Month: October 2023

Four Louth players on Irish ice hockey team travelling to Poland

Zsofia Bartl, Sonya McEneaney, Lorna Hoey and Beatty Hosgood from Dundalk who play with the Irish Senior Women’s Ice Hockey team

By Margaret RoddyIrish Independent

Four players from Louth are one the Irish team that flies out to compete in the 2023 International Ice Hockey Foundation Development Cup in Poland next month.

Sonya McEneaney and Lorna Hoey from Dundalk began playing ice-hockey when the ill-fated Ice Dome opened in the town, in 2007, with Beatty Hosgood joining in 2008 and Zsofia Bartl from Hungry coming on board more recently.

Both Sonya and Lorna played with the Dundalk Lady Bulls team and remember the excitement when the Ice Dome hosted the International Ice Hockey Federation Division III World Championships in 2007.

Since the Dome, the only one in Ireland, closed in 2010, they, and all other Irish ice hockey players, must travel to Belfast, to the only ice-rink on the island.

“When the rink in Dundalk closed, we kept a team going through roller hockey and we train out of Belfast,” says Sonya.

It requires a lot of dedication and Sonya admits that they are relatively lucky that Belfast is just an hour’s journey away – some players have to travel much further.

“It’ takes a lot of dedication and everything is self-financed as we don’t get any funding,” says Sonya.

“Our girls come from all over Ireland, Kilkenny, Cork, Dublin and Galway,” says Lorna. “We’ve also got some players who are living in London and France, and one girl goes back home just to train.”

Sonya, who captained the Irish Women’s team when they played in the IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division V in 2011, explains that they can no longer compete in the World Championship as Ireland doesn’t have an ice rink for them to play on.

Instead, they are competing in the Development Cup along with other countries similarly lacking facilities and will come up against Poland Iran, Argentina and Colombia from November 6 to 12 in the Polish city of Krynica-Zdroj.

The Irish team travelled to Kuwait in 2022, where they finished fifth.

While the players are very excited about representing their country on the world stage, they have to bear the costs of the travel and accommodation associated with taking part in the competition.

Sonya, Lorna and Zsofia set up GoFundMe pages to raise funds to cover these costs and are very grateful to the support they have received so far.

They are looking forward to travelling to Poland, taking part in the competition, and playing on ice.

New Coach for the National Ice Hockey Team after Previous One Goes AWOL

Source: Hungary Today

The Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation has found an in-house solution to replace Kevin Constantine, who left over the summer despite his ongoing contract. Keeping his current position, acting professional director Don MacAdam will now also work as the federation Head Coach. MacAdam will be assisted by Balázs Ladányi, who is currently in charge of the U20 team, reported Magyar Nemzet.

Kevin Constantine has put the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation (MJSZ) in a very awkward situation by taking a job in Canada despite his contract still being valid this summer. At the same time, the American professional has also put his club team in an uncomfortable position by leaving. The MJSZ took legal action and Constantine did not avoid prosecution. The Western Hockey League (WHL), a member organization of Canada’s top junior hockey league, banned Constantine as head coach of the Wenatchee Wild for two years for what the official wording described as discriminatory and derogatory remarks. The Constantine chapter is over once and for all in Hungarian hockey, with the MJSZ announcing on its website that Don MacAdam will take over as head coach of the men’s national team until the end of the season.

MacAdam is no stranger to the hockey world. In Hungary, he made his name as head coach of Romanian team Csíkszereda, in 2019, he was asked to become the professional director of youth development at Ferencváros, and from 2021, he was appointed as the development director of the MJSZ, later the sports director.

Levente Sipos, the general secretary of the MJSZ, said that they had searched for a possible successor to Constantine for a long time, but the professionals they had chosen could not take on the job of Hungarian captain because of their club commitments.

