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A pre-season tournament involving three Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) teams will return next month following a four year hiatus.
The Newcastle North Stars, Sydney Ice Dogs and Sydney Bears will take to the ice in March to contest the Wilson Cup.
The Wilson Cup tournament was last played in 2009 when the now defunct Central Coast Rhinos defeated the Western Sydney Ice Dogs 5-4 in a shootout.
The Rhinos, who dropped out of the AIHL in 2009, played in the tournament also against the North Stars and the Bears.
The Bears won the cup in its' inaugural year, 2007, and again the following year when they beat the Ice Dogs 6-4 in the final of the round robin tournament.
The tournament was established seven years ago to give local players ice time with their teams before the AIHL season began.
The trophy handed to the winner of the small tournament was dedicated to Australian ice hockey stalwarts, John and Carol Wilson.
John Wilson and his namesake, the Wilson Cup.
The Wilsons once owned Blacktown Ice Arena, where the tournament was first held.
North Stars general manager and coach Garry Dore said the Wilson Cup tournament gave young and up-and-coming players a chance to strut their stuff.
“This year they [Bears] said 'why don’t we play some preseason games? Why don’t we resurrect the Wilson Cup?'”, Dore said.
“The whole idea is for teams to have a look at their guys, get the young guys out on the ice and give up and comers a chance.”
The first game in the tournament will be played between the North Stars and Bears at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium on Sunday, March 16, starting at 5pm.
Tickets to see the North Stars and Bears will be available on the day, from the door and will cost $10 per adult, $5 per child and $25 for a family of four.
On Saturday, March 22 the North Stars will face the Ice Dogs at Erina Ice Arena.
The puck will drop at 5.45pm.
The Bears and Ice Dogs will play the final round at the Sydney Ice Arena from 5.45pm.
The tournament final will be held from 5pm at the Sydney Ice Arena on Saturday, April 5.
Article by Ellie-Marie Watts