By TRACEY ROXBURGH
Queenstown’s SkyCity Stampede ice hockey team might have schooled its Dunedin counterparts last weekend, but the side won’t be taking anything for granted playing them again, at home, this weekend.
The 2019 New Zealand Ice Hockey League champs put on a punishing display against the Dunedin Thunder away last Friday and Saturday, winning 8-2, 10-2, but manager Niel Frear says the side won’t be resting on its laurels when it plays the Thunder here.
‘‘Dunedin’s got an Olympic-sized stadium and while they expected their speed to be an advantage for them, I think our team was quicker than they thought.
‘‘When we get to Queenstown it’s a smaller rink and I actually think that might suit them a bit better.
‘‘It’s a totally different game in Queenstown.’’
Due to the extension of Alert Level 2, there won’t be a big home crowd again this weekend — that, too, could play into the Thunder’s hands, Frear says.
‘‘Usually they play us and the building … it’s unfortunate [to have no crowd], but it’s just the way it is.’’
All going to plan, though, Alert Level 1 will come into play early next week, meaning a packed-out Queenstown Ice Arena for next weekend’s Stampede v ‘the best of the south’ team, comprising players from the Thunder and Canterbury Red Devils.
‘‘Hopefully it’s a party on Jacinda,’’ Frear says.
A link to watch this weekend’s games, being played tonight and tomorrow night, will be available through the Stampede’s Facebook page.