Locals win in International Ice Hockey

Published April 21, 2014

The Ice Blacks won the bronze medal at the 2014 IIHF Division IIB Championships in Jaca, Spain

Game Results
New Zealand 6 – Turkey 3
New Zealand 0 – Mexico 5
New Zealand 4 – South Africa 2
New Zealand 3* – China 2
New Zealand 2 – Spain 6

Nick Henderson of Oakura tells us about his international ice hockey experience.

A little over three weeks ago, a contingent of 25 players and five team staff gathered in Beroun, Czech Republic for the New Zealand Ice Blacks final training camp.

Part of the group enjoyed a 50 hour transit from Auckland, while the others joined us from Australia, Canada and Europe.

The 10 day camp was a great way to bring the team together and was the first time the squad as a whole had been on the ice together.

We spent over 20 hours on the ice along with having four warm-up games against various Czech teams.

We managed to get game-like competition that just isn’t available in this part of the world and this was integral to our preparation.

Being able to gather as a team and train so far away from home gives us the opportunity to focus our mindset solely on hockey for a short period of time before playing international teams that are coming fresh off their respective seasons.

Following the camp, it was a short flight from Prague to Barcelona and a five hour bus ride to Jaca, which was a great chance to see the Spanish countryside!

The accommodation and facilities offered by the Spanish Ice Hockey Federation were incredible, and once again, allowed us to focus on the job at hand.

The tournament side of things showed mixed results for us. We were able to come from behind in every game and beat Turkey, South Africa and China.

Unfortunately we were beaten by a Mexican team that were a lot stronger than last year, and in the final game, we fell to eventual winners, Spain, in front of a local crowd of 3000.

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On a local note, I was joined by Jaden Pine-Murphy and Nick Craig who also played all their junior hockey in warmer conditions, in Taranaki.

After playing 10 years together it was the first time we had played on the ice and in the same jersey for seven years!

Moving forward, the majority of the New Zealand Ice Blacks are under the age of 25, and from what I can see there is a talented crop of players coming through in the age groups, so no doubt we will continue to improve our ranking every year!

 
 
 
 
TOM