The Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club successfully concluded their First Tekapo Tournament with two games of ice hockey played while the snow fell, a real novelty for those players who are used to playing Ice Hockey inside!
The format of the teams over the weekend was a gamble, but the idea of a “Pick Up” Tournament was unanimously voted a huge success. The players were split into evenly matched teams. The players from Christchurch and Queenstown mixed up in every set of games and everyone got to play against, and with everyone else. This meant there was no strong team for the tournament, players were able to come to the Tournament on their own and were then made to feel at home by the Aardwolfs Club Members.
The format of the weekend was a result of discussions by the Aardwolfs Club Committee who tried to develop a format that could cater for the wide range of Ice Hockey skill levels in their Club (from beginner to National Rep). The weekend’s four sets of two games, culminated in a game between the twenty best players and the two top goalies. Awards were presented over the tournament for the Goalie who made the most saves, the person who gave the most “Assists” the best goal, and the worst own goal. The Jon Jonson Yellow Jersey was presented after each set of games to the Best Team Player who then had to wear it until passing it on to their choice after the next games.
The fantastic atmosphere at the Tekapo’s Alpine Springs Ice Rink and Hot Pools was aided by their excellent staff and by a couple of social evenings at a local watering hole. On the Saturday evening the players all mixed and enjoyed the convivial atmosphere dressed in their favourite Ice Hockey Jerseys from an overseas team.
Everyone vowed to return next year and there is talk of a larger six team format.
Ice hockey players of all skill levels, who would like to participate in next year’s event which will be held at a similar time of year, should contact the Aardwolfs Ice Hockey Club Captain through their active website at http://aardwolfsice.com