We’re confident, not smug: Stampede

Deft touch: Stampede captain Matt Schneider sneaks one past Admirals' Rick Parry PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN

Despite climbing to the top of the table, Queenstown’s Stampede ice hockey team aren’t taking their foot off the pedal.

The defending champs knocked West Auckland Admirals off first place in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League after two gutsy home wins last weekend.

With four games remaining in the regular season, coach Adam Blanchette says they’re not being complacent in their bid to retain the Birgel Cup.

“The one dangerous thing at this point is assuming wins.

“But luckily we learned that lesson early on with Dunedin [Thunder].

“If you don’t show up for a full 60 minutes you can lose.”

They take on Auckland’s Botany Swarm away this weekend.

He’s looking forward to meeting the Admirals again in August’s finals series.

During last Saturday’s game, Hayden Argyle hit the back of the net after just 30 seconds.

Two Stampede stalwarts also celebrated success as Mitchell Frear and Aston Brookes celebrated their 150th and 100th games stepping out in yellow and blue.

Brookes, who is Queenstown born and bred, says while he approached it like any other game he was pretty stoked to bring up the milestone.

“It was weird thinking back to my first games with the team, how they had been and how I have played since then.

“But then I just focused on the game. All the boys were pretty excited, we are always really proud to play in our own rink in front of our hometown fans, so it was great to get that win.

“It will give us that mental boost when we play the Admirals in the finals.”