By MATTHEW MCKEW
A bronze medal was the ice-ing on the cake for the newly-formed Wakatipu Wild women’s ice hockey team at the weekend.
It was a gruelling schedule of matches for the Queenstown-based franchise as they took on Auckland, Dunedin and Canterbury teams at the Dunedin Ice Stadium.
Wild opened the second round robin with a convincing win over Dunedin Thunder on Friday night, 3-0.
Unfortunately on the Saturday they were frozen out of the hunt for the top two places, thanks to a 6-1 defeat to eventual league winners Canterbury Devilletes and a ‘‘nailbiting’’ 3-2 loss to Auckland Steel.
It meant dusting themselves off and going again on Sunday morning for the third and fourth play-off, against Thunder, which the Queenstown ladies won, 4-2.
Captain Kellye Nelson, who picked up most valued player for the Wild, bagged a hat-trick and Tallulah Bryant rounded off the scoresheet.
Wild travelled back to Queenstown with the bronze in the bag and a best sportsmanship award for Zanzee Pielak-Jones.
Nelson says the team’s opening season taught them valuable lessons on how to progress.
“We will be putting in the work during the off season and look forward to 2021, with hopefully some home games in Queenstown.
‘‘We had a fabulous group of talented and strong women representing Queenstown and the southern region for our first season — and we look forward to growing together as a team.’’
Anyone interested in getting involved with the team can email firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch through their Facebook page.