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Seven months after Canada’s world junior team won a gold medal on home ice, the process of trying to do it again in Helsinki is just getting underway.
When Hockey Canada’s national junior team summer development camp starts Saturday in Calgary, coach Dave Lowry and his staff begin the long process of putting together the 2016 group. Only five players at the camp won gold in Toronto, so there’s a lot of turnover and plenty of work to be done.
“It’s an introduction to these players,” Lowry said in a phone interview Friday. “For us, it’s an evaluation process. ... Moving forward what it will do is give us opportunity to start forming some opinions on players.”
Lowry was an assistant to Benoit Groulx when Connor McDavid, Max Domi and Co. led Canada to its first world junior gold medal since 2009. With so many of the players Lowry described as “world-class” moving on to the NHL, forwards Lawson Crouse, Brayden Point, Robby Fabbri and Jake Virtanen and defenceman Joe Hicketts are the only ones from that team back for this camp.
A few players are returning after being among the final cuts for last year’s team, including defencemen Haydn Fleury and Travis Sanheim and forward Michael Dal Colle.
“Experience is an invaluable asset,” Lowry said. “For these guys, there’s things that as players they might change, and you hope that they’ve taken steps in their development and they come with the mind-set that they won’t be cut a second time.”
Sanheim, Dal Colle -- if he doesn’t make the New York Islanders -- and Fleury lead the next generation of Canadian world junior stars, and they’re joined by 2015 top-five picks Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner. Strome, the Ontario Hockey League’s leading scorer as a teammate of McDavid’s in Erie, was the third pick to the Arizona Coyotes, while Marner went fourth to the Toronto Maple Leafs after a stellar season playing with Domi on the London Knights.
Fellow first-round picks Jake DeBrusk (14th to the Boston Bruins), Mathew Barzal (15th to the Islanders), Thomas Chabot (18th to the Ottawa Senators), Travis Konecny (24th to the Philadelphia Flyers), Noah Juulsen (26th to the Montreal Canadiens), Anthony Beauvillier (28th to the Islanders) and Nick Merkley (30th to the Coyotes) are also among the 40 players at camp.
Second-rounder Mackenzie Blackwood, third-rounder Samuel Montembeault and 2014 second-rounder Mason McDonald are the three goalies at camp. Canada could again rotate like it did last year, winning gold with Zach Fucale and Eric Comrie in net.
“We’ve got three goalies here that are coming to camp, and for our staff, this is the first time that we’re going to see these guys live,” Lowry said. “We’ll start the evaluation process. If we’re in that same position that we were last year, that means we have a chance to win.”
Some of the evaluation is projecting what’s next. A year ago first- and third-overall picks Aaron Ekblad and Sam Bennett were at Canada’s camp.
Ekblad made the Florida Panthers out of training camp and was the Calder Trophy winner as rookie of the year. Bennett hurt his shoulder but then played for the Calgary Flames in the playoffs.
Lowry expects that to happen again with someone.
“There are players that are invited to the camp that might not be made available come selection time in December,” he said. “We’ll run that same process. We’ll be excited about the guys that are here but knowing that it will change.”
Dal Colle and Fabbri, one of the St. Louis Blues’ top prospects, are the most likely to fit the bill. Strome should headline Canada’s 2016 world junior team but wouldn’t be available if he shows the Coyotes that he belongs in the NHL right away.
Whatever happens at camp, which includes exhibition games against Russia and the Czech Republic, this is far from the only evaluation Canada’s staff will have before December. Like Hicketts, Crouse and Senators prospect Nick Paul a year ago, Lowry anticipates players not at camp to push themselves onto the radar in a few months.
“We expect players that weren’t invited here to the summer camp to get off and have great starts to their years,” Lowry said. “The book, and the door, it doesn’t close until the night that we name our final roster. We’re open to everything.”
The national ice hockey players have recently complained that they have been estranged from their friends. It’s not that they don’t have time to meet their friends but that they have no energy left to hang out with friends due to long commuting time to and from Korea National Training Center.
Having scouted a renowned trainer from EXOS, an American company for professional performance training, at the expense of some 40 million Korean won (approx. 36,000 U.S dollars), the national team began its training at the center on May 18. The 9-week program aims at enhancing muscular and physical strength required for playing ice hockey. Baek Ji-seon, national ice hockey team coach, believes that having strong physical strength is a must to take on the world-class players who have exceptional techniques and physical power.
