Month: March 2020

J&K Ice Hockey Association formed

By State Times News

The Ice Hockey Association for Jammu and Kashmir was formed on Thursday in the presence of President Dr S.M Bali and Secretary General Harjinder Singh of Ice Hockey Association of India at Circuit house, Sonwar, here.

During the meeting, the members laid the emphasis on the promotion of winter sports especially Ice Hockey in Jammu and Kashmir.

The general body also confirmed the elected members of the new unit with Dr S.M Bali as President and Ajaz Rasool Mir as General Secretary of Ice Hockey Association for Jammu and Kashmir.
The house authorised the Dr Bali to nominate rest of the office bearers and executive committee members with in a week’s time.

It was unanimously decided to host the 10th IHAI National Championship for Men at the Ice Hockey Rink in Gulmarg. Dr Bali along with Harjinder Singh, Ajaz Rasool Mir and Waseem Raja Khan visited the Rink at Gulmarg for an on the spot assessment of the facility to host the sport at National level. IHAI also decided to conduct UT level coaching camp for boys and girls prior to the national championship at Gulmarg.
Harjinder also shared the past success of Indian National Team of Ice Hockey with the house.
He stated that Indian men’s team got a silver medal in the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia (Div -1) at Kuwait in 2017 and women’s team won a bronze in the IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia ( Div-1) at Abu Dhabi in 2019.
With the focus of the Government of India on winter sports through 1st Khelo India Winter Games Meet recently held at Gulmarg, Singh laid emphasis on competent management for developing the sport and felt that the new body will deliver to their expectations.

The 10th Nationals at Gulmarg in 2021 would give right impetus to develop this Winter Olympic Sport in the region and also give a spurt to Sports tourism in the Region, he said.
He thanked Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, for initiating Khelo India Winter Games.

Ice Hockey Association of India is a full member of International Ice Hockey Federation and also Indian Olympic Association.


Cooperation Offer with Japan for Ice Hockey Development in Nepal

By Nepal Flash

Nepal Ice Hockey Association has proposed cooperation with Japan for the development of ice hockey  in Nepal. The general secretary of the association Ganesh Rimal proposed this before the Japan Ice Hockey Association in connection with his visit to Japan. Cooperation between Nepal-Japan Ice Hockey Association was discussed with Kumiharu Kitagawa, Chairman of the International Committee of the Ice Hockey Association, Marita of the International Committee and officials of the Japan Ice Hockey Association.

On that occasion the importance of development of ice hockey game and training of Nepali players was given importance. Assistance for the construction of Ice Rink in Nepal and official visit of Nepal and Japan to officials and players of the two countries was discussed, according to Nepal Ice Hockey Association.

During the discussion, the Chairman of the International Committee of the Japan Ice Hockey Association said that the Japan Ice Hockey Association is ready to provide all kinds of assistance for the development of ice hockey in Nepal. Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General of the Nepal Ice Hockey Association, Rimal, said that Nepal has a natural rhythm for the Ice Hockey game and that its development can be expanded to support tourism.

Secretary General Rimal is on a trip to Japan.

New Coaches for USA & Sweden


Nate Leaman who has led the Providence College men’s ice hockey team to six straight NCAA berths, including the 2015 NCAA championship, has been named head coach of the 2021 U.S. National Junior Team, it was announced today by USA Hockey.

The U.S. National Junior Team will take part in the 2021 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship Dec. 26, 2020 – Jan. 5, 2021, in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta. Team USA is seeking its fifth medal in six years at the event.

Leaman has been a part of two previous U.S. National Junior Team coaching staffs, including as an assistant coach for the bronze medal-winning 2007 squad that competed in Leksand and Mora, Sweden. He also served as an assistant coach for the 2009 team that played in Ottawa, Ontario. Leaman made his USA Hockey coaching debut as an assistant coach in 2005 at the IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championship, where the U.S. won gold in Ceske Budejorke and Plzen, Czech Republic.

The Swedish women’s national team players will work with a new head coach in the upcoming season

By Martin Merk –

The Swedish Ice Hockey Association has signed Ulf Lundberg to a two-year contract as new head coach of the Swedish women’s national team.

