Falcons flying away from the competition in the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League

The Central Falcons hit the lead early against the Northern Tridents and would hold firm throughout the contest to see off the challenge of the Tridents as they went on to take the game 3-1. 

The Falcons entered the match full of confidence following their last-second win over the Southern Alpiners on Thursday night. They came out of the blocks as the aggressor as they were pressing the Northern Tridents defence and forcing them into several turnovers. Midway through the first quarter Jacob Smith found some space in the attacking 25 and drove with speed into the circle. Smith would then flick the ball over the goalkeeper’s shoulder to put the Falcons in the lead 1-0. 

The Tridents started to gain some confidence as the quarter wore on, and with moments left in the quarter, they earned themselves the first penalty corner of the match. Falcons goalkeeper Dominic Dixon would bring out the big right glove to deny the Tridents the equalizing goal. 

Entering the second quarter the speed of the match went up a notch as both sides looked to shift the opposition defence and construct opportunities to get themselves on the front foot. The Tridents would have the first penalty corner of the second quarter, once more Dominic Dixon would pull off a strong reaching save. 

The second half would start with the Falcons holding a narrow lead. They started the half looking to stretch out the game and overload down the flanks. Midway through the third quarter, the Falcons earned themselves a penalty corner, Jacob Smith would convert on his drag-flick for his second goal of the contest. 

Early in the final quarter, the Falcons would get several opportunities to extend their lead. Some outstanding goalkeeping denied the Falcons on several scoring opportunities. With seven minutes to go the Tridents would get themselves back into the contest when Robbie Capizzi rocketed a shot into the top of the net to bring the Tridents within a goal of the Falcons. 

Desperately searching for the equalizing goal, with five minutes to go in the match the Northern Tridents pulled their goalkeeper. The Falcons would take their opportunity and sealed the game when Sam Hiha put the ball into the open goal.

Central Falcons 3 (Jacob Smith 8, 39 min, Sam Hiha 59 min)

Northern Tridents 1 (Robbie Capizzi 54 min)

The Hauraki Mavericks have equalized in the dying moments of their match against the Southern Apliners to send the game to a penalty shootout. It was one-way traffic in the shootout as Leon Hayward would pull off some big saves to seal the bonus point for the home side. 

The Alpiners and Mavericks are two sides littered with Vantage Black Sticks players, and the contest promised to be a tight encounter with plenty of attacking hockey on display. Early on it was the Mavericks who had the better of the game and were rewarded early on when they got themselves a penalty corner. Nic Woods would put a low drag-flick into the goal that would put the Mavericks in front 1-0.

Hugo Inglis is continuing to work his way back from injury and was showing some excellent touches while on the ball, he would put a great overhead through to Sam Lane at the top of the circle who rolled around the goalkeeper and would lay the ball off to Finn Ward to touch into the goal and tie the match up. 

Inglis would be back in the thick of things just before the half time break when he weaved through several defenders in the circle on his way to putting the ball in the net. The Alpiners went into the sheds with a one-goal lead and looking for a big second half to get their first win of the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League. 

Needing a goal, it was the Mavericks who were pushing forward early in the second half as they played with increased focus and discipline on the attacking end. They were continuing to be denied by the Alpiners all-star defensive unit. 

With thirty seconds left on the clock and the Alpiners looking to close the Mavericks out, they conceded a penalty corner. Nic Woods would step up and put in his second drag-flick of the day to tie the match up and send the contest to a penalty shootout. 

It was the Mavericks who would dominate the shootout 2-1 behind goals to Nic Woods and Simon Child as they claimed the bonus point for the shootout win and solidified second place on the Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League table. 

Southern Alpiners 1 (Finn Ward 9 min, Hugo Inglis 29 min)

Hauraki Mavericks 1 (Nic Woods 6 min, 60 min)

*Mavericks won shootout 2-1

Northern Tridents name strong sides for Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League


Stacey Michelsen will lead a strong Northern Tridents team into battle in the inaugural Sentinel Homes Premier Hockey League. Michelsen will be joined by four teammates from the national squad in a team that features a good mix of youth and experience. 

Northland teammates Michelsen and Ella Gunson will be looking to bring their vast experience playing together to this team as they aim to build a strong core throughout the competition. 

Rising players Steph Dickins, as well as sisters Katie and Madison Doar, will look to stamp their credentials and push their case to be included in the 2021 national squads.

The side will be coached by current Vantage Black Sticks Assistant Coach Jude Menezes who will look to build a solid midfield core that will feed great ball through to a powerful strike line. 

