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Thread: 2nd World Jewish Cup (2009, Metulla, Israel)

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    2nd World Jewish Cup (2009, Metulla, Israel)

    Use this thread to discuss anything related to the second World Jewish Hockey Championships ("World Jewish Cup"), which will take place from July 5-15, 2009, at the Canada Centre in Metulla, Israel.

    In the inaugural tournament held in 2007, the USA took gold, Israel took silver, Canada took bronze, and Maccabi France finished last in fourth place.

    Those teams, together with a Team Europe, will be competing in the men's (18+) event this year (called the "senior" tournament).

    There will also be a junior (U-18) tournament involving Israel, the USA, Canada "White", Canada "Red", and I believe a Russia entry as well.

    Here is a preview of the men's tournament:

    http://www.internationalhockey.net/o...5_15_2009.html

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    rosters on line

    There will be no TEAM EUROPE - in it's place there will be a team from Russia.

    Most of the rosters are now posted for both the senior and junior teams at www.israelicehockey.com

    Mikhail Kravetz was supposed to skate for Russia - but his name does not appear on the roster.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Russian team is really composed of Jews or not. Can any of our Russian members confirm this, or advise what level/leagues these players compete in? For me, they are complete unknowns.

    As for Israel, Oren & Alon Eizenman (although not Erez) are playing, as is Jevgeny Gussin. All of the usual national team regulars will be there as well. Max Birbraer just had surgery and can't make it, and Casey Russell won't be there either. Still, Israel will (by its standards) field a mostly complete roster.

    France's roster is not posted, but they will completely rely on Ligue Magnus' Francois & Maurice Rozenthal (who also have played for the French Olympic/national team) to attempt to stay competitive.

    Canada returns with, as in 2007, a team of mostly Junior A and ex-Junior A players. There are fewer pros than last time, and no Major Junior or NCAA players like last time. Oriel McHugh (Oklahoma City, Central Hockey League) is returning for Canada.

    Canada's big surprise, though, is that their starting goaltender played in the NHL this year! Josh Tordjman (played most of 2008-2009 for San Antonio in the AHL & played several games in the NHL for the Phoenix Coyotes) is the starting goaltender for Canada at the World Jewish Cup. Based on his presence alone, I believe this makes Canada a strong favorite for gold.

    I got a phone call from U.S. GM/player Wayne Sellers today. He was kind enough to give me the roster for the U.S.A.

    Much like Canada, the American Jewish team's top end minor pro & NCAA Division I talent from 2007, for the most part, is not back this year. However, the U.S. will again feature ex-AHL'er and 2008-2009 EBEL player Dov Grumet-Morris in goal, and three other professionals in offensemen Michael Cohen (ECHL, negotiating to play in Europe next season) & Alec Kirschner (Muskegon, IHL), as well as defenseman Dylan Reese (San Antonio, AHL). In addition, the U.S. has NCAA Division I defenseman Doug Kublin (UMass-Amherst), and the backup goaltender, Jared Lennar, plays for the United States U-18 team.

    The rest of the U.S. squad has mostly NCAA Division III and ACHA Division I experience, so it will still be a solid team at this level, especially with four professionals in the mix, and, in my opinion, will compete with Canada for gold.

    Here is the remainder of the U.S. roster, with their most recent teams:

    Offense:

    Max Koeppel (Syracuse University, ACHA Division I)
    Adam Houli (Trinity, NCAA Division III)
    Eric Tufman (UMass-Boston, NCAA Division III)
    Joe Milo (Tufts, NCAA Division III)
    Jake Goldberg (Berkshire [Massachusetts prep. school] )
    Amit Grumet-Morris (Robert Morris, ACHA Division I)
    Matt Rappaport (Colby, NCAA Division III)
    Lloyd Polanish (40 years old; ex-Hamilton, NCAA Division III)
    Kevin Alpert (University of Colorado-Boulder, ACHA Division I)

    Defense:

    Jesse Lehman (Colby, NCAA Division III)
    Wayne Sellers (31 years old; ex-Trinity, NCAA Division III)
    Ryan Adler (Hobart, Division III)
    Brandon Weiner (Delaware, ACHA Division I)

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    IHF Member RiaRiaHungaria's Avatar
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    Well, Marc, I don't know for sure, but I'd guess at least Shefer and Shteinberg are Jewish. :D

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Actually, the entire Israeli, American, Canadian & French teams are Jewish. I know nothing about the Russian team.

