Well the National Hockey League had it's opening weekend with plenty of action and goals getting whacked in to the back of the net. Here's a few thoughts on what went down across New Zealand on the hockey field over the weekend...
- Happy days if you're a Cantab. The Canterbury men's side looked very strong led by international Simon Orchard and with Brad Shaw anchoring their defence they look to have a few bases covered as they are able to flow forward on attack and stay tight on D. Expect to see a lovely brand of hockey with plenty of pace, skill and control from the Cavaliers. They put two wins on the board with a 5-1 over Capital and a gritty 1-0 win over Southern.
- The ladies also look the goods with plenty of talent on display thanks to a pretty stacked roster. Their copious amounts of fire power was on display as they defeated Capital 3-1 and then put in 5 first half goals on their way to a 9-1 win over the ladies from the deep south.
- The Auckland men easily dispatched of Northland, but couldn't get the bickies against Southern with the Dogs winning an intense clash 2-1. This could have gone either way but the Dogs holding on to their 1 goal lead to get an important win. The Jaffas were without Jamie Dwyer who should arrive some time this week ... you'd hope.
- North Harbour men also emerged from the weekend with smiles on their dials as they picked up two wins. A 5-2 win over the naughty Northlanders and a shoot out win over Midlands ensures this solid group of lads could creep in to contention.
- Early signs suggest Captial and Central men could find themselves battling for mid-table spots while Northland look likely to be some where around abouts the bottom. But....
- If you like a bit of hockey, make sure you watch the Northland ladies as Stacey Michelsen looks like she's out to dominate things. She led Northland to two victories over Harbour and Auckland and with solid performers like Ella Gunson also in the mix, the ladies from the North could be dangerous.
- The ladies from the Capital look to have taken a bit of a tumble from finishing 2nd last year. Their player turnover hasn't helped as they suffered two losses over the weekend.
- The Midlands and Auckland ladies will be a wee bit disappointed as they could only grab one win each from the weekend after loosing games against Harbour and Northland respectively. I mean the TAB had them as favourites.
The weekend's action makes for a pretty hectic week as team's try to iron out their game plans and have a look at how things went. A lot can change between now and the weekend, but early signs suggest that both sides from Canterbury will dangerous while the Aucklanders will have a point to prove.
On the men's side, keep an eye on the Southern Dogs and the lads from Harbour. While the Northland ladies are shaping as a bit of a force.
For all results and points tables head on over to Hockey NZ