January 06, 2023 | at the FISU Winter University Games
Photo courtesy of Electric Umbrella/University of Saskatchewan Huskie Athletics
Coming from Europe, it can seem a bit out of the way to get to Lake Placid, NY by heading through western Canada first. However, Ukraine’s under-25 men’s ice hockey team, which will compete at the upcoming FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023, has good reason to change its route. The “Hockey Can’t Stop Tour” was organized by four Canadian universities to give the team some action before heading to Lake Placid to support Ukrainian hockey.
Photo courtesy of the University of Alberta AthleticsThe Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, all located on the Canadian prairies, have their match against the Ukraine U25 team. The three have so far played in front of very cheering fans in sold-out arenas – 2,375 in Saskatoon’s opening game against the University of Saskatchewan , 1,700 at Father David Bauer Arena against the Calgary Dinos and 2,300 at Clare Drake Arena against the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Ukraine will face the University of Manitoba Bisons on January 9 before heading to Lake Placid.
Of the three games played so far, Canadian college ice hockey top-10 Canadian college ice hockey teams have been victorious. It was a 2–0 win by the 9th ranked Saskatchewan Huskies, a 3–1 win by the 2nd ranked Calgary Dinos and a 5–1 triumph in Edmonton by the 4th ranked Alberta Golden Bears.
“We all really appreciate the support,” said Mykhailo Simchuk after the game against the University of Calgary. “This is a good boost for our team [as we getPhoto courtesy Chris Lindsey and University of Calgary Dinos ready for the FISU World University Games]. Simchuk, Ukraine’s goalscorer against Calgary, knows the area well as he plays junior hockey on the outskirts of Calgary with the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey League. He added: “We really appreciate this tour. She’s good to us. Good for our fund, good for [future generations] in Ukraine. Canada really helped us.”
While most of the focus is on hockey itself, proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Canada/Ukraine Foundation, which supports humanitarian organizations in both Ukraine and Canada. Most of the funds will go to the Save Ukrainian Hockey Dream Foundation, a charitable foundation run by the Ukrainian Ice Hockey Federation with the support of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF). The money will be used to support Ukrainian players in the country and around the world, to train players and teams, as well as to renovate the arenas.
The Ukrainian team will face familiar opponents in the first leg of the FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023 when they face Canada on January 12 for the first time since Trentino in 2013. University of Saskatchewan players Jared Dmytriw and Roddy Ross (Drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the National Hockey League), University of Calgary coach Mark Howell and team captain Noah King, and Brett Davis of the University of Manitoba (also drafted by the Dallas Stars in the NHL) ) in Lake Placid representing Canada. Ukraine will fight for its third ever men’s ice hockey medal at the FISU Games, winning gold in 1999 in Poprad-Tatry, Slovakia and bronze in 2001 in Zakopane.
The FISU World University Games in Lake Placid 2023 will begin in a week, and from January 11, all ice hockey matches can be watched live at FISU.tv. Specifically for the Semi-Finals and Medal Round matches, in the United States will be available on ESPNU, ESPN and streamed on ESPN+and in Canada, subject to final schedule, TSN will have coverage in its broadcast and streaming platforms.
Written by Doug McLean
(Quotations courtesy of the University of Calgary Dinos)
We would like to thank the official partner of FISU, Qiaodan Ltd., which has been providing outstanding uniforms to the FISU family and international technical officials since 2015. Qiaodan is a valuable partner for FISU as it continues to provide support during postponing events due to the global pandemic and recently extended its cooperation with FISU to and including 2025.