Stampede identifies things to work on
The Southern Stampede had its first outing for the 2015 season, coming away with lots of positives, captain Bert Haines said.
The Queenstown-based ice hockey team played pre-season games against last year’s new Zealand Ice Hockey League finalists the Dunedin Thunder on Saturday and Sunday.
The results – two losses of 4-3 and 4-2 – were not what the team would have liked, he said.
‘‘No-one likes to lose but we took it as a real positive we got to work on those things before we head up to Auckland when it actually matters.’’
The team’s first league games for the season are against Botany Swarm on June 5 and 6.
The pre-season games were a good measure of the team’s fitness and an opportunity to play in a competitive environment with lots of personnel changes.
The Stampede had ‘‘managed to keep some of our young fellas’’ but there was a new coach, Adam Blanchette , and five new imported players; one each from France and Canada and three from the United States.
Mitchell Frear has returned from study in Dunedin joining his two brothers Lachlan and Cameron on the ice for the Stampede for the first time.
Key returning players included Haines, Braden Lee, Mike Mcrae, Matt Schneider and Aston Brookes.
Haines said there were a few big hits on the ice ‘‘which were good to see’’ and a some ‘‘minor fistie cuffs’’ but also some great looking skill levels.
Saturday’s game was sold out.
Southern Stampede player Harrison Macharg battles with Dunedin Thunder player Tristan Darling.
Photo: James Allan/supplied