GLORY: Glen Foll and the higher levelHe captained Australia's World Championship team for so long he set the IIHF world record, then just disappeared from the world stage.
GUNNER: Geoff Rains and living the dreamHe rose through the new player development system — from the inaugural President's Trophy in '83 to his last Goodall Cup in '96 — and along the way he was in the vanguard of local players who moved overseas to further their hockey careers.
TABOO: Ellen Jones and the magic skatesThe "Newtown Tart" stigma that women hockey players at Sydney Uni had endured in the 1920s, had become "Tom Boy" by the 1990s, but all it did was fuel a raging fire, a passion to belong in a sport in which her family was no stranger. It seemed she burned as brightly here as in the USA, but after peewees the task of hammering out the first women's league for her state and nation was left to her father and a handful of like-minded people.