Category: Europe (Page 2 of 8)

The Italian national team summer camp in Egna concluded

By Italian Ice Hockey Association
Translated By George Da Silva National teams of ice Hockey

A week of intense work, with many sessions on the ice and off the ice, for the 44 Italian  players who participated in the first real seasonal meeting of the senior men’s national ice hockey team . After the physical tests were carried out in July at the CONI Olympic Preparation Center in Formia, Italy, coach Greg Ireland  meet the players in Egna, Italy to kick off the 2020-2021 “campaign” which will end with the World Championships in Riga, Latvia (May 21 – June 6). The camp, which began on Sunday August 16th, ended this morning with a last match between white and blue Italy before breaking ranks. The next time Italy will meet, should be in early November with the 1st stage of the Euro Ice Hockey Challenge scheduled in Hungary, where Italy will challenge the hosts, Poland and South Korea.

Forward Alex Petan did not take part  and his place was taken by the two young players forward Luca Biondi , who played last year with Fassa, and Marco Sanna , of Cortina . The very young Carlo Muraro was added to the group of goalkeepers, born in Asiago in 2002.

Greg Ireland was very satisfied with the progress of the players, which took place between Bolzano and Egna Italy, the head coach of the national team, Greg Ireland said  “Many were surprised by the large number of players – explains Ireland – but in this way I had the opportunity to see and get to know as many players as possible, and get an idea of ​​the group I want to form. Without forgetting that, in North America, these numbers of players are quite normal when it comes to early season training camps . The responses I got were really positive from all the guys, and we were able to work on many important aspects of the game and system that I want to give to the national team. We have tackled all kinds of situations, from power-play to 3on 3, and thanks to every in-depth coaching staff we were also able to carry out single exercises to improve individual techniques “

Peter Spornberger and Marco Insam tangle in front of goaltender Jake Smith during the intr squad game

Among the novelties of this training-camp a yoga session was implemented, a discipline difficult to associate with ice hockey, but considered to be great importance for improving athleticism, coordination and balance of the players. “The first days of camp were quite difficult because most of the lads arrived from 5 to 6 months of inactivity – said assistant coach Giorgio De Bettin , but slowly everyone had raised their level, and in the last training sessions and matches, we have seen really good things “. De Bettin himself, starting from this evening, will be in Aosta , where he will lead the under 20 national team that will carry out its training camp together with the under 18 national team.

Goalies: Andreas Bernard, Carlo Muraro, Jake Smith, Justin Fazio, Gianluca Vallini

Defensemen: Tobias Brighenti, Gregorio Gios, Daniel Glira, Roland Hofer, Thomas Larkin, Gianluca March, Stefano Marchetti, Marco Marzolini, Jan Pavlu, Chad Pietroniro, Phil Pietroniro, Peter Spörnberger, Ivan Tauferer, Alex Trivellato

Forwards: Domenico Alberga, Raphael Andergassen, Simon Berger, Luca Biondi, Martin Castlunger, Dan Catenacci, Davide Conci, Ivan Deluca, Daniel Frank, Alex Frei, Luca Frigo, Markus Gander, Peter Hochkofler, Marco Insam, Diego Kostner, Alex Lambacher, Marco Magnabosco, Michele Marchetti, Matthias Mantinger, Angelo Miceli, Simon Pitschieler, Joachim Ramoser, Marco Sanna, Michael Sullmann, Tommaso Traversa

Coaching staff: Greg Ireland, Riku-Petteri Lehtonen, Giorgio De Bettin, Diego Scandella, Fabio Armani, Gianluca Canei

From Chelmsford to Maine – GB forward eligible for 2020 NHL Entry Draft

18-year-old Mason Alderson-Biddulph is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft

By UK Hockey Fan

The door has been pushed ajar for young UK hockey players dreaming of playing in the NHL.

Liam Kirk was scouted in Sheffield, selected by the Arizona Coyotes 189th overall in the 2018 NHL draft and has impressed in the Ontario Hockey League since the Peterborough Petes opted to take a gamble on him in the import draft in that same year

That doesn’t mean life is ultimately easier for promising hockey players this side of the ocean. There are many different avenues and no path is without it’s pitfalls.

