For many, “one of the most isolated cities in the world,” on the west coast of Australia would be the last place you’d expect to find elite ice hockey talent. Yet Perth is where Jamie Woodman – Perth Thunder Captain, AIHL All-Star and Australia Men’s IIHF Div2 Group A World Championship player – calls home.
To Woodman, born in Kardinya a suburb of Perth, it’s a city that “has a bit of everything”, and it's where, with only three ice rinks supporting over 1.9M people, his career in hockey started.
“I went to a birthday party when I was eight years old at a public ice skating session,” recalls Woodman.
“Afterwards, my Dad and I hung around and got to see a Pee Wee hockey game. They were just skating around and jumping on each other and I was hooked.”
By age nine Woodman was lacing up the skates for his first team the Cockburn (pronounced “Co-burn”) Blackhawks, and hasn’t looked back since.
While playing hockey seasons in Australia for the Blackhawks Ice Hockey Club (WA Super League), and Perth Sharks (AJIHL) from 2009 – 2015, Woodman also broadened his hockey horizons and skills playing several seasons in Canada the United States.
Starting his overseas stint first as a Junior, then Midget with the Banff Hockey Academy, he went on to play 37 games with the Palm Beach Hawks in the United States Premier Hockey League in 2013-14. He also represented Australia in the World Junior Championships Div 2, Group B in both the U18 and U20 national teams.
Now in his fifth season in the AIHL with the Captain’s C adorning his jersey, Woodman feels privileged not only to represent his home city, but also his nation.
“These experiences have delivered some of the highlights of my career.”
He pulled on the green and gold jersey of the Mighty Roos for the Australian Men’s Team in 2017 and again in 2018 at the Division 2, Group A World Championships.
“My favourite memory in hockey has got to be scoring against Iceland in Galati, Romania, he said.
“It was my first goal for the men’s team and first time scoring for Australia with an actual goalie in the net,” he continued.
Favourite NHL Player?
Well schooled in solid defensive techniques, Woodman takes inspiration from some of the NHL’s best.
“My favorite NHL player to watch is Shea Theordore of the Las Vegas Golden Knights. He is a great skating defensemen who moves the puck really well.”
Biggest AIHL Battles Closer to home, Woodman has enjoyed some classic battles with some of the AIHL’s best.
“Lliam Webster is great to watch, praising the skills of the Melbourne Ice veteran.
“It’s pretty fun to watch such a big guy have such good hands and poise on the puck under pressure” he continued.
As for the toughest to line up against? Woodman identified former team-mate and newly recruited CBR Brave D-Man Per Daniel Goransson.
“He finishes all his hits and I’m really not looking forward to blocking his shots this year,” said Woodman.
Throwing Sauce for Perth
Playing for the Thunder, Woodman gets to enjoy the laid back nature of his home city.
“Perth has the inner city feel of the CBD as well as the laid back culture of places like Fremantle and pristine beaches”.
Currently studying to become a chiropractor at Murdoch University (where he’s featured as a recruitment draw card in their advertising campaign), Woodman also works as a part time as a Coach at Cockburn Ice Arena where it all began.
In an earlier interview with the Melville Times, Woodman said he chose chiropractic after experiencing first hand the benefits of the practice.
“I [had] hurt my neck and physiotherapy wasn’t working for me so my Mum suggested I go see a chiropractor.
“I actually went to the chiropractic clinic at Murdoch for a first consult and then went in for a second appointment and it went back to feeling 100 per cent; it was awesome.
“I’d love to able to help someone like that ...and was always leaning towards something in biology… so decided to study it.”
In the off season he supports initiatives like the Hockeython – a two day hockey tournament that raises funds for charity and develops skills in young and upcoming players.
“I really enjoy playing hockey in my own backyard and am looking forward to “throwing sauce” out on the Ice for the Thunder this season.”