Hockey players with hometowns of Newcastle, Australia, and Mexico City, Mexico, might cause a double take for fans of the Steele County Blades.

Nick Mizen and Antonio Najera have come a long way to play junior hockey in Owatonna. Each has a unique story as to how they started playing hockey. Mizen was born in Sydney, Australia. He saw a poster advertising hockey while attending a birthday party as a youngster at an ice rink. He started playing goalie when a rival of his missed some time due to illness. Mizen says there aren't many rinks in Australia.

Najera is from Mexico City, Mexico. He was visiting relatives in Florida when his cousin had to go to hockey practice. Majera tagged along and liked what he saw. He learned how to skate and found a team near his home.

Each player played some hockey in Canada before joining the Blades. Najera has appeared in seven games. Mizen is 1-0 in goal. Steele County also has Oskari Valli from Pori, Finland, on their roster.

The Blades (6-1-1) have a tough weekend in front of them, playing at the Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings (10-1-0). Games are Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, at 7:30PM each night.