Stampede have finals in their sight


Southern Stampede head into the weekend home double-header needing just five points to make the finals.

The Queenstown-based ice hockey team is flying high at the top of teh NZIHL and broke their own league record on Saturday by achieving nine wins on the bounce.

Stampede beat Canterbury Red Devils 4-3 at the Christchurch rink but the chanmpions managed to halt the win streak with an overtime victory on Sunday.

Captain Bert Haines says: “It’s always disappointing to lose – if you like to lose you shouldn’t play sport.

“But at the same time, if there’s ever a good time it should be the middle of a season when you can learn from it.

“We’re not playing for win streaks, we’re playing to win a championship.  We’d rather lose again now and figure out what we need to do to not lose later.”

The overtime loss saw Canterbury Red Devils retain the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio trophy.

Stampede face bottom-of-the-league Auckland’s Botany Swarm at Queenstown Ice Arena twice this weekend.

“Two wins will get us in. We’re really excited about that. Our primary goal is making the finals, our secondary goal is a home final – we’d love to have our crowd at our backs as we go for a championship.”

Haines says Stampede want all six points from the games.

“We’ve always been super-competitive with the Swarm and they’re going to be coming for us – even if you know your season’s shot, there’s nothing better than beating whoever’s on top.

“We want to take it to them this weekend.”

Stampede set the previous eight game win-streak record in 2012, going on a run to secure a home final after a poor start to the season.”