The training of the national team has been based on the rule of thumb so far. “Up until the last year, the training was all about running as long as we can and lifting as much as we can,” said one of the national players. Sources from Korea Ice Hockey Association, however, expressed the satisfaction by saying, “Now, they say the training intensity of the ice hockey team is as high as the other events such as wrestling.”
The players were soaked in just 20 minutes after they started the training on Wednesday. They hardly smiled or talked to each other as the training itself was too demanding. In the beginning of the training program, not a few players threw up what they ate due to hard training. “When we go back home after tough training, we usually don’t go out. Even on Sunday, the only day without the training, many of us just stay home for the next day,” said defender Lee Don-gu (Anyang Halla). “Believing that I can’t come and meet them anyway, many of my friends don’t even contact me to set the time,” one of players expressed his concern.
Most of the players, however, seem to be satisfied with their improved physical and muscular strengths. “I think I have gained much muscles given that my body fat has decreased while my weight has increased by 2-3 kilograms,” said Shin Sang-hoon (Anyang Halla). Sources from the national team said, “Thanks to the training specialized for ice hockey, the players now show much stronger shootings.”
Having started its project in earnest for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, the national team is slated to have warm-up matches with European countries such as Austria. It is also expected that the team would change its system to full-time national team where players continue trainings and matches all through the year instead of doing national matches while they belong to a particular team.
Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger, Phil Housley and Angela Ruggiero will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame as the Class of 2015.
Bill Hay and Peter Karmanos were also inducted as builders.
Lidstrom’s election was a matter of inevitability. One of the most dominant defenders of his era, Lidstrom is a seven-time Norris Trophy winner, including six wins in seven seasons between 2001 and 2008. Lidstrom won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings, earning the 2002 Conn Smythe Trophy as Playoff MVP. He became the first European to win the award and in 2008 became the first European to captain a club to a Cup title.
His international resume is equally impressive as Lidstrom won World Championship (1991) and Olympic (2006) gold representing Sweden. He became the 17th member of the “Triple Gold” club at the 2006 Turin Games.
In 1,564 games with the Red Wings Lidstrom scored 264 goals and 878 assists.
Fedorov electrified the NHL as one of the first wave of Russian players to hit the NHL after the fall of the Iron Curtain. Joining the Red Wings in 1990, Fedorov helped turn the franchise into a perennial winner alongside Lidstrom and captain Steve Yzerman. In 1994, Fedorov became the first European player to ever win the Hart Memorial Trophy as League MVP, taking the Lester B. Pearson Award - MVP as voted on by the players - and Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s best two-way forward. He won three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and retired first all-time among Russian scorers in the NHL with 1,248 points.
In 1,248 games with the Red Wings, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals, Fedorov scored 483 goals and 696 assists.
Pronger makes the Hall of Fame despite not actually being retired from the NHL. The 40-year-old Pronger is currently under contract to both the NHL’s Player Safety Department and to the Arizona Coyotes who acquired his rights over the weekend. That said, Pronger has not played a game since 2011-12 and is never expected to return to the ice as an NHLer.
A physical force, Pronger’s NHL career featured dominant stretches that saw him become the only defenceman since Bobby Orr to win the Hart Trophy, taking it in 2000. Pronger also took the Norris that season and was named an NHL ALL-Star on four occasions. Pronger won two Olympic gold medals with Canada (2002 and 2010) and earned Triple Gold status when he won the 2007 Stanley Cup with the Anaheim Ducks.
In 1,167 career games with the Hartford Whalers, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Anaheim Ducks and Philadelphia Flyers, Pronger scored 157 goals and 541 assists.
Elected in his ninth year of eligibility, Phil Housley enters the Hall of Fame as the fourth-highest-scoring defenceman in NHL history. The St. Paul, Minn.-native was an offensive force, scoring 60 points or more in his each of his first 11 seasons in the League. That run culminated with a career-high 97 points with the Winnipeg Jets in 1992-93. He was selected to appear in seven NHL All-Star Games and was named a finalist for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1983 and the Norris in 1992. He was also a member of the United States’ 1996 World Cup of Hockey-winning squad. He was named to the IIHF Hall of Fame in 2012.
Housley scored 338 goals and 894 assists in 1,495 career games with the Buffalo Sabres, Jets, Blues, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, Capitals, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ruggiero is one of the most decorated players in women’s hockey history. Representing the United States from 1997 to 2011, Ruggiero won four Olympic medals including gold at the 1998 Nagano Games. She was twice named the Olympic tournament’s top defender, taking the honour at the 2002 and 2006 Games. Over her 14-year career, Ruggiero won 14 medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships including four gold and six silver at the Worlds. She becomes the fourth woman elected to the Hall of Fame as a player, joining former teammate Cammi Granato and Canadians Angela James and Geraldine Heaney.
