Month: December 2021 (Page 2 of 2)

NaturEnergie Challenge: Swiss win home tournament

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

The Swiss national team wins the home tournament in Visp. After the 2-1 win against Latvia, coach Patrick Fischer’s team also defeated Slovakia 3-2. Denis Hollenstein scores twice.

In the second and third periods, the Swiss showed an excellent performance. They used their speed and dominated the Slovaks practically at will, which underlines the shot ratio of 21: 3. Hollenstein  tied the game to 1: 1. The Swiss missed many chances example: Yannick Zehnder and Denis Malgin each failed in the 25th minute in front of the Slovak goalkeeper Patrik Rybar. Numerous other opportunities could also be mentioned.

In the 43rd minute the second goal came from Hollenstein again. The ZSC Lions striker scored on the power play. Three minutes later, the Slovaks equalized out of nowhere. As with the the first goal it was an own goal, this time Simon Le Coultre was the unlucky one.

Killian Mottet, who had already scored against Latvia on Thursday, scored the winning goal in the 57th minute. He only had to push the puck over the line after a push by defender Christian Marti. The Swiss were able to take revenge for their 6-1 defeat in November at the German Cup in Krefeld. 

The Swiss National team will now gear up for the Olympic Games in Bejing, China.

A pretty, pretty big shame’: Germany’s Borzecki ready for World Juniors debut after spending last year’s tournament in quarantine

Jakub Borzecki joined EC Red Bull Salzburg of the ICEHL in the fall of 2021

Matthew Black – CTV News Edmonton

Last year’s World Juniors in Edmonton were supposed to be a special time for German hockey prospect Jakub Borzecki.

He made the squad as an 18-year-old, and was expected to play a key role, including on the power play, as part of a team considered to be his country’s best in years.

But, he never saw the ice.

Four days before Germany’s tournament opener on Christmas Day, and just one day after exiting his mandated travel quarantine, Borzecki learned he had tested positive for COVID-19.

“I was just really excited to actually fly out to Canada to play at the World Juniors,” he said.

”I was really looking forward to it.”

He was the last of nine German players to test positive for the coronavirus.

The outbreak forced the team back into isolation and left it with only 16 players, 14 of them skaters, for its first three games instead of the usual roster of 25.

“At first I didn’t quite realize it,” Borzecki said. “I felt great …I still did my workouts as planned. I didn’t feel anything.”

“It was a pretty, pretty big shame to not be able to get out.”


Borzecki spent most of his time alone in his hotel room less than a block away from Rogers Place where his teammates carried on without him .

He says he was initially able to gather for stretching exercises and video games with the eight others who had also tested positive.

“I was actually shocked that so many guys went missing because we expected everybody to be just fine. We tested so much in Germany.”

The players watched on television from their hotel as an outmanned Team Germany held its own in a tournament-opening 5-3 defeat to Finland before running out of gas a day later in a 16-2 defeat to the host Canadians.

“It was a big challenge for them and a lot of ice time but they really managed well.”

A 16-man German team scored a 4-3 overtime upset over Slovakia in its third game to keep its tournament hopes alive.

The squad was back to full strength, minus Borzecki, for its final opening round game, a 5-4 win over Switzerland.

“I was sweating in my room just watching the games, because it was really exciting to watch the guys play,” he said.

“I was really happy for them.”


The win over Switzerland earned Germany its first ever quarterfinal appearance at the World Juniors, and a matchup against a Russian team considered to be among the favourites to win the event.

Ahead of the game, someone on the team arranged to have Borzecki’s jersey hung on the glass behind the team’s bench during the game, much to his surprise. 

Germany forward Jakub Borzecki’s (20) jersey hangs on the bench after he has been unable to play in the tournament due to a COVID positive test, as the Germans take on Russia during first period IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship action in Edmonton on Saturday, January 2, 2021

“I just had my white jersey in my room, and suddenly my other jersey was hanging there,” he said. “Just had a big smile all over my face.”

