Changing allegiance: SkyCity Stampede captain Matt Schneider donned an Auckland jersey in Queenstown last weekend. PICTURE: JAMES ALLAN PHOTOGRAPHY


Queenstowner Matt Schneider was again in the winning team last weekend, but not for the SkyCity Stampede’s he captain of.

He and fellow Stampede player Mike McRae turned out for the Auckland Travelling Goons in the third edition of the Queenstown Cup ice hockey tournament at the Queenstown Ice Arena.

The Goons beat the Wellington Seals in the final.

Meantime, on Tuesday, the New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation announced it’s pulled its senior men’s and under-18 men’s teams from the 2022 IIHF World Champs.

It’s the third consecutive year both teams have missed world championship events, and follows the withdrawal of the Ice Fernz, the women’s national team, from the world champs in December.

NZIHF president Andy Mills says there was a limited number of players able to form the respective teams, but other factors included the continued effects of Covid worldwide, particularly concerns extended travel and quarantine requirements might have on players’ employment and education.

Mills says it’s a ‘‘sad but necessary decision’’, and given the health and safety of all players and staff is the federation’s primary consideration, ‘‘at this time it would not be
a responsible decision to send the teams overseas’’.