    As for the U-18 (what they're calling 'Junior') tournament, all of the teams are completely Jewish (Canada White, Canada Red, USA, and Israel). One of the Canadian Jr. squads is being coached by ex-NHL'er Steve Thomas, while the other is being coached by Pierre McGuire. Now THEY are not Jewish, but are surely welcome. :)

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    IHF Member Geoff's Avatar
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    And Pierre McGuire continues to wish he's Canadian.

    That's a pretty diverse US team. ACHA D-1 to the AHL. I had no idea Cohen was Jewish (not that it really matters) and I loved his game while on a miserable Pensacola team. Good luck to him and the US!

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    Israel

    what is the schedule for today's games?

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Israel vs. Canada

    USA vs. Russia

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    IHF Member ElQuapo's Avatar
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    I don't get the point in this tournament.

    Before I start, let me nail down that I have absolutely nothing against it being held - or against Jews or any other religious, sexual, cultural or whatever group of people.

    That being said, it is kind of like the World Outgames. Why do we need to know who is the best gay 100m runner etc.? Why do we need to know which nation has the best Jewish hockey team?

    Imagine the outroar if 95% (or whatever) of the world held the Heterosexual Olympics. People would be crying "discrimination" out loud. The winner would probably in almost all cases be the same person who would win the regular Olympics. Imagine if Israel was not allowed to play in the IHWC? What if we held the Christian World Hockey Cup? To almost the entire world it would be the same. Who would be missing? Israel, Japan, China? None of the "important" teams.

    I just don't get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElQuapo View Post
    I don't get the point in this tournament.

    Before I start, let me nail down that I have absolutely nothing against it being held - or against Jews or any other religious, sexual, cultural or whatever group of people.

    That being said, it is kind of like the World Outgames. Why do we need to know who is the best gay 100m runner etc.? Why do we need to know which nation has the best Jewish hockey team?

    Imagine the outroar if 95% (or whatever) of the world held the Heterosexual Olympics. People would be crying "discrimination" out loud. The winner would probably in almost all cases be the same person who would win the regular Olympics. Imagine if Israel was not allowed to play in the IHWC? What if we held the Christian World Hockey Cup? To almost the entire world it would be the same. Who would be missing? Israel, Japan, China? None of the "important" teams.

    I just don't get it?
    If you don't get this you should also not get why there is the Danish championships in whatever discipline. Or even more the South Jutland championships in discipline x. Or the police/firebrigade games., or the masters games, the unversiades etc...
    It's just people with some common characteristics coming together to play sports. And given the history of people of jewish faith it makes absolute sense to come together once in a while. Makes probably more sense than for most other groups of people.
    Don't think it's very hard to get the point.

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    IHF Member Geoff's Avatar
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    They may not be the "important" countries but you're forgetting: UAE, Thailand, other Asian and middle eastern nations.

    And if we're not going to include nations who don't have a national religion, that's Armenia and the US at least (too lazy to do all the research right now).

    I agree that if a majority did this there would be outcry (imangine if there was a National Association for the Advancement of White People to go along with the NAACP), but there is nothing wrong with special interest groups or groups of people with common characteristics.

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    IHF Member ElQuapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RexKramer View Post
    If you don't get this you should also not get why there is the Danish championships in whatever discipline. Or even more the South Jutland championships in discipline x. Or the police/firebrigade games., or the masters games, the unversiades etc...
    It's just people with some common characteristics coming together to play sports. And given the history of people of jewish faith it makes absolute sense to come together once in a while. Makes probably more sense than for most other groups of people.
    Don't think it's very hard to get the point.
    Well, the various national championships are leagues under federations. They do not deny anyone in particular the right to participate based on religion, sexual preference or any other of the things we commonly do not allow people to discriminate by.

    I would still ask - how do you think the reaction would be if for example people with the common characteristic "heterosexual" decided to come together to play sports (organised on a world level) and crown champions etc.? Or if all the "Christian" nations that play hockey decided to host a World Cup of their own?

    I don't think it is comparable to firm-sports as such.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    ElQuapo, I'll be happy to educate you.

    For a start, what Rex said is a terrific overview.

    But I'll explain further for you.

    There's no "discrimination" going on. Rather, there is a tournament going on which is, to a degree, a "national" championship tournament.

    The Jewish people are bound by thousands of years of shared religion, culture and, to some degree in many (although not all) cases, a shared (if distant) racial/ethnic/national background.

    Judaism is more than simply a religion. It is more than simply a culture. It is more than simply a shared (in many cases) genetic background. It is a mix of all three.

    The Israeli ice hockey federation decided to form this tournament for a few reasons -

    First, to show that Israel could host a first-class hockey tournament,

    Second, to get the national team some games, as the national team program usually plays only the games in the IIHF championship each year and nothing else (not even other tournaments or other exhibition/friendly matches),

    Third, to have Jews who are not Israeli citizens come play the sport they love in their spiritual & ancestral homeland, while getting a chance to tour the country during the tournament off days and experience all of the rich cultural and religious sites.

    It's a wonderful thing.

    If you don't "see the point," you are welcome to ignore this thread if you wish. Nobody is forcing you to read this thread. It is here for those people who are interested in this tournament.

    It may not be up to the level of the Danish league (although there are certainly a few players in this tournament capable of playing there, and even one NHL player), but it is a viable, decent level tournament with a very interesting mix of team and individual player skill levels.

    I also don't mean to come off as harsh towards you, ElQuapo, but I didn't see people questioning why there was an Arab Cup, or why there were the Chinese Winter Games. It only seems these questions come up when Israel does something.

    I'll be the first to say that there will be NO anti-Israel (or anti-anyone else, for that matter) sentiments expressed at these forums. What we SHOULD have at these forums, and what we try to bring about, is a feeling that ALL hockey fans of WHATEVER background are welcome here to come and discuss hockey, share opinions, and learn about hockey in places that are unfamiliar and interesting to them. When the Arab Cup was held, for example, I PM'd AlgerianHockey to wish him well, and said what a great thing it would be if Jews & Arabs could one day live not just in peace, but as friends, and wouldn't hockey be a wonderful way to get it all started?

    Anyway, I am closing this line of discussion and shifting it back to the tournament itself from here on in.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 05-07-2009 at 18:10.

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    IHF Member ElQuapo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    There's no "discrimination" going on. Rather, there is a tournament going on which is, to a degree, a "national" championship tournament.

    The Jewish people are bound by thousands of years of shared religion, culture and, to some degree in many (although not all) cases, a shared (if distant) racial/ethnic/national background.

    Judaism is more than simply a religion. It is more than simply a culture. It is more than simply a shared (in many cases) genetic background. It is a mix of all three.
    So something similar would be a Danish national championship were Danes who were for example German or American citizens could compete, but Danish citizens who were of Turkish or Polish ancestry could not compete. Again, imagine how people would react if someone hosted a tournament like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    If you don't "see the point," you are welcome to ignore this thread if you wish. Nobody is forcing you to read this thread. It is here for those people who are interested in this tournament. It may not be up to the level of the Danish league (although there are certainly a few players in this tournament capable of playing there, and even one NHL player), but it is a viable, decent level tournament with a very interesting mix of team and individual player skill levels.
    Well as I said, I have nothing against the tournament - I just don't get the reasoning/logic behind it. I actually enjoy odd matchups like this, just as one of my favourite threads is your thread with results from unusual matchups from around the hockey world

    Edit: Seems I replied to quickly :-)

    Just for the record, I would have trouble seeing the point of an Arab Cup as well.

    But anyway, it is not my intention to ruin your thread, and I am sorry if I started a political discussion - though in no way is it to be considered anti-semitic or anti-Israeli. It just came to my mind because I remember thinking the exact same thing about the World Outgames here i Copenhagen, Denmark.

    I wish you all the best with the tournament

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    Marc - Many thanks for the post that explains to anyone having trouble with the concept of a World Jewish Hockey Tournament. I especially appreciate the point made that with this international tournament, Israel demonstrates that they can host an event of this nature. I know that they are hoping to have an IIHF junior tournament and came close to doing so a few years ago.

    The tournament also gives hockey some profile in a country where hockey is not a traditional sport and hopefully will lead to the construction of a rink in Tel Aviv at some point.

    I still think it is amazing that hockey happens in Israel - and like you, I foresee the day where hockey teams from Israel's Arab neighbours will compete in a MidEast tournament in Israel.

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    IHF Member David's Avatar
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    Israel lost to Canada 4-0

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Not surprising, considering an NHL goalie (Josh Tordjman) is playing for the Canadians.

    I'd actually say Israel is stronger than this particular Canadian team, with the major exception of goaltending, where Israel simply cannot compare.

    David, any idea of the USA-Russia score? I'm sure it was a rout......

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    ....And it was, with the USA destroying Russia by a 16-0 score.

