A shootout settles the score for Australia in the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Trans-Tasman Challenge
Press Release September 9 2017
The thrilling final and deciding game of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Trans-Tasman Challenge between Australia’s Mighty Roos and New Zealand’s Ice Blacks came down to a nail biting shootout.
At fulltime the score was even at three goals each. The game went into five minutes of three on three overtime. With no score in overtime; three games, nine periods and more than six hours of intense international ice hockey came down to a shootout which Australia won 2-0 giving them the game and the Trans-Tasman Challenge Trophy.
The game had been intense from start to finish with the teams evenly matched across three periods. Matching each other with power plays, penalties, goals, speed and intensity it all came down to a single player versus the goaltender in a best of three shootout.
“It was a fantastic win and I have to take my hat off to the Ice Blacks,” said Andy McDowell, Vice President Ice Hockey Australia (IHA).
“To go to a shootout in the final game really sums up how hard and fierce this battle was,” said Mr McDowell.
“What an exciting end to the game despite New Zealand coming up slighty short. We can’t wait to play again in 2018,” said Günther Birgel, President, New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation (NZIHF).
“New Zealand has improved a lot and measures up with Australia. The future is looking great for ice hockey in New Zealand. ”
The Ice Blacks’ win in game one against the Mighty Roos was only the second time in thirty years of games between the two countries that New Zealand had prevailed. The Australians have now won 16 times, New Zealand twice.
The Trans-Tasman Challenge three-game series came at the end of the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ which hasn’t seen ice hockey as part of the elite winter sport gathering since 2011.
“It’s something we had in our initial planning, but it has taken until now to make it come to fruition,” said Arthur Klap, Audi quattro Winter Games NZ CEO.
“We all hope that this is something we can grow over the years,” Klap stated.
“Queenstown was the perfect place to have this series played and to be a part of the Audi Quattro Winter Games with the resulting media and future funding exposure is very important to the sport of ice hockey in New Zealand,” said Mr Birgel.
“We are so very grateful to all the organising done by the NZIHF, QIHC and Audi quattro Winter Games,” said Mr McDowell.
“Everyone made us feel welcome especially the volunteers and the Queenstown ice hockey community. You have been absolutely amazing and it has taken our friendship and respect to a new level,” said Mr McDowell
“It was truly a fantastic series of ice hockey. It was a privilege to host our Australian neighbours,” said Andy Mills, President Queenstown Ice Hockey Club who hosted the Trans-Tasman Challenge.
“A huge thanks to all those who made the event possible especially our sponsors, partners and our dedicated Queenstown Ice Hockey Club volunteers who give up their time for the love of hockey. Queenstown once again proved itself it is truly New Zealand’s Hockeytown,” said Mr Mills.
The Queenstown Ice Arena was sold out three nights in a row with more than 2,000 people witnessing three nights of top level ice hockey.
It is hoped that the series will become an annual event.
Audi quattro Trans-Tasman Challenge Champion 2017: Australia
Game 1: New Zealand 4-1 Australia
Game 2: New Zealand 0-2 Australia
Game 3: New Zealand 3-3 Australia, 0-0 5 minutes overtime. Shootout New Zealand 0-2 Australia