Slow start costs south

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North Island’s Gareth McLeish (pictured, right) flies over South Island’s Gareth Lloyd during a Skate of Origin game in Queenstown last Saturday. 

Despite McLeish’s aerobatics, his North Island Stars beat the South Island 3-2 at the Queenstown Ice Arena. The South Island – with 10 local-based Southern Stampede players – suffered from letting in two goals in the first five minutes. 

Stampede Bert Haines says the two North Island national ice hockey league teams made the finals whereas the South Islanders hadn’t played for four weeks. 

“We just got out of the gate a little bit slow,” Haines says. 

South Island pulled back a goal at the end of the first period with an assist from Queenstowner Quinn Drake, who was the league’s rookie of the year. 

But the North Island team – helped by Stampede’s Dan Smith, who played his first hockey in Auckland – pulled ahead 3-1 in the second period. South Island pegged a goal back in the third period but couldn’t score an equaliser. 

Haines says Stampede’s Stacey Rout, Braden Lee, Drake and Aston Brookes all impressed. 

The Glass Family Shield was presented to the North Island by two Queenstowners – past New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation president Graeme Glass and his son, former Ice Black captain Simon.