Lundberg will take over as of May and replace Ylva Martinsen, who has been coaching the team during the past two seasons.

“Getting the assignment as the head coach of the women’s national team feels very exciting and stimulating. Being able to represent a Swedish national team is great. There have been a lot of good things happen in Swedish girls’ and women’s hockey now. I see great potential going forward so it feels very cool and inspiring to be with and lead and contribute to the development going forward,” says Ulf Lundberg.

Lundberg has previously worked as a player and leadership development manager at the Swedish Ice Hockey Association while coaching the U16 and U17 men’s national teams during ten years. During the past three seasons he has been the head coach of Sodertalje SK in the second-tier men’s league HockeyAllsvenskan.

The 40-year-old will have two major tasks coming up in 2021 as Sweden’s “Damkronorna” aims at getting back to the top division of the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship as well as succeeding in the Olympic Qualification for Beijing 2022.

Isle of Wight ice rink approval will not be challenged by government

The new rink, which is expected to include indoor sports courts and a climbing wall, is due to open by June


Plans to replace an ice rink on the Isle of Wight will not be called in by the government despite an objection from Sport England.

The new £3m centre, next to Smallbrook Stadium, Ryde, was approved by the island’s council last month.

However, it could not be formalised until ministers were consulted.

Isle of Wight Council said Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick would not call the decision in.

The new rink will replace Ryde Arena which closed in 2016 due to unpaid rent.

Legislation states where a development would result in the loss of a playing field, and where Sport England has objected to the scheme, the secretary of state must be consulted, an Isle of Wight Council spokesman said.

He added: “The secretary of state wrote to the local planning authority to confirm that the decision will not be called in, and that it could be issued at the local level.

“Therefore, officers have issued the planning permission in line with the decision of the planning committee.”

Sport England previously said the scheme would result in the “significant loss” of a playing field.

Charles Johnston, property director of the public body, said it was “disappointed” by the government decision and added it maintained its objection “since the proposal isn’t in line with our playing fields policy”.

He added: “We will continue to work with the local authority to ensure provision for sport and physical activity in the area.”

Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely said: “The land is not a playing pitch, and consequently no loss of a sporting use arises from this development.”

Hockey’s Prünster in Goal for Colby and Austria

Nina Prünster

By Kristin Yorke – Colby College

Ice hockey isn’t the most popular sport for girls in Nina Prünster’s native Austria, but that didn’t stop her. She just played with the boys. Goalie Prünster ’22 would go on to play for the all-girls Under 18 Austrian National team—a team she made at age 14.

When she first suited up for the national team, Prünster was speechless. “It is obviously a great honor and such a privilege. The first time I played it was an amazing feeling. Putting on that jersey, I couldn’t believe it.” Starting in 2013, Prünster spent four years on the Austrian U18 team before coming to Mayflower Hill.

This December, between playing games for Colby, economics major-Prünster got another shot at representing her country. She successfully made the adult Austrian National Team, where, she says, “I have the privilege to represent Austria at the Women’s World Championships in France in April.”

Nina Prünster before the NESCAC women’s hockey quarterfinal match against Bowdoin Feb. 29, 2020

So how did someone who has played in four total U18 World Championship tournaments find her way to Mayflower Hill? After playing at a camp in Sweden, college coaches recommended Prünster do a year of prep school. She played during her post-grad year at Kent School in Connecticut. Shortly after she got to Kent, her coach connected her with Colby women’s ice hockey coach Holley Tyng, and Prünster came for a visit. It wasn’t a hard decision after that. “I met the whole team, toured the campus, and fell in love with it”

Clearly, she’s found success here in Maine. With a record of 9-3-4, Colby women’s hockey is second in the NESCAC. This past weekend Prünster shutout Bowdoin to help the Mules notch a quarter-final victory. The Colby women advance to the semi-finals and will head to Middlebury this weekend to play Amherst in the second round of the NESCAC tournament. Should they advance, they’ll have the chance to take on the winner of fourth-ranked Hamilton and top seed Middlebury. Despite her impressive run with the world’s best, Prünster has confidence in her Colby teammates. “It’s really amazing,” she said, “being on this team.”

