Southern Stampede blitzkrieg Thunder


Southern Stampede savaged rivals Dunedin Thunder 12-2 as they continue to dominate the national ice hockey league.

The Queenstown-based ice hockey team followed up Friday night’s mauling with a 5-2 victory on Saturday – making it eight wins from eight games in the 2015 season.

Friday’ victory was a true team performance with nine different scorers, including a double for captain Bert Haines and Cam White’s first Stampede goal.

Assistant captain Callum Burns also weighed in with a brace, as did import Greg Collins. 

Stalwart Mike McRae put six assists on the board, to go with his single goal.

Coach Adam Blanchette says: “`It was just one of those nights where everything went our way.

“`We’ve got a lot of talent on our team and it came together.”

Stampede were 6-1 up by the end of the first period.

“It’s great when we can perform like that - it allows us to stretch our bench out and get everyone on the ice.

“`We’ve had a lot of guys step up this season.'”

Stampede are enjoying their best start to a season, with defender Blanchette stepping off the ice to take up a coaching roll.

“It’s always tough not being able to play but it’s a great privilege to be involved with the game,'” Blanchette says.

“The guys have made it easy for me.

“`We’re really just trying to stay focused on the next game because a winning streak’s only as good as your last game.

“There’s half a season to go so we can’t be complacent.'”

Stampede have a bye this weekend before travelling to Christchurch to face three-time champions Canterbury Red Devils, whom they beat twice in Queenstown two weeks ago.

Christchurch is traditionally the biggest test of the season.

“It’s a heated little rivalry,” Blanchette says. “They’re three-times champs, they’re where we want to be.”