Category: North America (Page 2 of 7)

Summit Series Game 5

Alexander Martynyuk and Tony Esposito.

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

There was 13 days between Games 4 and 5, with Canada preparing for the bigger international ice surface Team Canada played two games in Sweden, winning 4-1 and tying the second game 4-4,  that featured a lot of stick work by the Swedes, Wayne Cashman needed 50 stitches to close a cut in his mouth after being high-sticked and alot  of rough play by international standards from the Team Canada.

Nearly 3,000 Canadian fans made the trip to Moscow, forming a red-clad island of noise in an otherwise a very quiet gathering of 15,000 people.

Game 5 @ Moscow, Soviet Union
September 22nd, 1972


 The Soviet Union scored five third-period goals on just 11 shots for a stunning 5-4 victory in Game 5 to open up a 3-1-1 lead over Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series.

First Period: 1, Canada, Parise 2 (Perreault, Gilbert), 15:30.

Second Period: 2, Canada, Clarke 2 (Henderson), 3:34. 3, Canada, Henderson 3 (Lapointe, Clarke), 11:58.

Third Period: 4, USSR, Blinov 2 (Petrov, Kuzkin), 3:34. 5, Canada, Henderson 4 (Clarke), 4:56. 6, USSR, Anisin 1 (Liapkin, Yakushev), 9:05. 7, USSR, Shadrin 2 (Anisin), 9:13. 8, USSR, Gusev 1 (Ragulin, Kharlamov) 11:41. 9, USSR, Vikulov 2 (Kharlamov), 14:46.

Shots on goal: Canada 12-13-12–37. Soviet Union 9-13-11-33.

Goalies: Canada, T. Esposito 1-1-1 (33 shots on goal, 28 saves). Soviet Union, Tretiak 3-1-1 (37-33).

Attendance: 15,000

After the game 5 loss Canadian players got together and vowed not to lose another game in the 1972 Summit Series.

Summit Series Game 4

Vladimir Shadrin scores the final goal for the Soviet team in Vancouver, on Sept. 8, 1972, during Canada–USSR Summit Series hockey action. Team USSR took the victory in a 5–3 win over Canada. (The Canadian Press)

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Watching their Canadian heroes blow a pair of two-goal leads and having to settle for a 4-4 tie in Game 3 of the Summit Series in Winnipeg did not set well with Team Canada fans. Game 4 at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver on Sept. 8, 1972, wound up making them even unhappier.

Injuries cost Canada both members of one of its best defensive pairs, as Guy Lapointe and Serge Savard of the Montreal Canadiens sat out. Even more costly was a pair of early penalties to Bill Goldsworthy, who had been inserted into the lineup to add energy. He was called for cross-checking at 1:24 and elbowing at 5:58 — and Boris Mikhailov capitalized on both power plays to give the Soviets a 2-0 lead after one period.

To say this wasn’t the start Team Canada had envisioned would be putting it mildly.

Game 4 @ Vancouver, Canada
September 8th, 1972


Vancouver fans booed Team Canada off the ice after a 5-3 loss to the Soviet Union in Game 4 of the Summit Series, triggering an emotional postgame outburst from Phil Esposito.

First Period: 1, USSR, Mikhailov 2 (Lutchenko, Petrov), 2:01 (pp). 2, USSR, Mikhailov 3 (Lutchenko, Petrov) 7:29 (pp).

Second Period: 3, Canada, Perreault 1, 5:37. 4, USSR, Blinov 1 (Petrov, Mikhailov), 6:34. 5, USSR, Vikulov 1 (Kharlamov, Maltsev), 13:52.

Third Period: 6, Canada, Goldsworthy 1, (P. Esposito, Bergman), 6.54. 7. USSR, Shadrin 1 (Yakushev, Vasiliev), 11:05. 8, Canada, D. Hull 1 (P. Esposito), 19:38.

