Day: November 4, 2016

Q & A with Alisher Azimov head of Uzbek Hockey

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice hockey

In 2013 Uzbekistan revived ice hockey after a very long absents.
Ice Hockey was as popular in the 1950-60s and in 1971 the country had its first pro team Binokor which started to play in Soviet Union’s Vtoraya Liga (Second League) and eventually started to play in the Soviet Pervaya Liga (First League). In the 1990s hockey died out.
We had a change to talk to Alisher Azimov head of Uzbekistan ice Hockey and ask him a few question about hockey in the country

Very little is known about ice hockey In Uzbekistan, can you tells us the history of the game in the country?

Ice Hockey in Uzbekistan was established in 1972 under Soviet Union and it was known at that time as most southern country to play ice hockey and it was acknowledge by Guinness Record books.

Our most known team to play in USSR championships was team “Binokor” it had achieved some recognizable results and had the respect within the Soviet Union countries, but unfortunately in 1988 it came to an end, because of the collapse of the Soviet Union, and for not being able to finance the this sport.

Binokor playing in the USSR Championships

In 2013 there seem to be a resurgence for the game, what brought this on to start hockey again after a very long absences?

First ice rink was built in 2013 in the capital of Uzbekistan (Tashkent), at that time I was in UAE playing in Emirates hockey league.

When I heard the news about the newly opened Ice rink, I  decided to come back to Uzbekistan and to re-establish ice hockey. With the help of ex hockey players we were able to start a new ice hockey team, to which I gave the name “Binokor.

The new Binokor Team started in 2013


Binokor Logos

The Ice Hockey Federation of Uzbekistan was founded in December 24, 2013, when will the federation apply to the IIHF?

Currently we are working on re-establishing Ice hockey Federation, we have gathered all required documents and applications.After we open the federation we are planing to do following things:

1. To create first national team

2. Apply to IIHF (International ice hockey federation)

3. To attend any tournaments to which we are allowed to play in.

How many ice rinks does Uzbekistan have?

Currently we only have two ice rinks, first one  is 20 x 40 meters and the second one which is seasonal 50 x 25 meters, it only operates in the cold seasons.

Both of the ice rinks are privately owned.

At the moment we do not have the support from our government, I hope it will change very soon.

Are youth programs being run in the country?

Talking about youth, currently we have close to 100 youth players, their age range from 4 years old to 16 years old, and I believe one day they will represent our country in big arenas.

Uzbek youth representing Binokor

What would you like people to know about Uzbekistan Ice hockey?

I want the people all around the world to know, especially people who love ice hockey, in Uzbekistan we have people who love this sport and are working hard to make it better. At the end I would like to say thanks to people who are with me right now on this journey, and to all people who believed in us and supporting us I say Thank You.

Uzbek youth in a tournament in Kazakhstan

Canada Shuts Out Switzerland in Deutschland Cup Opener

By Steven Ellis –

Two years after struggling at their most recent Deutschland Cup performance, Canada was able to take the 3-0 shutout victory over Switzerland on Friday to start the 2016 edition of the tournament.

With a 5-1 victory over Hungary in pre-tournament play earlier in the week, Canada wanted to get off to a strong start once the real tournament began on Friday. It worked well in their favour, with the Canadians getting on the board first. At the 13-minute mark in the opening period, Brandon Kozun sent the puck out to Mat Robinson at the point, and the KHL’s Defenseman of the Month for September fired the puck past Tobias Stephan and in for the game’s opening goal.

It took five minutes in the second period for Canada to extend their lead. Similar to how the first goal was scored on the power-play, Robinson sent the puck out to Geoff Kinrade, who wired the hard slap-shot past Stephan and in for the 2-0 goal. The goal came just a minute after Chay Genoway nearly skated the puck into his own net following a pass from Canadian goalie Daniel Taylor along the boards.

Switzerland had their chances but just couldn’t find a way to sneak one past Danny Taylor. Taylor, a former prospect in both the LA Kings and Calgary Flames systems, stood tall in his Team Canada debut, stopping every shot sent his way for his first international hockey shutout. His effort, mixed with a strong power-play for Canada and a final minute empty netter by Derek Roy, was all it took for Canada to take the 2-0 victory, advancing into day two with an early advantage.

Canada will look to go 2-0 to start the three-game tournament when they meet up with Slovakia on Saturday. The game is set to take place at 11:00 AM ET, or 16:00 local time in Germany.

Irwin lifts Canada over U.S. at Four Nations Cup

By Canadian Press

Haley Irwin and her Canadian teammates just need to keep things exactly the same to win the Four Nations Cup.

Irwin scored the winner early in the third period as Canada edged the United States 3-2 on Friday in the final round-robin game of the Four Nations Cup. Canada will play the Americans again on Saturday in the tournament’s gold-medal game.

“I thought we had really great energy and we sustained that through 60 minutes, it was a full game for us,” said Irwin. “I thought that’s something we could use going into tomorrow and use this as momentum.”

Meghan Agosta and Sarah Davis also scored as the Canadians (3-0) stayed undefeated at the event.

Canada and the United States have won every Four Nations Cup tournament since it was first held in 1996. The Americans have taken three of the past five gold medals, although Canada has won 14 out of 20 times.

“Our preparation doesn’t change. Our focus is definitely on tomorrow,” said Canadian head coach Laura Schuler, who said her team would rest and have a light activation skate Saturday morning ahead of the tournament’s final. “It’s going to be about our kids doing the little things that they did this evening. Executing the details of our game plan and bringing their work ethic once again tomorrow.”

Kendall Coyne and Amanda Pelkey supplied the offence for the U.S. (2-1).

Irwin put away the winner on the power play at the 5:59 mark of the third period. Captain Marie-Philip Pulin put the puck on the net through traffic and the rebound bounced out to Irwin.

“It just happened to come to me and I finished it off,” said Irwin. “But it was the hard work of other players that made it happen.”

Earlier Friday, Finland topped Sweden 2-1 in their final round-robin game. Those two teams will meet for bronze on Saturday

Britain leave it late to complete thrilling victory over Mexico at Olympic ice hockey qualifier

Great Britain completed a thrilling comeback with two goals in the final 81 seconds to secure a dramatic 3-2 win over Mexico on the opening day of the Pyeongchang 2018 women’s ice hockey Olympic qualifying preliminary round two tournament in Astana.

Joanna Rojas and Francia Hernandez had put Mexico 2-0 up inside the first period in the Barys Arena as the European side struggled to compete.

Kimberley Lane pulled one back in the 52nd minute to reduce the arrears.

They had to wait for the final stages before a second goal from Saffron Allen.

Angela Taylor then struck moments later for a stunning victory.

“These games are always hard and we had a high expectation,” said Britain’s assistant coach James Ashton afterwards.

“Training has been good but we made a slow start to the game and made a couple of small mistakes to allow Mexico two goals.

“We had a sharp discussion at the end of the first period, but what was good to see was that the experienced players delivered and the young players didn’t let their heads drop.”

Hosts Kazakhstan also got off to a winning start in today’s other Group G contest in their capital city.

Three goals in the second period, including two from Daria Moldabai, powered them to a 4-1 success over Poland.

Action in Group H is due to start tomorrow at the Palacio del Hielo Txuri Urdin as hosts Spain do battle with The Netherlands, Italy and Slovenia.

Winners of both groups will progress to preliminary round three, the penultimate qualifying round.

Two final groups to decide Pyeongchang places will then be held in February.