Northern Trident Women’s Schedule

  • 12 November vs Mavericks – 5:00 pm
  • 14 November vs Falcons – 12:00 pm
  • 15 November vs Alpiners – 12:00 pm 
  • 25 November vs Falcons – 5:00 pm
  • 26 November vs Mavericks – 7:00 pm
  • 28 November vs Alpiners – 12:00 pm 

Northern Tridents Women’s Squad: Olivia Crum, Stephanie Dickins (N), Katie Doar (N), Madison Doar, Izzy Gill, Erin Goad, Ella Gunson (N), Sophie Hildesley, Ella Hyatt-Brown, Kate Ivory, Tyler Lench, Clodagh McCullough, Stacey Michelsen (N), Kathryn Moffitt, Kirsten Pearce, Jess Pilmer, Samantha Polovnikoff, Kayla Reed, Brooke Roberts (N), Rose Tynan, Madeleine Williamson. 
Head Coach: Jude Menezes
Assistant Coach: Colin Stewart
Assistant Coach: Sandie Mackie
Manager: Sandra Notredame

*N indicates National Squad


The Northern Trident Men will be led by an all-star coaching line-up in Bryce Collins (former Black Stick and Assistant Coach), Graham Shaw (current Vantage Black Sticks Women’s Head Coach) and Casey Henwood (2008 Olympian). 

The experienced coaching set up has entrusted current Vantage Black Sticks attacking midfielder George Muir with the captaincy for the 2020 season. He will call on two other national squad members, Steve Edwards and Cory Bennett, to help the young squad find their feet early in the competition.

The Tridents feature a large contingent of players who have played at recent Sultan of Johor Cup tournaments and will be familiar with the up-tempo style of hockey that Collins will be looking to play. 

Northern Trident Men’s Schedule

  • 19 November vs Mavericks – 5:00 pm
  • 21 November vs Falcons – 12:00 pm
  • 22 November vs Alpiners – 12:00 pm 
  • 2 December vs Falcons – 5:00 pm
  • 3 December vs Mavericks – 7:00 pm
  • 5 December vs Alpiners – 12:00pm

Northern Tridents Men’s Squad: Cory Bennett (N), Ruan Bezuidenhout, Robbie Capizzi, Benji Edwards, Steve Edwards (N), Connor Greentree, Angus Griffin, Xavier Guy, Mitch Hayde, Kim Kingstone, Isaac Houlbrooke, Sam Houston, Richard Joyce (N), Richmond Lum, Liam Mortimer, George Muir (N), Netesh Sukha, Matthew Symonds, Kieran O’Connor, Charl Ulrich.
Head Coach: Bryce Collins
Assistant Coach: Graham Shaw
Manager: Casey Henwood

*N indicates National Squad

Fans select legends of the game for MVP trophies

One of our most capped women’s players and a father and son duo have been chosen by New Zealand hockey fans to be the names on the Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophies for the new Premier Hockey League. 

Following a fan vote in August, it was decided that the men’s MVP trophy will be named after father and son Jeff and Ryan Archibald and that the women’s MVP trophy will be named after former Black Sticks Captain Suzie Muirhead. 

Ryan and Jeff Archibald said they were humbled to have the Archibald name on the MVP trophy. 

“We are hopeful the Premier Hockey League will have a positive impact on preparing our current and future Black Sticks for international hockey in what has been a challenging year.”

Jeff Archibald was a vital member of the 1976 gold medal-winning team and played for the New Zealand team from 1970 through to 1986, amassing 101 caps for his country.

Jeff was selected for four Olympics, and he captained the side from 1984-86. Since his retirement, Jeff has been involved in both coaching and umpiring, and in 1989 was made a Member of the British Empire for services to hockey.

Ryan Archibald followed in his father’s footsteps and played for New Zealand from 1997 through to 2016, accumulating 327 caps before retiring after the 2016 Olympics. Ryan represented New Zealand at three Olympics and only missed a fourth due to injury in 2004. 

Ryan was known as one of the top midfield players in world hockey, and his attacking play was sensational in setting up his strikers. He also knocked in 51 goals for the Black Sticks, and won silver at the 2002 Commonwealth Games.

1976 Gold Medal Olympic Team

Muirhead was ecstatic that her name would be associated with the new league.

“I am honoured to think that a country kid with humble beginnings like me might inspire the next generation. The Premier Hockey League is an exciting new competition that will become pivotal in developing depth in New Zealand.”

Muirhead had a long career with the Black Sticks Women playing 238 matches from 1993 through to her retirement in 2006. Muirhead captained the team with distinction from 2004-2006. 

Not only did Muirhead play the role of a setup player, but she would also find the back of the net on 41 occasions for the Black Sticks. She played at two Olympics in 2000 and 2004 and won bronze at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Muirhead was part of the Black Sticks team that in 2005 won the gold medal at the Champions Challenge. 

Muirhead was named New Zealand Hockey player of the year in both 2002 and the year she retired in 2006. She continued her involvement with the sport in the Wellington region following her retirement from international hockey.

Suzie Muirhead in action against Australia in 2005 (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)