Canberra Brave import Matt Climie ready for first 'chicken wire' AIHL home game

Matt Climie has spent most of his life playing in front of thousands of screaming fans in the best ice hockey league the in the world. So how does he feel about making his debut in front of about 1000 passionate Canberrans?

"I'm nervous but excited to play in front of the home crowd," Climie said.

Matt Climie will go from the NHL to Canberra's chicken-rink. Picture: Jamila Toderas

Matt Climie will go from the NHL to Canberra's chicken-rink. Picture: Jamila Toderas

"It's such a crazy atmosphere, it's a small rink that has chicken wire for glass. I've never seen anything quite like it."

"[Australia] is a whole different world. Everything has been above expectations and it's been a good run so far."

Climie, an NHL veteran, has moved to Australia this year to be the Canberra Brave's goalie for the Australian Ice Hockey League season.

It's a world away from his time with the Dallas Stars and the Phoenix Coyotes, where he played at sold-out arenas and against some of the best players in the world.

He has played in leagues around the world trying to make a name for himself, which included stints in the NHL second division, Germany, Austria and Slovakia.

His decision to move to Canberra completes an all-Canadian set of recruits, with Tyler Mayea, Adam Kambeitz, Jordan Draper and Brayden Low joining Climie at the Brave.

The 36-year-old has already started to live up to the hype and conceded just two goals in his first two games with the Brave.

Canberra coach Rob Starke said Climie has already brought a new standard to the Brave with two wins in Perth following his debut - a fair statement considering he has joined the reigning champions.

"He made his debut in Perth last weekend, and he played really well and won those two games, he clearly set a new standard for us," Starke said.

"He's been a great guy in the locker room and the kind of guy who's going to be a great leader for us moving forward.

"Winning two games in Perth is never an easy task, it's the hardest road trip in the league.

"It gives us a massive boost in our morale and we have plenty of confidence coming back to play in the Brave cave coming this weekend."

Climie will be playing in the capital for the first time when the Brave chases its sixth win of the season when they clash against the Sydney Ice Dogs in Phillip on Saturday afternoon.

The Canadian believes the Brave will continue their winning ways due to the depth of their line up and the influence of their international imports.

"We have so much depth that we're going to bring the hard work and just play with that pace. Hopefully Sydney can't keep up with us," Climie said.

"All of us come from different backgrounds in hockey but we've all had a lot of success playing.

"[Us imports] can use that experience to help the younger guys and help them get better and improve. The whole league will get better from it."

Starke said that the Brave's defence will be tested against a great offensive team in the Sydney Ice Dogs this weekend.

"The Sydney Ice Dogs have signed a great crop of imports," Starke said.

"Those three players, (Paul and Tim Crowder and Dylan Qualie) are the kind of threats that can do some damage in this league. So we'll be making sure that we make our adjustments and pay attention to them going forward.

"We do play a very quick transition play but we'll continue to make slight adjustments, particularly leading up to this weekend. We'll have to recharge, Perth was a big trip, a big travel trip for us. So mentally it's important that we recharge, reset and get ready to play on home ice."