Queenstown ice hockey player Dan Smith will be a marked man in Saturday’s Skate of Origin inter-island game at the Ice Arena.
Smith is in a North Island selection because he played his first hockey in Auckland – and faces 10 teammates from the local Southern Stampede who are lining up for the South Island.
“It was pretty hard playing down there when I played for Auckland but it might be even harder now everyone knows me as a Stampede player,” Ice Black Smith, 26, says.
The South Island Stampede players are Ice Blacks Stacey Rout, Simon Wilson, Braden Lee, Bert Haines and Jamie Moore-Carter plus promising juniors Gareth Lloyd, Aston Brookes, Connor Harrison, Mitchell Frear and Quinn Drake.
The teams are playing for the Glass Family Shield – the North Island won the inaugural game last year in a shoot-out.
Saturday’s game starts 7pm – tickets are $20 for a seat and $15 standing.