By UIHC Journalist Chris McRae
After months of preparation and anticipation, the 2015 Ultimate Ice Hockey Championship kicked off on Saturday 17th October at Xtreme Ice Arena. The action began with a dazzling showcase from the National Syncronised Skating Senior Infusion team and there was no doubt why these girls were National Champions and international representatives with their stunning on-ice display. The Northern Stars and Southern Suns were then welcomed to the ice for the very first time and before the game action kicked off, Stars players Rob Haselhurst, Andrew Cox and John Caputo along with Suns Tom Sak, Paul Graham and Kyle Dolling lined up for the Most Creative Penalty Shot Competition. There were some smooth moves and crazy dangles from all players as they wowed the packed Xtreme Ice Arena crowd. Stars forward Rob Haselhurst was the only skater to score in the shootout.
In Game One of the Series, it was the Northern Stars who defeated the Southern Suns 5-2, giving the Northeners a 1-0 series lead.
Local favourite Rob Haselhurst and former Swedish professional player Daniel Gorannsson were stand outs for the Northern Stars with Haselhurst being awarded the Game 1 MVP and Gorannsson sniping two goals for the Stars. Suns captain Greg Hyde threw some big shots on net and the game saw Suns goals from David Kudla and Paul Graham.
The Stars came out hard in the first period and the Suns did not have an answer for their quick offence and puck movement through the neutral zone. As the game progressed however, the Suns’ systems began to gel and the last period and a half was a real tussle in what was a very physical game.
The first of three UIHC evenings also saw some beautiful Elementary figure skating from local girls Kourtney Cummings and Nakita King during the second intermission which kept the large crowd entertained.
Game 2 of the Ultimate Ice Hockey Championship will be at Xtreme Ice Arena this Saturday 24th October with the Northern Stars looking to seal the series and the Suns seeking to tie things up leading into Game 3.