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 11-14-6–31. Canada 10-8-23–41.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 2-1-1 (41 shots on goal, 38 saves). Canada, Dryden 0-2-0 (31-26).

Attendance: 15,570

Summit Series Game 3

Players shake hands after a hard-fought 4-4 tie in Game 3 of the Summit Series in Winnipeg on Sept. 6th, 1972. (Photo courtesy of The Hockey Hall of Fame).

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Game 3 of the series was played in Winnipeg, Canada where  9,800 fans who packed Winnipeg Arena on the night of Sept. 6, 1972, had to wonder which Team Canada they would see — the one that was shelled in Montreal or the one that dominated Game 2 in Toronto.

Team Canada was left frustrated in a stalemated in Game 3 of the 1972 Summit Series after the Soviet Union twice overcame two-goal deficits to leave with a 4-4 tie.

Game 3 @ Winnipg, Canada
September 6th, 1972


Soviets, who tinkered with their lineup. Coach Vsevolod Bobrov’s best move was his decision to reunite the trio of Alexander Bodunov, Yuri Lebedev and center Viachaeslav Anisin, who had helped the Soviet junior team dominate the 1971 World University Games in Lake Placid. The “Kid Line,” as it was dubbed by the Canadian media, wound up having a major say in the outcome.

After the game, Sinden took a lot of heat from the press for his team’s failure to dominate the series. But rather than criticize his players, Sinden paid tribute to the Soviets, who had surprised almost everyone with their showing in the first three games.

“Do the Soviets compare with the NHL’s best?” someone asked.


“As good as the Boston Bruins?”

“Yes sir,” Sinden said, comparing the Soviets to the franchise he had coached to the 1970 Stanley Cup. “As good as the Boston Bruins.”

After a pause, he added, “After all, whoever told us that we in Canada know all about hockey, except ourselves.”

First Period: 1, Canada, Parise 1 (White, P. Esposito) 1:54. 2, USSR Petrov 2, 3:16 (sh). 3,  Canada, Ratelle 1 (Cournoyer, Bergman), 18:25.

Second Period: 4, Canada P. Esposito 3 (Cashman, Parise), 4:19. 5, USSR, Kharlamov 3 (Tsygankov), 12:56 (sh). 6, Canada, Henderson 2 (Clarke, Ellis) 13:47. 7, USSR, Lebedev 1 (Anisin, Vasiliev), 14:59. 8, USSR, Bodunov 1 (Anisin), 18:28.

Third Period: No scoring.

Shots on goal: Soviet Union 9-8-8-25. Canada 15-17-6–38.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-1-1 (38 shots on goal, 34 saves). Canada, T. Esposito 1-0-1 (25-21)

Attendance: 9,800

Summit Series Game 2

Paul Henderson #19 of Canada shoots on net during Game 1 of the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union on September 2, 1972 at the Montreal Forum. In net for the Soviet Union is Vladislav Tretiak.

By George Da Silva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

The festive atmosphere that surrounded Game 1 of the Summit Series was nowhere to be found in Game 2. The 16,485 fans who filled Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto had seen the Soviets slice up the best the NHL had to offer in the series opener, and players and fans now knew this was going to be a long and tougher series than anyone first thought.

Game 2 @ Toronto, Canada
September 4th, 1972


Team Canada head coach Harry Sinden made line-up changes before Game 2. He had stressed skating and speed in lineup choices for Game 1, and even with that philosophy, the Soviets skated faster the Canadian team. 

Massive changes

It was time to get more of the “diggers” in the lineup for Game 2. Wayne Cashman and J.P. Parise were added along with Stan Mikita. Three changes on defence included the Chicago Blackhawk pairing of Pat Stapleton and Bill White, along with Serge Savard.
Out of the lineup was one of the best NHL lines from the New York Rangers. Vic Hadfield, Jean Ratelle and Rod Gilbert took a seat for Game 2. Other scratches were Rod Seiling, Don Awrey, Mickey Redmond and Red Berenson.
Tony Esposito replaced Dryden in goal.

