Liv Crum reports from first round of Premier Hockey League
Switching up the yellow and black uniform of the Bees, for the Cambridge blue and maroon of the Northern Tridents, last week I headed down to Hamilton for the first round of the inaugural Premier Hockey League.
All the teams were accommodated in the Waikato University halls of residence, so off field, it was quite a social and friendly atmosphere.
Our first game was against the Hauraki Mavericks, which was made up of players predominantly from the Auckland and Midlands regions. It was exciting to get underway with a 5-0 win, and an incredible experience to again play alongside Blacksticks captain (and fellow Northlander!), Stacey Michelsen, who scored two of the goals.
Friday was a rest day for all teams involved, however we (Tridents), managed to get some sight-seeing done, visiting the Hamilton Gardens.
Saturday bought with it the ‘grudge match’ against the Central Falcons – a team which included fellow Bees – Hope Ralph, Liv Shannon, Casey Crowley and Holly Pearson.
It was an exceptionally tight game, with the Falcons answering a 2-goal deficit, to come back and equalise 2-2 in the final quarter. The game then went to shoot-outs, however, instead of having five ‘shooters’, each team only had 3 – something which is unique to the PHL.
Notably, Hope Ralph and Liv Shannon both stepped up for the Falcons, however, after then going to ‘sudden death shootouts’, the Tridents managed to come away with the win.
Sunday was pack up day, but it was also our last game for round one against the Southern Alpiners, who were hungry for a win after not quite managed to get one in their previous two games.
After conceding a goal early on in the game, we managed to come back and win 4-1, securing our third win from three games over the course of the four days.
It was incredible to play alongside players with such an incredible amount of hockey knowledge and experience, and also to be a part of an event broadcast on national TV.
I am really looking forward to getting back into it for round two, beginning 25-29 November, and continuing to build and progress with our team.