Stampede in control after emphatic away win

The national ice hockey title is one game away from returning south.

An emphatic performance from the Stampede gave the Queenstown side a leg up in the first game of the league's finals series in Auckland yesterday.

It led the West Auckland Admirals 4-0 at the end of the first period and continued its dominance to end an 8-4 winner.

That leaves it well positioned to avenge last year's loss, as it heads into next week's return game in Queenstown.

Colin McIntosh gave the Stampede the lead six minutes in, finishing off a rebound following a shot from a face-off.

Liam Stewart made it 2-0 with six minutes remaining in the first period after receiving a pass from Matthew Schneider. Ryan Strayer quickly scored again on the break, before he added his second on the buzzer to make it 4-0.

David Nippard and Andrew Hart pulled goals back for the Admirals in the second period.

However, McIntosh netted his second to keep the Stampede well in control.

Tim Craig made it 5-3 shortly after the break, but Stewart hit back straight away to negate the damage. Braden Lee restored the four-goal lead soon after, receiving a brilliant pass from the corner.

That margin soon became five with 10 minutes left. when Harrison Macharg slotted a long shot to make the score 8-3.

AJ Spiller finished off a rebound to pull back one for the Admirals, but it made little difference by that point.

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