Back from tourney with silver medal

Splendid souvenir . . . Hannah Cross holds the silver medal she won representing New Zealand at the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A Dunedin ice hockey player has returned from an international tournament with a silver medal.

Hannah Cross (17) was part of the Ice Fernz team which competed in the 2019 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship in Romania in April.

The Columba College pupil received funding from the Otago Peninsula Community Board, and attended the recent meeting to thank board members for their contribution and tell them about her experience.

Hannah was one of five Dunedin players in the team – Kirstin Gerken, Caitlin Orr, Caitlin Heale and Abbey Heale also lined up.

Before the tournament, the team had a training camp in Austria and practised twice a day.

Most of the team had played with or against each other in New Zealand, but they had not all played together before, Hannah said.

“So that was a chance for us to get to know each other.”

At the tournament, the team was in pool 2B with Romania, Croatia, Taiwan, Turkey and Iceland.

They knew they could beat Romania, Croatia and Turkey.

Iceland and Taiwan were “our biggest competition”.

The team’s first game was against Taiwan, which was “rough” given Taiwan had just moved down from the higher division. New Zealand lost 3-1.

New Zealand then beat Turkey 4-2, and Iceland 2-1.

“Iceland was our toughest game because we were so even with them.

“We ended up beating them 2-1 in the last two minutes of the game.”

New Zealand beat Romania 7-1 and Croatia 5-1 to finish second in its division.

The team was accompanied by a Romanian’s men’s player who spoke English and Romanian.

At present, she is in her final year of high school and said she planned to attend university in Palmerston North next year, so she was unsure if she would compete in the 2020 tournament, as it might clash with her university timetable.

Board chairman Paul Pope said Hannah was a “very worthy recipient” of the funding.

Ice Fernz . . . Southern region players in the Ice Fernz (back from left) Kirstin Gerken, of Dunedin, Danielle Strayer, of Queenstown, Rebecca Lilly, of Gore, Caitlin Orr, of Dunedin, Rikki-Lee Mclean, of Queenstown, (front from left) Hannah Cross, of Dunedin, Hope Gregory, of Queenstown, Abbey Heale, of Dunedin, and Caitlin Heale, of Dunedin. PHOTO: SUPPLIED