Australian Ice Hockey League | AIHL
23 APRIL at TBA
MUSTANGS
1
LIGHTNING
6
30 APRIL at 5:00PM
BRAVE
10
ICE
3
30 APRIL at 5:30PM
MUSTANGS
4
NORTHSTARS
7
1 MAY at 2:00PM
BRAVE
6
ICE
4
1 MAY at 3:30PM
ICE DOGS
5
RHINOS
4
1 MAY at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
9
BEARS
4
7 MAY at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
3
MUSTANGS
1
7 MAY at 5:30PM
ICE DOGS
5
BRAVE
9
8 MAY at 2:00PM
NORTHSTARS
9
ICE
2
8 MAY at 5:00PM
BRAVE
14
ICE DOGS
1
14 MAY at 5:00PM
ICE DOGS
1
LIGHTNING
4
14 MAY at 5:30PM
BEARS
1
NORTHSTARS
7
14 MAY at 5:30PM
ICE
1
BRAVE
9
15 MAY at 5:00PM
RHINOS
11
BEARS
14
15 MAY at 5:00PM
ICE
3
BRAVE
7
20 MAY at 7:30PM
MUSTANGS
7
ICE
2
21 MAY at 5:00PM
BEARS
7
MUSTANGS
4
21 MAY at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
8
ICE DOGS
2
22 MAY at 2:00PM
BEARS
2
ICE
5
22 MAY at 4:00PM
ICE DOGS
4
NORTHSTARS
5
28 MAY at 5:00PM
LIGHTNING
4
MUSTANGS
5
28 MAY at 5:00PM
ICE
0
BEARS
4
29 MAY at 2:00PM
LIGHTNING
5
MUSTANGS
7
29 MAY at 4:30PM
BEARS
8
BRAVE
7
29 MAY at 5:00PM
ICE
1
ICE DOGS
6
3 JUNE at 7:30PM
ICE DOGS
2
BEARS
12
4 JUNE at 3:30PM
LIGHTNING
8
RHINOS
4
4 JUNE at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
6
ICE
4
4 JUNE at 5:00PM
BRAVE
7
ICE DOGS
3
5 JUNE at 3:30PM
LIGHTNING
5
NORTHSTARS
7
5 JUNE at 5:00PM
BRAVE
4
BEARS
5
11 JUNE at 5:00PM
ICE
5
ICE DOGS
4
11 JUNE at 5:30PM
MUSTANGS
3
NORTHSTARS
6
11 JUNE at 5:30PM
BEARS
4
BRAVE
11
12 JUNE at 3:30PM
ICE
2
NORTHSTARS
8
12 JUNE at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
3
ICE DOGS
6
17 JUNE at 7:30PM
ICE
0
MUSTANGS
4
18 JUNE at 5:00PM
BEARS
3
ICE DOGS
2
18 JUNE at 5:30PM
BRAVE
6
NORTHSTARS
1
19 JUNE at 4:00PM
BRAVE
2
NORTHSTARS
3
25 JUNE at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
5
LIGHTNING
4
25 JUNE at 5:00PM
BEARS
6
ICE
3
26 JUNE at 2:00PM
BEARS
4
MUSTANGS
3
26 JUNE at 3:30PM
NORTHSTARS
7
LIGHTNING
5
2 JULY at 5:00PM
ICE DOGS
3
BEARS
10
2 JULY at 5:00PM
BRAVE
1
MUSTANGS
0
2 JULY at 5:30PM
ICE
3
NORTHSTARS
9
3 JULY at 2:00PM
BRAVE
0
MUSTANGS
1
3 JULY at 5:00PM
ICE
2
BEARS
7
9 JULY at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
6
ICE DOGS
3
10 JULY at 5:00PM
BRAVE
9
BEARS
1
16 JULY at 5:00PM
LIGHTNING
7
ICE DOGS
0
16 JULY at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
4
BRAVE
9
16 JULY at 5:30PM
BEARS
4
NORTHSTARS
7
17 JULY at 4:30PM
MUSTANGS
4
BRAVE
6
17 JULY at 5:00PM
LIGHTNING
2
BEARS
7
23 JULY at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
3
BRAVE
9
23 JULY at 5:00PM
ICE
4
MUSTANGS
3
23 JULY at 5:00PM
BEARS
3
LIGHTNING
7
24 JULY at 3:30PM
BEARS
1
LIGHTNING
6
24 JULY at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
2
BRAVE
8
30 JULY at 5:00PM
LIGHTNING
3
BEARS
4
30 JULY at 5:00PM
THUNDER
1
MUSTANGS
6
30 JULY at 5:30PM
ICE DOGS
4
NORTHSTARS
8
31 JULY at 2:00PM
THUNDER
5
ICE
3
31 JULY at 5:00PM
RHINOS
8
ICE DOGS
4
6 AUGUST at 5:00PM
ICE DOGS
5
ICE
3
6 AUGUST at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
8
BEARS
5
7 AUGUST at 2:00PM
ICE DOGS
4
MUSTANGS
6
7 AUGUST at 4:30PM
RHINOS
2
BRAVE
12
13 AUGUST at 3:30PM
LIGHTNING
12
RHINOS
9
13 AUGUST at 4:30PM
ICE
1
THUNDER
8
13 AUGUST at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
3
BEARS
2
13 AUGUST at 5:00PM
ICE DOGS
1
BRAVE
8
14 AUGUST at 3:30PM
LIGHTNING
3
NORTHSTARS
4
14 AUGUST at 4:30PM
ICE
1
THUNDER
3
14 AUGUST at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
9
ICE DOGS
6
19 AUGUST at 7:30PM
BEARS
12
ICE DOGS
1
20 AUGUST at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
2
ICE
3
21 AUGUST at 2:00PM
NORTHSTARS
7
MUSTANGS
4
27 AUGUST at 5:00PM
ICE DOGS
2
MUSTANGS
12
27 AUGUST at 5:00PM
NORTHSTARS
3
BEARS
4
28 AUGUST at 2:00PM
ICE DOGS
2
ICE
4
2 SEPTEMBER at 5:00PM
MUSTANGS
3
BEARS
7
2 SEPTEMBER at 8:30PM
NORTHSTARS
1
BRAVE
6
3 SEPTEMBER at 5:00PM
BEARS
3
NORTHSTARS
4
4 SEPTEMBER at 2:00PM
NORTHSTARS
2
BRAVE
3
25 AUGUST, 2022

