Chances to break drought running out

Someone has to lose.

That someone is almost always the Southern Storm.

The team has not registered a win in the National Hockey League since 2015.

This year's edition in Tauranga has not proved any easier. The Storm has lost all five games to stretch its losing streak to 31 games.

It will have a couple more opportunities to break the drought. It plays Auckland in a bottom-four pool match today and will complete the tournament with a playoff match - probably for seventh and eighth - tomorrow.

The NHL is moving from a regional-based tournament to an association-based tournament next year, so they really are the last opportunities the Storm has.

If not, the team will finish with 33 consecutive losses. The Otago Nuggets endured a 33-game losing streak in the National Basketball League from 2009 to 2011, while the Southland Stags have strung together 27 consecutive defeats in the Mitre 10 Cup.

Storm coach Matt Ling could not be reached for comment but his side has been competitive barring an 8-0 blowout against Midlands on Wednesday.

The Storm started well.

Its 2-1 defeat to defending champion North Harbour in the opening game on Saturday was promising.

Ellie Duncan popped in a late goal in that match but that has been the only time the Storm has found the back of the net in the past week.

It has had 3-0 losses to Auckland, Canterbury and Capital.

North Harbour leads the top four with two wins and is through to tomorrow's final. It will be joined by the winner of the Canterbury-Northland game today.

Southern has been more successful in the men's competition. The Dogs had a 3-1 win against Midlands on Tuesday and held Tasmania to a 2-2 draw on Thursday, although it lost the shootout 6-5.

But it was dispatched 7-2 by Canterbury earlier in the tournament and clocked losses to North Harbour and Central as well.

It plays Midlands in its final bottom-four match today. If it wins, and Central beats Tasmania, then it will sneak into the playoff for fifth and sixth.

Coach Clive Daniels could not be reached for comment but striker Dylan Thomas has had a good tournament. He has banged in five goals. It is worth noting the other Dylan Thomas - the one who plays for Central - has also scored five goals.

Auckland is through to the final regardless of what happens in its game against Capital today. It will be joined by the winner of the Canterbury-North Harbour game.

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