With a new lineup and a new philosophy, Canada evened the 1972 Summit Series at one win apiece with a solid 4-1 victory against the Soviet Union in Game 2.

First Period: No scoring.

Second Period: 1, Canada, P. Esposito 2 (Park, Cashman), 7:14.

Third Period: 2, Canada, Cournoyer 1 (Park), 1:19 (pp). 3, USSR, Yakushev 2 (Liapkin, Zimin), 5:53 (pp). 4, Canada, P. Mahovlich 1 (P. Esposito), 6:47 (sh). 5, Canada, F.Mahovlich 1  (Mikita, Cournoyer), 8:59.

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 7-5-9–21. Canada 10-16-10–36.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-1-0 (36 shots on goal, 32 saves). Canada, T. Esposito 1-0-0 (21-20).

Summit Series Game 1

Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, center, drops the puck during the ceremonial face-off between the USSR’s Vladimir Vikulov, left, and Canada’s Phil Esposito, right, on Sept. 2, 1972, in the Montreal Forum. (The Canadian Press)

By George Da SIlva – National Teams of Ice Hockey

Fifty years ago today, the hockey world was changed  for ever by the start of an eight-game series between national teams from Canada, loaded with NHL stars in their prime, and the Soviet Union, considered the two best hockey nations in the world at the time. The eight game series was played in the month of September. The series was a must see for hockey fans across the globe and after its dramatic finish, a 4-3-1 series win for the Canadians. There was no question that the NHL would never be the same again.

Game 1 @ Montreal, Canada
September 2nd, 1972


The first game of the Summit Series started as if it would be a cakewalk for Canada. By the final whistle, the packed house at the Montreal  Forum sat in stunned disbelief after a 7-3 victory for the Soviet Union.

First Period: 1, Canada, P. Esposito 1 (F. Mahovlich, Bergman), :30. 2, Canada, Henderson 1 (Clarke), 6:32. 3, USSR, Zimin 1 (Yakushev, Shadrin) 11:40. 4, USSR, Petrov 1 (Mikhailov) 17.28, (sh).

Second Period: 5, USSR, Kharlamov 1 (Maltsev), 2:40. 6, USSR, Kharlamov 2 (Maltsev), 10:18.

Third Period: 7, Canada, Clarke 1 (Ellis, Henderson), 8:22. 8, USSR, Mikhailov 1 (Blinov), 13:32. 9, USSR, Zimin 2, 14:29. 10, USSR, Yakushev 1 (Shadrin), 18:37

Shots on Goal: Soviet Union 10-10-10–30. Canada 10-10-12–32.

Goalies: Soviet Union, Tretiak 1-0-0 (32 shots on goal, 29 saves). Canada, Dryden 0-1-0 (30-23).

Attendance: 18,818

Northeastern Graduate Chelsey Goldberg Helps Bring Women’s Ice Hockey To Maccabi Games

By Ian Thomsen – News Northeastern

Chad Goldberg, a hockey player at Tufts University, was headed to Israel in 2013 for the Maccabiah Games, known as the “Jewish Olympics.” The event, held in the year after the Summer Olympic Games, brings together the best Jewish athletes from around the world.

His twin sister, Chelsey Goldberg, a hockey player at Northeastern, wanted to compete in Israel too. Her request to play on the U.S. men’s team alongside her brother was rejected. There was no other path for her because women’s hockey was not part of the competition.

She decided to do something about that.

Nine years later, Goldberg is in Israel for the upcoming 21st Maccabiah as a player on the inaugural U.S. women’s ice hockey squad—a team she helped put together.

“It lit a fire within me to make this happen on the women’s side,” says Goldberg, a 5-foot-6-inch forward who has played professionally since her Northeastern career ended in 2015. “I didn’t know how long it would take. I didn’t know what it would entail. But I was determined to get women’s hockey over to Israel.”

