THE Newcastle North Stars have announced their first import player for the 2014 ice hockey season.
Harrison May, 25, from Vancouver, will join the team as its starting goaltender.
North Stars coach Garry Dore said that while young Newcastle goaltender Josh Broekmann had shown promise during pre-season games, the team needed an elite player to remain competitive in the Australia Ice Hockey League season.
"Josh is showing great improvement and has been playing great for us in the pre-season," Dore said.
"He'll get his opportunities but we felt we needed an elite-level goalie to match the other teams in the AIHL this season."
May has played for a premier college team in the Canadian Intercollegiate Association program since 2010.
His arrival in Newcastle will be one of three before or very near to the season start on April 12.
The three players will join returning American import John Kennedy.
May is not expected to arrive in time for when the North Stars take on the Sydney Ice Dogs in the Wilson Cup tournament final, to be played at the Sydney Ice Arena on Saturday, April 5.
Also absent from the Wilson Cup final roster will be Adam Geric, who this week flew to Melbourne for a training camp before Australia's senior men's team play in the International Ice Hockey Federation's world championships.
Geric, the only Newcastle representative on the roster this year, will line up with 20 of Australia's best ice hockey players to take on Belgium, Estonia, Iceland, Israel and Serbia in the division two group A championship.
The world championship will be played in Serbia between April 9 and 15.