US ice hockey comes to Docklands, and youngsters meet their idols
Young ice hockey enthusiasts have been left awe-struck after meeting their idols from the National Hockey League (NHL) in Docklands in a first-time visit Down Under.
The historic occasion saw players from the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyotes drop into the O’Brien Icehouse where they met excited youngsters from the Docklands Ice Wolves junior team.
The powerhouse teams were in town for their much-anticipated pre-season clash before sold-out crowds at Rod Laver Arena on the weekend of September 23 to 24, drawing more than 13,000 fans.
Ahead of the big games, players donned their respective jerseys as they stepped onto the ice rink at the O’Brien Icehouse on September 22 where they were greeted by kids eager to get their hands on autographs and gain invaluable advice from the best in the world.
At Rod Laver Arena, the atmosphere was electric with the O’Brien Group Australia noting it was a “great success and such amazing exposure to the game of ice hockey to Australia and world-wide”.
“Feedback from the two teams was raving on the arena and the quality of the ice,” the O’Brien Group said.
“The fan engagement was huge outside RLA too, lots of fans young and old. New and old fans too.”
The fast-paced excitement was the first time the NHL had made the trip to the southern hemisphere, leaving a lasting impression and no doubt inspiring generations to come.
In the end, the Coyotes defeated the Kings 5-3, while the Kings won the second match, 3-2 in front of loud, cheering fans.
“Clearly everyone was ecstatic to see the NHL in Oz,” the O’Brien Group said. •
Caption: The Docklands Ice Wolves junior team met their heroes from the National Hockey League.