Date: February 8, 2018

Guinness World Record attempted for playing Ice Hockey at highest altitude

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By ANI News

Leh (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Feb 8 (ANI): Attempting a Guinness Book of World record for playing Ice Hockey at the highest altitude, a two-day tournament was organised at Chibra Kargyam in Ladakh’s Changthang region.

As many as six teams, including five international teams from Canada, Germany, Russia, the USA and India, participated in the tournament.

The tournament, which was started yesterday, was jointly organised by Ladakh Winter Sports Club (LWSC), Hockey Foundation and Lalok Winter Sports Association.

Reflecting on the same, Lundup, the secretary of Lalok Winter Sports Association, told ANI, “Guinness world record matches are going on here. There are 16 representatives in this tournament from a different part of the country. They are players from Canada, Germany, India, Russia and USA. This tournament is organized by the Ladakh Winter Sports Club (LWSC) in collaboration with the Lalok Winter Sport Association and with the help of the Hockey Foundation. Here the altitude is 14,050 feet of ice hockey ring. So, it’s the highest world hockey rink in this world.”

Tundup, a member of Ladakh Winter Sports Club (LWSC), echoed similar views and said that it is a proud moment for the entire country to host such kind of event.

“I am very happy that here the matches are being played for the Guinness World record. Here five overseas teams have come and there is one team from Ladakh. It is a big achievement for us to organize such kind of event in Ladakh. It is an honour for the entire Singey Lalok area of Leh district to have such event. It is a proud moment for our state and for our country because I believe such kind of event has never happened in India. I want to thank all the ministers of the state for supporting us,” he told.

Meanwhile, Anthon, who has been coaching ice hockey in India for five years now, revealed that they were planning the Guinness World record match for almost two years now and hoped to see many more events like this in future.

“I am from Canada. I have been coaching in India for five years. We have been organizing and planning this Guinness World record for almost two years now.It is such an amazing day for Canadians here those have been involved in the ice hockey in Ladakh. And all the Ladhaki people here, I am happy that they are joining and that they can enjoy this beautiful moment in the history of ice hockey in India. I hope in the coming years there will be more tournaments like this,” Anthon said.

Located at a distance of 160 km from Leh, the natural ice hockey rink is at the altitude of 14050 feet above sea level.

This International standard ice hockey rink is certified by Geological Survey of India.

Goaltending gives hockey underdogs a chance at PyeongChang 2018

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By The Associated Press

Craig Ramsay knows Russia has the best men’s hockey team at the Olympics.

He just doesn’t think Slovakia is far behind.

The former NHL coach is trying to make Slovakia’s players believe they can beat the likes of Canada, Sweden and the United States.

”We’re trying to change to get the mindset where we’re going to go out and try to win and not just hope we win,” Ramsay said.

Slovakia, Finland and Germany are undoubtedly underdogs in South Korea but have teams – and goaltending – that should make the traditional powerhouses nervous. In a short tournament with three pool games and single-elimination medal-round playoffs, there’s a small margin for error and a big chance for goalies to steal games.

No country exemplifies that more than Finland, which has medaled in four of the past five Olympics and has 6-foot-6 Kontinental Hockey League star Mikko Koskinen and longtime NHL goalie Karri Ramo between the pipes.

”That is our strength in Olympics,” Finland coach Lauri Marjamaki said. ”All three goalies are pretty good goalies, and Koskinen played many years in Russia, (won) KHL championships two times. Karri had a bad injury after the Calgary Flames, but now he’s (in) good shape and play pretty high level.”

Slovakia doesn’t boast the same name-recognition goalies or skaters as Finland, which has 2017 first-round picks Miro Heiskanen and Eeli Tolvanen and more former NHL players, but Ramsay has gotten great play in net so far. In four pre-Olympic tournament games, four different goalies earned first star honors for Slovakia, which could start Jan Laco, Branislav Konrad or Patrik Rybar when it faces the U.S. on Feb. 16.

”You’re a very smart coach when your goalie’s really good,” said Ramsay, a 66-year-old Canadian who coached the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers and Atlanta Thrashers and won the Stanley Cup as a Tampa Bay Lightning assistant. ”Our goalies – Konrad, Laco, Rybar – if they can play as well as they played in all our other tournament games, at least it gives us a chance.”

Ramsay also looks at Germany and believes coach Marco Sturm’s team can win if it gets good goaltending from Timo Pielmeier, Danny aus den Birken or Dennis Endras.

”They can skate, they’re physical, they can play,” Ramsay said. ”Marco’s done a wonderful job with that team. We beat them (at the Deutschland Cup in November), but they were very aggressive. They didn’t give up the red line, they didn’t give up their blue line. They were up and they were in our face.”

Ramsay wants Slovakia to play in-your-face hockey, a contrast from most international tournaments and the traditional European, trapping style. Slovakia has only a few former NHL players, including forwards Ladislav Nagy and Tomas Surovy, so it can’t afford to sit back against the Russians or Americans.

”There are times that you have to be smart, but we need to be more aggressive,” Ramsay said. ”We need to get everybody up ice. We need to have five guys together up ice and then five guys coming back. I would rather backcheck skating forwards than just stand around at center ice. I never liked that as a coach and I think we need to be more aggressive and go out there and try to win and not just rely on keeping the game close and hope we can score something later in the game.”

Finland might be able to win with a more conservative approach. The Finns are known for overachieving and being better as the sum of their parts in these kinds of tournaments, and Marjamaki is confident that will happen again.

”I know we will be a tough opponent for the other teams,” Marjamaki said. ”I think we play so disciplined and together and our commitment is great.”

Marjamaki said he believes Finland is on the same level as Canada, the U.S., Sweden and the Czech Republic, but acknowledged: ”OK is not enough. We need top-level (play) to succeed.”