NEWCASTLE Vipers are hoping all-round forward Dale Mahovsky can instantly make the grade after moving straight from the north American college circuit into professional British ice hockey.
The 25-year-old has spent the last four years at the University of Alberta, and that pedigree did not escape his compatriot and new player-coach Danny Stewart.
“Dale comes to us from probably one of the top three university programmes in Canada,” he commented. “The University of Alberta has been one of the top five teams consistently over the last four years and Dale won a National Championship with them in 2007-08.
“Dale also has a great junior career with the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey league averaging just under a point a game in his last last three seasons, his best season coming in 2004-05 when he had 71 points and 112 penalty minutes. He also won a championship, the Memorial Cup, with the Kootenay Ice in 2001-02. He is a proven winner and a great kid on and off the ice. He is exactly the type of player and person we want to bring to Newcastle.”
The Albertan provides flexibility, able to play wide or down the centre and his fondness for “the rough stuff” fits in well with the Vipers tradition. He is Stewart’s fourth import signing.
“After graduation I wanted to pursue my professional career, and wanted a chance where I can prove myself, get plenty of minutes and be put into different game situations,” said Mahovsky.
“With Danny in place and with the Vipers I feel this is an amazing chance to do so.
“I hope to be a building block in the transformation of the Newcastle Vipers this season.” New coach Stewart has more or less started from scratch this season with ten summer signings already and almost all the club’s homegrown players moving to pastures new.
The latest to depart is Ben Campbell, who this week joined David Longstaff – his captain at Whitley Bay Arena last season – at British National League side Guildford Flames.