Listed at 6’3 and 194 pounds, 18-year-old Mason Alderson-Biddulph is eligible for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

The London native played junior hockey in Chelmsford and Guildford before opting to take the step of playing overseas to continue his development – a route now trod by many starting in the UK.

The USA has been Alderson-Biddulph’s hockey home for the past two seasons.
A stop in North Andover, Massachusetts was first as the GB forward suited up for Islanders Hockey Club in the National Collegiate Development Conference (NCDC).
In his first taste of US hockey, Alderson-Biddulph recorded eight points in 31 games.

The 2019-20 campaign was spent in Maine as Alderson-Biddulph finished 4th in team scoring for Berwick Academy. At the USHS-Prep level, the only European on the roster registered thirty points in 23 outings of which twelve were goals.

It’s at the junior international level where the GB forward has been making waves and had many wondering if he could follow in the footsteps of Liam Kirk.

At the U20, D2A level, Alderson-Biddulph has accrued fourteen points (4-10-14) in ten games, helping GB win a Silver and a Bronze medal.

Previously, Alderson-Biddulph played at the lower age group with the U18’s and recorded duplicate statistics, although, of his fourteen points at that age-group, it’s impressive that nine were goals.
The young man also captained GB U18’s but unfortunately suffered racist abuse that many black people in sport sadly still have to endure.

The despicable event occurred during the 2019, Division 1 Group B World Championships hosted in Székesfehérvár, Hungary.

In the last two minutes of a game against Italy, Great Britain’s under-18 ice hockey captain said he was called a ‘n****r’ and added: “I was absolutely shell-shocked and completely disgusted.”
“He screamed it at the top of his lungs and I just couldn’t believe it. The fans heard it, everyone heard it.”

The player who shouted the abuse apologized to the GB Captain in person afterwards, along with the team captain, coach and the chairman of the IIHF, but this wasn’t enough for Alderson-Biddulph – “The damage has been done. He was man enough to step up and say sorry but what he said is disgusting.”

Nobody could ever be fully prepared for that kind of abuse while representing their country.
But with his father, Brian Biddulph, being the first black player to represent Great Britain at ice hockey, Mason was likely aware of the possibility of it occurring and the young man certainly handled himself with credit in the situation.

Brian Biddulph played professionally in the UK but also had a stint in North America, spending the 1986-87 season playing for the Langley Eagles in the British Columbia Hockey League.
No doubt providing some inspiration for his son to follow that path but also some much-needed advice at this crucial time.

As per a NY Times feature about Liam Kirk, Mason is quoted as saying the following during his time in Massachusetts:

“It’s fun being a big fish in a small pond [in England], but you really don’t know how good you are until you jump into the sea.”
“I just wanted to see how I’d fare against the kids that play every day in and out like the same way a British kid would play” soccer.

“The routes were to either go major junior or have four years of schooling that could possibly be paid for and then I could have a degree at the end of it, a sustained life and a good job.”

It was also noted in the said article that ‘an 11th grader at Triton Regional High School in Byfield, Mass., Alderson-Biddulph has had discussions with the likes of Colgate, Princeton and St. Lawrence.’

The chances of Mason Alderson-Biddulph being selected in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft are slim. He’s not featured in any of the major scouting lists and there has been no chatter around his name on social media.

That’s not to say he couldn’t be a late bloomer.
If he does indeed end up playing in the NCAA (which is highly scouted), then anything is possible as we have seen on many occasions.

The sport of Ice Hockey lacks a sports facility for more popularity”

The association was founded in 1998 in Schellenberg

Source: Liechtensteiner Vaterland

The sport of ice hockey receives little attention in Liechtenstein but has great interest in the small municipality of Schellenberg of all places. The EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg ice hockey team now wants to make ice hockey more popular across the country.

