McIn­tosh tops na­tional scor­ing ta­ble

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - DEB­BIE JAMIESON

Queen­stown’s Stam­pede ice hockey team is sit­ting at the top of the na­tional league and new im­port player Colin McIn­tosh is lead­ing the scor­ing board.

The team took two wins over the West Auck­land Ad­mi­rals on the week­end and coach Adam Blanchette said the 6-4 and 5-3 scores re­flected a fan­tas­tic team ef­fort, de­spite two key of­fen­sive play­ers be­ing un­avail­able on the day.

‘‘I think it proves to us we are in fact a team. We don’t rely just on a few guys to do all the dam­age.’’

The team was now in the ‘‘driver’s seat’’ for the re­main­der of the sea­son and should be able to se­cure fi­nals on home ice.

The wins also en­sured the Skyc­ity Stam­pede will hold on to the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio tro­phy for the sea­son. It can only be won by beat­ing a team on home ice dur­ing the round robin and Stam­pede’s re­main­ing games will be held in Auck­land and Christchurch.

While it was a big team ef­fort, of­fen­sive player Colin McIn­tosh stood out for hav­ing a big week­end, Blanchette said.

The 29-year-old Cana­dian im­port was cred­ited with four goals and seven as­sists on the week­end, plac­ing him at the top of the league scor­ing ta­ble with 17 goals in 12 games.

It was his first sea­son in Queen­stown and he said as soon as he flew over the South Is­land he knew he was in ‘‘heaven on earth’’.

McIn­tosh was lov­ing Queen­stown life and plan­ning to ex­tend his work­ing visa to re­main, work and play an­other sea­son with the Stam­pede.

Hav­ing worked in con­struc­tion and with a de­gree in psy­chol­ogy, he wasn’t sure where he would look to work in Queen­stown, but had al­ready done some ad­ver­tis­ing work for the New Zealand Olympic Com­mit­tee ahead of this year’s Win­ter Games.

He had played ice hockey most of his life, in­clud­ing four years in col­lege in the United States and the past four-and-a-half years in Europe.

He en­joyed the Stam­pede’s ca­ma­raderie and their phys­i­cal play style, which he likened to the type of ice hockey played in North Amer­ica.

‘‘We’ve been get­ting a lot of flack for our style but we’ve got a lot of peo­ple play­ing a skilled game as well. We can be brutish out there but at the same time there’s plenty of fi­nesse.’’

JAMES AL­LAN

Skyc­ity Stam­pede’s Colin McIn­tosh lines up a goal against the West Auck­land Ad­mi­rals on the week­end.

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