Amelia Matheson - First woman in AIHL Coaching Role, in 2022

Amelia Matheson - First woman in AIHL Coaching Role, in 2022

Courtney Kynaston

The 2022 season has been a great year for the Newcastle Northstars with players reaching numerous milestones throughout the season. This year has also been significant for Associate Coach Amelia Matheson, who joined the coaching staff in 2020, and is thriving in her first complete Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) season, making her the first woman to reach this achievement.

“Honestly, it's an honor,” Matheson began. “Times have changed over the years and we are living in a world where there is more diversity and we are able to do these things. It was always a goal. I still remember talking to Leanne Dore telling her one day I’ll be here, and she said to me ‘I know you will’.”

“I have always had the drive to push hard and work hard to do everything I could to fulfil this. But you don’t get to these places without support. So it is a huge honour, especially knowing there are young girls and other women out there who will see what I have done and think ‘I can do that, too’. It’s about creating the pathway, that it’s okay to do and that it is possible.”

Matheson began her coaching career in 2008 after being inspired by another female icon in Australian ice hockey, Dawn Watt. “She was always someone that pushed, encouraged and supported me. I was playing constantly and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled, like something was missing. Dawn asked me to coach with her. I went out for one session and the rest is history.”

“Dawn and I have coached together for many years, all different age groups, states and even teams that we have travelled with overseas. It has been a fantastic time, and I love coaching by her side. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have started coaching. Getting that encouragement from a woman who saw something in me fit the formula so it was nice and it kept me out of trouble.”

Dawn Watt has nothing but praise for Matheson. “It absolutely is a great milestone for women. She certainly is capable, she has played at a high level, she is very in tune with the emotional needs of players. I think at times a lot of coaches don’t take that into account. They’re all technically very excellent but sometimes you need more than that for a team to win. You need to take care of their emotions and you need to take care of their mental state.”

