The Central Falcons men's team has got off to a flying start in the first round of the new Premier League Hockey competition – winning all three matches.
The Falcons made it three from three after soaring to a 6-2 win over the Hauraki Mavericks on Sunday.
The inaugural Premier Hockey League is showcasing the nation's best players going head-to-head in an eight-team - four men's and four women's - round-robin competition.
The four teams represent regions of the country: The Central Falcons cover Taupo to Wellington (including Hawke's Bay) and face the Northland Tridents, Hauraki Mavericks and the Southern Alpiners.
The Falcons won their first match 2-1 against the Alpiners, then went on to beat the Tridents 3-1 on Saturday, and slammed in six goals against the Mavericks on Sunday.
Black Stick and Falcons' player Shea McAleese said the team were stoked to have started the competition on a high after months away from the professional game.
"It was particularly hard having nine months off competitive hockey," he said.
"I think what was different from us to the rest were key moments. We either scored at crucial times or our goalkeeper made saves at the other end."
The Falcons men have eight players from Hawke's Bay, including McAleese.
He said the Bay heavy squad shows the region is capable of producing quality hockey players.
"It's awesome to have a strong representation from Hawke's Bay, including Dom Dixon, Mac Wilcox, Sam Hiha, Dylan Thomas, Sean Findlay, Joe Hanks and Harry Lawson," he said.
"It shows what we as a region have been able to do in building through some talent through quality programs."
Central Falcons sit stop of the men's standings with 12 points, six above second-placed Hauraki Mavericks - with a goal difference of seven compared to the Mavericks' -2.
They return to action on December 2 when they'll face the Tridents first.
McAleese said he and the team were not taking the next set of games lightly.
"Next round will be tougher with all teams more prepared and gunning for us," he said.
"The positive for us is we won all three games but we haven't quite been to our level yet."
The Falcons' women won their first match 4-1 against the Alpiners, but lost their next two games after penalty shootouts.
The women sits second with 6 points, 4 points off league leading Tridents.
Their first match in the next round is against the Tridents tomorrow.