Sport

Dual international Mike Harrow lauds Canberra Brave for saving ACT ice hockey

INDUCTEES

Dual international Mike Harrow credits the Canberra Brave for breathing life into ice hockey in the ACT and hopes its fairytale run in the Australian Ice Hockey League is capped off with a championship.

The Brave's amazing journey in its first season after the demise of the Canberra Knights has caught the attention of Harrow, who was inducted into the ACT Sport Hall of Fame on Friday.

Harrow played more than 300 games for the Knights in a career spanning 21 years from 1988 to 2008, and also represented Australia at four division-two world championships.

The 42-year-old was also a champion softballer, finishing as the most capped player in Australian history with 154 games and playing in 22 consecutive national championships with the ACT, winning nine titles.

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The Knights left the AIHL at the start of this year, ending a 31-year existence.

That led to the formation of the Brave, which has surpassed all expectations to qualify for the AIHL play-offs in Melbourne this weekend.

"I love what they're doing this year," Harrow said.

"They basically saved ice hockey in Canberra and it's been a fairytale season.

"The secret to their success has been getting the team to band together and to get the guys wanting to play for the right reasons. 

"More importantly, they have given the kids something to look forward to and something to strive to on the ice for years to come."

Harrow moved to Australia from Canada when he was 15, quickly establishing himself in softball and ice hockey.

He made his debut for ACT in softball in 1988, the same year he joined the Knights.

The Knights enjoyed some success in the 1990s, culminating with winning the Goodall Cup in 1998, but never made the AIHL play-offs when the competition began in 2000.

The ACT men's softball team won eight of the last 10 national titles Harrow contested to become the most dominant state or territory in the country.

"Because one was a winter sport and one was a summer sport, the seasons didn't conflict too much," Harrow said. "From a mental side of things, it kept you fresh as well.

"You played six months of ice hockey and you were ready for softball again."

MIKE HARROW

Ice hockey

* Played 318 games for the Canberra Knights

* Represented Australia at four world championships from 1997 to 2001

Softball

* Most capped player for Australia, 154 games from 1990 to 2008

* Played in 22 consecutive national championships for the ACT, winning nine titles.

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