We decided to appoint Don because he has been working in Hungarian hockey for many years, so he knows the players and coaches, the potential, the goals, and the challenges of the sport. He has a wealth of experience and expertise, having worked in the NHL, written books, and taught,

Don MacAdam (b. 1950) played hockey in the lower divisions of the North American leagues and was under 30 when he became a coach. He first became an assistant coach at the University of New Brunswick in 1976, and then head coach for eight years, being named coach of the year in his first season. He taught and coached in Canada, becoming assistant coach of the Detroit Red Wings in 1986, assisting Jacques Demers. After three seasons with Edmonton. He also joined Oilers farm team in the AHL and won a championship gold ring as a member of the 1990 Stanley Cup-winning Oilers staff. It was also the club where the most famous hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, played, although the Great One was no longer with the Oilers, joining the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. MacAdam spent the 1990s in the AHL and the 2000s in the ECHL, and coached in Japan for two seasons. He has been working in Europe since 2014.

The Hungarian national ice hockey team was among the elite at the World Championships this year, but was eliminated in a huge battle. In 2024, they will try to qualify for the Division I/A World Championship, which will take place from April 28 to May 4, and will include Hungary and hosts Italy, Slovenia, Romania, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, with two teams making the elite.

Slovak women’s national team is waiting for an international break, the next tournament will be played in February

Source: Hockey Slovakia

The Slovak women’s hockey team will not participate in the next international event until February 2024. Until then, the basis of the national team will be prepared under the banner of ŠKP Bratislava, which operates in the multinational EWHL. The youth girls’ national team program continues according to the original schedule.

The women’s national team played its last game at the end of August at the A-Group tournament of the Division I of the World Championship in China. The next event awaits in March and April of next year, when the team will appear at the B-group tournament of the Division I of the World Championships. In Riga, Latvia, the Slovak women will be fighting for promotion to Division I A of the world championships.

“Based on the current state the budget for women’s national teams, was decided together with the leadership of the Slovak Ice Hockey Association that the senior team will not participate in any international events until the end of the year. The World Championships in China and the preparatory camp at the venue of the World Championship drained us financially. The costs of travel, accommodation and preparation were high. That’s why we took this responsible step, similar to, the example, the Norwegian association,” said the general manager of the women’s national teams, Ľubomíra Kožanová. 

However, the best Slovak female hockey players playing on ŠKP Bratislava are also currently guaranteed an international confrontation. In the EWHL, they play against teams from Austria, Italy, Poland, Kazakhstan and Hungary. 

“At the same time, we are happy that more and more of our players are working abroad. After a long period, Iveta Klimášová became active in Finland. Lucia Drábeková and Barbora Kapičáková got an engagement in China, and we will also monitor the performance of other players palying abroad . At the next international tournament in February, which will most likely be in Bratislava, all the adepts for the WC in Riga will be able to show themselves,” continued Kožanová.

The under-18 and under-16 girls’ youth national teams will not be affected by the restrictions in the coming weeks and months. The U18th are awaiting a home tournament in Púchov in November, on the 16th they will travel to France. “In the near future, we will place emphasis primarily on the high-quality preparation of the 18-team squad, which will compete in the elite category championship in Zug, Switzerland in January,” added Kožanová.

Pushing ahead with Iberian ice hockey league

Source: The Portugal News

The Portuguese Winter Sports Federation (FDIP) and the Royal Spanish Ice Hockey Federation have signed a collaboration agreement with a view to organizing an Iberian Ice Hockey League ice.

“The highest federative institutions of Spain and Portugal of the sport, with the support of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), signed yesterday (Saturday) an agreement that begins with the participation of the Portuguese Club H.C. Porto in the Spanish National League of Ice Hockey (LNHH)”.

According to the note, the signing of the agreement took place in Vilamoura, where the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress is taking place this week, and had the support of its president Luc Tardif, with the two federations expressing, on paper, their intention to develop a active collaboration for the promotion and development of ice hockey in Spain and Portugal.

“The first stage of this agreement is already underway and involves the inclusion of the Portuguese Club H.C. Porto in the official RFEDH competition: the National Ice Hockey League (LNHH)”, says the statement, adding that the Portuguese team has already competed in the their first games in this competition, which has a total of eight participating teams.

The agreement also aims to allow both federations to consolidate their competitions and teams, creating in the short term an Iberian Ice Hockey League, with different clubs from Spain and Portugal, with Andorra as a possible third country to complete the picture.

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