Team Canada, made up of all Manitobans, will be participating in the World Bandy Championships to be held in Stockholm, Sweden from February 1st to 5th, 2006. Canada will be competing in the “B” pool along with, Holland, Hungary, Mongolia, Estonia and the United States. Last year, Canada lost the “B” pool final in a shootout to Belarus. As a result of that victory, Belarus advanced to the “A” pool and will participate along with Kazakstan, Sweden, Finland, Norway and Russia. They depart on January 26th for a training camp, with their first game taking place on February 1st.
Canada vs Hungary during the 2004 Bandy B-WCS i Budapest.
Photo: John Hedenstrom
This year’s team, coached again by Goran Svensson from Vanesborg, Sweden. Goran, who also coaches a club team in Vanesborg, has been involved with the Canadian National Team for the last 11 years. This year’s Team Canada squad is made up of a good mixture of veterans and seven rookies. Leading the team is Costa Cholakis, who has been involved with Bandy since its introduction to Winnipeg in 1986. Gennaro Macchia, a ten-year veteran, has participated in many World Championships. Sam Martin and Kasey Boisselle, played for a Swedish team in 1999 and have been members of Team Canada since 1997. A number of players have participated in the last two World Championships in Budapest, Hungary and Kazan, Russia. These Players include Steve Baril, Brian Davis and Ryan Toothill. Brandon Ellement and Jason Neufeld, who have also participated in the last two World Championships are currently playing for an elite team in Norway and will join Team Canada in Stockholm.
One year veterans include Pat Boult and Ron Lintick. Rookies on this year’s squad are Chris MacDonald, Dan Kuchma, Don Oldcorn, Jason Bauer, Ryan Dobel, Ryan Hutton and Scott Ellement.
Coach Svensson feels that the team has great potential, and is very excited about this year’s talent. He feels that there is great skating ability and they have adapted to the game very well. Svensson thinks that the main challenge will be the game against Team USA to be held on February 3rd and this could be the key to winning the “B” pool.
Bandy is growing, and practices at Harborview Recreation Complex. There is a strong possibility that it will become an Olympic sport in 2014 and with the new youth movement, there is tremendous potential for this sport in Manitoba. There is also a women’s team that will be traveling to the World Women’s Bandy Championship in Roseville Minnesota in mid February.
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