Western Canada university hockey teams to host Ukrainian national team & More Trending News


An worldwide group is coming collectively to present a bunch of younger Ukrainian males an opportunity to compete on the ice in Canada.

“I’m very happy to go to Canada to play against some of the best teams there,” Ukrainian goalie Savva Serdiuk advised reporters.

Serdiuk and his fellow Ukraine U25 males’s national hockey team can be coming to Canada within the coming months to play in opposition to 4 western Canada university teams within the “Hockey Can’t Stop Tour,” as preparation for an upcoming match and to increase cash for his or her war-torn nation.

Alberta is house to one of many largest Ukrainian expat populations in Canada and the world.

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Serdiuk, 18, additionally backstops Sokil Kyiv within the Ukrainian Hockey League.

When Russian forces invaded Ukraine, Kyiv was among the many targets within the first spherical of airstrikes on Feb. 24.

And on Wednesday, one other aerial assault knocked out energy and water for many Ukrainians within the nation.

“My team Sokil has practiced almost every day. We don’t have electricity sometimes and water and stuff like that,” Serdiuk mentioned. “So it’s pretty hard to practice in Ukraine.”

Ukrainian goalie Savva Serdiuk speaks to reporters from Kyiv on Nov. 24, 2022.

Global News

The Canadian tour is a uncommon alternative for the younger Ukrainian males. With the Russian invasion getting into its tenth month, most males in Ukraine aged 18 to 60 usually are not allowed to go away the nation with out permission from the federal authorities.

Dmitri Khristich, Ukraine’s assistant coach and former NHLer, mentioned as well as to escaping the war-torn nation for a time, the tour is a chance for his gamers to present their ability at hockey.

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“From all respects, it’s a really good opportunity for us to show Ukraine hockey is still alive, Ukraine hockey has a future,” Khristich mentioned.

Head coach Vadym Shakhraychuk, who represented Ukraine on the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake, added the U25 team represents a brand new imaginative and prescient of Ukrainian hockey.

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The warfare got here as a shock to the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine, who earlier this 12 months was working to enhance the game within the European nation. Part of these plans was to construct 19 ice hockey rinks all through the nation.

“We really did believe that we could build hockey as an example to other kinds of sports, because in Ukraine… and most post-Soviet countries, it’s a huge different kind of difficulties for kids to have equal opportunities to go into any kind of sport,” government director Oleksandra Slatvytska mentioned.

“No one was expecting the war. No one was expecting that in one day all our lives were going to be changed forever.”

Only 4 arenas within the nation are in working situation. Arenas in communities like Donetsk, Mariupol and Kherson have all fallen sufferer to the warfare.

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Newborn child killed in airstrike on maternity hospital in Ukraine, officers say

While being away from his household isn’t unfamiliar for the younger professional, Serdiuk anticipates worrying about his household whereas he’s on Canadian soil.

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“I’m really worried about my family because they’re in Kiev, Ukraine, and it’s still dangerous here. There is no water, there is no electricity, stuff like that, and it’s just really hard to live their life.”

Coaches for the 4 males’s hockey teams on the University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Manitoba and University of Saskatchewan have been in dialog with a few of their gamers about internet hosting the Ukraine team.

Huskies head coach Brandin Cote mentioned this is a chance for gamers to study what’s occurring for his or her friends on the opposite aspect of the globe.

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“We have no idea what it’s like over there. And so I just think any of the information that we can give our players to fully understand what the challenges are (in Ukraine),” Cote advised reporters.

“To have opportunities for our players, to talk to the players on (the Ukrainian) team and really try to get a better understanding of what they went through or what they’re going through from a family level, from a sport level, is going to be really beneficial to our players moving forward in their lives, to really have an appreciation for what they have.”

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University of Calgary Dinos head coach Mark Howell mentioned his team’s management group was excited on the prospect of enjoying and serving to gamers from Ukraine.

“They were humbled and really respectful of the opportunity, and I think it just allows them to reflect on how grateful they are to have what we have here and not have to worry about anything that’s going on over (in Ukraine),” Howell mentioned.

The concept for the tour got here when announcer Gord Miller had a dialog with Slatvytska in Edmonton on the World Junior Championship in August. Miller obtained on a convention name with the Canada West head coaches and was quickly engaged on a schedule.

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Scheduling conflicts prevented the group from reserving Rogers Place in Edmonton or the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, however the Winnipeg Jets government chair Mark Chipman provided up Canada Life Centre.

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“So that’s an exciting opportunity for the Ukrainian team to play in an NHL building and in front of what we hope is a huge crowd,” Miller mentioned.

Serdiuk and his team can be enjoying video games in 4 western Canadian cities, going through off in opposition to university males’s hockey teams in these cities:

  • Dec. 30, 2022, vs. the University of Saskatchewan Huskies at Merlis Belsher Place.
  • Jan. 2, 2023, vs. the University of Calgary Dinos at Father David Bauer Arena.
  • Jan. 3, 2023, vs. the University of Alberta Golden Bears at Clare Drake Arena.
  • Jan. 9, 2023, vs. the University of Manitoba Bisons at Canada Life Centre.

Read extra:

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A stay stream and donation hyperlinks may even be out there on the Canada West web site.

Funds from the 4 video games can be going to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine and Canada, in addition to a basis run by the Ice Hockey Federation of Ukraine.

From there, the Ukrainian team will play within the Winter University Games in Lake Placid, New York, till Jan. 23.

Until then, Serdiuk will proceed to apply his commerce, the place and when he can.

“It’s kind of an escape for me. It’s probably one of the best things in my life. And when I come into practice every morning, I feel like I’m in a safe place with my friends.”

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–with information from the Associated Press and The Canadian Press

Western Canada university hockey teams to host Ukrainian national team

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Western Canada university hockey teams to host Ukrainian national team

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