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IIHF: New Zealand's Hockey Warrior

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04-12-2011, 05:39 AM
  #1
alexthekidd
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IIHF: New Zealand's Hockey Warrior

Really cool article for a country that doesn't get a lot of attention for their hockey. The lead story on the IIHF site for a couple of days.

Top guy who's done a lot for growing the sport in our country.

http://www.iihf.com/home-of-hockey/n...ash=f58c6a52f4

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04-12-2011, 05:50 AM
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The Angry Teatowel
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Great read, thanks for sharing that

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04-12-2011, 05:51 AM
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Ramon108
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Really good. Yesterday I watched the match Luxembourg - Greece. It turns out they know how to skate.
But seriously, in such countries need to pay more attention to hockey. In football play everywhere, but hockey is have a lot less people. This is wrong.

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04-12-2011, 06:30 AM
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Hockey in NZ is a lot bigger than I expected before coming down here.

Not so much on the North Island, but on the South Island pretty much every town over 5000 people has an ice rink and a pretty decent minor hockey program. I play in a beer league that has quite a few players, and there's a higher organized league that gets newspaper coverage when they play.

A couple NHL games are on Sky Sports every weekend, and tonight there was a 1 hour NHL playoff preview on Sky Sports 1 right in the middle of prime time.

They're never going to be top-10 in the world, but I'd be surprised if they aren't top-20 in 10 years time. There's a solid level of infrastructure, some good grass roots stuff happening, and the level of players being produced is not half bad.

The had a solid showing (3rd in their pool) in Division II at this year's World Championships, so they should move up several spots in the world rankings again.

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04-12-2011, 06:55 AM
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Nullus Reverentia
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That's encouraging but top 20 seems like a strech. I'd love to see a team like that there but it's a long way to go.

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04-12-2011, 08:03 AM
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They seem to be the kid brother of Austraila even in hockey though, reading the latest wc (div II) results. I guess Austraila will next year play in div I with some pretty decent competition, with teams with some top level experience in the past. A lot of ex soviet states, great britain, italy etc.

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04-12-2011, 09:08 AM
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alexthekidd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS View Post
Hockey in NZ is a lot bigger than I expected before coming down here.

Not so much on the North Island, but on the South Island pretty much every town over 5000 people has an ice rink and a pretty decent minor hockey program. I play in a beer league that has quite a few players, and there's a higher organized league that gets newspaper coverage when they play.

A couple NHL games are on Sky Sports every weekend, and tonight there was a 1 hour NHL playoff preview on Sky Sports 1 right in the middle of prime time.

They're never going to be top-10 in the world, but I'd be surprised if they aren't top-20 in 10 years time. There's a solid level of infrastructure, some good grass roots stuff happening, and the level of players being produced is not half bad.

The had a solid showing (3rd in their pool) in Division II at this year's World Championships, so they should move up several spots in the world rankings again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomas W View Post
They seem to be the kid brother of Austraila even in hockey though, reading the latest wc (div II) results. I guess Austraila will next year play in div I with some pretty decent competition, with teams with some top level experience in the past. A lot of ex soviet states, great britain, italy etc.
Kiwi's ended up picking up the Silver. They narrowly lost to Serbia but did beat Belgium. More information here:
http://www.iihf.com/de/home-of-hocke...ash=4eaf6b5019

New Zealand certainly is slightly behind Australia, although they did for the first time defeat them last year in a game that got some national attention.

The New Zealand National Hockey League is growing stronger and stronger every year and is starting to develop some talent. Some of the better players have been starting to play in Canada with others playing minor pro in Germany. Junior A I believe is the highest a Kiwi has made it in Canada.

What remains a major hindrance to bringing the sport closer to mainstream is the price and the limited rink time. The sheer cost of getting gear over to New Zealand adds hundreds of dollars to even the cheapest equipment.
Plus, in New Zealand's biggest city there's only two rinks which between them host:
  • A 4 division Beer League
  • Home rinks to two National League teams
  • U19, U16 and Junior leagues
  • Figure Skating
  • Curling

It is a growing sport here though. With SkyTV starting to show a game or two of the NHL a week as well as NHL On the Fly for the playoffs, the attention's starting to be piqued of people who usually wouldn't bother with such a minority sport.

There's a relatively small but pretty passionate NHL community here, many who post on HFBoards. Sadly though, many have removed their New Zealand flag from their user after having their opinions dismissed simply because they are Kiwi's.

But, it's a great achievement for a small country with a smaller hockey population. Glad some of you took the time to read it. Corey's a great guy who's done pretty much everything one could do hockey wise in New Zealand. Glad to see him go out on such a high note.

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04-14-2011, 03:14 AM
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Franck
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Originally Posted by Prophet of Glennie View Post
That's encouraging but top 20 seems like a strech. I'd love to see a team like that there but it's a long way to go.
Having seen the rapid ascent that Denmark have done the past 20 years, I wouldn't say that anything would be a strech. All it takes is a lot of hard work from some very dedicated individuals.

Besides, becoming top 20 sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is, a top team in the WC Division 1 would be considered top 20, all it takes to get there is to be better than nations like Italy, Hungary and Kazakhstan.

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04-21-2011, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prophet of Glennie View Post
That's encouraging but top 20 seems like a strech. I'd love to see a team like that there but it's a long way to go.
I don't know if it is that impossible. Their rise to #40 seems indicative of some good development. They also have better youth teams than other teams around there, except for maybe Belgium and the Netherlands.

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04-24-2011, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Franck View Post
Having seen the rapid ascent that Denmark have done the past 20 years, I wouldn't say that anything would be a strech. All it takes is a lot of hard work from some very dedicated individuals.

Besides, becoming top 20 sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually is, a top team in the WC Division 1 would be considered top 20, all it takes to get there is to be better than nations like Italy, Hungary and Kazakhstan.
Italy, Hungary, and Kazakhstan can all play competitively against the top level nations though. New Zealand is VERY far away from that.

When was the last time New Zealand even made it to Div. 1?

It's such a small country that even if they really embraced the sport I see them having a hard time competing in Div. 1 for a promotion to the Elite division.

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04-27-2011, 05:18 PM
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04-27-2011, 06:27 PM
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I would love the chance to see the Haka performed against Canada. Hopefully New Zealand will continue to grow their hockey program.


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Old
04-27-2011, 07:39 PM
  #13
kaiser matias
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EbencoyE View Post
Italy, Hungary, and Kazakhstan can all play competitively against the top level nations though. New Zealand is VERY far away from that.

When was the last time New Zealand even made it to Div. 1?

It's such a small country that even if they really embraced the sport I see them having a hard time competing in Div. 1 for a promotion to the Elite division.
New Zealand has never made Division I. Australia is only going to that level for the second time next year (lost all their games in 2009).

However if the sport is developed there, New Zealand could indeed go for Division I, and fight to stay there. Population is not that big of a concern; Latvia, who often makes it into the qualification round of the elite level, only has 2 million people, while New Zealand has 4 million.

The fact that New Zealand has their own domestic league is a big factor in the success of hockey there. There has been discussion about bringing in a New Zealand team to the Australian league, which is of a far better calibre (Rob Zamuner played there a few years back, among others). If that were to ever go through, it would really help New Zealand. Just look at what has happened to Hungary (promoted to elite division for the first time in 70 years back in 2009) and Croatia (almost made jump to Division I this year, probably will next year) when they had teams entered into the Austrian league. A commitment to the sport also helped, but playing in a higher calibre league is also important.

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