Month: June 2017 (page 1 of 2)

Satan Slovakia’s GM

Miroslav Satan (right), new General Manager of the Slovak national team, together with Slovak Ice Hockey Federation President Martin Kohut

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

The Slovak Ice Hockey Federation named Miroslav Satan as new General Manager of the national team and head of the national team program.

Satan was presented to the media in Bratislava on Friday. He signed a one-year contract with the federation with an option for another year. He replaces Robert Svehla and will also be looking for a new head coach. Most recently former player Zdeno Ciger has coached the team for the past two years.

“I’m glad that Miro has accepted our offer,” Slovak Ice Hockey Federation President Martin Kohut said. “We believe that this is the best solution for Slovak hockey.”

The man from Topolcany is one of the greatest legends of Slovak hockey in the modern era. He played in the top Czechoslovak and Slovak leagues for Dukla Trencin and for the Slovak men’s national team in its first editions after independence at the 1994 Olympic Winter Games and the 1994 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship C-Pool before moving to North America.

The 42-year-old spent 14 seasons in the NHL for the Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Boston Bruins. With the Pens he won the Stanley Cup in 2009. In 2010 he moved back to Europe, played for Dynamo Moscow in the KHL and for Slovan Bratislava that played first in the Slovak Extraliga and then two years with Satan in the Russian KHL.

He represented Slovakia in four Olympic Games and in 14 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championships (12 in the top division where Slovakia has played since 1996), was part of the team that won the only world title for Slovakia in 2002 when he was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament and also won two silver medals (2000, 2012) and a bronze (2003). He was twice on the World Championship All-Star Team, in 2000 and 2002 when he led the tournament in points both times.

Now he returns to the national team in a new position and after tough years. Slovakia hasn’t reached the quarter-finals at the Worlds or Olympics since 2013 and finished the 2017 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in 14th position, lower than ever since moving up to the top level after the country’s independence. That’s something that Satan is here for to change.

“It’s quite a big job, it’s two positions combined, but it’s something that I’ll now try to do and help my own country, the team I used to play for a lot and care for a lot. It’s interesting new times and a big challenge to stabilize our hockey and hopefully improve it in a short time,” Satan said.

For Satan it’s the second experience managing a team in international ice hockey. The Slovak was the General Manager of Team Europe. The selection of European NHL players from other than the continent’s top-four countries (Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden) surprised the world by reaching the final of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey in Toronto where it was eventually stopped by Canada.

The Slovak Ice Hockey Federation hopes to present the new head coach in the upcoming weeks. In the second half of August, two exhibition games are scheduled across the border with neighbouring country Czech Republic, on 23 August in Trinec and on 24 August at home in Zilina. In the November international break Slovakia will participate in the Deutschland Cup in Augsburg, Germany.

At the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, Korea, Slovakia will face Russia, the United States and Slovenia in its group next February. At the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Denmark, Slovakia will play in the group in Copenhagen against Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Belarus, France and Austria.

EVEL KNIEVEL and the BUTTE BOMBERS.

By Hockey Old Time Logos

ROBERT CRAIG KNIEVEL. was born in 1938 in Butte, Montana. Him and his brother Nic were raised by their grandparents (fathers side) Emma and Ignatius who were second generation German-Americans.
Their parents divorced and left Montana straight after Nic was born.
Robert left school at 16 to work for Anaconda mining company, operating a diamond drill deep in the copper mines. Copper being the major industry in the Rocky mountain town of Butte. He was soon promoted to driving the huge earth moving vehicle but was soon fired when he did a `wheelie` with his monster truck after it had crashed into a main power line supplying electricity to the mining town, it knocked the electricity out of Butte for several hours.

WHAT`S IN A NAME?.
Robert was a bit of a rebel, and after a police chase that he led on a motorcycle resulted in a crash and landed him in jail. He was in a cell next to a man known as `Awful Knofel` immediately Knievel got his nickname `Evil Knievel` from his name rhyming night jailer.
After a few years he did not want to be known as `Evil` so he changed it to `Evel` a name that stuck for the rest of his life.

