Fredericton hockey team to represent Canada at Russian tournament
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012 12:34PM AST
Athletes often dream of representing their country on an international stage, and a peewee hockey team based in Fredericton is about to get that opportunity.
“We’re going to Russia, St. Petersburg, and we’re going to be playing hockey against other players, like Sweden, and Russia of course,” says Cole Anderson, a player on the Fredericton PeeWee AAA Canadiens team.
Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Finland will also be competing at the Arctic Cup Junior International Hockey Tournament in Russia.
The Fredericton team’s opportunity to compete came after the Ice Hockey Federation of Russia asked the University of New Brunswick if they had prospects to send to the tournament.
The university didn’t at the time, but they had a local peewee team in mind.
“So, really it was more of a fluke than anything,” says coach Chris James. “It could have been any of the teams in the province or country. It just fell on us, kind of.”
When not on the ice perfecting their play, the team is keeping up appearances ahead of their journey.
They received a sendoff from MLAs in the New Brunswick legislature this week – just one of the perks resulting from the tournament trip, along with a few others.
“I never thought I’d even touch a Team Canada jersey, so it’s even better to be wearing one and playing in one,” says teammate Owen Keirstead.
However, it won’t be all work and no play for the crew of 45 headed to Russia, which includes players, coaches and some family.
After they arrive in St. Petersburg next Tuesday, the team plans to visit local cultural attractions in between games, and hopefully get to bond with one another on the trip.
“The boys get to know each other better,” says James. “We get to know the boys better off the ice, and I can only see that helping us as we go forward after we get back as a group.”
While the thought of representing your country on an international stage may be daunting to some, it’s not to Anderson.
“Not really, I just want to go have fun and play hockey.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore