Stampede help Ice Blacks secure silver

The New Zealand Ice Blacks ice hockey team, featuring eight Queenstowners, are on their way home with silver medals from the 2024 IIHF Division 2 Group B tourney in Sofia, Bulgaria.

It’s the team’s first medal at the world champs since 2019.

Queenstowners in the side were Colin McIntosh, Stefan Amston, Callum Burns, Connor Harrison, Dylan Devlin and Joel Hassleman — they were joined by Spain-based Ryan Strayer and Vietnam-based Matt Schneider, while SkyCity Stampede coach Cam Frear was co-coach of the national side, and Stampede’s co-manager Nate Hedwig travelled as equipment manager.

Amston, pictured, was named MVP, with five goals and four assists — he was also named the tournament’s best defenceman.

Co-head coach AJ Spiller says while they didn’t manage to secure gold, ‘‘we are still incredibly proud of the team and what they’ve accomplished’’.

The Ice Blacks beat Chinese Taipei, 5-1, and Georgia, 6-2-, before losing to Bulgaria 7-6 in an overtime penalty shootout, and going down to Belgium 6-0.

While they beat Turkey, 5-2, they had to wait till the last game of the tournament — Georgia v Belgium — to find out if they’d be coming
back with silver or bronze.

Belgium beat Georgia, continuing their unbeaten run at the tournament, with Georgia finishing third.

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