Date: November 8, 2017

Ice skating in Kathmandu

By  The Week Bureau

Parents could also be spotted at the mall getting their kids to the ice skating rink. While some wanted to get their children to experience this unique sport, others were simply accompanying kids who insisted on coming to the rink. 

“I was extremely excited to try ice skating for the first time,” says Tensing Norgay Sherpa, 15, while trying his skating skills on an artificial ice rink here in the capital city Kathmandu.

“I think this is a very good way to utilize your holidays. At least you aren’t cooped inside your home all day. I plan to come here often,” he adds. Situated at Civil Mall, Sundhara, this avenue for ice-skating opened its doors to the public just a couple of weeks ago and, by the looks of it, is gaining quite the traction among children and young adults alike already. Most people The Week met at the ice rink seemed extremely excited to enjoy this recreational sport and for many it was their first time ever. 

“The floor is not made of real ice. Synthetic marbles are used to create an artificial ice rink,” says Sabin Maharjan, trainer at Synthetic Ice Skating Rink. “But it is as good as real. You will not know the difference. You just have to try it once to believe it,” he says. When asked about his experience as a trainer Maharjan he says, “I get to interact with new people every day. And because the concept of ice skating is relatively new in Nepal, people are mostly in jolly moods and also very eager to step inside the rink. It is fun to train people who want to learn a new sport. This is indeed an exciting job.”

Parents could also be spotted at the mall getting their kids to the ice skating rink. While some wanted to get their children to experience this unique sport, others were simply accompanying kids who insisted on coming to the rink. “I came here with my father. I wanted to try ice skating so he obviously had to accompany me. He had no other option,” says Amian Ghale Gurung with a sly smile. Amrita Shrestha, on the other hand, brought her her 13-year-old daughter to the newly opened rink so that she could enjoy an outdoor sport and try something new and different at the same time. “Children these days are only into gadgets and indoor sports. I want her to experience new things and develop new interests rather than being glued to a screen,” says Shakya. “She seems to like ice skating a lot. It has only been half an hour and she is doing quite well too,” she adds. 

Tushita Aryal, a 15-year-old student, was happily tying her ice skating shoes when we spoke to her. “This is my first time and I already love these shoes,” says Aryal. According to trainer Maharjan the shoes used here at the rink are called hokey skating board. “We do not get ice skating boots here in Nepal. That is the reason we are using hokey skating board right now. These are shoes used by athletes when they play ice hockey,” says Maharjan.  

The skating rink mostly seemed to be teeming with school and college children. “This place gets a lot of customers when it is a public holiday. That is because mostly school and college students come to try ice skating,” says Maharjan. Some kids confessed that while they were excited to ice skate, there were also concerned about slipping on the ice while skating. “I hope I don’t fall while skating. That will be really embarrassing,” says Aryal. Gurung, on the other hand, proudly exclaimed that he fell only once in the entire half hour session. But that could also be because he was extremely conscious about his moves and skated with caution. 

However, Maharjan points out that the rink equips its customers with sturdy helmets and a bunch of trainers are always around to make sure everybody is safe and enjoying themselves as well. “Everyone falls while learning how to skate for the first time. That’s quite normal. The trainers are around to make sure that no one has any real injury. You can be sure about that and try to focus on learning how to skate and have a good time,” concludes Maharjan. 

Russians battle back for 4-3 win in Swift Current

By 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series

Swift Current, SK – New Jersey Devils prospect Mikhail Maltsev’s second of the night with 7:54 left in the third period completed the comeback as Russia battled back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Team WHL 4-3 in Game 2 of the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Maltsev’s shorthanded game winner rounded out a three-goal third period for the Russians as the series transitions to the Ontario Hockey League on Thursday night in Owen Sound tied 3-3 in points.

Russia scored three times on eight third period shots, battling back to silence a sold out Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current as Winnipeg Jets prospect Mikhail Berdin made some timely saves to close out the win.

“They played us a lot harder tonight and we expected that,” said Team WHL’s Sam Steel (Regina Pats). “We had a couple of bad bounces, a couple of turnovers and they capitalized on those. They got a good performance in net and we didn’t capitalize the way we did last night.”

New York Islanders draft selection David Quenneville (Medicine Hat Tigers) scored twice in the loss while Calgary Flames pick Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets) had a goal and two assists and Steel registered three helpers.

“It seemed like every shift we got a little bit more comfortable, started making more and more plays,” Steel noted of his line alongside Dube and Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos). “You don’t get a chance to play with guys like that too often, so it was a lot of fun.”

After registering just 20 shots on Monday the Russians came out firing in Game 2, outshooting Team WHL 17-6 in the opening frame as Edmonton Oilers prospect Stuart Skinner (Lethbridge Hurricanes) was big when called upon.

Though outshot, the WHL took out the game’s first lead on the power play just 1:27 into action as Dube finished on his own rebound from close quarters with assists from Steel and Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen).

Team WHL passed a big test in the opening frame, killing off a five-minute major charged to Tanner Kaspick (Brandon Wheat Kings) to enter the second period up 1-0.

After Skinner stopped Russian defenceman Artyom Minulin (Swift Current Broncos) on an early second period odd-man rush the WHL power play went back to work as Quenneville increased the lead to 2-0. Quenneville finished off a Dube cross-crease feed at 6:17, beating a sprawling Berdin across the crease.

Quenneville struck again on the power play just over two minutes later at 8:33, giving Team WHL three power play goals in a single game for the first time since 2011. Dube and Steel picked up assists once again as Team WHL was in full control up 3-0 midway through the contest.

Russia caught a break later in the second after Berdin stopped Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets) on a penalty shot attempt.

Mikhail Maltsev scored Russia’s first goal of the series with 3:38 left on the clock, keeping a puck in at the offensive blue line before working with Alexey Polodyan and Maxim Tsyplakov to wrist a shot past Skinner from the high slot.

Team WHL led 3-1 after two periods, outshooting Russia 17-8 in the second frame.

The opportunistic Russians came on strong early in the third period as big defenceman Artyom Maltsev couldn’t beat Skinner on his first attempt from the right faceoff circle, but followed up on his own rebound at 6:28 to cut the WHL lead to 3-2.

Chicago Blackhawks third round selection Andrey Altybarmakyan took advantage of a Team WHL miscue to knot the score at three midway through the third. His unassisted goal saw him pick off an errant WHL outlet pass and out-wait a sprawling Skinner on the forehand.

Mikhail Maltsev completed the comeback, taking advantage of a fortunate bounce off the boards that saw a loose puck bounce back out into the slot where he quickly sent a release past Skinner from the high slot at 12:06.

Team WHL pulled Skinner in the game’s final two minutes but couldn’t solve Berdin, settling for split decisions against Russia to open the 2017 CIBC Canada Russia Series.

Russia took the shooting column 33-32, marking the first time they’ve outshot Team WHL in the event since November 15th, 2012. Team WHL finished the night 3-for-6 on the power play and finished 57% (34-of-60) in the faceoff circle.

Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets) led the WHL in series scoring with five points (2-3–5) over two games. He becomes just the second WHL player in event history to register five points in a series, joining Collin Shirley (Kamloops Blazers) who did so in 2015.

The Western Hockey League wraps up the series with an all-time record of 20-7-1-2, sending the series to Owen Sound for Game 3 on Thursday against Team OHL.

Thursday’s matchup can be seen on Sportsnet Ontario, East and Pacific when the puck drops at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre at 7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT.