Month: November 2020 (Page 2 of 2)

Compulsory victory for the German A selection after ice hockey return

Source: re.Jerusalem

After eight months of stagnation and almost a year without an international game, the national players have given ice hockey a step back in Germany.

At the start of the most unusual German Cup in its 33-year history due to the crown, the A-side of the German Ice Hockey Federation (DEB) beat the Olympic prospect team effortlessly 7: 2 (4: 1, 1: 0, 2: 1) without national coach Toni Söderholm.

Yasin Ehliz (9th minute), Marc Michaelis (12th), twice Marcel Brandt (15th / 49th), Colin Ugbekile (18th), Marcel Noebels (33rd) and Markus Eisenschmid (58th) shot in the Krefelder Arena without spectators the gates of the current national team. Only Nino Kinder (3rd), 19, and Haakon Hänelt (58th), from Eisbären Berlin, 17, met for the talent selection overseen by national Under-20 coach Tobias Abstreiter.

Söderholm, infected with the corona virus, was only able to follow his national team’s first game 361 days after the last German Cup 2019 international match against Slovakia via video stream. Its representatives – U18 national coach Steffen Ziesche and Bremerhaven coach DEL Thomas Popiesch – saw a level that could be improved at the start of the tournament. Most players were only able to resume training on the ice recently. “At the beginning, we didn’t have a structure in it. There is certainly still room for improvement, ”admitted double scorer Marcel Brandt of the Straubing Tigers.

After the German ice hockey league season ended in March due to the corona crisis, there was no professional gaming operation in Germany. International matches and the World Cup in May have been canceled. Unlike other sports leagues in Germany or other European ice hockey leagues, the DEL has so far not been able to resume playing without hearing income. “We want to use games wisely to bring the sport to life. We want to continue our daily life afterwards, ”Noebels said before the start.

DEB had also gone to great lengths to revamp their traditional home tournament, which has actually been played with four nations for several years. After some refusals from other teams, only three teams from two nations are participating this year. The third team is Latvia, which will meet the German talents on November 6 (5 p.m. / MagentaSport) and the German team A on November 7 (4:45 p.m. / Sport1 and MagentaSport).

Even games without spectators are a novelty for the DEB which, according to its own press release, lacks 300,000 euros at the box office. However, by hosting the tournament, the association deliberately wanted to set an example in the decisive weeks to come. This weekend, DEL2 and the top third-class leagues also begin their gaming operations. In the coming week, eight of the 14 DEL clubs will be launching a specially created preparatory tournament. The elite league wants to decide on November 19 if they can still start with a season in mid-December.

Austrian U20 team wins

The Austrian players celebrate a goal in the first exhibition game against Hungary.

By Martin Merk – IIHF.com

The November international break saw few events going on such as the Karjala Tournament and the Deutschland Cup in men’s senior hockey.

However, many tournaments in several categories had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures against it. And some that were planned got cancelled in the last minute such as U20 and U18 games between the Finnish and Swedish national teams due to players tested positive on the Swedish side.

The only international U20 games were played in St. Polten between host Austria and Hungary. Belarus and Denmark abstained from travelling to the event and Latvia, also planned for the tournament, cancelled its flight booking after positive tests.

The Austrians, who were promoted to play in the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship in Edmonton, succeeded with two wins against their neighbours – 4-2 and 6-3.

Recent first-round draft pick Marco Rossi scored a goal, Senna Peeters and the team’s youngest player Marco Kasper led the Austrians with two markers. 16-year-old Kasper is the son of former Olympian Peter Kasper and moved to Rogle Angelholm in Sweden ahead of this season where fellow U20 national team players Peeters and Thimo Nickl are among his teammates.

“The association did a good job and our safety concept worked well,” said head coach Marco Pewal about the event. “In a few weeks we will enter a bubble to prepare for the World Juniors. This will be a completely new experience for everybody. I hope all players stay healthy so that we can participate at the World Junior Championship with our strongest team.”

The team will enter the bubble at home on 6 December in St. Polten and fly to Edmonton one week later. There the Austrians are seeded in a group with Russia, Sweden, the United States and the Czech Republic.

