The NZ Ice Blacks and the Australian Mighty Roos will come head to head three times in the Trans-Tasman Challenge presented by the Queenstown Resort College on the 5th, 6th and 7th of September. Ice Hockey is a night event so make the most of your time in Queenstown and come along to see these hotly contested matches. Doors open at 6pm with the puck dropping at 7pm each night.
Game 1: Ice Blacks win 6 – 4 over the Mighty Roos
Game 2 : Ice Blacks win 5 – 3 over the Mighty Roos
Games 3: Mighty Roos win 9 – 2 over the Ice Blacks
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Standing at 6-foot-7, Matthew Schneider is one player you can’t miss on the ice and not just for his sheer size. Initially drafted in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Draft by the Calgary Flames, the Vernon, BC native has made a name for himself in Queenstown.
Making his debut for the Skycity Stampede in 2012, Schneider has consistently been among the New Zealand Ice Hockey League’s top goal scorers.
Schneider took over the Stampede captaincy in 2016 and has a slew of awards to show for his eight-year NZIHL career including league MVP (2014) and Finals MVP (2015), along with winning the Birgel Cup three seasons consecutively between 2015 and 2017.
Upon receiving his New Zealand citizenship in 2018, the powerful forward was named as part of the Ice Blacks squad to compete in the IIHF Division 2 – Group B World Championship in Spain. There the team narrowly missed out on a gold medal placing and promotion to the next tier of international competition.
Gino Heyd is arguably one of the greatest ice hockey players New Zealand has ever produced. More commonly known as Paris Heyd, the 6-foot-3 centre recently achieved the 300-point milestone and currently sits second in the NZIHL’s all-time scoring race behind fellow Kiwi forward Chris Eaden.
Aside from playing professionally in France for one season, Heyd has spent the majority of his hockey career with the Dunedin Thunder where he chooses to lead by example both on and off the ice. The NZIHL has recognised his contributions by awarding the Alexandra native league MVP honours in 2011 and 2018.
Along with being integral to the New Zealand Ice Blacks as a part of their senior leadership group, Heyd is also a mainstay of the Dunedin ice hockey community. There he manages the Dunedin Ice Stadium and takes time to coach the next generation of players. The future of the sport is in good hands.
Playing in the Australia Ice Hockey League for the Sydney Bears, Anthony Kimlin sees more ice time than most as the country’s number one goaltender.
2018 saw a career best year for the netminder, finishing the season with a 17-9 record including two shutouts, while recording a .920 save percentage and 2.39 goals against average. Kimlin was instrumental in the Bears run to the AIHL Grand Final, narrowly losing 4-3 in overtime to the Canberra Brave, and was recognised as the AIHL’s Goalkeeper of the Year.
Kimlin spent his development years playing in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL), before progressing to the top-tier senior ranks of the Allan Cup playing with the Whitby Dunlops for five seasons.
As the Mighty Roos continue to push for Division 1 in IIHF competion, the Ipswich native has been a key member of the squad – awarded Best Goaltender three years consecutively between 2016 and 2018.
Photo: Andrew Bourne