NZ women quit world champs

The New Zealand women’s team has withdrawn from its world tournament next year.

New Zealand ice hockey yesterday announced the Ice Ferns would be pulling out of the world division two (group B) championships in Croatia in March.

"The decision was made in consultation with all players, staff and management whereby it was agreed it would not be possible to put forward a team to compete in this event," New Zealand Ice Hockey Federation president Andy Mills said.

"The primary reason for reaching this decision was due to the limited number of players able to form a team, as well as the continued effects of Covid-19 globally, especially the concern that extended travel and quarantine requirements may have on players’ employment and education."

Ice Fernz coach Rachel Park said the uncertainties around Covid-19 restrictions could have a major impact on some of the players.

"As disappointing as the outcome of the decision is, the risk is simply too high and the decision to withdraw is the right one that’s in the best interest of the team and its volunteers," Park said.

The NZIHF will still hold the women’s Triple Star camp in Dunedin, focusing on player and coach development for women of all ages.

It is still unclear whether the Ice Blacks or the New Zealand under-18 men’s team will be able to attend their respective tournaments.

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