An all new trans-Tasman ice hockey competition has been announced, with the grand final teams from New Zealand and Australia's national leagues set to face off in a two-day tournament.
The event will take place this year from July 7-8 with 2011 grand finalists the Melbourne Ice and Newcastle North Stars from the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) to play the Botany Swarm and Southern Stampede from the New Zealand league (NZIHL).
The annual tournament will alternate between Australia and New Zealand with this year's tournament to take place in Melbourne.
AIHL commissioner Tyler Lovering said the tournament was a perfect opportunity to showcase the breadth of talent across Australasia and promote the sport.
"We're starting to fill seats quickly at events, our players are dedicated and everyone has a common goal to grow the sport.
"This Australia versus New Zealand event shows the commitment of both leagues to see the sport grow and be as recognised by fans across both countries."
The 2012 NZIHL is set to get underway on June 9, with the Canterbury Red Devils playing the Swarm and the Dunedin Thunder playing the West Auckland Admirals.
- © Fairfax NZ News