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The National Hockey League is trying to build on its first foray into the Southern Hemisphere — two preseason games between the Los Angeles Kings and Arizona Coyote this weekend — by expanding its street hockey program to Australia.

The program is designed for children ages 6 to 16. The North American version has incorporated various aspects of previously successful NHL club programs in non-traditional hockey markets such as Las Vegas, Nashville and Tampa, Florida.

Although Australia fits the non-traditional hockey market, Mark Black, the NHL’s vice president of international operations, told The Associated Press that the league feels it’s a long-term viable market.

“There is an interesting history of hockey in Australia and a lot of passion there for all sports,” Black said in a telephone interview. “It may be a smaller market, but there is a lot of knowledge.”

The NHL’s plan Down Under will be to use the upcoming year to pilot the program within a selection of interested local schools in Victoria state, with a focus on the Melbourne area. It will then attempt to expand it across the country by mid-2024.