Amping to play: The Wakatipu Wild will play their first home games this year this weekend. PICTURE: YVONNE KEMP


Fans of Queenstown’s women’s ice hockey team finally have a chance to watch them play on home ice.

Wakatipu Wild’s taking on New Zealand Women’s Ice Hockey League reigning champions Canterbury Inferno in a three-game exhibition series at the Queenstown Ice Arena
starting tonight.

Surprisingly, it’ll be Wild’s first games at home given all their games in their debut season last year, and this season to date, have been played in Dunedin.

The team hasn’t played since the first round in August, and with the finals series now tentatively re-scheduled for December 10-12, everyone’s itching for game time, coach Colin
McIntosh says.

‘‘All the women want to play, so we thought ‘why not have three games over one weekend
and get them back into some action?’

“I know a lot of the girls are very excited about playing in front of friends and family, so we’re hoping to have a good one.’’

They’re expecting a good workout against Inferno, who won the league last year as the Devilettes, McIntosh says.

‘‘They’ve a lot of strong skaters and players, so it’s definitely going to be a competitive
three games.’’

Meantime, how next month’s finals series in Queenstown pans out will hinge on upcoming
government decisions over Covid restrictions.

Everyone’s hoping the Auckland Steel will be allowed to fly south by then.

Otherwise, it could only involve the South Island teams, McIntosh says.

‘‘But at this moment we’re just trying to focus on what’s at hand, getting three games in and
all the girls on the ice at the same time.’’

Puck drops tonight at 6.30pm, tomorrow at 5.30pm, and on Sunday at 9.15am.