By GUY WILLIAMS
Queenstown’s elite women ice hockey players finally have some clarity — a new Covid outbreak aside — about how their season will pan out.
Wakatipu Wild’s season was supposed to have concluded in the resort last weekend with the New Zealand Women’s Ice Hockey League’s four teams contesting semis, a final and a playoff for third and fourth.
But travel restrictions put the kibosh on that, following on from the postponement of the league’s second round, in Dunedin, on September 4-5.
Wild captain Kellye Nelson says the second round’s been canned entirely, but the semis, final and playoff for third and fourth have been rescheduled for December 11-12 in Queenstown.
With the first-round results determining placings, Wild will go into that event as top dog.
To get some game play under their belts, they’re planning a round of exhibition games against Canterbury Inferno, in the resort, for some time in November, Nelson says.
While everyone’s hoping Auckland Steel will be able to jump on a plane by December, she understands the league plans to go ahead with the three South Island teams if they can’t.
She hopes the team’s locally-based players will be able to resume training together late next month.
‘‘However, all the girls are on the ice weekly in some capacity, playing leagues and maintaining their fitness.’’
As for SkyCity Stampede, things are still up in the air, with the NZ Ice Hockey Federation yet to decide on a revised schedule.
The semis between Botany Swarm and Auckland Admirals were to have been played in
Auckland last weekend, while the finals series, between Stampede and the top Auckland team, was scheduled for Queenstown this weekend.