Date: June 6, 2017

Q & A With Adrian Mizzi AKA: The Travelling Goalie

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

In case you don’t know who Adrian Mizzi is and have been living under a rock or in a cave.
Mr Mizzi is the Travelling Goalie. He has played in over 30 countries and has seen places that most of us only dream of.

I don’t know anyone that knows more people in the game of hockey then Adrian. If I starting shouting out names he says he meet him or he is friends with or he took picture with that person and it does not matter whether he or she is well known or not in the hockey world Adrian knows who they are.

We had the great pleasure of talking with the Travelling Goalie and asking him a few questions, I hope all of you enjoy this Interview.

Where did your love for hockey come from?

Good Morning George ,

When I was a kid everyone was playing street hockey and the obvious way to make friends was to play and obviously to this day I still feel the same way about the game . It brings people together , not everyone is compatible but when you are on the ice nobody thinks about that and friendships grow out of this . I’ve loved the game almost all my life.

How did your hockey travels start for you?

When my best friend was killed in a tragic construction accident I decided I needed to leave the country to start something new so I moved to Amsterdam …. you can fill in the blanks , regardless I was bored and needed to play hockey and the internet was very new to me at this time . I didn’t know where to play in Holland and I didn’t have my gear with me so I found a team in Malta and contacted them and made plans to go meet them and travel with them to Dubai to play in their international tournament . I moved back to Toronto and one year later I made the trek and I was instantly hooked as I have always loved tournaments but at the same time I caught the travel bug really hard . After that I came home and immediately started looking for other interesting countries to visit to play hockey and then I ended up in Singapore .

What attracted you to playing in ice hockey tournaments around the world?

The people ! The camaraderie ! and definitely the beer LOL ! as I mentioned earlier … the travel bug is a very real thing .

How many countries have you played in and do you have plans to travel to more countries in the future?

Currently I have played in 36 countries and planning a trip to play in Australia and New Zealand which I am pretty sure will make me the first goalie to play on every inhabited continent .

Do you have any plans to join our friend Ryan Bahl in is attempt to play a hockey game in the South Pole?

I have signed up to go play in Antarctica but will try to make my own way over someday if I don’t get the invite . It is very expensive and would take a lot of work to make happen but nothing is impossible .

Did you ever think of playing in any leagues around the world and make it a career?

Of course I have dream t of playing professionally and unfortunately when I was younger we were never told of any pro leagues outside of North America or any of the other northern countries in Europe and Asia which probably would have been an option when i was younger . I have been offered coaching positions overseas but currently I am very content with my job in the film industry in Toronto and I have no plans of ever moving away … I am very proud to be a Canadian and there is nowhere else I would rather call home .

You recently played in Egypt, can you tells about that trip and about a famous picture of you
that got a lot of attention?

Egypt was fantastic . I have always wanted to go there ever since I was a small child , seeing the pyramids was an absolute dream come true . Getting a picture in my goalie gear in front of it was one of the highlights of my life . I am pretty sure that I was not supposed to do this and I did it anyway with the help of my Egyptian friends ( Ahmed & Ayman ) . The picture got a lot of attention and for all the right reasons as I want to get ice hockey growing in Egypt . Since the picture went crazy online my friends from Anubis Ice Hockey ( https://www.facebook.com/EgyptAnubis/ ) have had a few television interviews and there has been some more people joining to play …. the sport is growing and they need as much help as possible and that is why I am keeping my GoFundMe page going to collect more money to take more gear to them hopefully in December .

You also start a Egyptian Ice Hockey Drive, How is that going and if anyone want to help where would they go?

