It appears the British winger can’t wait for the new season to start and so is spending the summer 11,000 miles away, in another hemispheres winter! Ross Venus of the Coventry Blaze is competing with the Canterbury Devils in the New Zealand Ice Hockey League.
I was lucky enough to catch up with Ross with a inter-hemispherical Q&A;
How are you finding it having your second winter this year – you must really love the cold!!
“I don’t love the cold! I’m missing the summer but it’s worth it to be in such a nice place and experience something a little different than the usual.”
I bet you were pleased to score 2 goals in your opening game! How did your new team mates react?
“I was happy to get on the score sheet although the results on the first weekend were disappointing, this past weekend we had 2 wins which was good”
What differences have you found in the way the game is played in the NZIHL?
“You can’t really compare the two leagues when one is a fully professional league and the other is amateur, but the skill level is much better than I was expecting especially considering the lack of resources that they have here.”
How’s the fan base? I’ve seen some strong support on Twitter for the Red Devils!
“The fan base is also much stronger than I was expecting, we had our first two home games this past weekend and we had a near on sell out crowd both nights.”
Have you had much feedback from the fans? I bet they are loving a fresh playing style in their league?
“I haven’t really had the chance to speak to many fans over here but I think they will be happy with the two home wins this past weekend!”
How are you finding it with another team after being with the Blaze for a decade? Settling in?
“Its hard to compare with the blaze as it’s just an amateur league over here but everyone involved with the Red Devils has been great to me since the moment I arrived and helped me settle in.”
Seems like the games in this league have far more goals, how have you felt adjusting to such a high scoring game?
“Its different but it’s also good for me personally as I’m getting to play in different roles that I play back home and work on some offence.”
Slightly unrelated question i suppose, but how are you filling the down time between games? Being in NZ is a fantastic opportunity, are you getting to see the sights?
“I’ve only been here for a couple of weeks so I haven’t seen too much yet, but I’m planning some trips to see more of the country soon which should be good!”
The NZIHL league is early doors yet, and with just four games undertaken for the Canterbury Devils.
So here is a quick round up of the season so far for Ross;
Game 1 Swarm Vs Red Devils
A great first game for Ross, 2 goals and plenty of chances denied. His speed and agility were clearly seen and commented on. The overall score was unfortunately a loss of 6-3, but with 2 of the 3 goals, Ross had certainly set a good first impression.
Game 2 Swarm Vs Red Devils
Unfortunately another loss for the Canterbury Red Devils, but an excellent assist for Venus, again putting his speed and agility to excellent use.
Game 3 Red Devils Vs Thunder
First home game of the season, the home team going 1 down early on in what ended as a big scoring game – winning 7-6. Venus scored 2, and set up team mate Tonks for another 2 goals.
Game 4 Red Devils Vs Thunder
Team Thunder who lost the day before came back with a vengeance, but the home side triumphed 8 – 4 with Venus scoring 1 goal.
Ross now has an average of 1 goal per game, and the season is still young.
More updates to follow as the season progresses. Safe to say, Ross is showing the NZIHL what the Brits can do!
Picture – Canterbury Red Devils Via Twitter