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NZIHL All Star Game 2009

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Scott Newman
Scott Newman

The Canterbury Red Devils won (their first trophy) the New Zealand Ice Hockey championship for 2009. This weekend concludes the season with the inaugural All Star game which the best players of the competition battle for the Glass Family Shield.
We call it "Skate of Origin" as it is the best players from the North Island vs. South Island. This will be the last game of Ice Hockey in Auckland for 2009. The NZ Ice Hockey season has been a great success with players getting great experience from the Ice Blacks. They won a huge tournament earlier in the year to get promoted to the Division II International Ice Hockey Grade. Then beat Australia for the first time in an exhibition game. Good things are coming for New Zealand Ice Hockey.
If you have not been to a game before this one will be a good one to see as it has the best of the best in the country playing for each Island. I am sure if it is like the rivalry of any sporting code in New Zealand between the North and the South then this will be a fiercely fought contest.
The league MVP was Chris Eaden from the Canterbury Red Devils. Chris posted brilliant numbers of 30 Goals 29 Assists for 59 points in 16 games. Justin Findlay was the top Goaltender who secured the win in the finals and posted solid numbers of 1.31 Goals Against Average 92.34 Save Percentage & 1 Shut Out in 9 games.
This season the Canterbury Red Devils & Southern Stampede dominated the competition finishing with 28 & 26 points respectively. (May this mark one way traffic against the Northerners?) The defending champions the Botany Swarm came in third with 16 points. West Auckland Admirals with 8 points & the wooden spoon going to the rookie team Dunedin Thunder with 2 competition points.
The league leaders were all from the Southern teams. All is not lost for the experienced Northern team. There are several Ice Blacks for the North Stars including Ice Black Captain Corey Down & Botany Captain Andrew Hay. (Joshua Hay also will help provide much needed offence.) Goaltender Zak Nothling may also inspire the North Stars to an unlikely win.
I am picking the Southern Stars to win the All Star Game for 2009 as they have been superior the whole year leading the way strongly. I don't think new line mates will be a problem for these young stars. It will be a good physical contest. This will be a great showcase of New Zealand Ice Hockey. I am confident that the standard of hockey will grow more rapidly in New Zealand.
Check out the Nez Zealand Ice Hockey website for further information.

NZIHL All Stars North vs. South
What: The Skate of Origin 2009
When: Sunday, 27th September 2009 at 5pm
Where: Paradice Botany, cnr of Botany Rd & Ti Rakau Dr, Botany Downs, Auckland
Cost: $15 Adult $10 Children (Under 16)

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