Hay served as President and CEO of both Hockey Canada and the Flames (1991-98). He was appointed Charimand and CEO of the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1998. Hay also enjoyed an eight-year NHL career, winning the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1960 and the Stanley Cup in 1961 with the Blackhawks.
Karmanos has been part-owner of the Carolina Hurricanes since purchasing the then-Whalers with his business group in 1994. He oversaw the club’s move to Carolina in 1997. He won the Lester Patrick Trophy awarded for service to hockey in 1998. He was inducted into the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.
With Chinese U18 national team defenceman Andong Song drafted by the New York Islanders, the country hit the media in hockey countries while hockey hit the media in China where hockey is most popular in the northern province of Heilongjiang. But hockey in Asia dates back to almost a century of action on ice. Let’s have a look at some milestones.
1930: Founding of the Japanese Ice Hockey Federation. It’s the oldest and biggest national ice hockey body in Asia and with 19,260 registered ice hockey players it governs more players and teams than there are in several top-division nations in Europe.
1930: The Japanese national team played in its first World Championship. It was a short moment for the Asians since the tournament began and ended for them with a 5-0 quarter-final loss to Poland in Chamonix, France. In 1936 the Japanese played in the Olympic Winter Games in Berlin, Germany, but lost its preliminary-round games to Sweden (2-0) and eventual gold medallist Great Britain (3-0).
1948: Larry Kwong became the first NHL player of Asian descent to play an NHL game. The Canadian born to parents who immigrated from China to British Columbia was called up by the injury-plagued New York Rangers for an NHL game but only played a shift in a game against the Montreal Canadiens and spent the rest of his career in minor leagues and one year in Great Britain. Later North American NHL players of Asian descent include Paul and Steve Kariya, Devin Setoguchi, Brandon Yip as well as two Seoul-born players, Jim Paek and Richard Park.
1960: In 1957 Japan returned in international play at the World Championship but the first win at a top-level event followed at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, USA. The Japanese came by ship and lost to Canada and Sweden in the group stage but had two wins against Australia as well as a tie and a loss against Finland in the consolation round. At the top level Japan competed in eight Olympic men’s ice hockey tournaments, two Olympic women’s ice hockey tournaments, nine World Championships with the men’s national team, one World Junior Championship, five Women’s World Championships and three U18 Women’s World Championships.
1972: The first Olympic Winter Games in Asia were hosted in Sapporo, Japan. It was the first time the Winter Games were held outside of Europe and North America. Originally Sapporo was awarded to host the 1940 Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II. Japan won its first gold medal in winter sports and the Japanese ice hockey team had the chance to play in the northern island of Hokkaido where the sport is most popular. After an 8-2 loss to Czechoslovakia, Japan played in the consolation round it ended with a 2-1-1 record including wins over Yugoslavia and West Germany.
1972: China became the second Asian nation to enter a national team in IIHF competitions when the Chinese participated in the 1972 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship C-Pool in Miercurea Ciuc, Romania. The Chinese had a considerably good start with wins over Bulgaria and Denmark, ties against Austria and Hungary, and losses to the Netherlands and Italy. Yungming Cheng led the team in scoring with four goals. In 1974 the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea joined the C-Pool and in 1979 the Republic of Korea entered a team in the competition for the first time.
1978: Shoichi Tomita, who was Japan’s goalie at the 1960 Olympic Winter Games and at the 1962 IIHF World Championship B-Pool, was elected into the IIHF Council. He was a member of the IIHF’s executive body for 34 years and during his era Asia got a fix place in the Council. As of 1994 Tomita served as an IIHF Vice President. For his farewell the 2012 IIHF General Congress took place in his hometown of Tokyo where Thomas Wu from Hong Kong was elected as his successor.
1986: The first Asian Winter Games were organized in Sapporo, Japan, and included ice hockey. China won the first edition that included four teams thanks to a 4-1 win over Japan. In 1996 a women’s ice hockey tournament was added and in 2011 the Asian Winter Games included 12 men’s and five women’s national teams with Kazakhstan as the winner in both categories.
1990: Jim Paek became the first player of Asian descent born in Asia to play in the NHL when the defenceman had his debut in 1990 early in the season with the Pittsburgh Penguins in a game against the New York Islanders. Born in Seoul, Paek grew up in Canada and played for Pittsburgh winning two Stanley Cups, for Los Angeles and Ottawa until 1995. He played eight more years in minor leagues and for the Nottingham Panthers in Great Britain.
