Southern Stampede go back-to-back in New Zealand Ice Hockey finals

Southern Stampede celebrate going back-to-back in the Birgel Cup.
James Allan

Southern Stampede celebrate going back-to-back in the Birgel Cup.

The Southern Stampede have defended their Birgel Cup ice hockey crown.

Queenstown's Stampede took out the New Zealand Ice Hockey League final series against the Canterbury Red Devils, sweeping them 2-0.

The Stampede secured the silverware in style, thumping Canterbury 7-1 in game two of the series on Friday night in Queenstown.

Southern Stampede's Berton Haines, left, collides with Canterbury's Ciaran Long.
James Allan

Southern Stampede's Berton Haines, left, collides with Canterbury's Ciaran Long.

Canadian centre Jade Portwood and American forward Mike McRae both scored doubles in the Stampede's triumph.

READ MORE:
*Southern Stampede move closer to retaining Birgel Cup title
*Canterbury ice hockey import Matt Puntureri a real joker

After losing game one in Christchurch 6-2, the Red Devils made a promising start to game two. 

Englishman Ciaran Long put them 1-0 in front with a goal 15 minutes into the first period.

McRae scored the all-important equaliser early into the second period and a goal from Braden Lee in the closing stages of the term gave the Stampede a critical 2-1 advantage.

They took control of the game midway through the final period, netting four goals within five minutes as the Red Devils began to sense the inevitable.

Portwood, the league's leading goal-scorer netted twice in the final period to take his haul for the season to 25 in 17 games.

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After achieving back-to-back titles, the Stampede will be thinking about creating a New Zealand ice hockey dynasty.

Canterbury claimed three straight Birgel Cups between 2012-14, the only side to do so in the competition's 12-year history.

AT A GLANCE:

Southern Stampede 7 (Mike McRae 2, Jade Portwood 2, Berton Haines, Matthew Schneider, Braden Lee) Canterbury Red Devils 1 (Ciaran Long)

 - Stuff

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