The Newcastle Northstars will be missing power forward Zane Jones for this weekend’s Australian Ice Hockey League double header at home.
Jones won’t line up at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium against the Perth Thunder on Saturday or the Sydney Ice Dogs on Sunday after sustaining a knee injury last weekend.
“He’s been having some medical attention on that this week and won’t play, which is a shame,” Northstars coach Andrew Petrie said.
“It’s a big loss for us.”
Jones is one of several Northstars sidelined at the moment but Petrie said others in the squad, including local player Liam Manwarring, will instead get a chance.
“Liam is a young, Newcastle bloke who will see a lot of ice time over the weekend,” Petrie said.
“This is his second season around the team becoming accustomed to the environment, speed, pace, intensity and how seriously everyone takes it. But I think he’s ready and I know he’s chomping at the bit to get an opportunity in front of the home fans.”
The Northstars remain otherwise unchanged from their most recent double header, which included a 4-3 win away over Sydney on Sunday.
Petrie said the upcoming encounters were crucial for the two-time defending champions, who sit in a share of fourth alongside Perth (10) and narrowly ahead of Sydney (nine).
“It’s especially important for us because everyone in the league has got games in hand on us and we’re only mid-table,” he said.
Both matches start at 5pm.