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Thread: New Zealand National League 2007

  1. #51
    IHF Member Zenda's Avatar
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    The NZ National League concluded yesterday (Sat NZ time) with the final in Christchurch played in front of a sell out crowd.....small by overseas standards, but large for New Zealand.
    The Botany Swarm from Auckland managed a shut out win against the more favoured Canterbury Devils.
    The NZIHL Trophy has travelled north for the first time.
    Botany Swarm deserved the win, with a well disciplined, well structured game from start to end.
    Peter will no doubt post photos shortly.
    Go Swarm!!

  2. #52
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    New Zealand Nowland aims for title win over Swarm

    from http://www.stuff.co.nz/4194083a6429.html

    Nowland aims for title win over Swarm
    By TIM DUNBAR - The Press | Saturday, 8 September 2007

    Canadian-born forward Loren Nowland has won two national ice hockey league titles with the Southern Stampede and now he wants another one with the Canterbury Red Devils.

    Nowland will be looking to keep his record at 100 per cent in the fledgling New Zealand Ice Hockey League when the Red Devils meet Auckland's Botany Swarm in the final at the Alpine Ice Sports and Entertainment Centre today.

    Nowland was the MVP for the Stampede in last year's final series, scoring five of the Otago-Southland side's eight goals.

    Now he is in Canterbury Red Devils colours, and of the firm belief the side can win.

    "The Red Devils this year look fantastic, and we've got a ton of firepower," he said.

    Nowland thought it would come down to that with a one-game final this year.

    "We need our guys to blow them out of the water."

    While a three-game finals series would be better, a winner-take-all final was preferable to two games where the result could come down to a goal differential or points, he said.

    The Red Devils are known for a fast free-flowing attacking style, while the Swarm boasts a tough, uncompromising defence – with only 28 goals conceded.

    The Devils have scored 63 goals in 10 league games and, significantly, have the competition's top three scorers in Hungarian Janos Kaszala (11 goals, 12 assists), Swede Jesper Danielsson (9, 13) and Czech Lukas Kavka (10, 6).

    However, the firepower does not stop there, with the Red Devils able to claim nine of the top 17 scorers, including Ice Black Hayden Argyle with five goals and nine assists.

    Nowland said the Red Devils had been fortunate to have a couple of their imports stay this year, "and a couple of new ones turn up".

    "Kaszala is just amazing on the ice and Jesper Danielsson .. these guys' skill level is incredible and it makes the game so exciting to watch," Nowland said.

    Kaszala, who moved to Christchurch recently, is one of the Red Devils' playmakers and his class has been obvious.

    The 30-year-old has played 30 games for his native Hungary and has racked up 64 goals and 74 assists in 220 league or international games.

    Nowland noted the Red Devils had gone from last place in the first year of the four-team league, to second-last in 2006, and were now top of the table going into the final.

    "It's just a well-rounded team, they've really matured over the three years."

    Nowland said the older players in the squad, like himself, tried to lead the young ones "and let these guys know the level they need to take it to".

    Now a New Zealand resident, Nowland grew up in Canada, though his father was a Kiwi.

    He moved to New Zealand about seven years ago.

    Nowland was living in Christchurch last year, but was unsure how long he was going to stay, so continued to play for the Stampede, "which caused a few problems for training".

    "You know, this year living up here full time it's been great to join the Red Devils."

    Nowland believed it was "probably the two teams who played best as teams who've finished in the finals".

    The Swarm lost last year's series by a heart-breaking goal.

    "They know what to expect, they've been there and I tell you what, I'm sure they don't like losing," he said.

    He pointed to the recent Ice Blacks' success internationally, and said the Kiwi-born players "have come on (in) leaps and bounds in the last 10 years".

  3. #53
    IHF Staff Davide's Avatar
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    May Loren Nowland plays for National team? Should be a great addition for Kiwi....

  4. #54
    IHF Member Zenda's Avatar
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    Yes Canterbury were certainly the favoured side to win, but I think the Botany Swarm were seriously under estimated.
    Swarm have a combination of experience and young talent and a very stable roster. They went into the finals with a complete team. Both Martin Lee and Daniel Brodan stayed for the final and Lyle Idoine was able to return in time.
    This team gets on very well as a playing unit and in the final it showed with a 7-0 shut out.
    A pity that the Auckland supporters didn't get to see it, but I'm sure Canterbury appreciated it.
    There is a short report on the NZ ice hockey website. Goals to Lee x2, Curnow x2, Huber, Nathan and J Hay. (Anthony Nathan is an inline hockey player (NZ rep) in his first full year of ice hockey!!) Goalie, Zak Nothling well deserved the shut out.

  5. #55
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    New Zealand Botany swarms all over Red Devils

    Botany swarms all over Red Devils

    By TIM DUNBAR - The Press | Monday, 10 September 2007

    Canterbury's Red Devils were well iced up by Auckland's Botany Swarm in a crushing 7-0 scoreline for the national ice hockey league final in Christchurch.

    When it was all over at the Alpine Ice Centre, Swarm sticks were flung in the air and there was some serious back-slapping in the pileup. A little later a couple of players made celebratory swan dives across the ice.

    At the same time the Red Devils players were left wondering what had happened to the cohesion and teamwork of a side that won the minor premiership with 63 goals in 10 games.

    In a desperate move for the Red Devils to avoid a shutout, coach Dimitry Gunchenko took the goalkeeper off the rink in the last minute, and brought on an extra skater.

    The six-pronged attack failed and Swarm's Martin Lee was able to guide the puck into an open goal at the other end.

    Lee and fellow impressive forward Nick Curnow both contributed a brace of goals to Swarm's tally.

