The New Zealand Ice Blacks have arrived in Melbourne, ahead of their 3 game series against Australia’s Mighty Roos, this weekend in Melbourne.
Arriving late on Wednesday night, the team attended two on-ice practice sessions on Thursday afternoon.
The team practiced hard, making the most of the time together on ice under the instruction of Head Coach Anatoly Khorozov, and supported by Assistant Coaches Anton Purver and Andreas Kaisser.
As the first ice time the group has had as a team since April 2021, it was a valuable few hours of practice ahead of their first game on Friday evening.
Ice Blacks Captain, Andrew Cox, said that the series was sure to be a hard and gritty battle, but that he was looking forward to the challenge. “The New Zealand vs. Australia series’ are always an enjoyable experience, they are a lot of fun, competitive and great from a development perspective”.
NZIHF President Andy Mills added that the series was sure to be an exciting warmup for the team in the lead up to their 2023 World Championship Campaign. “The 3 game series in Melbourne will be the first time the team has played together in an international event since their IIHF World Championship tournament in 2019 as the last 3 events were cancelled due to COVID-19”. “Both teams have a lot of respect for each other, and the New Zealand vs. Australia rivalry is sure to be on display at full strength, during the games this weekend”.
The last time the teams met in Australia was at the World Championships in Melbourne in September 2011, with the Mighty Roos winning 2-0.
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