“[I was] a little sad too of course, just seeing my jersey, but not being able to get out.” 

His teammates exceeded expectations again, but came up short in a narrow 2-1 defeat to Russia. 

The next day marked the end of what would be more than three weeks in quarantine, and he was able to board the team bus and fly back to Germany with his teammates. 

“The guys were just shocked to see me.”


Borzecki, now 19, is in his first year of senior pro hockey with EC Red Bull Salzburg of the ICE Hockey League. 

The power forward has recorded seven points, including two goals, in 25 games so far this season and will be part of Team Germany at this year’s World Juniors.

“I don’t take anything for granted,” he said of making his tournament debut. “It’s gonna be a big relief to finally be able to be there.”

A relief that will help bury thoughts of what might have been for him and his team last year.

“I think if everybody would have been there, we could have had a great chance to get even further,” he said.

“It was a nice hotel room at least.”

Андраш Михалик: «Цель — сохранить прописку»

После первого тура МЧМ Div IA нападающий сборной Венгрии Андраш Михалик подвел итоги матча против сборной Казахстана (1:3) и рассказал о том, каких ошибок стоит избегать в игре сборной

— Андраш, какие эмоции вы испытывали перед первой игрой на турнире? Как вам в целом матч? Оцените первую игру своей команды и оцените игру команды соперника

— Это была мой дебют на МЧМ. Вначале я был очень взволнован, для меня это большой успех, ведь я попал в окончательный ростер и получил шанс представлять свою страну. Игра против Казахстана была очень быстрой, у соперников было много опытных игроков, поэтому мы должны были приложить все усилия, чтобы не отставать от них. Казахстан — отличная команда, они быстро перемещали шайбу, поэтому мы старались играть попроще. Думаю, сработало очень хорошо. В целом я чувствовал, что мы проделали отличную работу как команда, мы оставались в игре все 60 минут. После матча извлекли уроки и продолжим совершенствоваться.

Кроме того, самое большое положительное впечатление на данный момент заключается в том, что мы, игроки, окружены очень профессиональной средой, с которой мы раньше не сталкивались, поэтому нам нужно сосредоточиться только на хоккее и играх. Мы играли хорошо, но на таком уровне каждая ошибка имеет значение. В следующих играх нам придется свести ошибки минимуму и использовать те немногие шансы, которые мы получаем.

— Какой соперник, на ваш взгляд, будет самым сложным?

— Мы попытались посмотреть на все команды. Мне кажется, что Беларусь и Латвия — сильнейшие команды, судя по их составам. Однако на этом турнире мы и все наши соперники должны сыграть пять игр за семь дней, а это значит, что команды покажут свои хорошие и также плохие стороны.

— Какие цели и задачи стоят перед командой на стартовавший турнир? Насколько команда готова к предстоящим играм ?

— Наша главная цель – остаться в группе А. Сборная Венгрии U20 никогда не выигрывала ни одной игры в этом дивизионе, поэтому мы хотели бы быть первой командой, достигшей этого рубежа. Перед турниром мы cчитаемся аутсайдерами, но мы хотим доказать, что можем конкурировать с любой командой в этом дивизионе, а также выигрывать матчи.

— От чего в сегодняшнем матче у двоих команд было немалое количество удалений?

— Да, я согласен, что в этой игре у обеих команд было большое количество необязательных удалений. Я думаю, это связано с тем, рефери здесь намного строже, чем в чемпионате Венгрии. В оставшейся части турнира мы должны помнить об этом и играть без подобных ошибок.

— Есть ли у тебя какие-нибудь ритуалы перед матчами? Как вообще настраиваешься на игру?

— В отличие от большинства игроков, у меня действительно нет никаких персональных ритуалов перед играми. Хоть и мне нравится каждый раз делать одну и ту же разминку и заматывать клюшку одним и тем же способом, в остальном я не придерживаюсь каких-либо ритуальных действий.