1992: China competed in a top-level IIHF event for the first time – not in men’s ice hockey but in the 1992 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship. At the event in Tampere China earned a fifth-place finish with wins over Denmark, Norway and Switzerland. The Chinese stayed among the elite nations until 2010 and played in all top-division Women’s World Championships by then and qualified for the Olympic Games three times before a period of decline started after 2010.
1992: Hiroyuki Miura became the first player developed in Asia to be drafted. The Montreal Canadiens picked the Japanese defenceman 260th overall. He spent one season in North America in the ECHL before returning to Japan. Prior to him the Buffalo Sabres made some fun in the late rounds in 1974 and “drafted” an imaginary Japanese player they called Taro Tsujimoto but neither he nor his club Tokyo Katanas existed as it became known several weeks later.
1993: After winning the B-Pool the year before – in a seldom four-team tie with Poland, Norway and France –, the Japanese U20 national team played the first and so far only time in the top division of the IIHF World Junior Championship in 1993. The Asians travelled to Sweden with slim chances as its top players from the team that earned promotion were born in 1972 and missing, and the class of 1973 wasn’t the strongest with only six players nominated. The team lost all seven games, mostly by clear margins except for a 6-3 defeat to Germany.
1997: The Anaheim Mighty Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks opened their NHL season with two games at the Yoyogi Arena in Tokyo. Both games drew sell-out crowds of 10,500 and each team won one game by the score of 3-2. It was the first time in history that regular-season games of the NHL were played outside of North America. In 1998 the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks also opened the season with two games in Tokyo, and in 2000 the Nashville Predators and the Pittsburgh Penguins played two regular-season games in Saitama where they set an attendance record for ice hockey in Japan with 13,849 spectators.
1998: The Olympic Winter Games were held in Asia for the second time and Nagano 1998 offered two firsts in ice hockey: It was the first time the NHL paused to make the Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament a best-on-best competition and it was the first Olympics with women’s ice hockey as a sport. Japan finished in 13th place in the 14-team men’s competition that was sensationally won by the Czech Republic and the Japanese women’s team finished in sixth and last place while China was fourth before Sweden in the first-ever Olympic women’s ice hockey tournament that was won by the United States.
1998: The IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship was extended to 16 teams and in an attempt to boost ice hockey in Asia, the continent got a fixed spot for a Far East qualifier. In its seven World Championships between 1998 and 2004 the Japanese most of the time had little trouble qualifying against China and Korea, but it didn’t win any of the 36 games in the Worlds. In 2001 it reached a 3-3 tie against Norway after blowing a 3-1 lead, two years later it tied Slovenia at three, again after a 3-1 lead. Because the automatic spot didn’t really help the development of Japanese hockey, it was decided to stop protecting Japan in the 2004 IIHF World Championship. Interestingly the Japanese had their strongest tournament exactly in 2004 with two ties (vs. France and Ukraine) and only 24 conceded goals in six games. Almost Japan seemed to manage to escape relegation when Takayuki Kobori scored the 2-1 and 3-2 lead against Denmark. With the game tied at 3-3 for the third period, however, Nobuhiro Sugawara scored hockey’s most bizarre own goal. After a pass to the crease from Denmark’s Bo Nordby-Andersen, Sugawara wanted to clear the puck but instead of hitting the end boards, he shot the puck into the own, empty net. A few days later Japan was relegated with a 15th-place finish.
2002: Korea for the first time played in the second-tier Division I of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program. It would take some more years and a fourth attempt to win its first game at this level, a 5-2 win over Croatia in 2010, but it was the start of Korea’s emerging as the number-two Asian ice hockey nation overtaking China. In its strongest season, Korea was ranked 21st overall in the program in 2013.
2003: The Asia League Ice Hockey was founded. Four professional teams from the former JIHL in Japan were joined by Anyang Halla from Korea. One year later teams from China and Russia’s Far East extended the league to eight teams. Last season it included nine teams from these four countries. The league brought competition in the Far East at a new level and helped improve the level of play in club hockey especially outside of Japan. The league winners came from Japan except in 2010 when it was won by Korea’s Anyang Halla. One year later Anyang Halla and the Tohoku Free Blades were declared co-champions due to the disastrous earthquake in Japan that hit the teams during their preparation for the final series.