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    IHF Member David's Avatar
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    Israel

    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Not surprising, considering an NHL goalie (Josh Tordjman) is playing for the Canadians.

    I'd actually say Israel is stronger than this particular Canadian team, with the major exception of goaltending, where Israel simply cannot compare.

    David, any idea of the USA-Russia score? I'm sure it was a rout......
    All ask in the morning my source went to sleep and I was up all night on call too... Sorry

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The "Junior" (i.e., U-18) tournament starts later today.

    No idea of the level of play in the Junior tournament, but if I had to guess, I'd say Canadian Midget AA or so. Based on the rosters for the Canadian teams, can anyone confirm this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElQuapo View Post
    Well, the various national championships are leagues under federations. They do not deny anyone in particular the right to participate based on religion, sexual preference or any other of the things we commonly do not allow people to discriminate by.

    I would still ask - how do you think the reaction would be if for example people with the common characteristic "heterosexual" decided to come together to play sports (organised on a world level) and crown champions etc.? Or if all the "Christian" nations that play hockey decided to host a World Cup of their own?

    I don't think it is comparable to firm-sports as such.
    Well as I said, there's the world police/fire brigade games which discriminates all persons who do not work for one of these institutions in a given country. Same thing with the military games. Or we have the universiade which discriminates people by age and education....

    In the very abstract sense for me it is a case of freedom of association. People should be free to associate themeselves and every association should also have the freedom to choose who they want to join with or not. Of course, this right taken to the extreme may represent an anti-liberal "weltanschauung" but that's a defining property of freedom. Freedom includes the freedom to discriminate and as long as it is private associations (and not states and their institutions or businesses) who discriminate it should be allowed and possible which doesn't imply that I endorse the purpose of course (in some cases I wouldn't).
    In that sense I have no problem at all with the Christian games you hypothesize about. In fact the Catholic Church runs a youth organisation (Jungschar its called in AUT) that has it's own sports events thus discriminating against non-catholics...so what.
    Same thing with the world hetero games...if there's a bunch of imho fools who want to organize such a thing let them do it. I wouldn't follow or support it but still they should have their way.

    And for minorities such events resp. association among themselves is a vital thing so I understand the reason to be for such events.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Scores from the first day of the U-18 "Junior" tournament:

    Canada Red Jr. 5, Israel Jr. 4 (OT)

    Canada White Jr. 3, USA Jr. 2 (SO)

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Crazy thing about the USA-Russia game from the other day (won 16-0 by the USA)......the score was only 1-0 after one period, then 6-0 after two periods, with a 10 goal U.S. barrage in the third period.

    The Russian team consists of almost all recreational (men's "beer league") players; the American team has four full time professional players, plus current and former NCAA players, so the score is not a surprise.

    The surprise is that the Russian team hung around in the first period at all.

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The Russian team posted another surprise today, losing to the Israeli national team by a score of 4-2, and the game was tied 1-1 after one period of play.

    I expected an Israeli win in the area of 8-0 to 10-0.

    For a bunch of beer leaguers, the Russian team is managing to hang around teams it has no business competing against in 4 out of 6 periods played so far.

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    IHF Member ElQuapo's Avatar
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    How big is recreational hockey in Russia compared to in Canada?

    I mean, I know Canada has much more players, but I have always (perhaps wrongly) assumed that Russia had a larger percentage of professional players compared to recreational players than for example Canada.

    Is recreational hockey big in Russia?

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    IHF Prospect Piligrim_O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Brunengraber View Post
    Scores from the first day of the U-18 "Junior" tournament:

    Canada Red Jr. 5, Israel Jr. 4 (OT)

    Canada White Jr. 3, USA Jr. 2 (SO)
    Others photo from these games in to GALLERY




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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Great question, El Quapo, but I have no idea. Maybe some of our Russian members can answer that, or perhaps Karsten can.

    Really good performance by the Russians, considering that they are complete unknowns. Even the second period against the USA, where they gave up 5 goals, isn't that awful when you consider the disparity between the teams' respective experience.

    Their one period that was really indicative of the difference in talent was that third period against the Americans.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Pilgrim - Those are some EXCELLENT pictures. Thanks for sharing them!

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    Guys,

    Do yourselves a favor and please don't glorify this tournament. The money spent on this tournament could and should have been used on improving hockey in Israel, building programs for kids, helping to build a new rink in central Israel, improving the National teams, etc. It's very nice that so many people are coming to Metulla, but what will be left when everyone leaves; nothing!