Q & A With Sultan Salamh

Sultan Salamh Chairman of Jeddah Ice Sports Club

By George Da SilvaNToIH

Saudi Arabia has some of the most beautiful cities in the world and the city of Jeddah is the principal gateway to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, located just 65 kilometers to the east, while Medina, the second-holiest city, is located 360 kilometers to the north. Here we is where we find Sultan Salamh Chairman of Ice sports club and his Jeddah Eagles a hockey team that took part at the recent Arab club Championships. We had the great pleasure of speaking to Mr. Salamh about hockey in Jeddah.

 How did the game of ice hockey begin in Saudi Arabia?

We started playing Ice Hockey in 2004 in a 25*15m ice rink inside a shopping mall and we made a couple of local tournaments.

How many Ice Rinks or Arena’s does Saudi Arabia have to host the game of Ice Hockey?

there are currently 5 small public ice rinks and one large Olympic one but it needs a dasher board and dimensions.
How many players in the country are playing the game at the present time?
We have 70 Male and 45 Female playing with Jeddah Ice Sports Club and the number is increasing.

Jeddah Eagles girls ice hockey team

Is there a Saudi Arabia ice hockey league at the present time, if not when do you think a league will start?

There’s currently no league, but in 4 months there will be a Saudi ice hockey companionship under the organization of Jeddah Ice Sports Club. there’s gonna be a companionship for girls and one for boys, and the league will be scheduled based on the Champanionships results.

For the Saudi ice hockey championship will their be teams from outside of Jeddah participating?

For this championship There are 4 teams participating in the championship and all of them are playing under Jeddah Ice Sports Club.

Are there any future plans to join the International Ice Hockey Federation?

Yes of course it is one of our biggest goals and ambitious and we are working to reach it.

Recently the Jeddah Eagles played at the Arab Club Ice Hockey Championships. How did the team do and did they meet expectations?

The Saudi team participated in the championship and they benefited from it because they got to be with other foreign players and learn from their amazing performance.

Jeddah Eagles Boys ice hockey team

In 2010 Saudi Arabia team played at the GCC Gulf Ice Hockey Championships in Kuwait City. When will we see a national team compete at a international event?

At the GCC Gulf cup we took the third place and Sultan Salama the founder of Jeddah Ice Sports Club took the best young player at the gulf tournament. Very Soon, we have made a request and now we are waiting for the ministry of sports to give us the permission to play internationally.

What kind programs and events will you do to grow the game around the country?

We are going to make a local championships and intensive training to raise the level of experience and spread this sport all over Saudi Arabia.

Do you know of any players with Saudi Arabian decent playing the game outside of the county?

Yes there is 4-6 players, they used to play with Jeddah Ice sports club but due their conditions of studying outside Saudi Arabia they left the team and whenever they have the opportunity to come back and play with us we will definitely be happy for that and our door is open to any one who wants to play Ice Hockey.

Do have any favorite players or teams in the NHL?

Yes of course Connor McDavid, Henrik Lundqvist, Alexander Ovechkin and about the teams there is alot but Pittsburgh Penguins is my favorite all the time.

Laying the foundation for future generation of Saudi ice hockey players.

Australia wins Tasman battle

Australia will return to Division II Group A next year

By Andy Potts –

The Trans-Tasman rivalry was relocated to the other side of the world as Australia and New Zealand battled it out for gold in the north of Iceland.

The decisive game of the Women’s World Championship Division II Group B tournament put the Southern Hemisphere in the spotlight – and ended with a convincing 7-1 Australian victory as the team secured promotion back to IIA after a single season.

The Aussies went in as favourite, undefeated in its first four games. New Zealand and fellow contender Iceland both had one loss on their records, but the Kiwis could still force a three-way tie with victory – and would take top spot if they could win it by four.

It might have been an outside chance, but New Zealand did everything to make it happen. An early goal from Caitlin Heale put the Ice Fernz 1-0 in front and an Australian penalty shortly after offered a fantastic opportunity to intensify the pressure. Instead, though, a shorthanded goal from Sharna Godfrey tied it up in the fifth minute and the scores stayed level until the intermission.