2007: Japanese goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji became the first Asian-trained player to appear in an NHL game when the Los Angeles Kings called him up from the farm team and let him play for the last period in a game against the St. Louis Blues on 13th January. Three days later he played a full game against the Atlanta Thrashers. In total he appeared in four games for 96 minutes. After two more years in minor leagues he continued his career in Europe and in Japan.
2008: The IIHF launched the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia that would eventually become an annual series of tournaments. In the men’s senior category it is aimed at smaller Asian nations that don’t participate in the upper levels of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program. Among the winners were Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates but the competition also included other nations from Oman to India, from Thailand to Malaysia.
2009: Years after goalie Fukufuji, several Japanese skaters had the chance to show their skill in NHL pre-season or rookie camps. Speedy forward Shuhei Kuji practised with the New York Islanders in 2009, and last year the Columbus Blue Jackets invited Ryo Hashimoto and the Islanders were joined by Japanese junior forward Yuri Terao.
2009: The IIHF opened an Asian office with the position of an IIHF Asian Sport Development Manager first held by Jukka Tiikkaja and since 2011 by Harald Springfeld to help the IIHF’s Asian members in their development programs. The office was first based in Tokyo and since 2012 in Hong Kong. Apart from pan-Asian development programs, camps, seminars, education and national development assistance, the office is also involved in organizing the IIHF Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia events.
2010: The United Arab Emirates became the first Arab nation to join the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship program. In the World Championship Division III the UAE had a tight 3-2 loss to host Luxembourg and lost its other games to Greece and Ireland. In their third participation in 2014, the Emirati won their first game at this level, 6-1 against Georgia. Other Arab countries in the IIHF include Kuwait, Morocco, Oman and Qatar while recreational ice hockey is also played in other countries including Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
2011: The IOC Session awarded the 2018 Olympic Winter Games to PyeongChang. Korea will become the second Asian country to host the Olympic Winter Games. The ice sports venues are being built in the coastal city of Gangneung. Korea will be allowed automatic entry of a men’s and women’s ice hockey team and boosts its program with more games and camps for the national teams and new coaches in an attempt to decrease the gap to the top nations. Seoul-born former NHLers Jim Paek (head coach) and Richard Park (assistant coach) took over the men’s national team in 2014 while Sarah Murray, the daughter of legendary coach and IIHF Hall of Famer Andy Murray, coaches the women’s national team.
2012: The first-ever IIHF event was hosted in India in the city of Dehradun and in its 13th international game the Indians got their first-ever win, 5-1 vs. Macau, at the 2012 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia. Unfortunately the rink that opened some months earlier has rarely been used for ice sports since. Ice hockey is most popular in the Northern part of the country close to the Himalayas where thousands of fans watch the Indian championship games on natural ice in Leh close to the border with Tibet, China. Due to the lack of a full-size indoor rink, hockey is only played for a few weeks in winter, which provides a challenge for the national team to prepare for its international games in spring.
2014: Korea hosted the 2014 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group A in Goyang, a satellite city just outside of Seoul. It’s the highest level of ice hockey ever played and organized in the country. Unfortunately for the national team it wasn’t able to confirm its highest ranking ever from the year before and suffered relegation after losing all games. In 2015 Korea earned promotion back to the Division I Group A for the 2016 event in Krakow, Poland.
2015: The Southeast Asian Games will include ice hockey and ice skating as the first winter sports it was decided by the participating National Olympic Committees. The biennial event that has taken place since 1959 and could further develop ice hockey in the region. The next edition will take place in September 2017 in Malaysia in the cities of Kuala Lumpur, Sabah and Sarawak. IIHF members in the region include Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand but recreational ice hockey is also played in countries such as Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, and most recently ice hockey practices started in Cambodia.
2015: Picked 172nd overall, Chinese U18 national team defenceman Andong Song became the first player from China to be drafted by an NHL team. It was the New York Islanders, owned by Chinese-born businessman Charles Wong, who selected him. Song began to play in Beijing at the age of six. His parents brought him to the ice because the doctors recommended him to breathe cold air due to his pharyngitis. He fell in love with the game and by the time he was 10 his family had moved to Canada to help make his dream of a career as a hockey player come true. He got a scholarship at the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey where he played the last two years but he also travelled back to China to represent Beijing in the national junior championship and the U18 national team in the last two editions of the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 World Championship Division II Group B. Song was accompanied at the draft in Florida by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV, which has recently become active in broadcasting hockey including the 2015 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship. In China Song was headlined after the draft as “po bing zhe”, the ice breaker. That’s something China could need in view of its attempt to improve hockey and bring the 2022 Olympic Winter Games to Beijing. Song hopes to play college hockey starting in 2016 and become NHL-ready in five years.