HOCKEY CAREER.
Robert played for the Charlotte Checkers a minor-pro team in the Eastern Hockey League before he decided to start up his own team the `Butte Bombers` in 1959 and even convinced the Czech Olympic team to play a warm up game prior to the 1960 Olympics.
As a player he was a real show-off and had to be the life of the party all of the time, former players rated him 7 out of 10 but would not trust him as far as they could throw him. Tubie Johnson another colleague said he was a good athlete but was always getting into scrapes and was the biggest bullshitter in the world.
In September 1958 at nineteen years old Knievel became the most important figure in Butte hockey. He started his own semi-pro team the `Butte Bombers`. He was owner, coach and of course starting centre, quite a remarkable string of titles for a 19 year old.

Evel Knievel Star Center

Start-up money came from his father and grandfather Ignatius and a car dealership. The local sports goods dealer Phil Judd provided Knievel with uniforms and equipment on credit, something he would probably regret later. Knievel offered players $50 per game, he put together an ambitious schedule which included semi-pro teams from the US and Canada, a few minor league juggernauts and some big name colleges from Minnesota and Michigan. Knievel was not a bad player but if he had passed the puck a bit more and not shot every time he got it, his play but have been a whole lot better. He always set himself up to be the star, putting himself on the ice for power plays, penalty killing and all the big moments as centre for the 1st line. Little self placed stories appeared in the local newspaper mentioning interest of him by other minor league teams but they all ended with how happy he was playing with the Bombers.
Knievel was hard to pin down especially when money was involved, the players soon found out that that $50 per game was a mirage but they kept playing as it was the only team around. Without the help of Phil Judd for giving Knievel credit for sticks and equipment they would of faded into oblivion but they managed to scrape by. In 1960 Robert Knievel secured the biggest coup of all when he persuaded the Czech Olympic hockey team to play an exhibition game prior to the upcoming Olympics. The game was played at the Butte Civic Arena on Feb 7th 1960, two thousand fans packed the Civic Center. The game itself was a GOAL FEST the Czechs pulverized the Bombers 22-3, the game was a rout of routs, the Butte goalie saved 69 shots. Tubie Johnson said the Czechs were just messing with us they were being kind it could have been 105-0 if they wanted.

1960 Czechoslovakia National Team

Knievel came out during periods and pleaded for financial help from a microphone as assorted buckets were passed around the arena he mentioned that the Czech delegation was larger than he had expected and their expenses were much larger than he first had imagined.

The money was collected but allegedly none of it ever reached the Czechs or creditors. One thing for sure was that this was the end of the road for the Butte Bombers and Evel Knievels hockey career.
He was 21 years old retired from hockey, off to other interests and other projects.

EVEL KNIEVEL” as we all knew him attempted more than 75 ramp-to-ramp motorcycle jumps and even attempting a canyon jump across Snake River Canyon(which failed) in a steam powered rocket called the Skycycle X-2. He still holds the Guinness Record for `Most broken bones in a lifetime` which is 37. He went through 15 major operations and spent nearly 3 years of his life in a hospital bed. Robert Knievel died of pulmonary disease in 2007 aged 69. This blog is just a snippet of his fascinating story.

Latvian-born Canadian hockey player Krista Yip-Chuck allowed to represent Latvia

By Kas jaunas.lv

Canada-born Latvian-born hockey player Krista Jip-Chaka received the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Council authorization to represent the Latvian national women’s national, reports the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation.

Currently, 21-year-old Krista Jip Caka last year turned to LHF and expressed her willingness to represent the Latvian female national team. In the spring IIHF application was submitted to Jip-Chaka could play in the world championship under the Latvian flag.

As the main argument for playing for Latvia national team Krista Jip-Caka said her roots were from Latvian orgin. Krista is Canadian with Latvian dual nationality, she acquired a Latvian passport  on April 14, 2015.

