Ice Hockey In Israel Is Getting Bigger

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There have been efforts in the past decade or so to build up a strong hockey program in Israel. I remember back when I was in high school, the Israel Junior National Hockey Team would come to Montreal and challenge another local Jewish day school. Every year, the Israeli team would be blown out by a score of something like 8-1. It was kinda sad when you think about it.

But still, the campaign for hockey in Israel is growing stronger and stronger. There is a hockey arena in Metula (that I can only imagine is somewhat of a dump). And over the past few weeks, Israel has hosted the World Jewish Hockey Tournament.

By the results of the final though, you can figure it wasn’t much of a tournament. Any guesses as to which teams were in the finals of the Junior tournament? If you guessed anything but Canada, you were wrong. Team Canada White defeated Team Canada Red 9-2. Team Canada Red was coached by fantastically named ex-NHLer Jeff Beukeboom.

The main final is a little more competitive with Canada facing the USA. The only NHLer participating is Phoenix Coyotes goaltender and Sephardic Jew, Josh Tordjman.

Posted on July 16, 2009

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2 thoughts on “Ice Hockey In Israel Is Getting Bigger

  1. IsraelHockeyPlayer

    Jeremy, I can only suggest that you get your butt on a plane and come visit Israel. Bring your skates, of course. You’ll find that the Canada Centre in Metulla is nothing near a dump, but a fantastic facility that houses the olympic rink, indoor and outdoor pools and water slides, tennis, soccer, sports hall, squash courts, bowling alley, huge modern exercise room, restaurant, jacuzzis, and more.
    I’m trying to figure out why you think it’s a “dump”? See for yourself at http://www.canada-centre.co.il/.
    If you didn’t see any of the games, why would you say “it wasn’t much of a tournament”?
    The quality of hockey was fantastic, the top professionals involved were themselves impressed (and believe me, it takes a lot to impress a guy like legendary coach Sherri Bassin, who has coached Canadian teams to gold medals in world cups before). And if the USA defeated Team Canada who had an NHL goalie between the pipes, then the quality must have been pretty damn high.
    Seriously, you obviously have never been, so this is a great excuse for you. Come to our recreational tournament in January 2010 and see for yourself.
    http://www.israelhockeyassociation.org/site/node/3

  2. Jeremy Moses Post author

    I’ll take back the dump comment. But “wasn’t much of a tournament” line stays. I’m sure the hockey was fine, and the players talented. But to have the two teams from Canada face off against each other in the Finals of the Jr. tournament with one of them winning by 7 goals doesn’t sound like the Miracle on Ice or the ’72 Summit Series.

    Of course this is no insult to the organizers or anything. Some tournaments are simply more exciting than others. I guess Beukeboom’s coaching skills leave something to be desired.

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