The Central squads with their Whanganui representatives came fifth and sixth at the conclusion of the 2017 Ford National Hockey League tournament in Wellington at the weekend.

Expat Whanganui player and 2016 Black Stick Martin Atkinson was joined in the Central Mavericks by Jordan Cohen, stepping up from the Central Under 18 squad and at 17-years-old is believed to be the youngest ever local representative in the Central seniors for the NHL.

Whanganui's Junior Black Stick Emma Rainey, who was MVP when the Central Under 18 women won their national title earlier in the season, took her place in the Central Mysticks lineup.

Both Rainey and Cohen, along with Tech College Old Boy's Ryan Gray, have been selected for their New Zealand Under 18 training squads.


In Wellington, Atkinson would be joint top goalscorer for his team with seven goals in six games, having reached 40 caps as one of the veterans in the Mavericks squad.

Meanwhile, coming off the bench, Cohen got two goals at his senior debut tournament.
Starting the previous Saturday, the Mavericks were stung 3-0 by Auckland in their opening game, but rebounded to hammer Northland 7-1 on the Monday.

Atkinson got two goals and picked up a green card, while Cohen made his five minutes off the bench count with a goal.

Central completed Pool B in good shape with a 2-0 win over Canterbury on Wednesday, with Atkinson getting the winning goal in the 56th minute.

Entering the quarterfinals on Thursday, Central led the Southern Dogs 2-1 after 19 minutes, but gave up two second half goals to lose 3-2.

That set up another game with Northland on Saturday, and Central continued to run rampant with a 10-0 thrashing.

Atkinson scored a hat trick of goals, with Cohen getting another only two minutes after the Black Stick had competed this trifeta in the 42nd minute.

That put Central into Sunday's playoff for fifth against Midlands, where despite the Mavericks leading 3-0 after 34 minutes with Atkinson's seventh goal on a reverse sweep from the top of circle, the floodgates opened at the end.

Midlands scored four times in the last 12 minutes to win 4-3.

Goals would be very hard to come by for the Mysticks in the women's competition, where four of their six games would come down to a penalty shootout.

Rainey got two goals for the team.

She scored in the 14th minute of the opening Saturday game against North Harbour, who replied four minutes later and with a 1-1 deadlock at fulltime, North Habour won the shootout 3-1.

Central were stung again on the Sunday when they were well beaten 4-1 by eventual champions Midlands, with their chances not helped by two yellow cards.

On Tuesday, Central were run down by Northland, who drew 2-2 with them after 53rd and 58th minute goals, and then won the fulltime shootout 3-1.

Entering the playoffs, Central continued to have no luck as even with Rainey scoring immediately after Auckland's goal to tie the match 1-1 in the seventh minute, no further points were added and despite a better effort, Central lost the shootout 3-2 on the last attempt.

But not giving up, Rainey's team finally had the fates on their side against the Capital Cyclones, who had three green cards and two yellows drawn against them in the 1-1 draw, with Rainey coming off the bench this time.

Mysticks were able to call on all their shootout experiance to finally win it, 3-1.

That put them into the playoff for fifth with Canterbury on Sunday, Rainey again on the bench, and in a very exciting match, Canterbury pulled their goalie when trailing 2-1, but Central got the turnover to feed their captain Kayla Whitelock to scored the matchwinner.

Local representative hockey continues as the Wanganui Under 15 and Under 13 boys and girls teams will be heading away to their own tournaments in the coming week.

They will play in Hawkes Bay, Auckland, Timaru and Invercargill respectively.