The previous four seasons Krista Jip-Chaka played for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Yale University team, which last season she recorded 20 points ( 5+ 15) she was elected captain by her teammates.

She was born in Whitby, Ontario, while her mom Liza Preisa once engaged in volleyball and played for University of Cincinnati.

 

Four years ago Krista Jip-Caka was part of the Canadian U-18 list of candidates, as well as becoming the Canadian U-18 Championship winner.

Latvian women’s national team in April played at world championship division I Group B and finsh in third place.

Jokerit To Host SKA In Open – Air Classic

http://www.eurohockey.com/image/190-190-1-jokeritskaicechallenge2017khl.jpg

By KHL.ru

On the 2nd of December, 2017, Helsinki will host a KHL regular championship match between Jokerit and SKA Saint Petersburg, and the game will be a “Winter Classic” staged in an outdoor arena. The timing of the match coincides with three significant anniversaries: the 10th season of the Kontinental Hockey League, the 50th anniversary of the founding of HC Jokerit, and the centenary year of hockey in Finland.

The idea of holding a first-ever outdoor game in a KHL regular championship came from Jokerit. The Helsinki club proposed marking its 50-year jubilee with a major celebration for all the fans in Finland, and the plan drew enthusiastic support from the KHL.

A KHL match between two of the strongest European clubs will be one of the highlights of the League’s 10th anniversary season. Thanks to the vast territory covered by the KHL, the game in Helsinki will attract the attention of people across many countries and from fans of clubs which play in the competition. For this reason, marking the 100th anniversary of Finnish hockey with a KHL match dedicated to the occasion will be a superb way to raise awareness throughout an entire continent about the strong traditions of these great hockey powers. At the same time, the teams will be playing for valuable points in the regular season, and so the game will be fiercely competitive and even more exciting for the fans of both clubs.

The venue for the match was chosen with great care. It was here, over one hundred years ago, on the frozen waters of an inlet separating Siltasaari and Kaisaniemi, two areas of Helsinki, that amateur hockey players first started playing the exciting new game, which in those years involved fighting for possession of a ball rather than a puck.  Soon the Finns had created a permanent rink in Kaisaniemi Park, and matches in the national championship have been played here to this day.

Three days after the Jokerit – SKA game, the same venue will stage a match from the Finnish League. The two games are united under the banner, “Helsinki Ice Challenge,” and surrounding the playing surface will be special stands built to accommodate around 18,000 spectators. A sell-out crowd for this event would set a new attendance record for the League.

It is hoped the fans will feel the atmosphere of a century ago, a time when a new sport was taking its first steps on Finnish soil. Most of the open-air stadium will be for standing spectators, as that is how the hardy souls watched hockey back in those pioneering days. The Finnish club has announced that tickets for the match will go on sale from the 8th of June, 2017.

This match in the Great Outdoors is just one of many planned events dedicated to marking the 10th anniversary of the Kontinental Hockey League. News of the other surprises and celebrations to delight the fans during this anniversary season will appear in due course on the League’s official website.

PH ice hockey team targets gold in SEA Games

By Dennis Gasgonia – ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Philippines has a national ice hockey team and it’s aiming for the gold in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games in August.

French-Filipino Francois Gautier, general manager of Hockey Philippines, said they will be holding the Philippine Ice Hockey Tournament starting Wednesday to help prepare the team for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Gautier said they will be tested against hockey teams from Korea, Taipei and Singapore. Some of these clubs are expected to field professional players.

“These teams that are coming are a lot stronger than the teams that we’re competing against in the SEA Games,” Gautier noted.

According to Gautier, Thailand is the heavy favorite in the biennial games, but is expected to face rough sailing due to a complaint it received in the Sapporo event.

Gautier noted that the Thai team brought five Swedish players in that event and if those players won’t be eligible for SEA Games, then the Philippines will come in as the favorites.

“I’m not gonna guarantee a gold, but that’s what we’re going for. We’re not going to settle for anything less,” he said.

It will be the first time that the Philippines is fielding an ice hockey team to compete at the SEA Games.

