Player knocked out

Coach says scenes on rink ‘un­be­liev­able’

Central Otago Mirror - - SPORT -

The South­ern Stam­pede cap­tain is slam­ming Can­ter­bury ice hockey af­ter star player Matt Sch­nei­der was knocked out with a punch to the face on Satur­day night.

In the first games for the sea­son the Queen­stown-based side lost on Satur­day and Sun­day 4-2 to the Can­ter­bury Red Devils, in Christchurch.

Cap­tain Bert Haines said the first game was tight and there were missed op­por­tu­ni­ties. How­ever, the sec­ond was ‘‘un­be­liev­able’’.

‘‘We car­ried most of the play for the en­tire game re­ally. We had the refs kind of steal the game from us.’’

Near the end of the sec­ond pe­riod Can­ter­bury player Hay­den Ar­gyle sucker punched Stam­pede player Sch­nei­der, shortly af­ter break­ing his stick on Sch­nei­der’s arm.

‘‘Hay­den got kicked out of the game but we lost our star player to in­jury and then they man­aged to give out three 10-minute mis­con­ducts to our play­ers.’’

Called out were Mike McRae af­ter he stepped into the fight and there was some push­ing and shov­ing be­tween him and Ar­gyle, Braden Lee who came off the bench to en­sure Sch­nei­der was OK and Quinn Drake who was es­cort­ing med­i­cal staff onto the ice.

‘‘It’s un­be­liev­able,’’ Haines said.

The in­ci­dents caused a mas­sive swing in the game, he said.

‘‘We started the pe­riod with two top guys in the box, one kicked out of the game (McRae) and one on the way to hospi­tal.’’

Red Devils head coach Stacey Rout, a for­mer star of the Stam­pede, said his team were also dis­ap­pointed in the punch in­flicted on Sch­nei­der.

Sch­nei­der was play­ing to the whis­tle and was in close prox­im­ity to the goal de­fender at­tempt­ing to score with half time loom­ing.

‘‘Hay­den took ex­cep­tion to that and came and gave Matt a punch to the face,’’ he said.

Ar­gyle was feel­ing ‘‘pretty bad’’ about the in­ci­dent and would miss at least two games. It could be more af­ter the na­tional tri­bunal con­sid­ered the case this week.

Rout had since re­watched the game video and said Sch­nei­der was knocked out be­fore he hit the ice.

‘‘That’s not the type of hockey that we want to be play­ing.’’

It was also clear to him that the 10-minute penal­ties im­posed on Lee and Drake as well as two Red Devils play­ers in the aftermath to the punch were un­jus­ti­fied.

‘‘We’ve al­ready com­mu­ni­cated our dis­plea­sure to the league about the types of calls,’’ he said.

Sch­nei­der ap­peared to re­cov­er­ing well. The team’s next games are against the Dunedin Thun­der at the Queen­stown Ice Rink dur­ing Win­ter Fes­ti­val. Turn­ing out for the South­ern Stam­pede on the weekend was a home com­ing for Wakatipu High School stu­dent Cal­lum Burns af­ter a sen­sa­tional in­ter­na­tional sea­son.

Burns made his mark on our na­tional ice hockey team scor­ing his first goal on de­but at the re­cent di­vi­sion two world champs.

Play­ing Turkey in Spain, 17-yearold Burns put the team in a handy po­si­tion as he put the Ice Blacks in front with a limited amount of time left.

‘‘It wasn’t ex­actly a cool or flashy goal, but it got the job done,’’ he said, as the team went on to win the game 6-3.

The goal made Cal­lum the sec­ond youngest player to score for the Ice Blacks.

Burns was ‘‘hon­oured’’ to be named in the team to com­pete at the IIHF tour­na­ment in March for the first time, es­pe­cially af­ter al­ready be­ing named to play in the un­der 18 and un­der 20 New Zealand team in Turkey and Bul­garia ear­lier this year.

With the Ice Blacks hav­ing high ex­pec­ta­tions to do well in the tour­na­ment, they were ‘‘bit­terly dis­ap­pointed,’’ with the loss to Bel­gium, which pre­vented them from mak­ing the fi­nal. They still man­aged to grab the bronze with a cou­ple of wins to end the tour­na­ment.

With the ma­jor­ity of his in­ter­na­tional com­mit­ments con­cluded for the year, Burns is back in Queen­stown play­ing left wing for lo­cal favourites the South­ern Stam­pede, in­clud­ing tak­ing the ice on the weekend against the Can­ter­bury Red Devils.

Team cap­tain Bert Haines said Burns had a cou­ple of great games.

While Burns would love to pur­sue a hockey ca­reer he is also con­scious of hav­ing some skills to fall back on.

Next year he is plan­ning to pur­sue is hockey ca­reer in Canada.

‘‘I just wanted the time to purely fo­cus on my hockey with no school and no other at­tach­ments, to see where it takes me, I guess.’’

Photo: JAMES AL­LAN

Knocked out: South­ern Stam­pede player Matt Sch­nei­der, pic­tured in 2013, was knocked out by a punch to his head by Red Devils player Hay­den Ar­gyle on Satur­day night.

Ice skills: Wakatipu High School stu­dent Cal­lum Burns is mak­ing his mark on in­ter­na­tional ice hockey.

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