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.