— Пару слов болельщикам на трибунах

— Независимо от того, выиграем мы или проиграем, или что говорит табло, мы всегда будем выкладываться на льду. Мы хотим показать болельщикам, которые приехали сюда, и тем, кто следит за нами из дома, что мы можем дать бой нашим соперникам и достичь нашей цели — остаться в этом дивизионе.

Автор материала: Алсу Фаткуллина

Kuwait National Ice Hockey Team awaits ‘time to shine’

Kuwait Men’s National Team

By Ben Garcia – Kuwait Times

The Kuwait National Ice Hockey Team Federation is currently busy preparing for its national team to participate in the upcoming 3rd GCC Games set to be held in Kuwait on January 9-19, 2022. “We want to win. That’s our objective,” started Khaled Mubarak Al-Mutairi, the Vice Chairman of the Board of Kuwait Winter Games Club, which manages the Kuwait National Ice Hockey (KNIH) men’s and women’s teams.

The teams are participating in a three-week camp in Turkey starting today for some “rigid training” in preparation for the tournament, Mutairi said. Kuwait looks at the GCC Games as an opportunity to showcase its skills not only in hockey, but other games to be featured in the regional tournament.

Kuwait’s national women’s hockey team

KNIH has been an associate member of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), an international organization for ice hockey and in-line hockey based in Zurich, Switzerland, and has 81 member countries. But Mutairi admits that winter games are not very common among Kuwaitis. Yet, he says national players can compete on a high level through practice and perseverance, fueled by the love of the game.

“Even countries with ice or snow have to practice and train on the man-made-installed facilities. Trainings and the actual games are not normally done in the wild or snow mountains, so this means that we can learn how to play too,” Mutairi argued. “Whether you live in a sandy desert in the Middle East or a European country with snow, training and the formal games are usually held in installed facilities, so it can easily be learned if your heart is into it,” he added.

Mutairi further spoke about how the Kuwait National Ice Hockey team was conceived from scratch. “I remember visiting the Ice Skating Rink in 1987 and I saw a group of Canadian and US players taking part in a hockey game. Many of us were naïve to this sport, but eventually our interest grew, and I encouraged many of my friends to join and play hockey,” he said. “We started with nothing, and our club here started with nothing too; but we are determined to learn. Eventually we applied for government recognition – we developed a club and we were able to go through the tedious process of accreditation,” he added.

National team
After the liberation in 1991, Mutairi, along with Fhaid Hamad Al-Ajmi, the current Board Chairman of the Kuwait Winter Games Club, created a small hockey team and they started trainings and workshops to form a national team for Kuwait. “It was small group then, but the interest of Kuwaitis has sprung up from then onwards until we finally got the nod of the government,” Mutairi remembered.

“When we were invited in Scotland for a hockey tournament in 1993, we joined without hesitation; we went there, 23 of us without any support from the government. Then several tournaments followed after that,” he reminisced. As years went by, those who were part of the team became trainers and referees. “They are still with us, and we keep them because of their experience which they can share to our new members,” he said.

Ajmi admitted meanwhile that getting recognition from the government was not an easy task. “I thought it was easy at first, but it took us years to comply with government requirements. At first, we were told to get real ice hockey training, then we were told to learn how to run and manage a team. After that, they told us to get stronger support from people and fans in order to move forward. It took us two years to comply with those requirements, but we managed it anyways,” he explained.

“In 1997, we were invited by China to join in the tournament. We lost as expected because we have no support from the government, but we were happy representing our flag in an international arena,” Ajmi noted. “That game attended in China paved way for the government to do something for the ice hockey team in Kuwait. It was 1998 when the Kuwait Olympic Committee noticed us and so they started giving us some sort of budget. They had given us a chance to form a committee until we were finally and officially recognized by the Public Authority for Youth and Sports in 2013,” he said.

