Top players on show in Gore

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Gore’s residents had the chance to watch a national level hockey game at the weekend, when a national women’s ice hockey camp was held in the town.

Ice Sports manager Grant Scott said the players who attended hoped to be selected for the New Zealand Ice Ferns or U18 New Zealand team.

Scott said the weekend went well for the players and number-wise, although the weather did delay a few flights.

“The Auckland and Christchurch players got held up with their flights,”Scott said.

There were 30 skaters and five goalies in attendance, he said.

This included Gore’s Rebecca Lilly, Cherie Gibbons, Beth Scott and Edendale’s Brittany Tiller.

Scott said the weekend consisted of fitness, stick handling and goal shooting. It ended in a game between the women, who were split into two teams, White and Black.

The teams played at 10.30am on Sunday and the game was open to anyone interested in watching.

With a mixture of skill levels, the game was fast-paced at some points and slow at others.

Past Ice Fern Yvette Bodle attended the game and said ice hockey was an endurance sport, requiring stamina.

“It requires quick bursts of energy and these girls have it,” Bodle said.

“There is plenty of skill here today. You can tell by the way they skate, stopping and starting all the time,” she said.

Scott said the girls seemed to enjoy themselves.

“There were plenty of smiles at Sunday’s game.”

New Zealand Ice Ferns Coach Andrea Kaiser said the skill level had improved significantly, compared with five years ago.

“However, the gap between the players is still big, but has narrowed down over the last few years,” Kaiser said.

“The next few years are looking pretty good for the senior team,” she said.

Scott said the U18 and NZ Ice ferns teams would be announced later in the year