Wolverine takes hockey players off ice

Last updated 00:00 01/01/2009

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A Hollywood film's use of an ice rink in Queenstown has forced top ice hockey players to practise elsewhere for upcoming New Zealand team selections.

The Otago Daily Times said it understood ice had been taken off the rink at the Queenstown Fun Centre to accommodate the film company for the fourth movie in the X-Men series, X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Ice Blacks manager Charlie Reid, of Queenstown, said he was told before Christmas the ice would be taken off for up to three months.

He said the decision to rent the rink to Wolverine meant a planned training camp in Queenstown for February had to be moved to Christchurch.

Mr Reid said there were 10 Queenstown ice hockey players due to head into their final training camp in Auckland at the end of the month, vying for selection in the New Zealand ice hockey team to compete
in the division 2 world championships in Australia in April.

He said the biggest issue was the lack of valuable ice time the Queenstown players had heading in to the upcoming selection camp.

Ice Blacks 2007 captain Simon Glass said he thought the centre was being used by Wolverine for storage.

He said it was an inconvenience to players because they would not be able to train on the ice.

However, Glass said it would be good for the team in the long run because the money would go back in to the arena.

Queenstown Lakes District Council said it knew Wolverine was using the Fun Centre for storage but did not know if the ice had been removed.

A person from Wolverine said no one could give a comment because they did not have a publicist yet.

-NZPA

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