Day: February 10, 2022

Latam Cup Is Open For Registration

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Since 2018 the Latam Cup has grown to be one of the biggest  hockey tournaments for non-traditional hockey counties. 

It start out just for developing hockey nations in the Americas but last year for the first time a team from outside of the Americas took part in the Latam Cup, and in 2022 the tournament organizers have open for more national teams from outside of the Americas.

The Latam Cup offers many divisions from Senior Men & Women teams to U16 & U12 teams. The goal is to expose has many people to game and grow the game not only in the Americas but around the world.

All games are played in Coral Springs, Florida home of the Florida Panthers training facility 

For eligibility requirements please visit and click on Team and Player Eligibility. If your team complies and you would like to register or you have any questions, please contact Latam cup organizers for more details.

Canada downs Germany in men’s Olympic hockey opener

Source: Canadian Press

Ben Street had a goal and an assist as Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team stormed out of the gate early before cruising to a 5-1 victory over Germany on Thursday at the Beijing Games.

Alex Grant, Daniel Winnik, Maxim Noreau and Jordan Weal also scored in both countries’ tournament opener, while Eric O’Dell and Kent Johnson added two assists each. Edward Pasquale made 23 saves.

Tobias Rieder replied for Germany, which upset another group of Canadian non-NHLers in the semifinals of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang. Mathias Niederberger stopped 22 shots.

In a surprising twist, Hockey Canada announced moments before warmup that Claude Julien, who had been tabbed to coach the team before breaking his ribs during training camp in Switzerland, had joined the group and would resume his duties following the game.

Jeremy Colliton, who stepped in to fill Julien’s void, will now revert back to an assistant’s role.

The United States thumped China 8-0 in Group A’s other game. Canada will face its North American rival Saturday before wrapping up round-robin action Sunday against the tournament hosts.

The game at Wukesong Sports Centre, which hosted basketball at the 2008 Summer Olympics, didn’t feature the star power hockey fans envisioned just two months ago after the NHL withdrew from the event because of COVID-19 concerns.

And while the likes of Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, Leon Draisaitl and Tim Stutzle were thousands of kilometres away for the 9:10 p.m. local start in front of a few hundred flag-waving Chinese spectators, the game still had name recognition from a Canadian perspective.

Eric Staal, who won gold in 2010 and is looking for another NHL shot, is the captain, while Owen Power and Mason McTavish, the first and third overall picks at the 2021 NHL draft, are also on the roster.

But it was Canada’s lesser names leading the way on this night.

The Germans have 10 returning players, including former NHLer Dominik Kahun, from the team that advanced to the 2018 gold-medal game with a 4-3 victory over Canada, which has O’Dell, Noreau and Mat Robinson back wearing the red Maple Leaf.

Canada came out flying in the first period Thursday on the smaller NHL-sized ice, with O’Dell — perhaps looking for revenge from four years ago — crushing blue-liner Marco Nowak with a clean, devastating hit behind the German net.

The puck was worked to the point, where Grant, listed as Canada’s seventh defenceman, fired home the opener off the post and in at 4:43, with Nowak, who went to the locker room and didn’t return, still trying to shake out the cobwebs.

Street made it 2-0 at 9:47 on a quick shot upstairs off an O’Dell pass as Julien looked on from the stands with the rest of Canada’s brain trust.

Winnik stretched the lead to 3-0 just 32 seconds later on a pass from Adam Cracknell that Niederberger should have stopped.

Canada got into some penalty trouble later in the period, including an eight-second 5-on-3 man advantage, but Pasquale — last season’s goalie of the year in the Russian-based KHL — was there to shut the door.

Germany, which came out with more purpose after the intermission in an attempt to match Canada’s physical play, got on the board at 10:45 of the second when Reider took advantage of a bad Mark Barberio turnover and fired home a rebound.

But the Canadians responded on a power play at 12:58 when Noreau thumped a slapshot past Niederberger low blocker on a clean look.

Power nearly got in on the action later in the period, but the German netminder denied the 19-year-old defenceman with a terrific save at full stretch.

Not wanting a repeat of the start of the second, Canada pressed the issue to start the third with sustained offensive zone time by using a grinding style suited to the smaller ice surface before Weal made it 5-1 with 8:38 left in regulation.

Canada locked things down from there to secure a convincing victory — and a measure of Olympic payback.

Notes: Canada won gold in 2002, 2010 and 2014 with its NHL stars, but hasn’t topped the Olympic field without its best since 1952. … Staal had three assists against Germany in Canada’s 8-2 victory in the qualification round at the 2010 Games.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2022.

US men’s hockey team rolls past China in Olympic opener thanks to Sean Farrell’s five-point game

By Chris Bumbaca – USA Today

The NHL decision to pull out of the 2022 Winter Olympics allowed a crop of prospects and some overseas vets to represent their countries. For the United States, the dropoff in talent didn’t matter much in the opening game against China. 

The Americans rolled to a 8-0 victory — seven of those goals coming in the last two periods — on Thursday at National Indoor Stadium to start group play.

Then again, it’s worth considering the opponent. China — only fielding a team at these Winter Olympics because it is the host nation — is ranked 32nd in the International Ice Hockey Federation rankings. There are 12 teams in the tournament.

Sean Farrell, a 20-year-old sophomore at Harvard and Montreal Canadiens prospect, led the way with three points (three goals, two assists ). Drew Commesso, who at 19 became the youngest U.S. goaltender at an Olympics, saved all 17 shots China put on net. 