“The goal is to prepare the team for SEA Games. What better preparation than to play them against some really tough competition?” Gautier said at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) forum at Golden Phoenix Hotel in Pasay City.

The Philippine team recently won bronze in the 2017 Winter Asian Games in Sapporo, Japan last February. Its best win was a rousing victory over Qatar, 14-2.

Karjala Tournament grows

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

The Karjala Tournament, one of the men’s national team events of the Euro Hockey Tour, will grow to six teams. The traditional four national squads of the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia and Sweden will be joined by Canada and Switzerland.

“There was desire from Canada to play against Euro Hockey Tour countries,” said the Finland Ice Hockey Association’s General Director Matti Nurminen. “The significance of the Karjala Tournament for the teams involved this year is particularly high. As NHL players are not going to join the Olympics in February, players from other leagues will give a taste of the Olympics at the Karjala Tournament.”

Switzerland as the fifth-best European nation in the IIHF World Ranking was invited as well and will complete the six-team tournament in Finland.

The event, known as Karjala-turnaus in Finnish, has been held every season since 1995/96 and is one of the most prestigious annual invitational tournaments for men’s national teams outside of the Worlds and Olympics. It usually takes place in November in Helsinki. Last year’s event was won by Russia.

For Canada the Karjala Tournament held 8-12 November will be a major opportunity to test players from Europe ahead of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games as will be the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland, 26-31 December.

Ticket sale for the event will start on 31 August it was announced by the Finnish Ice Hockey Association and the schedule will be released in mid-August.

Q & A With Adil El Farj

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

When you talk about the country of Morocco, Ice Hockey is not a subject unless you talk to Adil El Farj who is Morocco national team goalie and now is with  Fédération Royale Marocaine de Hockey sur Glace.
We caught up with Adil in Montreal and ask him some question about himself and Hockey in Morocco.

Where did you start playing the game of Ice hockey?

I live in Canada, so hockey here is not the national sport … it’s the national religion . So when my parents moved to Canada the logical thinking was to play hockey.

Goaltending is a tough position, why did you pick this position? 

As a kid from Montreal my idols were Patrick Roy, Felix Potvin, Jimmy Waite and later Martin Brodeur. So goaltending was a no brainier for me.

Adil El Farj representing Morocco

When did you hear about Hockey in Morocco?

I was in Quebec City in February 2006 and I saw that Morocco was a participant in the famous pee wee tournament. I was really proud to see them play.

Why did you become Involved in Morocco Hockey?

In 2008 the guys went over to UAE for the Arab cup and I got in touch with them to get involved !

What are the main challenges for the advancement of ice hockey in Morocco?

The biggest challenge right now is building a full size IIHF rink ! We have pressure from both the kids and the senior players to have one : The kids because of the growing number that want to join and start hockey, And adults because they want to play a real game 5 on 5 and not 3 on 3.
Having a full size rink will allow us to participate in the IIHF World Championship program and become a full member.

Right now we are stuck in a loop, like all the non participants countries we don’t have a regular ice so we don’t play in the IIHF championships . And since we don’t participate in any IIHF championship our authorities in Morocco don’t see why we  should have a rink.

Morocco players line -up on the blue line

In Morocco there are some small Ice rinks where you have held some hockey camps for kids, how did that go and will there be any future camps organized?

We had to refuse kids ! The ice was too small but we managed. During the 2015 IIHF congress we obtain donation of gear. This donation was VERY VERY much appreciated. It was not enough for the kids . Remember there is no equipment  stores in Morocco and the closes place to buy a puck is in Barcelona !

In 2016 the African Cup for club teams took place, How did Morocco do and will there be any future tournaments?

Oh it was fun! Even if it was a organization challenge, we had a lot fun.
What impressed the IIHF observers is the level of play of the teams that were there and also the crowd ! We had a full house.

Action from the African Cup

Morocco National Team has not played since 2008 Arab Cup. You have mention to me about a possible organizing a tournament for small hockey nations,. has there been any progress since we last talk about it?