The only other U20 national team that had games this week was Poland, which ended up playing against club teams Polonia Bytom and Zaglebie Sosnowiec.

Pride of Japan

Japanese forward Yuri Terao skates during the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship Division I Group B in Estonia

By Jim Arm Strong – IIHF.com

Yuri Terao figured his game was better suited to the rugged North American style. Following an impressive debut in the ECHL, the promising Japanese forward has his sights set on ice hockey’s biggest stage.

The 25-year-old Terao has exceeded expectations in his first season with the Utah Grizzlies of the ECHL, scoring 18 goals and 22 assists in 61 games for the team that plays at the venue of the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics before the remainder of the season was put on hold in March due to the coronavirus.

He’s now back in Japan playing for his hometown team the Nikko Ice Bucks of the Asia League, which gives him the chance to stay fit until the ECHL resumes in December.

The decision to join the Grizzlies is the latest step in a career that has made steady progress at each stage.

“I really wanted to play with Japanese pride and do the best I could,” said Terao, who earned the nickname “The Magician” in his first season in Utah. “I know it’s all about results so I wanted to get as many goals and assists as possible.“

Terao is considered one of the top prospects to come out of Japanese hockey. The 173-cm (5-foot-8), 86-kg (190-pound) forward is small by North American standards but is known for his speed and hard work.

Yuri Terao Salt Lake, Utah

Terao got a taste of North American hockey when he played for the Waterloo Black Hawks of the USHL in the 2015/16 season when he also scored 18 goals and had 22 assists.

Despite being the smallest player on the Grizzlies roster, Terao doesn’t shy away from the physical side of the game and has adjusted well to the smaller rinks in North America.

“The hockey culture is completely different,” Terao said when asked about the differences between his homeland and North America. “The systems are different, the quality of the reffing… Japan is less physical than North America where you have to battle for every chance.”

Japan has never produced an NHL player other than goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji, who played briefly for the Los Angeles Kings in the 2006/07 season and is now Terao’s teammate with Nikko.

Terao would love nothing more than to break that barrier even if it meant playing only one game in the NHL. “I think my personal hockey style is closer to the North American style,” Terao said. “My long-term goal is the play at least one game in the NHL but before that I want to get called up to the AHL and play some games there.”

While it has a long history in Japan, hockey is overshadowed by sports that are bigger in Japan such as baseball, football or sumo wrestling.

Terao knows that having a Japanese player in the NHL would boost the popularity of the sport in Japan by leaps and bounds.

“To have a Japanese player in the NHL, the media reaction here would be great and then you would have more focus on the game,” Terao said.

Terao got into hockey at an early age. His father was also a professional player and Yuri started skating when he was just two years old. His brother Hiromichi also plays hockey.

Terao was born in Nikko, which is a hockey hotbed in Japan. Just two hours north of Tokyo, the popular tourist destination is known for its ancient temples and fall foliage and there are constant reminders of the Ice Bucks. Their logo adorns taxi doors and flags that are flown in front of stores.

Hockey Town Nikko flags are visible throughout the historic city of Nikko

The Ice Bucks resumed play in early October in a revised Asia League competition known as the Japan Cup. Due to travel restrictions, the tournament features only the five Japan-based teams while the Korean teams currently also have to play a domestic competition.

The Grizzlies are an affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche. The ECHL is a mid-level professional hockey league with teams in the U.S. and Canada. It is one tier below the American Hockey League.

Terao’s Finnish coach in Nikko, Ari-Pekka Siekkinen, says he sees plenty of potential in his young player.

“Yuri has a high passion for the game,” Siekkinen said. “He wants to win the battles all the time, he is hungry to go to the net. He has really quick hands and a great shot.”

Siekkinen, who represented Finland at the 1992 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship, thinks the sky is the limit for Terao.

“I think he could play in the NHL one day but needs a little more time,” Siekkinen said. “He wants to play at the highest level so as long as he keeps improving and has good coaching I think he can do it.”

Newer posts »