    G-d bless the kids/young men that are going to this, but this is a sham. The objective of the Israel Ice Hockey Federation is to build the sport of hockey in Israel, not to schedule a tournament that caters to the diaspora. That does nothing for the program at all. In 2009, the National teams achieved the worst results they have had in years, and we are developing no real players from our Junior program at all. The Senior team came within a goal of being demoted, while the junior team did not even participate in this year's Worlds, and believe me, it had nothing to do with security concerns in Turkey.

    Also this tournament should be a part of the Maccabi Games, not a rogue tournament trying to upstage the games, which starts a week later......I am not trying to be bitter in the least, although I know I sound it. It's just kills me that so many volunteers and so many quality people have worked to improve hockey in Israel for so many years, and now it's only about this tournament.

    For many, it's a sad day for hockey in Israel.

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    Marc - I just received a message that there was a problem with the French team ... have you heard anything about it?

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    I haven't, although it seemed odd that no score was posted on the federation's site for the game between Canada & France that was supposed to have taken place yesterday.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    IsraelHockey99 -

    Your concerns about the lack of results for both the senior and junior teams, lack of a rink in the Tel Aviv area, and lack of grassroots player development programs in Israel are all valid; the last two (especially the last one) are something I've been harping on for years.

    However, your criticism of this tournament is, in my opinion, misplaced.

    This tournament does help improve the national teams by getting them crucial game play. Is it enough? Absolutely not - but it is a start. It also helps raise awareness of Israeli hockey both in Israel and in the Diaspora. Support from both the Israeli public and the Diaspora are crucial to help build Israeli hockey.

    The money spent on the tournament is likely not enough to make an impact towards getting a new rink built, which will likely cost several million dollars. Not to mention an appropriate site needs to be purchased to build it on, which will likewise cost money. Plus, there is the cost involved with getting government approvals, etc. In short, the rink is a distant dream for now, because the federation doesn't, from what I understand, have anywhere remotely near the money to commence the project, and holding this tournament every 2 years is not going to change that.

    The federation wants the tournament to be part of the Maccabiah Games, but I'm told that the Maccabiah hasn't been warm to the idea.

    The only valid criticism against the tournament, in my view, is that the money could be used for grassroots development programs to train interested Israeli youths how to play ice hockey and build those naturally talented enough into elite players to feed the national teams in the future. That, and using some of the money to allow those current national team members who live in Israel (as opposed to Canada) to practice on the ice regularly.

    With that said, holding the tournament once every two years on the scope that it is done is, in my opinion, a worthy thing.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 16-07-2009 at 02:58. Reason: added the word "current" in the second to last paragraph

  31. #31
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Scores from the Junior (U-18) tournament:

    USA Jr. 7, Canada Red Jr. 1

    Canada White Jr. 5, Israel Jr. 2

    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    Definitely an issue with the French team in the men's event........I wonder if they even made it to Israel for the event? I emailed Tal Avneri (Israeli national team member and a member here at IHF) to ask about it and await his reply.

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    Hi Marc. I won't tell you who I am right now, but I will tell you with 100% certainty that the tournament was never scheduled to be part of Maccabi. I would love to go into detail about this, but I won't. I will only say the one of the individuals involved with the group "Friends of Israel Hockey" in Canada, was a major player in Maccabi. He did not leave a Maccabi on a positive note, and that is the major reason why it was never going to be part of Maccabi. There is more to it, and after the tournament, I will give you my email and we can discuss it.

    In terms of the tournament, let's just say, there is not much about the happenings of this tournament that I don't know about, or have not heard about with my own two ears. I know the original purpose of this tournament, and I know what was to come from the original purpose as well. It was to be used as a platform to grow hockey in Israel, build grassroots programs, help facilitate a new arena in central Israel and much more. Instead, the donations and revenue generated have all gone into this current tournament.

    I would honestly love to tell you more, and I know you are fairly well informed guy, but trust me, there is a lot that you are unaware of, and most Israeli senior team players and staff don't know about. I promise to elaborate more, but I will tell you, that if this tournament was used as a platform for everything else, then I would agree with some of the things you said, but since I know for a fact it won't be; it will just be a hockey tournament in Israel.

