2022 Season Recap

NZIHL October 14, 2022  251

Wakatipu Wild close the 2022 season with a win!

Just as quickly as it started, the 2022 New Zealand Women’s Ice Hockey season rounded off with Queenstown’s Wakatipu Wild taking home the gold medal in an action-packed finals game. All four of the country’s top women’s teams — Wakatipu Wild Women’s ice hockey team, Dunedin Thunder Women’s Ice Hockey Team, Canterbury Inferno and Auckland Steel — gathered in Dunedin during the weekend of the 24th and 25th to compete in a combined semi-final and grand-final event.

The first game of the weekend saw Wakatipu Wild take the win over the hosting team, Dunedin Thunder Women’s, with a 7-2 victory. Later that Saturday, Canterbury Inferno won 5-2 against Auckland Steel, securing their place in Sundays’ gold-medal match.

An early start marked the Sunday Morning bronze-medal game, which saw both Auckland Steel and Dunedin Thunder Women gear up for a 7.15am puck drop. A tough battle took place, with Auckland Steel holding down their lead and winning the bronze medal at 5-4.

The season’s crescendo was, of course, the following game: the gold final between Canterbury Inferno and Wakatipu Wild. Considering Inferno was the one team that won a game against Wakatipu this season, it’s safe to say that we were in for a nail-biting match. With spectators on the edge of their seats and fans tuned in via livestream, Wakatipu sealed their win with a 2-nil lead against Canterbury, as they scooped up the big win of the season.

The NZWIHL season was held across three weekends in August and September, leading up to an action-packed finals weekend on 24th and 25th of September. This season marked an exciting return to women’s ice hockey after the nation-wide lockdowns of last year brought the 2021 season to an abrupt halt.

Not only did the teams get a full season’s worth of round-robin games around the country, we were also pleased to bring hockey to Auckland crowds for the first time since early 2020. We thank the players, coaches, management, sponsors, live-stream facilitators and supporters in all shapes and sizes, for making this incredible season and weekend happen. Stay tuned for more women’s ice hockey stories and information about future happenings and seasons!