Hundreds watch country’s best players

The New Zealand Ice Blacks, the New Zealand under-20 men’s team and the New Zealand under-18 men...
The New Zealand Ice Blacks, the New Zealand under-20 men’s team and the New Zealand under-18 men’s team played in a special four-period ice hockey game at the Dunedin Ice Stadium on Saturday. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Dunedin residents packed in for one of the greatest face-offs in recent years at the Dunedin Ice Stadium on Saturday.

It was the first time all three national men’s ice hockey teams — the Ice Blacks, the under-20 men and the under-18 men’s teams — competed on ice at the same time.

More than 600 people filed into the stadium to watch the unusual four-period match, in which the teams played against each other.

Team Black took the win as top-level ice hockey returned to Dunedin.

The team — a combination of the New Zealand under-20 and Ice Blacks Black teams — beat Team White 6-3 on Saturday night

to lift the inaugural New Zealand Champions Cup.

The match was played across two games.

In the first of those the under-20 team (representing black) beat the New Zealand under-18 side (white) 1-0.

Noah Gregory, who plays for the Dunedin Thunder, scored the only goal of the first match.

He was assisted by Jack Robbie, to give the black side a leg up in the overall match.

In the second game the Ice Blacks Black team beat the Ice Blacks White 5-3.

Queenstown’s Max Schneider was key for the Black side.

He scored three goals, including two in the final period, to help the Black team stay in front.

After the under-20s gave Black a 1-0 lead, Schneider made it 2-0 with a goal early in the second period.

Jacob Ratcliffe hit back with two goals for White, but Queenstown’s Stefan Amston hit back to give Black a 3-2 lead at the second break.

The Thunder’s Joe Orr added another for Black, before Schneider scored two more to give the side a comfortable lead.

Thunder captain Paris Heyd hit back with a late goal for White, but it was too late to overhaul the deficit.

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