    It's not such a foreign concept anymore, it's happened already and much of the shine is gone. Now, it's a fun and memorable experience, and a great fundraiser for Metulla. The kids involved will have a great time and great experience, and for that, it's a great thing just like the Birthright program, but for hockey in Israel, it has done nothing. The first tournament had much more high end talent than this one and received much more buzz, and what did it for hockey, nothing. Jean Perron left the national team, the seniors were blasted the last two years, not a single junior player was promoted to the senior team last year, and the Juniors did not even participate in Turkey. The team has stopped coming to North America and are losing touch with the diaspora, who want see them, and there is much more. I am not trying to be the party pooper, but this is reality.

    BTW, Pierr MacGuire dropped out months ago. The other junior team coach is former New York Ranger Jeff Beukeboom, who is a good friend of Steve Thomas.

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    New photo gallery from Senior games:
    USA vs Rus
    Can vs Israel
    GALLERY




  34. #34
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    "I will tell you with 100% certainty that the tournament was never scheduled to be part of Maccabi."

    I know that - what I said is that the hockey federation wants it to be included.

    "I would honestly love to tell you more, and I know you are fairly well informed guy, but trust me, there is a lot that you are unaware of"

    I'm more informed about Israeli hockey than most people.....but I am always looking to become more educated on the subject.

    If you are an insider, and you wish to tell me who you are and to discuss things, then I am all ears.

    The purpose of the Israel forum here at IHF is to be the primary source on the internet for Israeli hockey information, education and discussion, and I certainly want all of the information presented to be accurate.

    I'm just one man with a middle class background, so I am certainly unable to be a financial rescuer for the program in any sense (I wish I could be), but I strive to educate others as to the Israeli hockey program's existence, promote discussion about it here for those who are interested in it, and celebrate what is good about it.

    Believe me, I know that both the national senior team and the national junior team are in rebuilding phases right now, which all IIHF minor pool countries go through. I also know that not many promising sabras are coming up through the ranks, and that it will be a struggle for the U-18 team to promote from the third division, and that it will likely be a continual struggle for the men's team to avoid the third division, especially as guys like Oren Eizenman, Max Birbraer and others can't play for Israel in the Worlds because of professional commitments, as well as dual citizen talents like Werek & Erlich declining to play both because of pro commitments, and because of a desire to play for Canada one day instead, which couldn't realistically happen if they ever played for Israel in a men's IIHF event.

    We can talk whenever you want. One thing I will say is that I am aware of some of the behind the scenes goings-ons which are - to be blunt - beyond not good; however, the forums are not the place to discuss those things.

  35. #35
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    Marc, I respect your opinion on this. I am certainly trying to bash anyone or anything. On the contrary, I love Israel and hockey, and that's why I am so concerned with the direction of the organization. I will definitely keep reading your thoughts and opinions, and we will talk more candidly after it's all said and done.

  36. #36
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    I meant not trying to bash....:)

  37. #37
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    IH99 - you are free to email or PM me whenever you want. It sounds to me that our concerns are identical, and our disagreements very small. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Pilgrim - again, the pictures are excellent, and many thanks for posting them!

  38. #38
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    "It [sic] just kills me that so many volunteers and so many quality people have worked to improve hockey in Israel for so many years, and now it's only about this tournament."

    If the federation's sole reason for existing is basically to throw together a skeleton crew for the IIHF Worlds every year, and also to hold this tournament, while doing nothing to try to (i) build the sport at the grassroots level in Israel itself, so as to train and develop interested sabras into national team players in the future, and (ii) improve the low standard of the existing Israeli men's and junior leagues, which will also improve the national men's and junior teams, then yes, it is an unmitigated tragedy......and if that is the case, then why isn't anyone in the federation who disagrees doing anything about it, and why isn't the IIHF stepping in?

  39. #39
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    Marc, the Federation is not really the problem. I am sure you know that almost all of the money comes from North America, and where the money comes from, so does the major decisions. The guys in Israel are from perfect, but they are trying. There are certainly plenty of issues there, and factions all over the place, but again, the one with the money makes the decision.

    That's why this tournament is the sole focus right now, and will be until a the group providing the resources changes the direction. This tournament is costing a fortune, and if a fraction of of those costs went to the real objective, this would be a totally different discussion. Until that happens, we have a lot of sizzle and very little steak.

  40. #40
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Again, I'm with you on this. When I state "the Federation," I mean both the North American (i.e., Toronto, and, in the past, Montreal) and the Israeli sides of the operation.

    While I think the tournament is a good thing, it loses its appeal if it is the sole focus at the expense of training & developing native Israelis to feed the national team.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 09-07-2009 at 19:22.

