31 May 2024

The Brave unveils one of the most credentialed players ever to play in the Australian Ice Hockey League

| Tim Gavel
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ice hockey player

Canberra Brave coach Stu Philps said Austin Cangelosi has been a tremendous boost to the team. Image: Frank Kutsche.

Austin Cangelosi has made an immediate impact as one of the Caribou Canberra Brave’s import players in this season’s Australian Ice Hockey League.

This is not a total surprise given the level of competition he has been playing, including five very successful seasons in the top Norwegian league where he scored 237 points in 189 games.

Austin could have his pick of leagues but selected the Australian Ice Hockey League and the Brave.

“I chose Canberra because of the Brave’s tradition of winning,” said Austin.

“When looking at the team over the past few years, I was in no doubt that the Brave have created a winning culture and given themselves a chance to compete for a championship year after year. Playing hockey and having the opportunity to travel around Australia was compelling for me. I think it’s a fun league. There are lots of teams around Australia, which makes travelling enjoyable for me.”

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Caribou CBR Brave coach Stu Philps said Austin has been a tremendous boost to the team.

“He’s electric. He goes from zero to a hundred very quickly. If you’re not aware he’s around, he puts the puck in the back of the net before the opposition realises.”

Caribou CBR Brave general manager Jordan Gavin said the club originally signed Austin in 2019-20 before COVID-19 hit.

“It has been huge to add Austin to our roster this year. His resume speaks for itself. I believe he is one of the best signings the AIHL has ever seen. We are extremely lucky to have a player like Austin on our team this season, and he will be an important piece in our quest for the Goodall Cup in 2024.”

Claiming the Goodall Cup this season hasn’t gone completely to plan with a struggle to get a consistent roster on the ice.

Stu Philps, though, has high hopes, with the Brave currently third in their conference.

“It’s been a tough start this year with six national team members away for a period, one returning with an injury. Two of our imports suffered injuries in leagues overseas preventing them from coming. Then there are work, study and family commitments, but we still have a strong roster. We are very optimistic. There’s still plenty of time to run down the teams above us on the ladder.”

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As the quest to get a consistent roster on the ice continues, there is one constant season after season – the club’s supporters! They are there en masse in the Brave Cave week-in-week-out.

“I was surprised by the support of the fans,” said Austin.

“Although the arenas are not the biggest I have seen, every arena fills up and the atmosphere is full of energy. I was very surprised by the Brave Cave. Win or lose, the supporters always have our backs. That’s pretty cool. I’ve never seen that before.”

It’s fair to say the supporters have never seen a player of Austin’s calibre, either.

He will be integral to the Brave in the run home on their quest for the Goodall Cup.

The Caribou Canberra Brave take on the Sydney Bears on Saturday, 1 June, at 5:15 pm. For tickets, visit Canberra Brave.

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