It is considered the fastest team sport in the world: ice hockey. While football dominates here, ice hockey is popular in the Nordic countries. In Canada, ice hockey is even considered a national sport. In Germany, Austria or Switzerland, the game on ice is still in second place. However, this does not apply to Liechtenstein.

Twelve students found the HC Schellenberg

Although the beginning of ice hockey in Liechtenstein is not in Schellenberg, ice hockey would not be what it is today without Schellenberg. The EHC Vaduz was founded in 1996 and took part in the championship for the first time the following year. In 1998, 12 young students from Schellenberg decided to also practice this sport. At that time I was a teacher in Schellenberg and played some ice hockey. A group of boys asked me if we could make an ice hockey team, ”says Christian Fuchs, President of the EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg, who was immediately enthusiastic about the idea of ​​his students. Shortly afterwards they founded HC Schellenberg in 1998. “We then practiced for a year and then formed a training community with Vaduz. In the winter you played on the ice and in summer inline hockey was on the training schedule. Three years later, they teamed up with the EHC and founded the hockey association. Since only the ice hockey department merged with Vaduz, HC Schellenberg remained the place for popular inline hockey.

We lack a sports facility for the game to gain popularity

The EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg currently has around 30 Players. For a comparison: there are around 1,700 active footballers in Liechtenstein. But why is there so little interest in ice hockey? “There is certainly interest in our country,” says Fuchs. “the Sport is popular here too and is followed. Ice hockey is very important to us in the region. Especially in Graubünden In eastern Switzerland and Feldkirch in Austria, but in the Sarganserland in Switzerland  and Rhine Valley, ice hockey is not unknown. Nevertheless, there are only a few Liechtensteiners who actively play ice hockey. For Christian Fuchs it is clear why this is so. «We lack a sports facility in the country where our sport could be practiced. In addition, the financial means are also limited.  Since there is no ice rink in Liechtenstein, the EHC moves abroad.

Despite these limited resources, the EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg is successful. In the last three years we won the championship title twice in the Vorarlberg Ice Hockey League 2. Two years ago it was “only” enough for the vice championship. Nevertheless, we are not superior or even want to play in a higher league. Our sporting goals are modest. It would not make much sense to play in a league higher as it is financially impossible and we can paly well and succeed  in this league. The successes of the past few years have also been somewhat happy for us, says Fuchs.

The connection to Schellenberg is currently somewhat lacking

What does the EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg have to do with the municipality of Schellenberg? The name is still there and will definitely be retained. Even if the connection to the community is somewhat lacking, we can always count on their support, says Fuchs. You still have an active player and about four playing out side of the country who come from Schellenberg. “But who knows, maybe one day there will be an ice rink in Schellenberg, where the EHC Vaduz-Schellenberg will play their home games.” 

Blackhawks’ Marian Hossa elected to Hockey Hall of Fame

Marian Hossa during the 2011 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship on home ice in Slovakia

Marian Hossa is heading to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

In his first year of eligibility, Hossa was announced on Wednesday as one of six members from the Class of 2020, along with Jarome Iginla, Kevin Lowe, Kim St-Pierre, Doug Wilson and Ken Holland (builder). He needed more than 75 percent of the votes — at least 14 from the 18-member selection committee — to be elected.

“This is an amazing day for me and my family,” Hossa said in a conference call. “I would like to congratulate all the six people with me. It’s an amazing day for everybody. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to start playing in the 1997-98 National Hockey League and I never thought I would have an amazing career.

“My dream came true when I won the first Stanley Cup. This is definitely something special to be in the top, top players and the people in [the] National Hockey League. This means so much to me. I’m humbled and really grateful.”

Drafted No. 12 overall by the Ottawa Senators in 1997, Hossa registered 1,134 points in 1,309 games across 19 seasons with five different teams and won three Stanley Cups as a member of the Blackhawks. He ranks 35th all-time in goals (525), 30th in postseason points (149) and was the 80th player in NHL history to hit the 1,000-point mark.