Kuwait’s ice hockey teams did most of their home trainings at the Ice Skating Rink at Al-Soor Street. But when the rink was demolished in 2018, they went ‘homeless’ temporarily. In the absence of the standard-size training grounds, the club had to send their players outside the country for practice. In 2019, the government allowed the construction of its new training ground for the ice hockey team. It was built at the Bayan district known now as the Kuwait Winter Games Club.

“With the government’s recognition, we were able to get the proper funding for the construction of the new ice skating rink, as well as the funding needed for our players and members,” Ajmi said. He also thanked “all the people who were instrumental for the success of the club and the creation of this federation.” The ice skating rink at the Kuwait Winter Games Club is open to public every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (10am to 10pm), but closes for the rest of the week for the Kuwait National Team trainings.

Team Canada Black wins 2021 Capital City Challenge

Source: Hockey Canada

Team Canada Black has been crowned champions at the 2021 Capital City Challenge after downing Team Canada Red 5-4 in an overtime thriller in the tournament final on Wednesday night.

Team Canada Black jumped out to a two-goal lead in the first period after goals by Ty Halaburda (Victoria, B.C./Vancouver, WHL) and Alex Pharand (Sudbury, Ont./Hamilton, OHL), but Matthew Wood (Nanaimo, B.C./Victoria, BCHL) and Natan Éthier (Rosemère, Que./Saint-Eustache, LHM18AAAQ) responded with goals for Team Canada Red to even the score at 2-2. The teams traded goals in the second as Halaburda notched his second goal of the game and Owen Outwater (Orleans, Ont./North Bay, OHL) scored just over two minutes later to tie the game again.

The final minute of the third period was a wild one. Riley Heidt (Saskatoon, Sask./Prince George, WHL) fired home a rebound with 29 seconds to go to put Red ahead, but Zach Benson (Chilliwack, B.C./Winnipeg, WHL) netted his tournament-leading seventh goal on a shot off the face-off with 0.4 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Calum Ritchie (Oakville, Ont./Oshawa, OHL) was the extra-time hero, beating Team Canada Red goaltender Jackson Unger (Calgary, Alta./Edge School, CSSHL) on a breakaway in the extra frame.

“It was a little bit of a blur. I saw the puck bounce off the boards and I had the opportunity to get a breakaway, so I just skated as hard as I could,” Ritchie said. “Muscle memory from practice took over, and to be honest I do not really remember [scoring], but it was such a great feeling to get the game-winner.”

Team Canada Black netminder Mason Vaccari (Mississauga, Ont./Cobourg, OJHL) stopped 30 shots, while Unger made 35 saves.

Team Canada White defeats National Women’s Team in third-place game

In the third-place game earlier on Wednesday, five different skaters found the back of the net for Team Canada White as it defeated Canada’s National Women’s Team 5-1.

Carey Terrance (Akwesasne, N.Y./Erie, OHL) kick-started the offence for Canada White, opening the scoring less than three minutes into the game. Tyler Peddle (Antigonish, N.S./Drummondville, QMJHL) added a goal and an assist, and Ethan Gauthier (Drummondville, Que./Sherbrooke, QMJHL) chipped in with a pair of helpers.

Goaltender Scott Ratzlaff (Irma, Alta./Seattle, WHL) made 12 saves in the win.

“Our players were a little bit disappointed after yesterday’s result, but overall I am proud of the way they finished the tournament,” said Canada White head coach Rob Wilson (Toronto/Peterborough, Ont.). “We had such a great group of players and staff, and it was a pleasure to be a part of this team. I am looking forward to watching our players flourish as they continue on in their careers.”

Emma Maltais (Burlington, Ont./Ohio State University, WCHA) scored the lone goal for Canada’s National Women’s Team, while goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer (Bruderheim, Alta./PWHPA) turned in a 38-save performance.

Newer posts »
Translate »