In the middle frame, though, Australia began to dominate. Outshooting the Kiwis 21-10, it jumped to a 3-1 lead on goals from Rylie Padjen and Ashlie Aparicio. The third proved one-sided, with Godfrey scoring twice more to complete her hat-trick and assisting on a goal for Kate Thiema, who was nominated as Australia’s player of the game. Natasha Farrier added a goal to her earlier pair of helpers as the game finished 7-1 to the Aussies.

Australia turned this tournament into a longer trip north. Swapping a southern hemisphere summer for the snows of Scandinavia, Stuart Philps and his team flew to Sweden for a week-long training camp in Tranas. The Aussies took on a couple of local women’s teams in exhibition games and worked on their pre-tournament preparations. All of that helped to set up a flying start in Akureyri, where a 6-1 victory over the host in the opening game set the tone for an impressive display.

Over the course of the tournament, Australia allowed just four goals and scored 39. The team that came closest to matching the eventual champion was Turkey, for whom goalie Sera Dogramaci produced a stellar display, making 39 saves to keep the score to 2-1. Dogramaci had some local knowledge to help her; she plays her club hockey in Australia with the Sydney Sirens.

New Zealand, defeated in the de facto gold medal game, went home with bronze. But there was also optimism after a relatively youthful roster proved that it could compete on the international stage. Jana Kivell, a 19-year-old rookie, led the team in scoring with eight points. Better known in the inline hockey world, she adapted well to the ice. Ice Fernz head coach Rachel Park told the Puck Yeah podcast: “I’m really excited for her. She’s definitely come into her own and the stats speak for themselves. It can be very nervewracking for a player in her position but we’re seeing her shoot the puck more. She’s got a killer touch and she can put the puck in the net.”

Park also spoke of the backing her team enjoyed in New Zealand and the importance of that support in helping to fund the long trip to Iceland. “We had lots of conversations about the future of women’s ice hockey and the girls we are inspiring along the way. We’re really appreciative of all that support and these girls are trying to do it for everyone back home.”

Host nation Iceland took silver and wrapped up proceedings with a 7-0 victory over Ukraine in the last game. Silvia Bjorgvinsdottir scored 2+1 in that game to finish with a tournament-leading 13 (8+5) points. The 20-year-old Akureyri native was chosen as the event’s top forward on her return to her hometown; at the end of last season she left the local Skautafelag club to join Sodertalje in Sweden’s Division 1. Team-mate and namesake Sunna Bjorgvinsdottir (no relation) made a similar journey. With 85 points between them in Swedish hockey this season, those two are the most successful of Iceland’s ‘exports’, a small group of players developing their careers in Sweden and Norway.

Another export, Australia’s Olivia Last, won the top goalie prize. She allowed three goals in three games, stopping 95.5% of the shots she faced. Like Bjorgvinsdottir, she’s also moved to the Baltic and is playing this season with RoKi in Finland. Australia’s captain, Rylie Padjen, twice an Australian national champion with Melbourne Ice, took the top defenseman honours.

IIHF president Fasel: “It will not come to a World Championship with ghost games”


The 2020 World Championship in Switzerland is scheduled to start in about 69 days – or will it also be in jeopardy due to the circulating Coronavirus?

“We are in close contact with the organizers and try to analyze the situation,” IIHF president René Fasel tells the Blick in an interview. “We will wait until 15 March to see how this pandemic develops. After that we might be able to say more.”

According to Fasel, the IIHF’s medical commission is currently meeting in Budapest, where it will probably be decided that in a first step all international tournaments in March and all U18-events are going to be cancelled.

When asked about if there is a deadline for a cancellation of the Worlds in Switzerland, Fasel does not reveal a date but explains that for a cancellation it would require a political decision due to medical concerns, not least because of financial and insurance issues.

In case politics should allow the 2020 World Championship to be held but require the games to be played behind closed doors, the IIHF president gives a unequivocal answer: “It will not come to a World Championship with ghost games, that makes no sense at all from my point of view.”

Moreover, Fasel reveals that the IIHF is insured against a cancellation due to force majeure already since 2012 and that they recommend every organizer to do the same. The Swiss organizers, for their part, have taken out this insurance. Financial damage would therefore be excluded.

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