Archives for the 'Other Nations' Category

The gangbangers of Slovenian hockey

For many NHL fans, Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings put Slovenia on the hockey map with his dazzling 61-point rookie season last year. But this former Yugoslav republic of 2 million had already made its mark in the elite division of the IIHF World Championships as early as the 2002 tournament in Sweden. […]

Jordan Challis: New Zealand’s answer to Sidney Crosby?

OK, rivalling Sidney Crosby is probably a longshot. But playing versus men at age 15 in a national league is an achievement, even if it’s in New Zealand. Not to mention being a native-trained top prospect for national teams in multiple age groups. So nice work, Jordan Challis (who’s also a former member of the […]

IIHF Congress discusses potential Worlds format change

I had the pleasure of covering the opening-day activities at the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress in Vancouver today. From VANCOUVER, Canada — September 20 — As the IIHF Semi-Annual Congress kicked off in Vancouver, Canada today, perhaps the biggest news for hockey fans and member federations was the possibility of seeing the IIHF World Championship […]

Belarus stuns Sweden in Olympic upset for the ages

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd In one of the most stunning upsets in Olympic hockey history, Belarus defeated Sweden 4-3 Wednesday in quarter-finals action. Vladimir Kopat scored the winner on a freaky shot with 2:24 remaining in the third period. Coming down the right wing, the Belarus forward slapped a high […]

Familiarity may breed winning for Belarus

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Everyone has a comfort zone. In Team Belarus’s case, this appears to involve playing hockey against other former Eastern Bloc countries. The Belorussians may have tumbled down to Division I of the World Championships, but they can still take a bite out of their neighbors. Just […]

Skrastins embodies Latvian hockey pride

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd With just 2 million citizens and just over 1000 hockey players, Latvia is thrilled every time one of its native sons cracks the big time. And defenseman Karlis Skrastins of the Colorado Avalanche is one of the best contemporary examples. Of course, there are others. Helmut […]

Belorussian hockey factoids

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Here are some interesting facts about Belorussian hockey: Sergei Fedorov, the all-star forward of the Detroit Red Wings and Team Russia’s leading scorer, trained at the famous “Yunost” hockey school in Minsk, the capital of Belarus. In the early 20th century, Wayne Gretzky’s grandfather emigrated from […]

Irbe impressive in international showdowns

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd The crucial February 12 game between Germany and Latvia is being billed as a duel of goaltenders. Although Marc Seliger’s .966 save percentage and GAA of 1.00 are outstanding, the 27-year-old German goalie has a long way to go before he can compare his international hockey […]

The bloom’s not off these Rozenthals

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Virtually every hockey nation boasts a celebrated pair of brothers. Russia has Pavel and Valeri Bure. Sweden takes pride in Daniel and Henrik Sedin. For the USA, there was Joey and Brian Mullen. Now France is getting into the act with Maurice and Francois Rozenthal. The […]

Sryubko brings workmanlike attitude to Ukraine

Originally published on in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Ukraine is not exactly a team of big names. Aside from Dmitri Khristich, few of its forwards have had any impact in the NHL. Ukrainian-born defensemen like Alexei Zhitnik and Oleg Tverdovsky have represented Russia in the past and are unavailable for these Games. So Ukraine […]