    "They outplayed us in all areas today, offence and defence, so there's not much we can say about that," said Red Devils captain Hamish Lewis.

    He was at a loss to understand why the Red Devils failed to fire.

    "We just couldn't get passes on the stick, couldn't find the back of the net – and we had just as many chances to score to start off."

    It was all but over for the Red Devils when they conceded three goals in the first of the three 20min periods, the first two with Swarm having a one-man advantage after a sin-binning.

    "We started out pretty good, but when you're playing five on four the whole time like it happens on penalty, you can't win a game like that," Lewis said. Four of the goals were power-play goals.

    He was proud of what the Red Devils had done in making their first final.

    The Red Devils had a final-round bye and a six-week break – two more than Swarm – before returning to the ice and Lewis agreed that could have been a factor. "We hit our prime the end of our last round, so it would have been good to play pretty soon after that."

    His Swarm counterpart, Ice Black Andrew Hay, paid tribute to young home-grown goalie Zak Nothling. "He made some unbelievable saves and that really kept them out."

    The Swarm made 34 shots on goal, the Red Devils only four fewer, but it was Nothling-doing on their scoresheet with 30 saves from 30.

    Despite the scoreline, Red Devils goalkeeper Andreas Ericsson also played fairly well to block some sizzling shots, Lewis saying "we didn't help him out a lot".

    For Swarm, Hay also singled out finals MVP, German import Charlie Huber, along with Curnow and 17-year-old (ed 16) defender Richard Idoine for both "stepping it up big time".

    He admitted Canterbury had been its "bogey team" with Swarm recording a 6-4 loss and a 3-3 draw in their two regular season clashes.

    Swarm lost the 2006 finals series to Southern Stampede by a heartbreaking one goal and Hay said that provided "a lot of motivation" for a squad that had largely stayed intact.

    The surprise of the Red Devils' capitulation is evidenced in their players' near domination of the season awards with classy Hungarian import Janos Kaszala named league MVP and top points-scorer and Ice Black Hayden Argyle the best defenceman.

    Lewis was hoping the Red Devils would learn from the experience. Most of the Kiwis would be back next year, but not Swede Ericsson and a couple of the other foreign players.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #56
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    Photos of the Final Game now published - this link is to all the games from the season - with the Final and Final Celebrations being the last two sets in this collection.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/nzihf/c...7600840226490/

    So thats it for the NZ National League for another year. Lyle left for the UK (again) this evening feeling like he finished the season proper, supporting the Botany Swarm.

  7. #57
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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    New Zealand

    Botany national ice hockey championship winners
    By PJ TAYLOR

    Wednesday, 12 September 2007

    • Howick and Botany Times

    BOTANY may have only been on the map for a few short years, but it has already earned bragging rights as the country’s leading light in ice hockey.

    Victory: The Botany Swarm celebrate winning the national ice hockey league. Photo supplied.

    The Botany Swarm won the national ice hockey league last weekend, shooting seven unanswered goals past the Canterbury Red Devils in front of a packed Alpine Stadium, Christchurch.

    There were wild scenes of jubilation at full time, as Botany Swarm players raised their sticks to the victory, with two players even taking swan dives across the ice to celebrate.

    One of the Swarm’s final heroes was goalkeeper Zak Nothling, who saved 30 from 30 shots from the Red Devils. Botany’s seven goals came from Nick Curnow (2), Martin Lee (2), Josh Hay, Anthony Nathan and Charlie Huber.

    It’s the third year of the national hockey league, which is competed for by the Swarm, Red Devils, the West Auckland Admirals and Southern Stampede of Queenstown, over 10 rounds in regular season.

    Swarm manager Ian Challis says the final victory is pleasing for several reasons. Botany, league runners-up in 2006 after narrowly losing the final to the Stampede, in winning this year’s final reversed a 4-6 losing scoreline to the Red Devils in a league round-robin clash at home in July.

    “At the end of this season, the Botany Swarm and Canterbury Red Devils both finished the regular season on 26 points,” says Challis.

    “The Botany Swarm dominated the game from start to finish with outstanding performances from German import Charlie Huber, the most valuable player in the final, and Ian Wannamaker, who was voted MVP for the regular season.

    “The Botany Swarm is a very young side which is likely to stay together for a long time, with 15-year-old Jordan Challis playing in his rookie year and 16-year-old Richard Idoine impressing in his second year.

    “The future looks very bright for the Botany Swarm.”

    Ian Challis says four Swarm players, Curnow, Hay, Mitchell Oak and Andrew Hay, represented the New Zealand Ice Blacks in April at the Division 3 World Hockey Championships in Dundalk, Ireland.

    The Ice Blacks won gold and have been promoted to Division 2 for next April’s world tournament in Newcastle, Australia.

    The 2007 national ice hockey champions, the Botany Swarm, are: (goalkeepers) Zak Nothling, Kane Easterbrook; (defenders) Graeme Carstairs, Richard Idoine, Calvin McNabb, Andrew Hay (captain), Mitchell Oak (assistant), Daniel Brodan; (forwards) Joshua Hay, Sam Boniface, Martin Lee, George Pilgrim, Ryan Grimes, Lyle Idoine, Charlie Huber, Phil Lyle, Anthony Nathan, KC Ball, Ian Wannamaker, Jordan Challis, Nick Curnow (assistant). Andreas Kaisser (coach), Ian Challis (manager).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #58
    IHF Member nzice's Avatar
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  9. #59
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    doubled attendance across the board? fan clubs? heyyyyy! that is strong!
    congrats to the Kiwi hockey community!

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