ANZAC All-Star Weekend 24

by Arden Phillips

Kiwi Inline Hockey League celebrated its second ANZAC All-Star Weekend with guests GoPlay Melbourne Bush-Rangers and Inline Hockey New Zealand 18U and 21U National Teams.

The weekend saw multiple competitions take place with the Pacific All-Star Series which included KIHL Young-Guns, KIHL 38+ Gents, KIHL Mana Cup All-Stars and the New Zealand 18U Team. 

The Division 1 franchises faced off in an in-season tournament, competing for a newly introduced KIHL Shield in a round-robin format. All franchises also got to match up against the GoPlay Melbourne Bush-Rangers and New Zealand 21U teams as exhibition matches. 

Each evening saw our own KIHL All-Star Team, GoPlay Melbourne Bush-Rangers and New Zealand 21U teams featured in our ANZAC All-Star Main Events. 

Day 1 saw the GoPlay Melbourne Bush-Rangers take on the New Zealand 21U Team. The 21U Team managing to edge out Melbourne in a 3 - 2 win. Adam Kahl receiving game MVP with 30 saves on 33 shots during the game.

Day 2 the KIHL All-Star Team got their opportunity against Melbourne. The Kiwis proving too strong for the Bush-Rangers in a 6 - 1 Win. Steven Adams awarded game MVP after a great defensive performance and a hat-trick. 

Day 3 the New Zealand 21U Team would have their opportunity against the best in the KIHL. KIHL All-Stars showing their maturity in a 7 - 4 win over the 21U Team. Game MVP Josh Kingi who matched the Kiwis at both ends, managing to find the back of the net twice. 

The KIHL Division 1 Shield was a game of mixed results from all teams except 1. The Soldiers going 4 from 4 unbeaten against all franchises. GM Lewis Dawson accepting the KIHL Shield. 

The Pacific Series was a close and tightly contested tournament with the KIHL Young-Guns and the New Zealand 18U team putting on some amazing games. Round-robin format saw loads of Overtime and Shootouts to keep us all guessing. 

The KIHL Young-Guns got the better of the New Zealand 18U with Troy Borthwick getting an Overtime winner in their first match. The second match also going to overtime with non other than Season 2 Points Leader and MVP Daniel Middleton getting the winner for the New Zealand 18U team. Both teams would then meet in the Pacific Series Finals. 

The New Zealand 18U team took a 2 - 0 lead but the KIHL Young-Guns just continued to be relentless with a don't give up attitude. Young-Guns drawing level with 4.29 left on the clock and it looked like the crowd would be treated to a third overtime in the third match up. However Young-Gun Brooklyn Langdon-Poutoa had other plans and netted a game winner with 2.08 left. Young-Guns then took control and managed to close out the match winning the Pacific Series. Pacific Series MVP - Matthew Hansen (NZ 18U), MVG - Kaleb Rock (KIHL Young-Guns).

Such a great weekend of inline hockey and we are glad to have hosted GoPlay Melbourne Bush-Rangers and Inline Hockey New Zealand.