Qtown ice team plans ace sea­son

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - DASHA KUPRIENKO

The first game of the na­tional cham­pi­onship will be the ‘‘mea­sur­ing stick’’ for Queen­stown’s Stam­pede, as the team aims to de­fend its ti­tle.

The two-time de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pion team has new in­ter­na­tional play­ers on board, ready to tackle the sea­son.

Skycity Stam­pede coach Adam Blanchette said the bar was raised high this year.

‘‘From my point it’s one of the big­gest chal­lenges - keep­ing the guys hun­gry.’’

‘‘Ev­ery year we set the goal of win­ning the cham­pi­onship,’’ he said.

The fo­cus now was to win the first match on Fri­day be­fore aim­ing to ‘‘win them all’’, Blanchette said.

New Zealand Ice Hockey League’s sea­son was short this sea­son with only five teams par­tic­i­pat­ing and four games against each team.

The first game of the sea­son will be against neme­sis the Can­ter­bury Red Devils on Fri­day and Satur­day.

‘‘They are quite a strong team. It’s go­ing to be a stiff com­pe­ti­tion and a good mea­sur­ing stick for where we are stand­ing,’’ he said.

This sea­son Stam­pede had two Cana­di­ans and a Finn im­port and Blanchette said the team was meshed well.

Team co­or­di­na­tor Ross Burns agreed.

‘‘The squad is look­ing quite tidy,’’ he said.

SUP­PLIED/ MARTIN CHEIFETZ

Wakatipu High School’s cross coun­try team, of Queen­stown, at South­land Sec­ondary School Cross Coun­try com­pe­ti­tion in Te Anau.

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