Queenstown Ice Hockey Club put on a spectacle of women’s hockey during the SkyCity Stampede vs. Phoenix Thunder NZIHL game on Saturday night.
The NZIHL typically only sees male players take to the ice, with the exception of the Botany Swarm Goaltender #29 Grace Harrison, so it may have come as a surprise to many to see a bunch of female players skate out on to the ice during the game.
Thanks to Queenstown Ice Hockey Club’s Under 12 programme, a sold out Queenstown Ice Arena was treated to an exciting display of New Zealand ice hockey’s future, with two fully female under 12 teams taking the ice during the intermission. Players from the SkyCity Stampede and Phoenix Thunder stayed on the ice to cheer on the youngsters, as they played a cross-ice game, featuring other female players from the Queenstown club to administer the game.
The New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation (NZIHF) operates a standardised under 12 league around the country, which sees players join super hero themed teams, competing in 3 on 3 cross ice games on a weekly basis. This fun and social format is an entry point for many players once they graduate from a learn to play programme, and is a favourite among parents and players alike.
Special thanks to the Queenstown Ice Hockey Club and players from the SkyCity Stampede, Phoenix Thunder and Wakatipu Wild for their support in making this happen – a night these players will remember for years to come!
Check out the highlights from the NZIHL livestream here: