Winter Universiade Brings Amateur Competition back to International Hockey

Figured I'd throw a shoutout to an event I honestly don't know a heck of a lot about, the 2011 Winter Universiade Games in Erzurum, Turkey.  The idea behind the competition is to put the best student athletes in the world against each other, and hockey is a key part of the games.  You'd think an event like this would be better known on this side of the pond, but both the Canadian and American teams don't send their best teams, so that could explain it.  Canada leaves their team to be selected by a single conference within the CIS, while the NCAA does not participate at all. 

The tournament lends itself to some different winners, due to the nature of the importance placed on hockey at universities in each country.  Russia and Canada still win more often than the other countries, but in the 1990s both Kazakhstan and Ukraine came out on top, so it's not simply restricted to the top countries.  In 2009, they added a women's competition for the first time as well.  There are twelve participating nations in the men's competition, and six in the women's. 

I don't have a lot to say about the teams involved.  You can see the USA's here, which is made up exclusively of players in the American Collegiate Hockey Association's Division 1.  Canada's men's team is made up exclusively from the Ontario University Athletics conference, and you can see the entire list of Canadian athletes here.  You'll notice that the women's team is made up of players from throughout the CIS, not just a regional group. 

Former Anaheim Ducks second round pick Jordan Smith (OK, technically a Mighty Ducks of Anaheim pick from 2004) is captaining the men's team, and carrying the flag for Canada.  He had his professional career derailed in his first season in the American Hockey League back in 2005-06 due to an eye injury, and decided to go the CIS route and become a student athlete studying Political Science at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

The Games start today, the 27th, and run until the gold medal games for women on February 5th, and for men on the 6th.  The twelve men's teams are divided into three groups, while the women partake in a complete round robin of the six teams.  Here are the groups:

Men

Group A:  Russia Ru_medium , Japan Jp_medium , Czech Republic Cz_medium , Turkey Tr_medium

Group B:  Canada Ca_medium , South Korea Kr_medium , Belarus By_medium , Slovenia Si_medium

Group C:  Slovakia Sk_medium , Kazakhstan Kz_medium , United States of America Us_medium , Spain Es_medium

Women

Canada Ca_medium , Finland Fi_medium , United States of America Us_medium , Slovakia Sk_medium , Great Britain Gb_medium , Turkey Tr_medium

Here's a link to the main website, and the Wikipedia page which has the schedule.

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Puck Worlds

You must be a member of Puck Worlds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Puck Worlds. You should read them.

Join Puck Worlds

You must be a member of Puck Worlds to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Puck Worlds. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.