Thanks for asking . The hockey drive I did for Egypt was fantastic . My friend here in Toronto ( Brendan Krick ) donated his old goalie equipment so I traveled from here for the first time without my own full kit and I flew to England to meet my friends from the Birmingham Rockets ( https://www.facebook.com/birminghamrockets/ ) and they donated loads of gear thanks to Gemma Taylor Albutt who runs the team there . From there I needed to transport the gear and that is where the GoFundMe page came in (  https://www.gofundme.com/Egyptianicehockey ) and with the money I collected I paid the hefty baggage fees to fly the gear over …. the fundraising went better then I thought before leaving Toronto with a lot of my amazing friends pitching in enough to even pay for 2 full sized nets and I can’t forget the donations and deals that I got from my friends at my favorite hockey store on the planet Toronto Hockey Repair/Goalie Heaven ( http://www.goalieheaven.com/ ) If anyone is interested in helping out for the next trip then please make a donation and I will do my best to get another 100 kilos of gear over to Egypt ! 

You have played in many places around the world and I am sure you have countless stories, but can you share with us one your two stories that stand pout for you?

you do know I’m a goalie and I get hit in the head with pucks a lot right ? hahaha ! my memory is a bit shot buddy …. the first trip I received an invite for was to go play for a team from Jakarta , Indonesia . My good friend from Singapore ( Matt Wheeler ) invited me to stay with him and play for the first ever team to travel from Indonesia to play in an international tourney (Singapore) . Matt was such an amazing guy and unfortunately he is no longer with us and I will never forget him and that trip where I was treated very well . Another trip that stands out was my trip to South America with my German buddies Andi Tanzer and Timo Korner . We went to Brazil , Argentina and Chile and in Chile it was actually my idea to start a tournament there in Punta Arenas which is still going on . We played under my club team as the Ghetto Blasters and played in the first ever live televised match in Chile in front of a crowd of approximately 700 spectators .

Do you have any tips for people who may want to travel and play hockey like you have?

If you are a hockey player flying from anywhere always make sure to check if the airline carries ice hockey equipment for free and follow the guidelines and tape sticks together or buy a stick bag . If you have to pay for those sticks to come home then consider leaving them behind for people that can use them sometimes the baggage fees outweighs the cost of the twigs .

In 2009 you start a team called the Ghetto Blasters can you tells about this team and why you started it?

The Ghetto Blasters ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/ghettoblasterhockey/ ) started when I hurt my neck and realized I have degenerative disc disorder and I almost needed surgery . The two teams I was playing for both promised to have the spot for me when I returned and both lied blatantly to my face … I was upset and sick of being treated like a rag doll so I started my own club which has been going strong now for 8 years and have been mentioned on the IIHF website for winning Copa Invernada in Chile and I am pretty sure that I have left a jersey in pretty much every country I have visited so we are quite well known in certain circles . We play twice a week in Toronto and we are always welcoming international friends to join us for our games .

You are also a huge football fan and in particular a Aston Villa fan, how did you become a fan of this team?

To make a long story short … I have family in Birmingham , England . My great aunt who is my grandmothers sister is very dear to me and I visit her as much as I can ! Her husband who is no longer with us was a Birmingham City fan and my cousin Steven is a Derby supporter and my cousin Paul is an Aston Villa supporter … lets just say Paul put in the best effort to get me into watching football as I honestly was not a big fan because I never liked the diving and embellishing that goes on during the games because as a hockey player I have grown up with the values of not flopping around and making a fool of myself . To this day I still don’t like that but have grown to enjoy the game and definitely will be a Villa supporter until I die … VTID ! UTV !

Of all your travels so far do you have any favorite places?

These questions flow so well , its like you know what I’m gonna say already ? hahaha ! My home away from home is Birmingham . My friends and family there are fantastic and I always have a place to crash and a team to skate with and most of all … someone to have a pint with 🙂

If you want to learn more about the Travelling Goalie check out his blog The Travelling Goalie

Pan-Am: Argentina, Colombia and Mexico Score Shutouts on Day One

https://scontent.fybz2-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/p235x350/18835614_1348701888498388_8802612974779125833_n.jpg?oh=ad86aacc7d26fc05069698d737f47861&oe=59A27FC7

By Steve Ellis – Eurohockey.com

Argentina scored just their second ever victory and Colombia started their tournament with a big victory at the 2017 Pan-American Ice Hockey Games.

