Southern Storm battered by Northland in ten-minute blitz

Tessa Jopp.
Tessa Jopp.
A mid-game onslaught from Northland proved too much for the Southern Storm yesterday.

The Storm was beaten 7-1 in its National Hockey League quarterfinal in Wellington, as Northland piled on five goals in less than 10 minutes.

Brooke Neal put Northland up 1-0 in the fourth minute, before two Jodie Nichol goals in the 25th and 28th widened the gap just before halftime.

Northland then came out firing, scoring three goals in four minutes early in the third quarter via Ella Gunson, Stacey Michelsen and Neal.

The Storm trailed 6-0 with 23 minutes to play, a deficit that was always going to be tough to come back from.

The goals had come as a result of Northland flicking in some "bobbly balls" in the circle.

Southern was able to limit the damage from that point though and pegged one back through Maddi McLean in the 44th minute.

However, Northland broke through again, Nichol scoring a third nine minutes from the end.

Storm coach Tina Bell-Kake said the team remained positive.

It had been a shaky start from Southern and Northland finished well to make the most of its opportunities in the circle.

Captain Tessa Jopp — who Bell-Kake said was outstanding — felt the team had competed well against a Northland line-up which contained several big names.Those included Michelsen, Gunson and Neal, giving the team a good core structure.

Jopp said the team did a good job of keeping the ball away from Michelsen, the Black Sticks captain, to limit her influence.

She also felt it had done well at winning the free hit and opening up some space.

Southern remains without a win, despite having competed well.

It now heads into the bottom four semifinals and plays Canterbury — which it lost to 3-0 in its opening game — at 1pm tomorrow.

Jopp said the team was excited to have another South Island rivalry game and expected the players to get up for it.

However, she also felt Canterbury would be similarly motivated having been pipped 2-1 in its quarterfinal by North Harbour and would play with a nothing-to-lose mentality.

Add a Comment