Stampede’s season under way
A loss and a win got the Southern Stampede’s pre-season training underway on the weekend.
The Queenstown-based ice hockey team played close rivals the Dunedin Thunder in Dunedin, on Saturday, suffering a 4-0 loss, but turned things around on Sunday with a 6-3 win.
Captain Bert Haines said the team had their first time on the ice together on Thursday and were eager to play their first game.
‘‘We were just all excited to be on the ice. We went out all guns blazing and were a little overenthusiastic.
‘‘On Sunday we settled down and let the game come to us and played a little more intelligently.’’
There was going to be a period of getting comfortable with each other on the ice, he said.
Significant changes since last year included the retirement of stalwart captain Simon Glass and the loss of Max Macharg, who headed to Christchurch to study at Lincoln University.
The Stampede were yet to confirm their coach and may have another import joining the team, Haines said.
However, goal keeper Aston Brookes had returned and New Zealand representatives – himself and high school student Callum Burns – were confirmed starters.
The first game of the season would be against the Canterbury Red Devils, in Christchurch, on June 7. The first home games would be during the Queenstown Winter Festival on June 21, 22, 27 and 28.