Stam­ped­ing to­wards na­tional ti­tle

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - DASHA KUPRIENKO

Queen­stown’s Skycity Stam­pede are ready to de­fend their na­tional ti­tle be­fore a sold-out home crowd on Fri­day night.

Hun­dreds of seated tick­ets for the grand fi­nale of hockey ac­tion against the Can­ter­bury Red Devils were sold out in ten min­utes, or­gan­is­ers said.

The first game of the New Zealand Ice Hockey League fi­nal se­ries was played in Christchurch at the week­end, with a 6-2 win for the Stam­pede.

Stam­pede co­or­di­na­tor Ross Burns said the team was happy with the re­sult and would use the same tech­niques in the next game.

The team kept the pres­sure on, with all three lines push­ing through dur­ing the game in Christchurch.

‘‘There was no weak line at any point of the game. Got team ef­fort all over...We wore them down.’’

He said the team’s con­fi­dence grew when they scored a short handed goal in the third pe­riod.

The game was phys­i­cal, but not the most heated-up game of the sea­son.

‘‘A lot of boys took hand shots, throw­ing their bod­ies on the line.’’

The bruises

will heal by Fri­day, he said, when Stam­pede will fight to be­come cham­pi­ons for the fourth time.

Burns said the same play­ers who faced the Red Devils in Christchurch would be tack­ling them again.

South­ern Stam­pede goes into the match with the home game ad­van­tage, with the Queen­stown Ice Arena be­ing packed out by sup­port­ers.

‘‘Our crowd is the most vo­cal in the coun­try,’’ Burns said.

The arena would be able to fit 500 peo­ple, in­clud­ing play­ers, work­ers and security.

Burns said the arena’s ca­pac­ity was restrict­ing, but they could work with the given space.

‘‘We would love to put more [peo­ple] in there.’’

He was very pleased with this sea­son over­all, and over­whelmed with the sup­port.

‘‘It’s not only the guys on the ice but off the ice who put to­gether the pack­age.’’

If the Red Devils were to win on Fri­day, the de­cid­ing match would be held the next day at Queen­stown Arena.

Last year a de­cider was needed, with Stam­pede tak­ing out the match 4-3.

The sec­ond fi­nal game on Fri­day is on at 7pm, with doors open at 6pm.

STACY SQUIRES

Skysity Stam­pede won the first fi­nal game against Can­ter­bury Red Devils, with a 6-2 score­line.

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