University of Michigan forward Brendan Brisson (Vegas Golden Knights) buried the United States’ first goal on their second power play of the first period to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. He fed Matt Knies (Toronto Maple Leafs) down low, and Knies drove at China goaltender Jeremy Smith. Knies managed to tip the rebound back to Brisson, who hammered it past Smith on a one-timer.

The Americans used a three-goal second period to pull away. 

It started with Farrell’s behind-the-back pass – from behind the net – to Noah Cates for the team’s second goal. With the teams taking penalties four seconds apart, Brian O’Neil – the lone member of the current Olympic squad from the roster four years ago – made it 3-0 after Andy Miele stayed tough on the puck in front of the net and slid a no-look pass across the front of the crease.

With 1:53 to go in the period, Farrell received a pass on a 3-on-2 advantage and kept it. That proved wise. His quick release found the top shelf for his second goal.

Farrell added another goal 66 seconds into the third. Off a faceoff, he fed Ben Meyers, who scored on a top-shelf backhand past Smith’s glove. 

Then it was Matty Beniers’ (Seattle Kraken)  turn to show off with a top-shelf goal, giving the Americans a touchdown lead. Farrell rounded out the scoring.

The U.S. will play Canada on Saturday to continue group play. 

Manninen nets 3, Finns win

By Derek O’Brien

Sakari Manninen scored three goals and Miro Aaltonen scored two for Finland and Juraj Slafkovsky scored twice for Slovakia in Finland’s 6-2 win in the first game for both teams at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.

One of the projected top picks of this year’s NHL Entry Draft, Slafkovsky became the first 17-year-old to score in Olympic men’s ice hockey since 1984, when Ed Olczyk scored twice for the USA in Sarajevo.

The Slovaks came storming out of the gate and captain Marek Hrivik had a great chance in the first minute when he received a pass from linemate Peter Cehlarik in the slot but just failed to convert on the backhand. They continued to dominate the early minutes, however, and opened the scoring at 5:33 when Milos Roman’s wraparound attempt was stopped by Sateri, but Slafkovsky was right at the edge of the crease and put the rebound up over the Finnish goalie’s shoulder.

The Finns didn’t record a shot in the first 10 minutes of the game but reversed that trend in the second half of the period with six shots and three goals.

First it was Manninen, who got behind the Slovak defence and took a breakaway pass from Teemu Hartikainen. Manninen actually had a passing option a two-on-nothing break but elected to shoot, beating Branislav Konrad over the glove.

Then the Finns got the game’s first power play and turned up the heat. First Mikko Lehtonen hit the post, and at 14:22 Harri Pesonen gave the Finns their first lead, putting in his own rebound after Konrad had stopped his initial one-time attempt at the side of the net.

Slovakia had a chance to draw even with a pair of power plays of their own but failed to capitalize, and when Aaltonen finished off a 2-on-1 by one-timing a pass by Joonas Nattinen past Konrad late in the period, one had the feeling that Jukka Jalonen’s always-disciplined group was going to be awfully tough to beat on this night.

Manninen scored his second goal on his second breakaway, just shy of the game’s midpoint. This time he went with a wrister along the ice through the legs of Konrad. Just over two minutes later, Slafkovsky matched him with his second, picking up the puck along the end boards, circling out front and beating Sateri to the blocker side before celebrating with a big leg kick.

But if Slovakia had designs on a comeback, they were dealt a serious blow on the first shift of the third period when Manninen potted his third. Peter Ceresnak tried to carry the puck out of his zone but was stick-checked by Hartikainen, who then found Manninen streaking to the net for the one-touch re-direct into the top corner.

Aaltonen finished the scoring with five minutes to play, finishing off a tic-tac-toe passing play with a one-time slapper off the post and in.


Sweden survive Latvia fightback to secure win

By Steve Keating – WTVB

Sweden survived a gritty Latvia fightback, holding on to claim a 3-2 win in their Beijing Olympics men’s ice hockey opener on Thursday that had both teams skating off believing the same thing – the gold medal is up for grabs.

With National Hockey League pulling out of the Beijing Games due to a COVID-19 surge that created havoc with its schedule, the Olympic tournament has no clear favourite and the early action at the National Indoor Stadium has underscored just how wide open the medal hunt is going to be.

The first three games have all been decided by a single goal, including one major upset that saw Olympic Games debutant Denmark shock the Czech Republic 2-1.

“Watching the games yesterday anything can happen,” Sweden forward Fredrik Olofsson told Reuters. “You can’t take anything for granted, everyone has a shot at it (a gold medal) it is just making sure you are dialled in every game because there aren’t that many, you’ve got to make them count.”

Sweden, gold medal winners at the 1994 Lillehammer and 2006 Turin Olympics, had looked poised for a straight-forward decision against Latvia, grabbing a 3-0 lead midway through the second on two goals from Lucas Wallmark and other from Anton Lander.

But Latvia would hit back with powerplay tallies from Renars Krastenbergs and Nikolajs Jelisejevs to send the game to a nervy finish.

“The big challenge for the medal starts today but this was only the first battle. We couldn’t win a medal and we couldn’t lose medals today so we are in it like any other team,” said Latvian captain Lauris Darzins.

“We are going to stay positive. It’s a 10-day tournament so we are in it, we’re not just going to be crying on the bench.

“A lot of things can happen in one game.”

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