Despite his career being cut prematurely because of a progressive skin disorder, Hossa finished as an eight-time 30-goal scorer and three-time 40-goal scorer and was widely regarded as one of the best two-way forwards in hockey. Chicago was fortunate to witness it first-hand for eight years.

“One of those players that really set the table of playing the right way,” Joel Quenneville told NBC Sports Chicago in January. “And as a coach, you couldn’t ask for a guy that demonstrates exactly what your message is on how we want to play structurally, in all zones, all situations. Protects the puck, keeps the puck, tough to take it away from him. It was like, ‘OK, this is the perfect player.'”

Hossa’s international numbers also puts him in the conversation as one of the greatest Slovakian players ever. He racked up 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 12 games at the IIHF World Junior Championship, 41 points (16 goals, 25 assists) in 52 games at the IIHF World Championship and 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) in 19 games at the Winter Olympics.

Not only is he a Hall of Fame player on the ice, but off the ice as well. Hossa is as universally respected within the hockey community as anyone, and the epitome of what it means to be a professional.

“You can’t replace Marian Hossa,” GM Stan Bowman said in October. “He was such an important part of our team. We never would’ve won any of our Stanley Cups without Marian’s contributions. He did all the things that you need a player to do to win. I’m not sure there was ever the full appreciation of what he did on a nightly basis to help our team win.”

There is now. Hossa is in the Hall and he couldn’t be more deserving of the honor.

The super Vauclair bros, it’s the end of an era!

Tristan Vauclair, Julien Vauclair

By Damiano Cansani – Leading Sport

Together, they collected over 2’000 National League appearances. We’re talking about the three “Super Vauclair Bros”: in alphabetical order Geoffrey, Julien and Tristan. Three Jurassiens that all played youth hockey for HC Ajoie.

When it comes to young talents it is often said that one in a thousand makes it. In this case, as many as three brothers made it, to a greater or lesser extent, in the top tier of Swiss hockey. That’s a fantastic story. One of them, Julien, was even able to collect an NHL appearances with the Ottawa Senators and, frankly speaking, if he had been born fifteen or so years later, we are certain that there would have been many more appearances in the world’s most prestigious league.

At the end of the 2019-20 season, in a very ungenerous way because of the emergency-situation, the last two brothers that were still playing in the National League – Julien and Tristan – hung up their skates.

What can we say? All the three of them deserve a big round of applause, it’s as simple as that.

They never played at the same time in the same National League team and perhaps this is the only “regret” for these three “Super Bros”. In any case, they have tied their names to three teams in particular. Ajoie, their youth teams, Lugano and Fribourg Gottéron.

Geoffrey, who is today 43 years old, was the first one who hung up his skates at the end of the 2013-14 season. He made his National League debut with Lugano during the 1997-98 season and then played also for Fribourg Gottéron, Olten (1 appearance), Franches-Montagnes and Ajoie where he spent the last 4 years of his career. He was a very talented forward that did good things and that maybe, with all due respect, considering the potential he could also do more. He won the title with Lugano in 1999 when he even scored a goal during the decisive game played at the Valascia against Ambrì-Piotta.

Julien became a real legend in Lugano and his number 3 will stay forever under the roof of the Resega (now Cornèr Arena). He was one of the best Swiss defensemen of this century, he always wore proudly the jersey of the Bianconeri and during the best years he even tallied an impressive number of points. Out of the three brothers, Julien is the one who earned the most prestigious results. He won two times the Swiss title with Lugano, over the years he won several individual prizes, he took part in an AHL All Star Game and even won the silver medal with Switzerland at the 2013 Worlds.

To finish, Tristan is perhaps the one of the three brothers who, with all due respect, had less “pure talent” but that everything he conquered in his career was earned through sweat and hard work. He never won any title but was always appreciated by his fans because of his will to give it the 110% during each single shift. Tristan was the perfect example of the essential player for each team. That kind of a player that perhaps never gifts the fans with spectacular individual plays… but that always gifts the fans with his incredible determination.