Goldberg began her mission by contacting Devra Schorr, co-chair of ice hockey for Maccabi USA, which is committed to building Jewish pride through sports. Schorr had helped restore men’s ice hockey as an event at the Maccabiah Games in 2013. She began searching for potential sponsors and players while building support from the Maccabi World Union, which oversees the Maccabiah Games. The 2017 event brought 10,000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries to Israel, making it the world’s third-largest sporting event (after the Summer Olympics and Pan American Games).

“Chelsey kept saying, ‘Why can’t I play?’ We had those discussions multiple times,” says Schorr, whose daughter played ice hockey at Boston University. “I told her, ‘I’m working on it, and as soon as I get the go-ahead, you’re going to be the first one I call.’ And she was the first one I called.”

The U.S. team of 22 players and two coaches met for the first time on the July 4 weekend in Philadelphia. After practicing four times over two days, they flew to Israel with plans to practice over the next week while touring the country’s historical sites as part of the Israel Connect program sponsored by Maccabi USA.

“When you become an athlete for Maccabi USA, you are not just there for the sport,” Schorr says. “You are there for the entire experience.”

They’ll be competing in a three-team tournament against Canada and Israel at the Maccabiah Games, which run July 12-26.

“It’s going to be a great experience,” says U.S. head coach Justin Levin, a longtime men’s coach for Drexel University and other programs in the Philadelphia area. “It’s bigger than just the on-ice stuff. We’re going there to compete and don’t get me wrong, when we’re on that ice, we’re looking to be successful. But we understand it’s a big deal and there are bigger things involved.”

Goldberg, who overcame two broken legs during her college years, helped win two Beanpots as a Husky and earned a place on the 2012-13 Hockey East All-Academic Team. She spent three of her Northeastern seasons alongside Kendall Coyne Schofield, who went on to earn the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award as the top player in women’s college hockey in 2016.

Goldberg’s career has been curtailed by the downfall of women’s professional hockey in North America. She has been competing in showcase events run by the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association while working full-time in commercial real estate and property management in her hometown of Los Angeles. She’s a double Husky with an undergraduate degree in human services and a master’s in sports leadership.

“I’ve just been training on my own,” says Goldberg, who was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2020. “I’ve been making it work.”

Her first trip to Israel is a culmination for Goldberg athletically, religiously and culturally. “I’ve never been to Israel,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to participate in my Birthright trip, but because I’ve been so involved with hockey at the elite level, I’ve never really had that much time. I was fortunate enough to get sponsored to go—I’m very, very grateful to my sponsors for that.”

Goldberg is fully aware that she is helping to advance the sport.

“I’m passionate about growing the game of women’s hockey,” she says. “I’m very, very excited and proud to represent Team USA at the first games.”

Hockey is making inroads in Mexico. Yes, Mexico

Players in the Jr. Kings youth hockey program in Mexico City skate during drills March 23 at the Centro Santa Fe shopping mall. According to the Mexico Ice Hockey Federation, 1,600 junior players participate in the sport in Mexico.

Kevin Bater  Gary CoronadoLA Times

Ian Tarazona’s black helmet is so big it looks like an upside-down satellite dish, and his oversized hockey sweater hangs to his knees. But don’t let appearances fool you. Ian is a terror on the ice.

At one point during a recent practice, Ian skated up to another player, pulled his stick back and cracked him over the head. And that player was a teammate.

It didn’t qualify as assault because Ian is only 3 years old and the player he whacked, who was unhurt, is 5.

But it did serve as proof that it can be a challenge introducing little kids to any sport. And when the sport is hockey and the location is a shopping mall in Mexico City, that challenge only grows.

Luis González often has to suppress laughter while coaching four dozen kids, the oldest of whom are 7.

“Obviously the little kids are harder because you just have to keep them focused,” he said.

In between coaching sessions, González, who answers to Oso or “Bear,” a childhood nickname he can’t fully explain, plays for Mexico’s national ice hockey team. If you didn’t know Mexico had a national ice hockey team, don’t feel bad. Aside from the 22 players and their families, few others know either.

But the sport is gaining a foothold, or at least a toehold, in Mexico.

According to the Mexico Ice Hockey Federation — there’s one of those too — 2,690 players participate in the sport in Mexico, 1,600 of whom are junior players like the ones González coaches.

It’s a small number — and certainly an underestimate — but it still has drawn the attention of several NHL teams, which see a chance to grow the game and develop a new fan base with the hope of playing an NHL game in Mexico in the near future.

“I don’t see any reason for us to wait,” Kings President Luc Robitaille said. “It’s more important for us to go out of our way and to make it available. There’s enough kids we know like to play.”

Many of them play at an ice rink tucked into a dark corner of a Mexico City shopping mall, between a Dairy Queen and a Carl’s Jr. and below a Sears.

The Centro Santa Fe, Mexico’s second-largest shopping mall, sprawls along a major boulevard in a tony neighborhood of skyscrapers and gated apartment buildings on the western edge of the capital.

Roberto Arriaga, whose three boys all play hockey, makes the three-hour round trip there from Toluca as many as five nights a week, spending almost as much time in the chilly bleachers overlooking the ice as he does running his business in aftermarket car sales.

“A lot of friends tell me that I’m crazy,” said Arriaga, who discovered hockey almost by accident. After introducing his eldest son, Beto, to more traditional sports such as soccer without success, on a whim he put the boy in skates and hockey gear at age 6. Nine years later, Beto is still playing, as are brothers Mateo, a speedy 12-year-old defenseman, and Paulo, a skinny 10-year-old goalie so small he can fit inside the net without having to duck his helmeted head.

The two younger boys say they want to play in the NHL someday, something no Mexican has done. Arriaga chuckles when he hears that.

“At that age,” he said “it’s very good to have a dream.”

That dream isn’t what motivates the four coaches at the rink, who work with more than 140 players in six divisions, ranging in age from 3 years old through high school. Nor is producing professional players what has led the Kings to partner with the rink, offering in-person and virtual clinics as well as material assistance.

Banners touting the relationship with the L.A. team hang throughout the mall while many of the tiny players take the ice wearing black or gray Kings sweaters with a Mexican flag sewn on one shoulder.

The goal, the Kings insist, is simply to introduce the kids to hockey, teach them how to play (and sometimes to even skate) and to fuel a passion for the sport.

“It’s just a totally different vibe over there,” said Derek Armstrong, who spent six seasonplaying for the Kings and is now the team’s community and hockey development specialist. “We want to bring hockey to Mexico, but we also want them to embrace it themselves and put their own little twist on it, their own little culture on it.”

That seems to be taking hold at the Santa Fe rink, where rushes up and down the ice take place at breakneck speed, with few passes and even fewer checks — physical defensive moves intended to disrupt play. In that way, Mexican hockey can sometimes look like soccer on skates.

Instructions and encouragement — vámonos! vámonos! dále! dále! — ring out in Spanish, although most of the hockey terms, like stick and puck, go untranslated.

Paulo Arriaga, 10, protects the goal during practice with the Mexico City Jr. Kings youth hockey program.

What the Kings want to create, then, is hockey with a Mexican accent and Latin sensibility. They’re not looking to import a sport wholesale but rather to create a hybrid. What they want are players such as 15-year-old Paula Martínez, one of two girls in the bantam age group — and one 270 girls playing hockey nationwide, according to the federation.

She started skating at 3 and has been playing hockey with boys almost as long, tucking as much of her long brown hair inside her helmet as she can, then letting the rest spill down to her shoulders. Her friends, she said, don’t understand the game — or why she plays it.

“Every time you say you play hockey, they’re amazed. So you have to explain what it is. They think it’s only fighting, and it’s really not just that,” Paula said, flipping through cellphone photos of a trip to the University of Wisconsin, where she skated with members of the school’s women’s team.

“If I had to choose a sport again,” she said, “I would still choose hockey.”

Many in Mexico don’t have that choice. Cost and access to an ice rink are major obstacles to hockey’s growth in Mexico.

Players in Guillermo Díaz’s program at the Santa Fe rink pay a $125 annual registration fee and $146 a month for instruction and ice time. That doesn’t include the brightly colored composite sticks, durable skates and other equipment such as pads and helmets, which can easily top $1,000 combined — more for goalies.

That’s well beyond the reach of most families in a country where the typical salary hovers around $17,000 a year. And while Mexico City has four rinks, there are just 14 in the rest of the country, according to the national ice hockey federation.

The level of play at the Santa Fe rink varies widely depending on the age group. On a recent Monday night, the peewees’ game, for kids 11 and 12, was so quick and well-played, dozens of shoppers stopped to peer down from the mall’s upper floors and watch.

For the youngest players, meanwhile, simply staying upright and focused is the goal, which is why Díaz spent most of an hourlong practice simply trying to herd his toddler students into a straight line. During one drill, the players, many of whom wore blue COVID facemasks beneath their helmets, set off after the puck only to forget what they were supposed to do with it once they got it.

Kids pulled back their sticks, which were often bigger than they are, then shot at the wrong net, while others simply wandered away in the middle of a drill or skated into one another for no apparent reason. One boy brought his stick to shoulder level like a rifle and pretended to shoot teammates.

Players with the Jr. Kings youth hockey program gather at the end of practice. Cost and access to an ice rink are major obstacles to hockey’s growth in Mexico.

As for Ian, when he wasn’t whacking teammates in the head, he was often lying face down on the ice, the white No. 26 on the back of his jet-black jersey facing the Sears store a floor above.

“You have to invent some things,” González, the coach, said when asked how he kept the youngest players focused.

González’s time with the national team makes him an elite player in a country that has had few success stories to emulate in hockey. That could be changing.

Héctor Majul, who was lured away from a soccer field and into a Mexico City ice rink as a 6-year-old because his sister was a skater, followed his first coach to Arizona, where he attended high school. He practiced there alongside a local standout named Auston Matthews, whose mother was born in Mexico.

While Matthews went on to become the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft — and this season has broken the Toronto Maple Leafs’ franchise record with 58 goals — Majul played at Curry College in Massachusetts before being deported back to Mexico after his student visa was suspended.

That led to a nomadic journey that took him to hockey rinks and professional teams in Serbia, Lithuania, Finland and Italy. He will turn 28 next month, far too old to be considered a top prospect but not too old to give up his dream of becoming the first Mexican-born player to reach the NHL.

“Many times, being from Mexico causes people to assume that I can’t play hockey well and they don’t take me seriously until they see me play,” said Majul, who had a career-high 21 goals and 19 assists in 22 games this season for Como in Italy’s second-tier hockey league. “They wonder how it’s possible, which makes me laugh.

“I do think if I was Canadian or American, I definitely would have had better opportunities. But at the same time, it’s part of being the first Mexican to play at the level I’m playing and breaking the mental barrier that the hockey world has of not accepting players who don’t come from countries where hockey is popular.”

The kids at Centro Santa Fe might do even more to change that perception.

“Some of the kids here could play anywhere,” said Ross Wonnick, a Canadian transplant from Calgary whose son, Harrison, 9, just started playing at the rink.

Yet the sport still seems a strange fit in a country that has nearly three times as many international airports as it does ice rinks — and the rinks that do exist are almost always jammed into a lightly trafficked nook of a shopping center.

“I think there’s only one ice rink that isn’t at a mall,” Paula, the 15-year-old center, said with a sigh.

Even so, Paula, her father, Francisco, a researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and dozens of other kids and parents crowd into the dark corner of the Centro Santa Fe as many as five nights a week. And the NHL has taken note.

“We’re definitely going down there to grow the game,” Robitaille, the Kings president, said. “That’s a no-brainer for a team like us, to help grow the game on the south side of the border.”

The team’s outreach to the Latino community began in Southern California but quickly reached south. Those efforts were stalled by COVID-19 but picked up again last fall when Armstrong went to Mexico City to put on a clinic.

Now other teams are following. The Dallas Stars, who play in a market that is more than 40% Latino, have begun broadcasting their games on Spanish-language radio and are developing a relationship with the Mexico Ice Hockey Federation.

“We’re trying to be Mexico’s team,” said Stars President Brad Alberts, who sees that effort as targeting Mexicans and Mexican Americans on both sides of the border in much the same way football’s Dallas Cowboys did. That team now has a license from the NFL allowing it to expand its home marketing base into Mexico.

“We look at it as a long-term, authentic community investment,” Alberts said. “We’re going to look at the Hispanic community in a much different way that we have ever before.”

At some point, Alberts said, that will mean playing a regular-season game in Mexico, as the three other major U.S. pro sports leagues have done. The Kings and Arizona Coyotes have also acknowledged similar hopes.

“We look at [Mexico] as an untapped market,” Alberts said. “We’re trying to capitalize now.”

Back at the Santa Fe rink, it’s apparent Alberts’ timing is right. Kids roll in from the covered parking lot wearing hockey uniforms and riding in-line skates, their parents following behind carrying heavy equipment bags and hockey sticks.

“Saturdays, we stay here from 12 o’clock until nighttime,” said Cindy Rojas, the mother of an excitable rosy-cheeked 5-year-old named Sebastian, whose black No. 17 Kings jersey fits him like a tunic. “I can see that he enjoys it. That’s why it doesn’t matter if we have to come four or five times per week or stay here more than 10 hours.

“It doesn’t matter because I love when he’s happy.”

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.

Maple Ridge man, former NHL player, to captain China’s Olympic hockey team

Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip will captain Team China at the Olympics

By Niel Corbett – Cranbrook Daily Townsman

Maple Ridge’s Brandon Yip will be captain of the first Chinese hockey team to take part in the Olympics.

The former NHLer, 36, is the leader of the Kunlun Red Star, which is a proxy for the Chinese national team that competes in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League.

He’s surely had one of the most interesting hockey journeys in Canadian history.

Yip had an NHL career that spanned from the 2009-2010 season until 2013-2014, and saw him skating for the Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators and two games in his last season with the Phoenix Coyotes.

He started climbing the hockey ladder with his hometown Junior B Ridge Meadows Flames, and kept moving up to star with the Junior A Coquitlam Express, NCAA Boston University and then was drafted in the eighth round, 239th overall by the Avalanche. He would play 174 regular season NHL games, putting up 29 goals and 56 points.

When his NHL career ended, Yip jumped to Europe, with a couple of stops in Germany’s DEL.

Since 2017-2018 he has played in Russian’s KHL, mostly with the Kunlun Red Star, which is based in Beijing.

He is Mr. Everything for the team – the captain, the first in the franchise to get 100 points, and the second to play 200 games. The latter milestones he reached in recent months.

His mother Gale said she and husband Wayne went to watch him play in a game in Shanghai in 2017, and it was pretty obvious the people were new to Canada’s national sport of winter.

As Brandon and the opposing team captain lined up at centre ice for a ceremonial opening faceoff, a dignitary was handed the puck to conduct the faceoff and officially start the contest. However, he didn’t know he was supposed to drop the puck.

“He hucked it across the ice,” Gale said with a laugh. “It’s a new sport over there.”

She and her husband are Canadian born, but their son is eligible to represent China under international rules because he has grandparents on both sides who were born in China. She said it was a memorable trip.

“It’s an amazing country, with amazing cities.”

The NHL will not allow its players to participate in the Games, which begin on Feb. 4 in Beijing, China, so the tournament teams are rosters of retired NHL players, European professionals, college players and minor pro players.

The Chinese team has been ranked 32nd in the world, and is at the bottom of the KHL standings this season. However, Kunlun coach Ivano Zanatta says the Chinese team will be the equal of teams like Norway and Denmark. Their chances of playing competitive games got a boost with the announcement the NHL would not participate.

U.S. women’s hockey team enjoying experience with N.M. Ice Wolves

Alex Carpenter, left, of the USA Women’s Hockey team, battles the Ice Wolves’ Blayde Pogreba for the puck during Monday’s game at the Outpost Ice Arenas.

By Patrick Newell – Albuquerque Journal

Coming off a recent tight loss to longtime rival Canada two weeks ago, the USA women’s hockey team was eager to get back on the ice.

Plans for a quick turnaround to right the ship were curtailed when an exhibition with Russia was canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the Russian team.

That left the women’s team with an open date, which opened the door for a rare exhibition Monday and Tuesday at Outpost Ice Arenas, home of the New Mexico Ice Wolves.

“Things change all the time, and you have to adapt and adjust,” said USA women’s coach Joel Johnson, who was appointed head coach this summer.

“When you’re playing in a pandemic year, everything is crazy for all of us. We’re just so appreciative of Stan Hubbard (Ice Wolves owner), the Ice Wolves, the town, and the whole community. It’s been an unbelievable experience because we wouldn’t have had an opportunity to play games (this week). It’s a privilege to be here and we’re excited about it.”

Staying on schedule is critical for high-level athletes. Aside from the every-day practices, off-ice training, diet, and conditioning, taking the ice against quality competition is the best test of the Americans’ progress.

“I hope (it’s a competitive game), that’s why we’re here,” said USA team veteran forward, Hilary Knight. “When I’m playing boys, I recall the memories playing against my brothers, and it’s some of the most fun hockey that I’ve played. I’m looking forward to a good night, and to work on things we need to work on going into February.”

The Ice Wolves are coming off a 3-0 win on Sunday, and do not have a scheduled game until Friday’s home date against Wichita Falls. When presented with the opportunity to face the USA team, Ice Wolves head coach Phil Fox said it was an easy decision.

“Stan gave me a call, and he asked if we were willing to have (the USA team) come play our team. I said absolutely,” Fox said. “It’s a pretty unique experience. There aren’t a lot of times the US team is coming to Albuquerque, New Mexico, let alone play our group of guys. We’ve never done anything like that.”

Dillan Bentley, a co-captain for the Ice Wolves, remembered watching the USA team capture gold at 2018. He said he’s never played a competitive game at this level against women, but he does expect he and his teammates will play their own game.

“I’m not sure what to expect,” Bentley said. “They’re the best of the best, and they’re there for a reason. Everyone respects what they’ve been through, and to get where they are in their hockey careers.”

Speaking of new experiences, as well traveled as the USA women’s team is, few have breathed the crisp mountain air of the Land of Enchantment.

“I think there are only two players on our team that have been to the state of New Mexico, so this is definitely a new experience,” said USA team captain, Kendall Coyne-Schofield. “‘It’s an experience we’re embracing, and we’re excited to play the Ice Wolves. We’re thankful they opened their schedule for us because it was last minute, and it’s an opportunity to play against them and be here where we’ve never been before. Hopefully, we’ll inspire some young kids along the way.”

UP NEXT: Tuesday’s game is at 6:30 p.m. at Outpost Ice Arenas.

MONDAY GAME RECAP: The Ice Wolves turned back an early third-period rally, scoring three goals to beat the U.S. women’s team 7-3. Team USA trailed 4-1 after two periods, but closed to 4-3 after goals from Alex Carpenter and Britta Curl — the latter with 13:13 remaining.

Ice Wolves’ Jack Dalton countered two minutes later and Nicolas Haviar and Blayde Pogreba tacked on insurance goals.

The Ice Wolves had a 40-27 advantage in shots on goal. … Only two penalties were called, both on the Ice Wolves.

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