Argentina 26, Chile 0

In Chile’s very first ice hockey game, Argentina’s top team managed to record the biggest victory in the four year history of the Pan-American Ice Hockey Games with a 26-0 win to begin the 2017 tournament.

The win was a historic one, and not just for the score. The match was the first ever that Chile played in an international tournament, with the team expected to show growing pains in their inaugural event. 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.

With the win, Argentina put themselves in the history book with the biggest victory ever at the tournament. Previously, Mexico beat Argentina’s B team 19-0 in 2015, which was the biggest victory ever until today. Argentina has only won one previous game against other nations, having beaten Brazil in the inaugural Pan-American tournament in 2014.

Colombia 11, Brazil B 0

In a meeting of last year’s champions and Brazil’s second best team, Colombia managed to take an easy 11-0 victory to start off their tournament.

Nathan Jones was the star of the game, posting four of the team’s 11 goals. Juan Diego Fierro and Kevin Medina and scored twice to add to the score sheet while Alejandro Villalon, Felipe Sanchez and Nicolas Fierro scored a goal each. Zack Frost posted a shutout in the game, with Colombia taking a victory in a game they expected to win from the start.

Mexico B 7, Colombia B 0

In the first game of Group C action, Mexico finished off a perfect day for winning teams at the Pan-Am tournament with the third consecutive shutout.

Mexico was dominant from the start, taking a 3-0 lead early on. The team kept the battle rolling with three more goals in the second, allowing just one shot in the first 17 minutes of the middle frame. The Mexicans would add an extra marker in the third, scoring seven times to take the 7-0 win.

Is Europe an underrated coaching market?

https://cdn.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/mhkIvOfyRwk5YJ7vgryXW1etcWo=/0x0:4074x2418/920x613/filters:focal(1636x650:2286x1300)/cdn.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/55089107/usa_today_9570740.0.jpg

By

At some point the Winnipeg Jets are going to have to find a new head coach because all coaches are hired to get fired. When they get to that point with Maurice, they should look to European leagues and the KHL for coaching options. The Jets should look beyond those who they know and interview new candidates to see what they think they could do with the Jets. There are good pieces in Winnipeg if they are used smartly.

This is where the NHL making itself an even smaller world than hockey already is hurts them. Hockey is big in Russia and Europe, but there has not been a European coach since the failed experiment of Ivan Hlinka in Pittsburgh. Hlinka was not the first European-born coach to coach in the NHL, that honour goes to Johnny Gottselig, but he is the first European raised coach. Hlinka did not work out because of the language barrier amongst other reasons, but that does not mean that another coach might not work. Since Hlinka’s time globalization has made it so more and more European coaches speak strong English, allowing them to potentially be able to coach in North America.

There are so many people out there that could potentially offer new ideas to North American hockey as a whole that it would be foolish to not at least interview some good coaches in Europe to hear their thoughts and bring in some fresh ideas. This means going beyond the Marc Crawfords and Paul Maurices and interviewing coaches who have never coached in North America to see how their perspectives differ from someone who learned hockey on this side of the Atlantic. They may not find a match for a head coach; they may only find an assistant or no one at all, but it is better to try and not find the match than never try at all. Europe and Russia have had professional leagues for years and yet only three men have ever called themselves European and coached in the NHL. There are others who have coached in Europe between NHL jobs, but that is not the same as growing up in the different culture and having different perspectives on the same game. It is about having a broader world view and wanting to bring in a different perspective.

Every coach in professional sports is hired to be fired. The NHL has not had a European coach since Ivan Hlinka in 2001. The league as a whole would benefit from including Europeans as coaches. The first team that does this might just get rewarded with some new thinking that changes their tactics for the better.