New faces as stars absent from NHL teams

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:00 20/08/2014

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The Central Mavericks men's team have a few new faces following last year's disappointing National Hockey League (NHL) campaign in which they finished seventh.

Black Sticks striker Nick Wilson had been hoping to play in the NHL, which starts at the end of the month, after recovering from a serious knee injury, but still isn't right.

They don't have Black Stick Shea McAleese, who was their player-coach last year, either.

Last year's sixth-placed side, the Central Mysticks women, haven't changed as much, but don't have international stars Emily Naylor and Kayla Sharland, who are having time off following the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

They do, however, have young Manawatu Black Sticks Michaela Curtis and Georgia Barnett and former Black Stick Cathryn Pollock.

Former Mysticks and women's Black Sticks assistant coach Greg Nicol will coach both the men's and women's teams.

The Mysticks have British international Rebecca Herbert as their international guest player, while defender Cameron Joyce from Australia is the men's import.

The first two rounds are at various venues on August 30 and 31, with tournament week in Auckland from September 6 to 14. Palmerston North is not on the roster.

The Central men play Midlands in Stratford on the first day and Capital in Paraparaumu on the second, before tournament week.

Auckland are the defending men's champions and Midlands the women's.

This year's NHL will see rule changes, with games played in four 15-minute quarters, rather than the traditional two 35-minute halves.

Other changes see the clock stopping when a penalty corner is awarded, with teams given 40 seconds to set for the corner to be taken, while the clock will also stop for 40 seconds after a goal has been scored.

All international games will adopt the changes on September 1.

Central Mysticks: Jenna Anderson, Kristy Anderson, Georgia Barnett, Kayla Bradey, Michaela Curtis, Rebecca Herbert, Kelsey MacDonald, Claudia Hanham, Pippa Norman, Cathryn Pollock, Katherine van Woerkom, Rhianne Woolf, Brooke Karam, Stephanie Mackie, Ashleigh Marfell, Hannah Naftel, Deanna Ritchie, Amelia Stanley. Coach: Greg Nicol. Assistants: Bruce Reiche and Michael Yates.

Central Mavericks: Martin Atkinson, Matthew Brougham, Ryan Cosgrove, Mitchell Cronin, Chris Herbert, Steffan Fastier, Krishan Gajadhar, Joe Hanks, Regan Hughes, Cameron Joyce, Aaron Ball, Matt Young, Ben Collier, Steve Davison, Nick Finlayson, Ben Molloy, Robin Smith, Daniel van Woerkom. Coach: Greg Nicol. Assistants: Jake Blanks and Dean Hulls.

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- Manawatu Standard

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