Monday, April 15, 2024 -
Print Edition

Team Israel hockey players headed to Colorado

In mid-April, a group of special guests will be in Colorado for a unique opportunity. 
 From April 11-April 14, the Big Mountain Hockey Conference will welcome Team Israel for the association’s season-ending annual all star event, shared Charlie Marchese, BMHC’s commissioner.

Israel national hockey team members on the bench at the IIHF world championships in Mexico City in 2019. (Ice Hockey Federation of Israel)

Israel national hockey team members on the bench at the IIHF world championships in Mexico City in 2019. (Ice Hockey Federation of Israel)

BMHC is a member of American Collegiate Hockey Assn.

Over the course of the weekend, the hockey players will play three matches and share a Shabbat dinner at Chabad of CU Boulder.

Coordinating the Team Israel participation with Marchese is Tal Avnieri, general manager for the Israeli Selects and the Israeli Elite Hockey League. He said it would be the first time an Israeli hockey team will be in Colorado.

A primary goal of the weekend, said Marchese, is to open opportunities for primarily North American players who may not realize they could qualify for international play via their Jewish heritage.

For example, a goaltender at CU Boulder, Avi Segal, who is Jewish and Israeli, told Marchese that he had no idea a professional league in Israel existed. That league plays a 10-week season in the summer, enabling students to continue playing at the collegiate level while opening up the possibility of playing on the international stage.

Other objectives for the weekend include fundraising for the ‘Grow the Game’ initiative for Israel Hockey and exposing the Team Israel athletes to junior varsity college level competition.

Team Israel will play its first match on April 11 against the Northern Colorado Bears in Greeley at the Greeley Ice Haus.

On Friday night, as the Team Israel players enjoy a Shabbat dinner, the BMHC holds its all star game; “The Legends vs. the Futures” sees freshman and sophomores from the conference go up against juniors and seniors.

On Saturday night, April 13, Team Israel will face the ACHA “Legends” and on Sunday, it will play the “Futures,” with both matches played at Promenade Ice Centre in Westminster.

All matches are open to the public and will be broadcast via bdehockey.com.

Although Team Israel players are largely from North America, the background of the Israel-Hamas war for Israelis and the Jewish community was a motivating factor for inviting the team, Marchese said. “We want to help this community have a distraction from these struggles.”

Charlie Marchese, [email protected] or 303-829-7119; www.bdehockey.com.



Avatar photo

IJN Assistant Publisher | [email protected]


Leave a Reply