  41. #41
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Scores from the men's event to date:

    Canada 4, Israel 0

    Canada 13, Russia 1

    Canada 7, France 4

    Israel 4, Russia 2

    Israel 7, France 5

    USA 16, Russia 0
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 09-07-2009 at 20:22.

  42. #42
    IHF Prospect Piligrim_O's Avatar
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    Russia - Canada 2:13
    France - USA 3:13

  43. #43
    IHF Member Alessandro Seren Rosso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElQuapo View Post

    Is recreational hockey big in Russia?
    I don't know about comparison to Canada, but of course Russian recrenational hockey is quite big. There are regional competitions pretty much all year long, and even the national final played in Moscow. Plus a lot of people plays the occasional "pick up" hockey on nights.
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  44. #44
    IHF Member Conesy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsraelHockey99 View Post
    Hi Marc. I won't tell you who I am right now, but I will tell you with 100% certainty that the tournament was never scheduled to be part of Maccabi. I would love to go into detail about this, but I won't. I will only say the one of the individuals involved with the group "Friends of Israel Hockey" in Canada, was a major player in Maccabi. He did not leave a Maccabi on a positive note, and that is the major reason why it was never going to be part of Maccabi. There is more to it, and after the tournament, I will give you my email and we can discuss it.

    In terms of the tournament, let's just say, there is not much about the happenings of this tournament that I don't know about, or have not heard about with my own two ears. I know the original purpose of this tournament, and I know what was to come from the original purpose as well. It was to be used as a platform to grow hockey in Israel, build grassroots programs, help facilitate a new arena in central Israel and much more. Instead, the donations and revenue generated have all gone into this current tournament.

    I would honestly love to tell you more, and I know you are fairly well informed guy, but trust me, there is a lot that you are unaware of, and most Israeli senior team players and staff don't know about. I promise to elaborate more, but I will tell you, that if this tournament was used as a platform for everything else, then I would agree with some of the things you said, but since I know for a fact it won't be; it will just be a hockey tournament in Israel.

    It's not such a foreign concept anymore, it's happened already and much of the shine is gone. Now, it's a fun and memorable experience, and a great fundraiser for Metulla. The kids involved will have a great time and great experience, and for that, it's a great thing just like the Birthright program, but for hockey in Israel, it has done nothing. The first tournament had much more high end talent than this one and received much more buzz, and what did it for hockey, nothing. Jean Perron left the national team, the seniors were blasted the last two years, not a single junior player was promoted to the senior team last year, and the Juniors did not even participate in Turkey. The team has stopped coming to North America and are losing touch with the diaspora, who want see them, and there is much more. I am not trying to be the party pooper, but this is reality.

    BTW, Pierr MacGuire dropped out months ago. The other junior team coach is former New York Ranger Jeff Beukeboom, who is a good friend of Steve Thomas.
    I know what you're saying, but as being 20 minutes south of DC in good old Northern Virginia, i can attest to the growth of hockey fans by the Caps. Just the fact that it's being held could be a start for more young Israeli kids picking up hockey. Before Ovechkin, Green, Backstrom, etc there wasn't a great amount of interest, but as in Field of Dreams, "you build it and they will come", so to speak. If an event like this is held, with the right amount of promotion there could potentially be a ton of new Israeli kids playing hockey. It's just like in Texas and California before and after the NHL came; before, there weren't as many players in those two states but now you see a lot of prospects coming out of there and into the NCAA and the WHL. Hope that made sense.
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  45. #45
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    The official federation site shows the Canada-Russia score as 13-1 instead of 13-2, and also shows the USA-France score as 12-3 instead of 13-3.
    Last edited by Marc Brunengraber; 12-07-2009 at 14:40.

  46. #46
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    Conesy, I appreciate what you are saying, and respect your opinion, but you are talking apples and oranges. First, keep in mind that there is only one legit rink in all of Israel, right on the border with Lebanon. On top of that, you are saying before Ovechkin, Green, Semin, etc., there was little interest in hockey in that area. Well firstly, you are talking NHL hockey, as opposed to beer league hockey in Israel. You are talking more than one rink in the DC, Virginia area, and you are talking a way bigger population to choose from. You also have to consider that Caps owner Ted Leonsis was also willing to spend and promote these players, once they were drafted. Really, the entire situation is different and not really comparable.

    I think the one thing that Israel and most of the US have in common regarding hockey, is that popularity is low, unless there is something to cheer for and there is success......Israel Hockey is in a major transitional state right now, but there is not a lot of hope out of there in my opinion. That can change, if the powers that be commit to the real objective and to what's important. Talk is cheap, and tournaments like this one achieve very little. I will reiterate, that it's great that more people are going to Israel and spending money there, but that's all it is, a tourist experience.

