Queenstown will host the New Zealand Ice Hockey League finals after the Southern Stampede clinched the minor premiership.
Needing to win both games against the Canterbury Red Devils to finish top of the table, the Stampede delivered with a tight 6-5 win on Friday and a 6-2 victory on Saturday.
The weekend wins took the southerners to an eight-match winning streak and ensured they claimed the Toa Kauhanga Riri Tio challenge trophy.
The win on Friday pushed the Dunedin Thunder out of finals contention and meant the second game of the double header would be a preview of the final.
The Red Devils had a 2-0 lead early in the game before the Stampede reeled off six goals to two to take a 6-4 lead in the dying minutes.
Canterbury pulled one goal back in the final minute but the Southerners held on to give themselves a chance at a home final.
While the Red Devils got off to another hot start on Saturday, the game was all Stampede as they ran away easy victors.
The Stampede will want to make up for their grand finals loss to Botany last year when they host the Red Devils on September 8.
- The Southland Times