Aussies test hockey skills in outdoor game
20 February 2016
ICE HOCKEY: Australian Ice Hockey Skills players Madison Poole and Jake Riley managed to put their skills to the test in a mixed nation games at the Lillehammer Youth Olympics.
After their tense skills competition where Madison placed fifth and Jake ninth the coaches of the 16 men and 16 women arranged a friendly game, the Youth Olympics Winter Classic, to be played on the outdoor rink at Lillehammer Olympic Park.
Madison from Perth and Jake from Adelaide relished this game to test their skills in a game and further forge friendships with athletes from around the world.
Here is Madison’s explanation of the experience.
“Jake and I along with the other nations participating in the skills challenge were able to be a part of the first Youth Olympics Winter Classic. We were split up in teams according to the colour of our jerseys and played on the outdoor rink for about an hour.
“We had hand warmers on the bench because the weather was so cold even though everyone was playing hard, even the water we wanted to drink was turning to ice. It was a close game but that went from 6-2 to a tie at 6-6 which led into a penalty shootout where everyone had a shot. I scored both in the game and the shootout.
“It was amazing to be able to play a game outside and also with all the incredible boys and girls from the skills challenge. We also had the chance to talk to, get advice from and get pictures with Angela Ruggiero and Molly Schaus. Some players including both Jake and myself stayed on the ice for a long time after to play around with each other and play a few more mini games.
“I had the most amazing time playing with new people and actually playing an ice hockey game with people I have met and competed against since Finland. It was a great way to close the skills challenge at the 2016 Winter Youth Olympic Games in Lillehammer Norway.”
Jake, a man of few words, made the most of the opportunity.
“Today I loved playing with lots of different people and the experience was really. My face got cold, really cold and the water on my helmet cage froze which was pretty crazy.”
Both Jake and Madison leave Lillehammer to play with the Australian teams in upcoming World Championships. After 12 months of practicing their skills and competing at the Youth Olympic Games they are ready to help their teams with their improved ability and experience against the world’s best.