By GUY WILLIAMS
Fresh off the back of a ‘‘weird’’ weekend in which SkyCity Stampede broke the Canterbury Red Devils’ hearts on Saturday before crushing them on Sunday, Stampede captain Matt Schneider remains the New Zealand Ice Hockey League’s top scorer this season.
But the Canadian native, who’s racked up 15 goals and 20 assists in 10 games, remains characteristically modest, putting his returns down to ‘‘quality teammates’’.
They include the league’s next-best three scorers so far: Colin McIntosh (14 goals, 10 assists in eight games), Mike McRae (5 goals, 18 assists in six) and Liam Stewart (10 goals, 11 assists from eight).
Schneider says the points spread is misleading, because the other three have played fewer
‘‘If you were to extrapolate their points out, per game they’d be right with me, if not ahead of me.’’
But Schneider concedes he’s having a ‘‘decent season so far’’.
‘‘The pucks are going in for me … it’s one of those seasons where things are going right at the moment, and hopefully that continues on.’’
He’s looking forward to what’ll be the team’s first home games in four weeks, against Phoenix Thunder, tonight and tomorrow night.
Puck drop at Queenstown Ice Arena’s 7pm.
After beating the Red Devils 8-7 and 14-2 in Christchurch, Stampede’s won 21 straight league regular-season games (23 including playoffs) and 31 straight overall.
Schneider says the first game’s score was a ‘‘bit of an outlier’’, with the young but talented Canterbury line-up coming at them hard early on, even getting up 6-2 at one stage.
‘‘From then on it was a case of us putting our heads down and getting them back.
‘‘It was a position we haven’t really been in for the past few seasons, so it was nice to get into that position, as stressful as it is.’’