In my last IIHF congress in Moscow, we discussed with IIHF non participants countries to create a Championship ! The point of doing this is to give our players an opportunity to compete vs other players on an international  level.

Also our goals is to show the IIHF that we are taking things serious and we are doing something and not just waiting for a miracle !
In order For international hockey to develop, we and all the IIHF members that don’t participate in regular competition must have an international competition to offer our players a hope that they can compete with other hockey nations, otherwise we would  be telling them that they have no horizon or hope other than local house leagues!
Right now Namibia left the IIHF because they felt they are going no where with no participation.

We have to turn the tide to show the IIHF that small countries want play and want to grow the game.

Adil El Farj and friends representing the African teams

Your Jersey is displayed at the Hockey Hall of Fame along with the hockey greats. This must of been a huge honour for you?

You have no idea how big an honor it is ! But most important is that this jersey and all the other artifacts are there because of all the guys and all the Morocco hockey players and staff. It’s a great honor for all of us.

Morocco Jersey displayed at the Hockey Hall of fame

Morocco Plaque at the HHOF

What would like to see happen in the next 5 yeas for Ice Hockey in Morocco and Africa in general?

My personal goals for the next five years
– build a full size arena
– increase the number of female players and have a female league.
– Participate in IIHF World Championship Program
– Organize an IIHF Championship for small nations
– Organize an IIHF semi annual congress

Mexico Wins First Ever Ice Hockey Gold at Pan-Am

http://www.eurohockey.com/image/190-190-1-mexico_1_vs_colombia_3439.jpg

By Steve Ellis – Eurohockey. com

On the night of game six of the Stanley Cup finals, Mexico managed to finally secure their very first gold medal after beating Colombia 1-0 on home ice at the fourth Pan-American Ice Hockey Games.

Mexico was hungry to score the first goal of the contest after a dominant tournament from the start. In the past three tournaments, Mexico failed to take home the gold medal, including the past two years when Colombia took the victory.

In the dying minutes of the first, Mexico struck first. After countless opportunities in the opening period, Adrian Padilla made it 1-0 after staying close around the net and knocking in a rebound past Zack Frost, giving the hosts the advantage heading into the second frame. It turned out to be the only goal the team would need, defeating Colombia for their first ever gold medal, not only at the Pan-Am, but in men’s ice hockey competition.

The win capped off a perfect tournament for Mexico, who won all six games en route to a gold medal. The win comes after two straight losses to Colombia in the finals and a big defeat at the hands of Canada back in 2014, which resulted in silver medals all three years.

Earlier in the day, Argentina, who won just one previous game at the tournament this year, pulled off a 6-1 win over Mexico’s U18 team to secure their first medal. It was just their third win ever in hockey competition after beating Brazil 5-3 in 2014 and Chile 26-0 to start the tournament this year.

Shutouts Spotlight the Action in Mexico Day Five

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By Steve Ellis – Euro hockey.com

Shutouts by Colombia and Brazil start action on Friday at the Pan-Am Ice Hockey Games.

 Colombia B 5, Argentina B 0

A dominant effort on Friday has given Colombia’s B team their first win of the 2017 Pan-American Ice Hockey Games thanks to a 5-0 victory over Argentina’s B team.

It has been a rough tournament for Colombia Rojo, who have seen their A team counterparts win all their games so far. For Colombia, the team knew that Argentina’s B team would be their best bet in the tournament after losing twice to Brazil’s top squad.

So far, Pablo Llinas has been Colombia’s top forward with two goals. Josafat Triana is the only other skater with two points, while William Martinez, Nestor Rojas and Kelsey Murkin have all contributed goals.

Brazil A 16, Brazil B 0

Brazil’s fifth victory ever was their biggest in their short history in ice hockey, but it came at the expense of their weaker team, Brazil B.

it was the second straight shutout for Brazil, who defeated Colombia B 7-0 on Thursday. Andreas Diego Mindell has been very strong for Brazil, posting four goals and four assists for eight points. Bruno Gomes has also  been tremendous, putting up three goals and three assists, while Gustavo Tecchio has five points from the blue line. Brazil won’t have any time to rest as they’ll face Argentina B later in the day. Brazil has two games still left to play, with Chile and Argentina B on tap before the medal round on Sunday.