“That is one thing that Mel does extremely well. I know that when we did coach together, I was bad cop and she was good cop, and that worked for us. She has always been good in that space, and it is a huge step forward to have a lot of women coaching in sports. But the top level of hockey in Australia is the AIHL, and to have a woman coaching in that space shows a great pathway for all of our female coaches.”

“It absolutely fills me with pride. I have watched her progress since she was 17 years old and needed a focus for her energy and that’s why I got her into coaching, and she has gone up and up and up and higher and higher which is excellent to see.”


Prior to reaching the AIHL, Matheson broke ground coaching the NSW State Team in the Browns tournament with Kath McOnie and Dawn Watt, alongside Sue McOnie as manager, as part of an all-women’s coaching team. “I still remember a couple of people asking, ‘where’s your equipment manager?’” Matheson recounted. “They would look around as though they were looking for someone else, but it was just us ladies. When they thought about it, they realized it was just actually cool, they haven’t seen it before, it was new.”

Matheson continued to say how beginning coaching with the children in the youngest levels of hockey was so rewarding as she saw “the kids reach their goals.”

“It’s the simple things like they get their first tape to tape pass, take their first shots, slap shot the puck off the ground. It is those small things that matter in the game, that are the most rewarding to see them achieve, and then they progress.”

“For instance, I have coached Liam Manwarring (Northstars Captain) since he was 10, and seeing where he is now makes me so proud to have been a part of his journey. I also played alongside Sean Oultram (Northstars forward) and coached Dash Quartarolo (Northstars Defenseman) back in 2012, and I have known Tim Stanger (Northstars player) for such a long time. I am just so proud of what they have all achieved.”

Manwarring shared, “Mel is obviously a legend in the sport of Ice Hockey Australia for both females and males. She coached me for 10-15 years growing up. To see her behind the bench in the AIHL is a massive accomplishment for her and I don’t think there is anyone else in the country that deserves it as much as her. I have watched her grow as a player and I was so inspired by her growing up, and I have watched her become a coach, and she definitely belongs here in the AIHL. She does a great job for all of us and absolutely deserves to be here.”

Tim Stanger has known and been friends with Matheson for nearly 16 years. “I could not be prouder, seeing where she’s come from, she’s gone through a lot in her life. Now she’s here training and coaching with us and it is incredible to see how far she’s come.”

“Mel always makes us laugh and feel comfortable about doing the drill correctly. Yeah, if we stuff it up she corrects us. But she is a lovely smile to see every time you see her, she’s the first person to smile at you.”

“For the sport, it’s amazing. For all women to see that this is not a male dominated sport and it’s creating a pathway for other women to step up into these roles.”


Matheson’s coaching career now spans 14 years, and has experienced many a challenge behind the bench.

“There’s moments I remember. Like going into a gold medal game, not much time left on the clock and you just have to flick that switch, get those kids to find that last gear during those moments is what it’s all about. You reset and push and we have been very successful over the years.”

“Dawn and I have had many successes winning our state team championships. I think we have the record of eight gold medals in a row. It all comes down to the kids just finding what they need to achieve it and wanting to do it. People ask what we do with training the kids, and what it comes down to is we want them to play hockey for us. We build them up and build that confidence to want to win for us, and it happens in all age groups.”

Matheson’s coaching career continued to excel from 2020.

“John and I are good friends, and he was holding the head coaching role, so I was speaking to him about wanting to come out to training to watch what he does, to learn and progress. He asked me what my goals were, and I told him I wanted to be on the bench one day, for myself, my growth and my learning. But also to open that pathway for others.”

“I talked to him about how I always faced setbacks, and it was one of those opportunities that were blocked because I was a female. He was heartbroken by that and said ‘I would never want my daughters to ever be in that situation’, and he invited me out to training. From there I had opportunities to do drills and my responsibility got bigger and bigger.”

Head Coach John F Kennedy Jnr shared his thoughts on bringing Matheson into the coaching team. “I am extremely proud of Mel. I knew her hockey background, how she got into the game, the things she had to overcome and the adversity she has been through in order to get where she’s at, being able to represent her country and being the captain of the team. So I have always had a lot of respect for Amelia and her hockey journey.”

