Wilson Cup dusted off for preseason 2014 Australian Ice Hockey League tournament

HOT on the heels of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics igniting Australians' interest in ice hockey, new and returning fans can catch a game live when the Newcastle North Stars play this Sunday.

It has been six months since the North Stars were last on the ice together but on Sunday players will skate out the cobwebs when they take part in a pre-Australian Ice Hockey League season tournament.

North Stars coach Garry Dore said the Sydney Bears had the idea to resurrect the round-robin style Wilson Cup tournament, last played in 2009.

It would be contested between Newcastle, the Bears and the Sydney Ice Dogs.

The cup, dedicated to Australian ice hockey stalwarts John and Carol Wilson, was last won by the now defunct Central Coast Rhinos.

The North Stars have never won the cup, which was started in 2007.

Dore said taking part in the Wilson Cup tournament gave returning players a chance to shape up and get back into the rhythm of on-ice game combinations before April 12 when the league kicked off.

He said tournament games, two of which the North Stars would play before a finals showdown, would allow young and up-and-coming players the chance to show their stuff.

"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," he said.

The first game in the tournament will be played between the North Stars and Bears at the Hunter Ice Skating Stadium this Sunday, March 16, 5pm.

Tickets to see the match will be available at the door and will cost $10 an adult, $5 a 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 on March 29, with the final at the Sydney Ice Arena April 5, at 5pm.

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