Could you tell me the next time that you’re choking?
‘Cause I’ll rush right over to shove some dirt right down your throat
It’s derby week in the NZIHL as the Southern teams face off and the Auckland teams go head-to-head in a split week as round four continues on next week with the West Auckland Admirals and Botany Swarm playing the curtain raiser to the Ice Hockey Classic at Spark Arena on June 22nd.
Thunder v Stampede @ Queenstown Ice Arena
The Skycity Stampede return to the comfy confines of their home rink to play at the Queenstown Ice Arena for the first time this season. There the impassioned faithful will be in full voice and for some, they’ll also don full face paint or colourful suits a la Don Cherry, creating one of the most exciting atmospheres in the NZIHL.
After destroying the Red Devils last weekend, outscoring them 24-5, the Stampede will now face a tough test against their southern rivals led by captain and league-leading scoring machine Paris Heyd.
While Heyd is on pace to score 26-27 goals within the short season, the Thunder have proven they’re not a one-trick pony with consistent contributions up and down the lineup including Egli, Orr, and Gavoille, but they’ve had trouble keeping the puck out as well. Currently Dunedin’s goal differential sits at -4, they will want to get that up to help in any tie-breaker situations as they eye up a spot in the Finals come August.
Both will enter the contest full of confidence as they ride the high of a previous big win – consider this a true test of where each team stands in the league.
Admirals v Swarm @ Paradise Botany Downs
Speaking of tests – calling an Admirals/Swarm derby game a ‘top of the table’ clash isn’t something that’s been said very often around the Puck Yeah offices (we don’t have one), but here we are!
And that sound you hear is the West Auckland super fans filling up their hip flasks and bringing their support across town to Botany, just as long as they don’t get stuck on the motorway somewhere. The teams split the pre-season games and fans of the league have been waiting for this clash since the Swarm came flying out of the gates.
The loser of Saturday’s game will have to wait a week for any retribution as the rematch comes under the big lights of Spark Arena before the Ice Hockey Classic next Friday.
NZIHL Round 4 Game Schedule:
Dunedin Thunder v Skycity Stampede – Queenstown Ice Arena
June 15th & 16th at 7:00pm
West Auckland Admirals v Botany Swarm – Paradice Botany Downs
June 16th at 4:40pm