    There is basically no proper coaching, hockey clinics, houseleagues, etc. Did you know that there are 3000 kids playing roller hockey in Israel, so naturally it would be great to transfer some of these kids over ice hockey. Even that has not been focused on enough, and should be priority number one. The guys in Israel don't have much to work with, and although there are various factions that don't agreee with each other, they are trying. The money comes from here, and unfortunately so do many of the players, and even they are starting to age.

    I will give you the perfect example of why this tournament is doing essentially nothing for Israel Hockey. I won't say who, because I am not out to embarass any kids who attended the tournament, but there are several players participating on the Israeli Junior Team in this tournament, that are not even Israeli citizens. They will never play for Israel, and have no business wearing that jersey. No one can tell me that this appropriate, and certainly it does not help Israel build a national team with Canadian ringers. This is just one example of many of the things that are so wrong with the direction of this organization.

    Anyway, I could go one forever, so let's end it here.

  47. #47
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    IH99 -

    I think you are 100% correct in your first three paragraphs. I disagree with you on your fourth for two reasons. First, the World Jewish Cup is not an IIHF tournament, and so the players do not have to meet IIHF requirements. Second, any Jew has an automatic right to Israeli citizenship should they choose to exercise it, so a non-Israeli Jew playing for Israel in an non-IIHF event shouldn't raise any eyebrows. Where I do agree with you, in part, is that guys who do not (and will likely never) play for Israel in IIHF competition should not be playing for them in non-IIHF events.....unless they are, by their participation, helping their teammates who do play for Israel in the IIHF events raise the levels of their games by teaching them a few things.

    In short, though, I agree with you that the lion's share of the federation's money should be going to grassroots programs - obtaining regular ice time in Metulla for the purpose of training interested Israeli youth in how to properly play the sport, and building those with natural ability into elite players to feed the Israeli League and ultimately the national teams, and also to gain enough money to build the critically needed rink in the Tel Aviv area.

    Assuming that those things are legitimately being worked on, then there is no reason to object to (and every reason to celebrate) the World Jewish Cup.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The national MEN'S team, not the juniors, would raise significant money by touring. The interest in places like New York, Toronto, Philadelphia, Chicago, and perhaps Montreal and Los Angeles would be enormous to see the Israeli nats, if only the Jewish (and Jewish-friendly) public in those places knew they exist. Setting up exhibition games in major arenas there during the pre-season would result in comparatively more cash to the federation (assuming the proper split of gate and other receipts) then it knows what to do with. Playing NHL teams would result in 35-0 beatings without a doubt, but you don't get better without facing competition that is better than you. Even playing NCAA Division I and Major Junior teams in areas with a relatively large Jewish population and getting shelled 10-0 or 15-0 per game would result in a lot of money being generated due to the interest in seeing the Israelis. Perhaps, to keep the game scores from getting completely out of hand (although they no doubt would still be ugly), the Israelis could use some non-Israeli citizen Canadian Jews on the top lines (guys like Michael Henrich, who played for Israel at the Spartak Cup in 2005, etc.). This would still allow the IIHF-compliant team members to gain valuable experience, while making the games remotely interesting for the public, and continuing to generate cash. Holding them in the pre-season might allow some of the guys to be available for these games. The biggest obstacle, as always, is (i) lack of cash for the travel, and (ii) getting the members of the men's national team together in one place, as the Israelis have full time non-hockey careers, and the Canadian-Israelis either do as well, or have commitments to pro clubs.

  48. #48
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Scores from the Junior (U-18) event:

    USA Jr. 5, Israel Jr. 3

    Canada Jr. White 4, Canada Jr. Red 2

  49. #49
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    Today's scores from the Senior Round Robin event are as follows: USA beat Israel by a 4-3 score, while France posted a 9-3 win over the Russian squad.

    Lygafe

    Lionel Gaffen/ Fotomix

  50. #50
    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Big win for the USA over Canada by a 3-2 score in overtime today.

    The standings after the round robin are as follows (wins / OT wins / OT losses / losses)

    1. USA 3-1-0-0
    2. Canada 3-0-1-0
    3. Israel 2-0-0-2
    4. France 1-0-0-3
    5. Russia 0-0-0-4

    The semi-finals take place tomorrow with the following matchups:

    USA vs. France

    Canada vs. Israel

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