Hockey teams’ finals on the edge

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By GUY WILLIAMS

Queenstown’s elite ice hockey teams remain on tenterhooks about how their Covid-disrupted seasons will play out.

The NZ Ice Hockey Federation announced on August 30 it was tentatively pushing the dates of the men’s semis and finals back to increase the chances of them being played in front of fans.

It had promised to give another update this week, but SkyCity Stampede manager Niel Frear says that’s been delayed till after the government’s next announcement on Alert Levels tomorrow.

That means the semis between Botany Swarm and Auckland Admirals remain scheduled for
September 24-26 in Auckland, and the finals series, between Stampede and the top  Auckland team, will be played in Queenstown on October 1-3.

For all that to happen, Auckland will need to be at Level 2 by next Friday.

Frear says Stampede’s back training on the ice, and will ‘‘continue to be ready’’ to play when the games are locked in.

Meantime, women’s team Wakatipu Wild is in the same boat, waiting to see if a drop to  Level 2 in Auckland will happen soon enough to allow the NZ Women’s Ice Hockey League’s semis, final and play-off for third and fourth to be held in the resort next weekend.

guy.williams@scene.co.nz