Colombia B 6, Chile 0

For the second time in a few hour span, Colombia’s B team finished with a shutout.

This time, it came at the hands of Chile, who won their very first two games on Thursday. For Colombia, it gave them hope that they could grab another win on the weekend, but with just two wins overall.

Brazil B 3, Argentina B 2

Brazil’s B team became the final team to win a game at the Pan-Am tournament, defeating Argentina’s B team 3-2.

It was the second loss of the day for Argentina’s B team, who have yet to win in three playoff games. Their only win came on day one when they beat Brazil’s B team 6-1, struggling to score ever since.

Mexico B 2, Argentina 1

Mexico B grabbed their first victory of the second round to tie them with Mexico and Colombia for first in the second round.  

Mexico only has two goals in the final round after getting shutout in their first game. The win did put them ahead of Argentina, who sit fourth in the final round after losing both of their opening games. 

Mexico  2, Colombia 1

Mexico win a close encounter with the defending champions to remain in first place. Mexico has only given up one goal in the second round.

Colombia and Brazil Look Good, Chile Makes History Day Four

http://www.eurohockey.com/photo/mexico-1-vs-colombia-3927.jpg

By Steve Ellis – Eurohockey.com

Colombia A 6, Mexico B 0

Two-time defending champions Colombia began the playoff round at the Pan-American Ice Hockey Games with a 6-0 win over Mexico’s B team, keeping them in perfect standing after three contests.

The team has been dominant from the get go, beating Brazil’s B team 11-0 before tackling Argentina’s B team 8-1. The team will face Chile tomorrow afternoon in what should be a lopsided match before tackling Mexico in a big heavyweight battle on Friday night.

Chile 6, Brazil B 0

In a shocking result, Chile has won their first ever ice hockey game in just their third attempt after beating Brazil’s B team 6-0.

Carlos Valdebenito was the star for Chile, scoring three goals and adding an assist for a team that had yet to score in any previous contest. Cristobal Vega, Miguel Villarroel and Stephane Binnebeek all contributed goals for the team that had only nine players on the roster.

The win is the first ever for Chile, who The Chilean Ice and Inline Hockey Federation was joined the IIHF in 2000, becoming the third South American country to do so. The country currently has three ice rinks, with Punta Arenas playing host to the annual Copa Invernada tournament each July. The team does participate in IIHF Inline Hockey World Championship and FIRS Inline Hockey World Championship tournaments, but had never played in an international hockey event until this week.

The win came during the first day of playoff action at the Pan-Am tournament, with Chile playing a second game against Argentina later in the day.

To watch the game in it’s entirety, click here.

Brazil A 7, Colombia B 0

Brazil’s top team now has two wins at the Pan-Am tournament after defeating Colombia 7-0 on Thursday.

It was a big win for Brazil, who now have four wins in the history of their country. It was the second straight win for Brazil over Colombia Rojo, who they beat 4-1 a day before. Brazil’s only loss to date came on Tuesday after the team lost a 2-1 thriller to Mexico’s B squad.

Brazil will now look towards playing their friends, Brazil B, before facing both Chile and Argentina B on Saturday and Sunday.

Chile 4, Argentina B 3

Thursday was an incredible day for Chile, who pulled off a thrilling 4-3 victory over Argentina later in the morning.

For Chile, winning two games against more established nations despite having a smaller roster proves that the team is starting to truly work well together. Argentina’s loss was a disappointing one for them, with their previous game resulting in an 8-1 defeat to the hands of Colombia. They did score a victory earlier in the tournament, beating Brazil’s B team 6-1, but couldn’t overcome Chile on Thursday.

Mexico 9,  Argentina 0

In the last game of night Mexico moved into first place with an easy win over there rivals Argentina. 

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