Geoffrey, Julien and Tristan were three different brothers when it comes to player type. All of three, however, certainly left their mark in Switzerland this century. One in a thousand makes it… in the case of the Vauclair family, percentages are to be reviewed.

It’s the end of an era. Thanks for all you gave to Swiss hockey and for all you will give again!

Xtraice rink in the Azores.

Xtraice rink at Praia Vitória, on Island of Terceira

By George Da Silva – National Teams of ice Hockey

The archipelago of the Azores is located in the middle of the northern hemisphere of the Atlantic Ocean.
The Islands are about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal, about 1,500 km (930 mi) west of Lisbon, in continental Portugal, about 1,500 km (930 mi) northwest of Morocco, and about 2,500 km (1,600 mi) southeast of Newfoundland, Canada.

There are nine major Azorean islands and an islet cluster, in three main groups. These are Flores and Corvo, to the west; Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial in the centre; and São Miguel, Santa Maria,
and the Formigas Reef to the east and the Population of the islands are about 250,000.

In 2018 Xtraice opened it ts first ecological ice rink in the Azores (Portugal).

The 100m2 rink was purchased by a Portuguese company that is betting strong on Xtraice synthetic rinks.

Thanks to this initiative the Azorean people and tourists on the island enjoy a typical Christmas activity such as ice skating without being affected by the warm climate on the island.

The rink was installed at Praia Vitória, on Island Terceira. Praia Vitória is one of the most modern cities of The Azores, with a beautiful beach and high class port.

Also In 2019 Xtraice opened a 20x10m rectangular skating rink at Lagoa on the Island of São Miguel. The island is the crown jewel of the Azores not only is it the biggest island, but it the most beautiful island of them all.

Ice Rink in Lagoa, Azores

Local Children skating in Lagoa, Azores

The rinks will ran from the end of November to January 6th of 2019 and from end of November to January 7th of 2020. The rink is ecological and recyclable, avoiding the use of water and electricity. Xtraice rinks are environment friendly which results in large savings both energetically and financially.

No Ice hockey was played but the Azorean people can dream of one day  ice hockey being played in the archipelago of the Azores.

Ice Rink In Transnistria

Ice rink Snezhinka

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

A forgotten remnant of the Soviet Union, Transnistria is an unrecognized country hidden behind a heavily militarized border between Moldova and Ukraine. 

Transnistria is one of a number of frozen conflict zones that emerged following the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union. While almost every other country in the world refuses to acknowledge the independence of Transnistria, this autonomous territory features its own presidential government, a national flag, anthem and even a currency: the Transnistrian Ruble.

One of the most notable things about Transnistria and Tiraspol (the second largest city in Moldova and the capital of Transnistria) in particular is the prevalence of Soviet symbology. While socialist monuments and busts of Lenin may still be commonplace in other former-USSR nations such as Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, Transnistria goes one step further, actually referring to itself as a ‘soviet state.’

The ice  rink Snezhinka

Built according to the Polish project, allows developing such sports as hockey and figure skating in Transnistria . Powerful refrigeration units allow you to keep minus temperatures on the surface of the ice rink.

It offers visitors – cafes , locker rooms, showers , skate rental. The room has permanent stands with 600 seats. During the holidays, additional stands are set up. As a result, the number of seats for spectators is 1058. There are also 2 skate dryers in the ice rink.

Mass Skating, Tiraspol, Moldavia

In June 2008, the construction of the ice rink was completed, and the opening ceremony was performed by world-famous Russian skaters who presented the ice show created by the general director of the Ice Symphony company Ilya Averbukh .

In 2011, a figure skating competition was held at the rink and in August 2013, a monument to the great hockey player Vladimir Krutov was erected at the rink’s entrance. The ceremony was attended his widow Nina Krutov and outstanding soviet hockey players Alexander Yakushev, Sergei Makarov and Alexander Kozhevnikov.

Vladimir Krutov was a two time Olympic champion, five time world champion, winner of the Canada Cup and a multiple U.S.S.R. champion with CSKA. The Vladimir Krutov Hockey Academy was opened, the first international youth tournament in memory of Vladimir Krutov was held at the same time.