With colombia winning there first ever Ice hockey tournament this past month we got change to catch up with Julian Cuervo and we got his taughts on the Pan American Ice Hockey Tournament and about ice hockey in Colombia.
Why did you choose hockey over football and what was your first reaction to the Pan American Ice Hockey tournament?
To be honest with you I chose hockey because my father watch MacGyver, and he plays hockey! I just saw that and I fell in love with the sport, even if in my country hockey is not a popular sport and we don't have official ice rinks.
My first reaction was like being in a dream! we knew about the tournament because we played last year. We want to be part of the IIHF in Colombia, here there just FIRS (Federation International Roller Sports) and we are not happy with the way that the leaders are doing the things, so we organize our team and we dream and we train so hard it's is amazing.
There is no ice rink in Colombia so how did you and your teammates train for the Pan American Ice hockey Tournament?
This team is a family, we are really a roller hockey team! We know the game and personally I think that we have hockey sense, we have won tournaments in USA and in CANADA. We train our body's and hockey systems but also we train our mindset to be winners and be successful for us that's the key.
Be able to think that we can do it! We saw a lot of movies and we train 4 times a week and we have been doing this for 6 years at least. We have players that are playing with the national team and they support the rest of the team too.
What adjustment did you have to make from inline hockey to ice hockey?
First of all the skating skill! we have a really nice skill in roller! We are fast!!! we are safe we know how move and we do it well, on the ice is other story and more because we don't have a place to train! So we arrived in Mexico a couple of days before the tournament and worked on our skating skill because we know that this is our weakness. The systems and the extra stuff we train here and we watched videos and our coach give us some tools to work with!
About the physical aspect of the game, I have to say that we are not afraid to play the body! because we know that we have to win every battle.
How much interest is there in ice hockey in Colombia?
Well the interest is not big! outside when other players from another counties see us they ask the same because we are really confronted with this every day, but really we have a small group of people that work so hard every day and we have to keep this dream alive!
Colombia upset Mexico to win the Gold Medal, What will this victory do for ice hockey in the country?
This is an example to believe! To think that it is possible to be someone that ice hockey players exist! That we have talent! The discipline and heart! We hope that someone will support us but we know that we are alone right now.
Where did the funding come from for Colombia to participate in Pan American Ice hockey Tournament?
Well we started with the IIHF certification and we play some roller hockey tournaments and we saw that our level of play was good! And we have a few players that have played ice hockey in other countries so they Mexico made the invitation and we as a family decided to go! We just wanna play! Any time against anyone we love the game!!!
We don't have economical support by nobody everyone pays for himself! and it's really hard.
Do you think there will be more South American countries playing in the Pan American Ice Hockey Tournament in the future?
I hope and I mean we! Hope!!! It is nice to see the Brazilians and the Argentinians teams and obviously the Mexican team but we want to see Ecuador, Venezuela and Uruguay. We have contact with some roller hockey players in Ecuador and Venezuela and they wanna be like us in someway and sometimes some of our players travel there and support them but just in roller, we wanna see them on ice too.
If you could what improvements would you make to the Pan American Ice Hockey Tournament?
Invite more teams! Last year we played against Canada and it was the best game of my life!! If there were more teams that would be nice.
Are their any plans to join the IIHF in the near future?
We are working on that is not easy but that's the plan! To be recognize and be an official league and play and be good.
Are their any plans to play more ice hockey games in the future?
We are always open to go and play in tournaments we are really exited about the ice hockey world, but some of my teammates are studying others are working and it is really expensive! but we are able to make sacrifices
It's just one life! there's just one chance! we have an interesting team ready to be part of the game as long as we can.
Growing up in Canada I was a huge hockey fan, but it wasn't until the 1972 summit series and the 1976 Canada Cup that I became a big fan of international hockey. The best players in world all playing on a sheet of ice.
over the years Ice Hockey as grown and is still growing all over the world. On this website you find Video Hi-lites of International Games, Ice hockey News, National Team Records, All Time Results, Scores, Schedule to upcoming games and all International Tournaments from around the world.
We hope you enjoy our website.
We want to thank some people who have contributed to our website over the years.
Danny Laflamme (Montreal, Canada)
Gilberto Prioste (Toronto, Canada)
Mirc & Mario Hric (mmdresy.nhladdons.info, Slovakia)
Mark Cruickshank (roonba.com, Great Britain)