Future in good hands

You could call it the icing on the cake.

After Queenstown’s SkyCity Stampede clinched their eighth New Zealand Ice Hockey League title early last month, their junior counterparts have followed suit.

The under-15 Junior Stampede side are now also national champs after a two-round contest in Dunedin, in July and late last month, involving games against Auckland Blue, Auckland White, Canterbury and Dunedin Thunder.

In the first round they won all but one of their six games, then in the second they completed six games undefeated before striking Thunder in the final.

At fulltime the teams were tied 1-all before Stampede’s Ben Dixon slotted a goal for his team to claim gold.

Meanwhile, four senior Stampede players won awards at the team’s recent prizegiving function.

Cup runneth over: Three SkyCity Stampede award-winners with their team’s coveted and reclaimed Birgel Cup — from left, Dylan Devlin, Harrison Macharg and Colin McIntosh; absent, Josh Hurley

‘Coach’s player’ was Josh Hurley, 21, who commuted from Roxburgh three to four times a week.

‘‘He showed up for every game and did whatever the team needed to get the win, so he was huge for us,’’ coach Cam Frear says.

Experienced player Colin McIntosh won ‘most improved’ after battling back from a bad reaction to the Covid vaccine which meant he could only play the (winning) finals last year.

Ex-Thunder player and Ice Black Dylan Devlin was named ‘player’s player’.

‘‘He’s one of those guys that did anything we asked of him and it was never a problem,’’ Frear says, ‘‘and one of those everyone loves having in the team.’’

The ‘clubman’ award, also named the Cam Frear award, went to Harrison Macharg.

‘‘Same thing, he will do anything,’’ Frear says.

‘‘Again, the ultimate person you’ll want in your team.’’

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