Monument of Vladimir Krutov

Tony Hand set to add vast experience to GB Women’s program

GB Women’s head coach Cheryl Smith has welcomed the addition of Tony Hand to the program

By Phil Harrison – Yorkshire Post

Former GB international Hand, a legend of the British game, has seen his role as the national development head coach expanded from overseeing the men’s Under-20s, Under-18s and Under-16s to now work with coaches and players’ from across the women’s national set-up.

The Edinburgh-born former NHL draft pick, who as head coach took the GB men’s team to the final qualifying stages for the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014, took up his national development role in August 2016.

“We have a great women’s program and some amazing young talent mixed in with a core of experienced senior players,” said Sheffield-born Smith,.

Tony Hand, pictured above right with former GB forward Colin Shields

“Tony’s experience will only enhance that and I look forward to working with him in the future. I am sure the coaches and players will learn a lot from Tony’s many years of experience.

Hand, who played for Sheffield Steelers between 1995-99, coached Manchester Phoenix from 2006-17 and is also currently head coach at Murrayfield Racers in the Scottish National league, said: “We have some fantastic talent in the women’s programme, with some very exciting young prospects.

“I’m also looking forward to working alongside the great set of coaches we have in the women’s set-up when next season gets underway.”

Ice Hockey UK chairman, Richard Grieveson, added: “Tony will be a massive asset to the women’s programme. He has done fantastic work with our juniors since 2016 and it seemed natural to expand this to the women too.”

The number of ice hockey players in Denmark is rising for the fifth consecutive year

By Denmark Ice Hockey Union

In the 2018/19 season, Danish ice hockey passed 5,000 active players for the first time, and the number of players after the early 2019/20 season tells of further progress in the number of ice hockey players at home.

Denmark’s Ice Hockey Union now has 5504 ice hockey players, an increase of 357 players – or 6.9 percent – compared to last season.

It is the fifth consecutive year that the number of ice hockey players in Denmark is increasing, and 134 of the new ice hockey players are aged 0-12. Recruiting the very young players is one of the major focus areas of the Danish Ice Hockey Union.

It is also noteworthy that 51 new girls and women have entered the sport in the just concluded the current season.

Development Consultant at the Danish Ice Hockey Union, Christina Benn, is pleased with the rises to the of ice hockey players to the clubs.

First and foremost, we welcome the fine numbers and we have established a central recruitment committee at DIU which will start in earnest when the society opens again. In everyday life, try to set the framework for the clubs so that they can recruit more easily. We have two national recruiting days – Ice Hockey, but in addition our member clubs are also making great efforts to bring in new teammates for current players.

Christina Benn also welcomes the fact that many clubs work with recruitment committees, great creativity and new initiatives in recruiting members.

It’s so inspiring to see, and we hope the clubs will also be inspired by colleagues around the country, says DIU’s development consultant.

As soon as ice hockey  starts up again, Denmark’s Ice Hockey Union has a new projects ready, which will hopefully end up with an increase in the recruitment of girl players and another increase in membership.

German Coach Aims to Establish World Top Four Hockey Team

Toni Söderholm has been coaching the German national ice hockey team since 2019

By United News of India

Germany Ice Hockey coach Toni Soderholm seeks to permanently establish his team, led by NHL superstar Leon Draisaitl to world top four finishes at big events.

Germany were surprise ice hockey silver medallists  at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics but last reached the semifinals at a world championships in 2010 , finishing no better then sixth since then.

Soderholm to the Sportbuzzer portal in an Interview publish on last Monday “It is important that the lads understand that everything is possible. they should always aim for top four placings.” With this year’s world championships cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, Soderholm’s next big events with the team are the 2021 world championships and 2022 Olympic Games.

Germany’s star player is forward Leon Draisaitl of the Edmonton Oilers, Soderholm naminghim “our best offensive player and among the top three offensive players in the world.”

Leon Draisaitl ofthe Edmonton Oilers

« Older posts Newer posts »
Translate »