HERSHEY, PA – Nathan Walker celebrates his first AHL goal. Walker became the first Australian hockey player to score a goal in American Hockey League history Sunday night. (Kyle Mace / Sweetest Hockey on Earth)
Nathan Walker might look like the normal American Hockey League player: 5’10″, plays forward, and shoots left. Yet there is something that sets him apart from the rest: he’s from Australia. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Walker’s family moved down under when he was very young.
In an interview with NHL.com, Walker said “Hockey isn’t the most popular thing in Australia; it’s certainly not the number one thing to do on a Saturday night.” But those Saturday nights at the rink have helped him accomplished what no other person has before.
When Walker stepped foot on Giant Center ice during Hershey’s opening night on October 5th, he set his first record, becoming the first player from Australia to play in an American Hockey League game. It only took him 22 more days to set two more records.
Only 95 seconds into Hershey’s game against the Norfolk Admirals, Walker scored the Bears first goal of the game, becoming the first Australian hockey player to score at that high of a level.
Just over eight minutes later, Walker had his first professional fight. “I’m not much of a fighter,” said Walker after the win. “I think the goal will probably be more (memorable.)”
Despite all of the celebration in Australia for Walker’s accomplishments, he is staying humble though all of it. “I just wanted to make sure the boys got the dub, and that happened.
“I just take it as another player, playing the game. I’m just another guy who just scored a goal.”
Hershey has been struggling lately, but gained it’s first home win of the season with the help of Walker’s goal. “We’ve been having it pretty rough the last few games. We stuck with it, we worked hard, and tonight we got the win.”
Hopefully this is the first of many goals and accomplishments for Walker this season and seasons to come.