Ice hockey: Side keen to cash in on home rink

The Dunedin Thunder is hoping home advantage will help it to its first win in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League this weekend.

The Thunder has been on the road for its first two double-headers of the season and has lost all four matches.

It will take to its home rink at the Dunedin Ice Stadium for the first time this season today and tomorrow as it hosts the Botany Swarm in two key matches.

Away matches can be a tricky assignment in the amateur league and the Thunder will welcome a more settled build-up to this weekend's games.

It arrived back in Dunedin in the early hours of the morning on the Monday after its first double-header against Canterbury in Christchurch, and was back on the road on Friday for matches against the Stampede in Queenstown.

The Olympic-sized Dunedin ice rink is the biggest in the competition and the Thunder has failed to adjust to the smaller rinks in Auckland and Queenstown so far.

It will be hoping Botany has similar trouble adjusting to the Dunedin venue.

The Swarm has also had a scratchy start to its season, losing its first three matches before getting on the board with an overtime win against West Auckland in Avondale.

Its defensive line will be propped up by Ice Blacks pairing Jamie Lawrence and Andrew Hay, both of whom played in the recent world championships in Mexico.

The side also has New Zealand under-20 representative Oliver Hay.

Hay was voted New Zealand's best player and best overall forward at the junior world championships in Mexico.

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