Sunday, February 18, 2018 - Submitted by Miki Holmes
Another crowd favourite will be pulling on a Northstars jersey for the 2018 Season, with Zane Jones in the line-up following his Australian Ice Hockey Leaue debut last year.
While in Sweden during our off-season Jones racked up 15 goals across 27 games earning the nickname ‘Zuper Zane’ with the Sollentuna fans.
“I feel strong and fast, ready to win a championship. I can’t wait to get back and enjoy a full season in Newcastle.” Jones noted.
Although an injury saw Jones miss 12 games, he still made a big impression with his robust playing style, big hits and electric energy.
From his 16 AIHL games, Jones found the back of the net 12 times with one being a short-handed goal, provided 6 assists and accrued 30 penalty minutes.
Jones enjoyed the atmosphere that the fans created across Australia which is something he is keen to harness again.
“I’m excited to feed off the fans. The Australian fans, league wide, are great! Always fun playing in Newcastle with a full house most nights too.”
Jones and the team now have their sights on the opening fixture on Saturday the 21st April at Macquarie Ice Rink against the Sydney Ice Dogs.
“I’m keen to face off with the Ice Dogs on our opening night, get to see our old coach and his new squad. But more excited to see my family at the opening day game in Sydney!”
The love for hockey runs deep within the Jones family, having encouraged Zane’s grandparents to move to Canada for the game.
An Australian citizen, Zane returns to Newcastle in 2018 to play for the Goodall cup, as his Grandfather did playing for New South Wales.
Providing a different perspective, goalie Dayne Davis revealed a concern from his mostly positive feeling about joining Jones as a teammate in 2018.
“The one thing I’m not looking forward to is facing Zane Jones in practice a few times a week.” Dayne Davis made light of the fact that he is worried to practice together after meeting Jones and his slap shots last year.
“There were a couple of instances last season where I took a few hard pucks and I thought he had broken a few bones and that was just in a game.”
“I couldn’t imagine just sitting there point-blank in practice.” Davis laughed.
It’s easy to see why Davis has his reservations after a video of Jones’ hit on Cam Critchlow from Adelaide Adrenaline went viral – you can see it below.
Join the Jones family and the Northstars fans at the opening fixture at Macquarie Ice Rink as Newcastle play the Sydney Ice Dogs on April 21st 2018 to watch as Zane steps out onto Australian ice again.