“When she mentioned that she wanted to be a part of the coaching staff, it was a no brainer. She is very passionate about the game, and I feel like if you’re passionate about the game and eager and willing to learn then you’re in a great position mentally to grow and excel. She didn’t come trying to push her own agenda, it was about how she could help. She was always there, always caring about the team and helping and finding ways to add value to the team. [The decision to make her part of the coaching staff] was easy.”

“The whole thing, me being a minority and Amelia being a female, I just feel like, regardless of who you are and where you come from, hockey is for everyone. It is a worldwide, multicultural type game, and that’s why having her as part of the squad wasn’t a big deal to me.”

“Because of everything she’s gone through, [that she] plays division one summer league inhouse, and because she has done so much, she had the respect of the players the moment she walked into the locker room. She treats everyone the same way and people listen to her and respect her. As she helps with ECSL, a lot of our young players hear her voice first before they come to the AIHL, so they are familiar with her.”

“She is the model athlete and person that you want to be after, I can go through a list of all the ways she adds cohesion to the Northstars ice hockey club and all the ways she adds benefits to this rink. I told her, I know we’ve gone through things in regard to breaking barriers, I just know my daughters whatever they do, I want them to have the fair opportunity that anyone else would have. Time after time, not only has Amelia shown she is qualified but she has also excelled in the role.”

“Time after time, not only has Amelia shown she is qualified but she has also excelled in the role. We love having her, we are so blessed she is a part of our club, and if it ticks the box that she is the first female to be in the coaching staff within our league, great. I am almost disappointed it has taken so long but at least we are moving forward. It shows that what we are doing is the right thing, it removes the glass ceiling as people see her doing it and know they can too.”

Matheson recalled the first time she would be on the bench for the Northstars. “I remember at training on my birthday last year, Garry announced to the team that I would be on the bench that weekend and it was a really nice birthday surprise. The opportunity was there and I took it, and it has rolled into this year which has been amazing and I’m very grateful.”

Having the drive to do more and achieve more is all about persistence, Matheson explained. “I’ve been shot down a lot, so it’s one of those things where all they can do is say no, which I am used to. So, if they do it again, I’ll push again.”

Matheson says she always receives compliments and feedback in regards to her role within the team. “Bert Malloy has been fantastic. When I have run some drills and run other aspects of training he comes up and gives me that feedback and coming from a senior player like him makes me feel good and gives me the opportunity to fix things or keep progressing and that’s what I’m here for, to learn and grow.”

Coaching the top level of hockey is an amazing milestone, but Matheson continues her strive to learn and improve and move forward. “I’ve just gotten to this point, so I am embracing what I have right now. Looking into potential future opportunities aren’t on my mind at the moment as I have a long way to go here. I want to keep progressing and building on what I am learning without being distracted by other things. I am embracing everything that I have and I am so grateful for this opportunity, and I want to keep progressing to be the best coach I can be.”

Matheson’s thirst for improvement, in striving to achieve goals, is something she tries to instill in her players “You have to put in the work to get where you want to go. The current generation is so different now as not many people get outside and play. I grew up with a very active lifestyle, I was constantly moving and I was able to push myself higher and harder. It’s more than just training once a week. It’s not enough. You need to be physically moving and active and to keep fit – to reach your goals, you have to work for it.”

Matheson acknowledges that coaching is not much different. “The world has changed a lot and it is more open to women in coaching roles. It’s about preparing yourself to face the negative criticism, and it’s going to suck, but you have to learn to take it as it will help you grow. Learn from it rather than being offended by it. It will not be a walk in the park, but if you take it on and move through it and develop from it. Like the players, you have to put in the work.”

Reflecting on the 2022 AIHL season, Matheson stated “I feel like when I’ve given advice I can see it’s acknowledged and they take it on. They know all about my career and my passion to hockey so when I suggest something, they take it on board how needed and I feel my advice is received and acknowledged.”

Matheson’s achievement is one she hopes will be inspiring for all women in hockey. “I hope that it sends a nice message to other females out there that are in coaching roles now or want to do it in the future. Anything is possible. You will be tested, but there will be plenty of smiles when it pays off.”

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