by Arden Phillips


Players, friends and family descended upon New Plymouth for the Season 2 KIHL Finals Series. 

GAME 1 started with both teams looking to hold possession before the Sting opened the scoring through Captain Mitch Hurley, and another a minute later from Cam DeBoer. 

Young-Gun Toby Webb managed to get his Dolphins team on the board during their first Power Play, before Captain Steven Adams added his own at even strength. Ant Taylor and Sam Beardman also added to the Dolphins totals taking a 4 - 2 halftime score.

The second half saw Sam Beardman add another within the first minute and the Dolphins took control to protect the lead. Top Points Scorer Josh McMaster joining the list with Taylor getting a double and Michael Watts hitting number 8 for the Dolphins. 

A late consolation goal from Cam DeBoer seen the Dolphins take game 1, 8 - 3.

GAME 2 was a hard fought battle with the Sting looking for redemption and matching up with the defending champions. Dolphins Blair Smith getting his team off the mark with the only goal in the first half, going into the break 1 - 0.

Michael Watts then added to the Dolphins lead within the first minute of the half. However the Sting hit back with 2 goals mid half through Cam DeBoer and Cam Mitchell to draw the game 2 - 2.

Blair Smith gave the Dolphins the advantage scoring with 5:39 left on the clock before Stings Cam Mitchell hit back with 5:20 left to play. Sting Young-Gun Connor Robertson provided the edge needed,  managing to net one past the Dolphins Keeper Edwin Quiroz with 1:20 left.

The Sting managing to box out the Dolphins and taking Game 2, 4 - 3 and force Game 3. An outstanding game from Sting Netminder Maia Rata. 

GAME 3 seen a safer approach by both teams in protecting the puck through the opening minutes. Toby Webb finding the games opening goal for the Dolphins after 7 minutes with a mid range snipe. Both teams continued to trade fire before Sam Beardman found his target with 30 seconds left in period 1.

A refreshed Sting team managed to half their deficit to 2 - 1 before Michael Watts joined the party giving the Dolphins a 3 - 1 advantage. Cameron Mitchell gave some light to the situation and cut the lead to 3 - 2 and moments later Mitch Hurley locked scores at 3 - 3 with 4:11 left in the game. 

The unlikely hero came through Dolphins defense Ben Thompson who walked in his signature snipe to open the gate with 2:15 left to play. However the Dolphins weren't done yet with Michael Watts adding 2 more goals and a game Hat-trick, before Jackson Baker gives the Sting a consolation. Toby Webb decides he wants another with the 7th goal in the last 5 minutes of play.

Final Score 7 - 4 Dolphins Win the KIHL Finals Series in 3 games and secure back to back KIHL Championships.

KIHL FINALS SERIES MVP - Michael Watts, Dolphins