Two of IHACT’s best and brightest are heading off to Sweden this week to begin a training camp with the National Youth Team (under 18yrs) competing in the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championships Division II Group B from March 13th-19th.
Jakob Doornbos (goalie) and Jordan Brunt (forward) are part of the 20 player + 2 goalie squad, coached by Stephen Laforet. The tournament will be in Serbia where they will be competing against Serbia, Spain, Netherlands, Iceland and Belgium.
They sat down with IHACT to tell us more about it.
Jakob this is your first time playing for the National Youth Team, what did you do to prepare for tryouts?
I got on the ice a lot, took enough shots and thought about what the goalie coach would want me to do, hoping that would be enough to get me onto the team, which it did.
Are you first or second string goalie? I’m second string goalie. Even if I don’t get any ice it’s not too big of a deal, it’s the experience of going over there and being with the team.
Jordan this is your second time on the Youth Team and 4th time representing Australia. How does this team differ from the Junior Team you played with earlier this year?
The team is in the same division as the under 20’s as we moved up last year. This year it will probably a bit harder than last time I played. The skill level is better, faster and stronger. The skill level will be similar to the under 20’s but the difference will be the size, with the players being smaller.
You both fly out on Monday for a training camp in Sweden followed by Worlds in Serbia. Do you know what to expect from the training camp?
Jakob: To gel with the team, and find what style of hockey the coaches want us to play.
Jordan: Like Jake said, it’s the time to gel with the team, get to know how everyone plays. Testing out different combinations and probably a lot of skating, getting us ready for the tournament.
Which countries are you most excited to play against?
Jordan: I’m most excited to play against Spain, because in the U20’s they absolutely smashed us and I don’t want them to beat us again. But really I’m excited to play all of them, I’m ready for the challenge.
But you want to beat Spain? Yeah, definitely.
Jake, any team in particular your keen to play against?
Jakob: I’m interested to see how Iceland goes because I’ve never seen any footage of them playing. But it should be an interesting tournament.
Last year all the Australia teams won their Division and moved up, what are you both aiming for this year?
Jordan: I guess moving up is always the goal, but I know I’d be happy to stay in the division, but it’s always the goal to move up.
Jakob: My main hope is not going down, that’s probably the biggest thing.
The team has a lot of players who are currently playing overseas, do either of you have plans to play overseas in the near future?
Jordan: Possibly. For me I just want to wait until I finish year 12 and then maybe after.
Any particular country? Thinking maybe Finland, somewhere like that.
How is your Finnish going? It’s not really going.
Jakob: I want to finish school first, because going over and doing school and hockey would be a hassle. I’m not sure where I’d go, but getting to go overseas and play hockey is a win for me.
Finally you both have younger siblings about to play in the International Friendship Tournament in Minnesota. What advice would you give them about representing Australia?
Jakob: Live it up in the moment and you’ll make really good friends in the team and have a lot of real good experiences over in the states.
Jordan: Just enjoy the experience, make the most of all opportunities and have fun.
If you would like to support the boys during the tournament you can follow the teams Facebook page and look out for number #20 for Jakob in net and #13 for Jordan as centre on the live stream.
IHACT would like to wish Jakob, Jordan and the whole team the best of luck during Worlds!